A championship season for Central

November 6, 2018

Daily Journal staff report

What’s better than being crowned state champions? How about undefeated state champs?

The Central High School boys cross country can lay claim to that rare feat. The Comets held off a strong challenge from Elmwood Park to win the IHSA Class 1A state championship Saturday in Peoria.

Isaiah Ditta and Jeremy Snejberg supplied the one-two punch to put Central on top. Ditta finished 13th in individual competition, and Snejberg placed 16th. The top individual performance among area boys came from Herscher freshman Drew Rogers, who placed 11th overall and helped the Tigers finish in 23rd place among the teams.

Herscher’s girls team also had a productive day as the Tigers placed 10th overall. Beecher earned 18th place, Bishop McNamara Catholic finished 22nd, and Central ended up in 23rd place.

Area teams also enjoyed vast success on the football field during the weekend, as all four surviving schools won playoff games to advance to another round.

In the IHSA playoff field, McNamara and Coal City both advanced to the Class 4A quarterfinals by winning handily Saturday. McNamara defeated Murphysboro 49-14, and Coal City beat Johnsburg 33-14.

Herscher also finds itself in the quarterfinals as it defeated Spring Valley Hall 17-14 in the second round of the Class 3A field.

Meanwhile, Milford is making quite an impression in the inaugural Illinois 8-Man Football State Championship playoffs. The Bearcats beat Rockford Christian Life 56-22 Friday to advance to the championship game of the tournament.

For full details on all the action, see Sports, section B.

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