The Illinois United Youth Sports Programs increased the number of participants qualified for the Junior Olympics in its second year of existence. Coach Marcus Bates says, “he’s more excited then ever to give young kid in Springfield the change to compete in sports at the highest levels”, who may not have the necessary means for competition travel, event registration fees, etc.
Robert Williams Lauren Ferguson N’dia Jackson Jaylen Gary and Deja Anderson all make their returns back to the national stage, while 1st year athletes Qa’Ron Hawkins, William Crawford DaShawn Brownlee Tori Taylor and Jocelyn Anderson, all make their debuts.
Several athletes go into this year’s meet with the opportunity to finish in the top percent in the nation and get an ALL-AMERICAN opportunity. Lauren Ferguson the highest placer for IU last year returns in the 400m hurdles while also adding Long Jump to her impressive track and field resume. Robert Williams comes into nationals with one of the favorite times to place top 8 in the nation in both of his events. Deja Anderson currently holds the #1 Long Jump in the nation for 13 year old girls and looks to make a big jump as national champ at this years event. DaShawn Brownlee has a great chance to become triple crown and place top 8 in 3 events; 100, 200 and 400. Jocelyn Anderson, younger sister of Deja makes her national debut in the Long Jump competition after a minor set back at regionals. She recently bounced back with her best jump in the 10 year old girls division.
Illinois United – Track & Field Team Roster
Robert Williams (17-19Boys)-110 Hurdles, 400 Hurdles
Lauren Ferguson (17-19Girls)-400 Hurdles Long Jump
N’dias Jackson (17-19G)-100 Hurdles
Qa’Ron Hawkins (17-19B)-Triple Jump, Long Jump
Jaylen Gary (17-19B)-High Jump
William Crawford (17-19B)-Discus
Deja Anderson (13G)-100m Dash Long Jump
DaShawn Brownlee (13B)-400m Dash 100,200
Tori Taylor (14G)-200m Hurdles Long Jump High Jump
Jocelyn Anderson (10G)-Long Jump
Nikeya Walker (13G)-Long Jump
Follow them on Facebook at ILLINOIS UNITED FACEBOOK for more info.
United Premier Soccer League Announces Springfield FC as Midwest Conference Expansion Team
The United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) is excited to announce Springfield FC as a new member starting with the 2019 Spring Season.
Based in Springfield (Ill.), Springfield FC begins UPSL Pro Premier play in the Midwest Conference, and will host its home matches at SASA Complex (4600 11th Street, Springfield, IL 62703) in compliance with UPSL’s Minimum Standards.
United Premier Soccer League Commissioner Yan Skwara said, “We are pleased to welcome Springfield FC to the UPSL. We’ve experienced tremendous growth in the Midwest Conference in 2018, and the UPSL will continue to drive in quality Midwest clubs into 2019 and beyond. This will improve travel distances between all our Midwest clubs, which is important from a budget standpoint. Springfield FC is a club that will meet UPSL’s Minimum Standards. Owner Frank Rodriguez has maintained a healthy club with the ability to travel and win on the road, and now they’re ready to take the next step and become a member of the fast-growing Pro Development league in America. We wish Springfield FC every success going forward.”
Frank Rodriguez is General Manager and Head Coach of Springfield FC. A native of Honduras, Rodriguez, 35, is an Office Specialist with Illinois Healthcare and Family Services.
Springfield FC General Manager Frank Rodriguez said, “It was time to do it because we’ve been getting some great results lately and we’re ready to step up. Springfield is a great soccer community and I feel like we need a team like this to help promote the quality players because there’s a lot of talent here. The UPSL is a great league with an outstanding front office, and I want to help be a part of building something special.”
Springfield FC has had a successful run as a traveling amateur team since 2011, posting wins over a number of local college programs and even playing recent friendlies against St. Louis Maritsa FC (UPSL) and Joliet United FC (UPSL).
The club soon will announce upcoming tryouts and its game schedule.
About Springfield FC
Springfield FC is an American Soccer club currently based in Springfield, Ill., and a new member of the United Premier Soccer League. Springfield FC plays in the UPSL Pro Premier.
Founded in 2011, Springfield FC can participate in the qualifying rounds for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup through their affiliation and membership with the UPSL, the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).
United Premier Soccer League
The UPSL was formed in 2011 and currently includes more than 170 teams in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. UPSL is the fastest growing Pro Development League in the USA, with 200-plus teams targeted for 2018 Fall Season. Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated, and is responsible for maintaining either UPSL Pro Premier Division or Championship Division minimum standards.
UPSL teams are all eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup Qualifying Rounds through the leagues affiliation with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).
More information about UPSL can be found at www.upslsoccer.com or by following the league on Facebook (www.facebook.com/upslsoccer) and Twitter (@upslsoccer).
Video games may soon join scholastic bowl, football, and bass fishing
The organization that manages everything from football and volleyball to bass fishing and scholastic bowl at Illinois’ high schools could soon add video games to its list.
A number of Illinois high schools already have e-sports teams. Those are teams that play video games competitively. E-sports across the globe was worth $1.5 billion last year.
Craig Anderson with the Illinois High School Association, which oversees high school sports and activities in Illinois, said e-sports are becoming very popular, almost popular enough to see a high school season.
“I think we have more than the number of schools that have identified on a list,” Anderson said. “But, to date, we think we have about 25 schools that have indicated to us that they have a team that is competing.”
It will take time for e-sports to become an official IHSA activity.
Anderson said IHSA recently hosted its first lacrosse state championship after years of exploring the sport.
Although some people may not consider video games a sport, Anderson said there’s always value in teamwork and giving young people a sense of pride in anything they do.
“Some people would argue that gaming, and just sitting at a computer lab or a monitor is not healthy,” Anderson said. “But I think that it’s competition. And there’s a benefit to competition, even at that level.”
Anderson said the IHSA is exploring e-sports as an activity. Member schools would have to push to make it official, then the organization would vote on a season, rules, teams and the like.
Article by Benjamin Yount, Illinois News Network. For more INN News visit ILnews.org
Springfield Kings honored at City Council
The Springfield Youth Hockey Association was recognized for their success this season at last night’s City Council Meeting. Known as the Springfield Kings, teams from the Association compete in a number of different organizations. In March, they traveled to the Blue Note Cup in Missouri. Three of the teams, Squirt B1, Peewee A2, and Bantam A2 all took home the championship for their divisions.
Founded in 1961, the Springfield Youth Hockey Association draws young hockey players from around the greater Springfield area in a number of age brackets. To learn more, check out their website or Facebook page.