Illinois head coach Lovie Smith, center, sings the alma mater with the team after Illinois defeated Murray State 52-3 in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.
Bradley Leeb/Associated Press
September 03, 2016

Illinois Opens Smith Era With 52-3 Win Over Murray State

Wes Lunt threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns and Kendrick Foster ran for a pair of 56-yard touchdowns to give new Illinois coach Lovie Smith his first win, 52-3 over Murray State.

Janet Rayfield watching a game from the sideline
September 02, 2016

Bandwagon Bits: Janet Rayfield

Illinois Soccer Coach Janet Rayfield joined Brian Moline, Lisa Bralts, and John Steinbacher in this week's episode of The Bandwagon sports podcast.  Rayfield shared her thoughts on the problems with youth sports and player development in the United States.

Champaign Paralympian Nichole Millage (front, third from right) takes a photo with co-workers from the city at the Dodds Park Olympic and Paralympic Tribute Thursday,
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
August 31, 2016

Champaign Paralympian Millage Is Ready For Rio

Champaign city employee Nichole Millage is prepping for her third, and likely final, Paralympics, starting in Rio Wednesday.  A member of the USA Sitting Volleyball team, Millage says she's not concerned about reports of Brazil's economic crisis, and what that might mean to the games.

Lovie Smith at the podium.
Vashoune Russell for Illinois Public Media
August 30, 2016

Smith Looks Forward To College Atmosphere For Opener

The Fighting Illini football team opens its season this Saturday at Memorial Stadium against Murray State.  First-year head coach Lovie Smith is no stranger to season openers, but for the last 20 years those openers have taken place in NFL stadiums.

Justine Siegal throws batting practice to Cleveland Indians catchers during baseball spring training Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, in Goodyear, Ariz.
Mark Duncan/Associated Press
August 29, 2016

Normal Coach Is Changing The Face Of Professional Baseball

Justine Siegal said she started her career patch playing tee ball, like many kids do. But at age 13, when she was told by her baseball coach to play softball instead, she refused to quit - and still hasn't left the game. The newest member of the Normal Cornbelters coaching staff, she's also scouted big leaguers, and pitched batting practice to major league hitters.

The U of I's Josh George, winner of Chicago Marathons in 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2014.
Josh George
August 12, 2016

U Of I Athlete George Talks Sunday Event In Champaign, Growing Popularity Of Paralympians

With all the attention on the Summer Olympics in Rio, some may not know that more events will be held in the city about three weeks from now.  Seven athletes from the University of Illinois are currently competing there, but seventeen others with connections to the Urbana campus are prepping for the Paralympics, starting September 7.  There's a chance to meet these athletes in downtown Champaign Sunday, including 4-time medialist Josh George.

high school football players
Jay Jacobs / flickr user system13
August 10, 2016

Youth Sports Concussions; Cubs/Cardinals Rivalry; State Fair Food

On the 21st: High schoolers who play high-contact sports are faced with the potential for injury, such as concussions. We learned more about what the state is doing to protect student athletes. We also talked about the burning rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. We also found out how you can make state fair food at your own home.

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