Digital Access

Digital Access
Access and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, sports, opinion and more. The Bureau County Republican is published Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! With bcralerts, get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device or by e-mail.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
Keep up with what's going on in your community by reading the bcrbriefs. This easy to read synopsis of today's news will be emailed directly to you Tuesday through Saturday at no charge. Sign up today!

College kids springing into action

Hometown update

Former Hall athletes Kaelyn Hamalle (from left), Tanja Acamovic and Madi Quinn were reunited at a track meet at Eastern Illinois recently.
Former Hall athletes Kaelyn Hamalle (from left), Tanja Acamovic and Madi Quinn were reunited at a track meet at Eastern Illinois recently.

With the spring season fully underway, it’s a good time to catch up with area college athletes with our long-running hometown updates. I appreciate those who have passed on information about their college kids. If you have additional kids to add to the list, please send a note to my email address below.

Track and field

• Best buddies and former Hall Lady Devils Madi Quinn and Kaelyn Hamalle have been reunited at Olivet Nazarene this year. Quinn is a returning sophomore (pole vault/hurdles) and Hamalle is a freshman jumper and recently tried her hand at the javelin. They recently met up with former Lady Devil Tanja Acamovic (Ladd), a junior hurdler for the University of Illinois-Chicago, at Eastern’s Big Blue meet in Charleston.

• Junior Josh Gross (LaMoille) ran on Monmouth College’s winning 4x400 relay in the Central College Dutch Invitational where the Fighting Scots finished first.

• Colton Youngren of Princeton is sophomore thrower (hammer/discus) for the University of Dubuque. 

• Former Hall ace Al Baldonado of Spring Valley is in his junior year running distance for North Central College. He placed second in the mile at CCIW Indoor Championship.

• Bret Dannis, the former BCR Trackster of the Year from St. Bede/Arlington, is running hurdles for the U of I. His former teammate, John Barnes, is a junior thrower for SIU-Edwardsville, ranked second for the Cougars in the discus, shot and hammer.

There are also three former Lady Bruins in the running this spring — Annie Needs, a sophomore distance runner for Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., Maddy Pearson (Peru), a junior thrower at Rockford University, and Courtney Cook (Princeton) is a sophomore thrower at St. Ambrose University.


• Three key members of Hall’s 2018 state champions have moved on to the next level — Cam McDonald (Ladd), Brant Vanaman (Spring Valley) and Ty Rybarczk (Spring Valley).

McDonald has started every game for the University of Illinois (20-11) either in the infield or outfield, batting .295 with 20 RBI. He went 2-7 in an extra inning game at ISU Tuesday. McDonald and the Illini will play at Bradley in Peoria Tuesday, April 23.

Rybarcyzk has picked up where he left off at Hall, posting a 4-0 record in seven appearances (4 starts) with a sparkling 0.87 ERA and 33 strikeouts for the Cobras (19-8).

Vanaman, a two-time BCR Player of the Year, is rostered at Kent State University, but has not played.

• Jett Wedekind (Princeton) is a junior catcher for Aurora University, batting .325 with two homers and eight RBI in 21 starts for the Spartans (18-5).

• Jarrett Olson, formerly of St. Bede, pitches for Michigan State University. The junior southpaw has appeared in eight games (4 starts) with a 5.09 ERA and 0-3 record.

• Dominic Moore (LaMoille) is a freshman pitcher for Sauk Valley.


• Sophomore Rena Barroso (Hall) had six hits and three RBIs for IVCC in Tuesday’s doubleheader sweep over Blackhawk. Freshmen newcomers for IVCC include PC products Alivia Resurrection and Olivia Holmes.

• Emily Draper (St. Bede) is a junior outfielder for Reinhardt University in Waleska, Ga., batting .355 in 37 starts for the Eagles (24-15).

• Darcy Kepner (BV), a junior, is sitting out with an injury this spring, but still traveling with the Monmouth College softballers.

• Former St. Bede Lady Bruin Maty Nowakowski is a junior catcher/second baseman for Beloit College making 25 starts for the Bucs (6-23).

• Courtney Hoagland (Bureau Valley) and Maddi Deery (Ohio) are making their college debuts for Sauk Valley.

• Laura Phillips, another member of the BV Class of 2019, is a freshmen catcher/infielder for Heartland College in Bloomington. She is batting .370 in 11 games (3 starts) for the Hawks (17-7).


• Nolan Frank and Ryan Frank (no relation), who teamed up as the No. 1 doubles at Princeton, are still in the game. Nolan Frank won his most recent singles and doubles matches for IVCC. Ryan Frank plays for Olivet Nazarene.


• Former BV teammates Colton Novotny and Spencer Marquez are teaming up once again as freshmen for St. Xavier University.

• Sydney Eustice (St. Bede) is winding up her senior season and career for Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa.

Kevin Hieronymus is the BCR Sports Editor. Contact him at

Loading more