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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

County athletes excelling in college

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Times Sports Editor

The fall sports season has recently given way to winter sports in collegiate and high school athletics with both Northview and Clay City represented with athletes playing college athletics.

This fall, former Knight and Rose-Hulman junior Lauren Reberger helped her squad post an 11-3 mark overall and 7-1 in the conference.

Rose-Hulman junior Lauren Reberger has won 31 doubles matches during her career with the Engineers. [Order this photo]
Reberger was 3-0 in singles play this season, which improved her to 4-0 during her career with the Engineers. She also partnered with three different players during doubles play where she was 9-3 this season. Reberger was unbeaten (4-0) with Koharuko Fujita.

In her career, she is 31-15 in doubles play after recording an 11-4 mark her sophomore year and was 11-8 as a freshman.

Her spring season begins on March 16 with a match at DePauw and concludes with a pair of April matches in Florida.

In cross country this year, former Knight Casandra Barnett wrapped up her senior season in style with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Barnett was a member of the 2011 USCAA National Cross Country All-Academic Team in 2011 and was part of the 2010 team as well while earning a spot on the 2010 USCAA National Cross Country All-American Team.

In 2012, Barnett helped the Pomeroys to a runner-up finish in the USCAA Cross Country Championships. She placed 16th overall in a time of 25:49. Her teammate, Stephanie Runyon was the national champion in 24:11.

Southern Virginia was the team champ with 67 points with the Pomeroys in second with 94 points.

Casandra Barnett was part of the Pomeroys' national runner-up cross country team this season.
At Indiana State, a pair of former Knights raced with the Sycamores during the fall season.

Senior Kylee Thacker battled back after missing time due to an illness and raced in two events before injuries ended her season. She placed 71st in the Missouri Valley Conference Meet with a time of 20:19 and finished in 19:32 in the Notre Dame Invitational to place 77th.

Sophomore Shelby Sands ran a personal best five-kilometer time of 20:49 to place 19th in the Open Division of the Notre Dame Invitational. She also placed 40th in the Indiana Intercollegiate Open Division (21:41) and registered a personal best 6K time of 24:40 at Great Lakes Region Championship to finish 197th.

Both Thacker and Sands are members of the track and field teams, which open the indoor season Friday at the Eastern Illinois Duals at 4 p.m.

In football, freshman Chance Talbot is at Div. II Urbana College and the 6'2, 220 lbs. linebacker redshirted this fall after being a two-time All-Wabash Valley performer while at Northview.

Urbana was 7-4 this season and 5-3 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

At Indiana State, Trent Lancaster is a freshman eligibility-wise as the 6'1, 200 lbs. quarterback hasn't seen game action to this point.

While at Northview, Lancaster was a All-State Honorable Mention selection both his junior and senior year. During his final year with the Knights, Lancaster threw for more than 2,500 yards while completing over 60 percent of his passes for 34 touchdowns. He also ran for 700 yards and 13 scores.

Former Northview Knight, Austin Akers, currently leads Eastern Illinois in minutes per game and assists during his senior year. [Order this photo]
In volleyball, Vincennes University finished the season ranked eighth in the national poll and wrapped a 30-10 year with a loss to the top-seed and second-ranked Grand Rapids Community College (35-1).

Sophomore Kaylee Clark, a Northview graduate, played in 35 matches and she posted 376 digs, good for 3.21 per set. Classmate Lynsey Higgins, a Clay City grad, played in 26 matches this season and had 90 kills, or 1.45 per set. She also added 106 service points for Vincennes.

Former Northview High School standout Austin Akers is in his senior season with Eastern Illinois where his role has greatly expanded for the Panthers.

In his junior season with the Panthers, Akers played in all 29 games and started the final six and helped the team win three straight in his first three starts of the season. He posted eight assists against just two turnovers in those games and had a 2.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio for the season. He also had five games with five or more assists.

This season, the Panthers have gotten off to a 3-6 mark to start the year, but Akers has thrived while leading the team at 35.7 minutes per game.

Akers has started all nine games and has averaged better than four assists per game to go with five points per contest and 2.6 rebounds. He also has 14 steals for the season.

The Panthers are coming off a 66-52 loss to Stony Brook on Dec. 1 as Akers played 35 minutes and had six points and six assists with no turnovers. In a narrow 74-72 loss to Central Arkansas on Nov. 28, Akers added 11 points and five assists with only one turnover and grabbed four boards.

For the season, Akers ranks 38th in the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.92-to-1. He also passed out his 100th career assist with EIU on Saturday.

Prior to joining the Panthers, Akers played two seasons with Olney Central College and earned first team NJCAA All-Region 24 honors and All-Great Rivers Athletic Conference honors as a sophomore leading a team that finished 18-13.

With the Blue Knights, Akers averaged 13.5 points per game and ranked 53rd nationally with 4.7 assists per game his sophomore season. He also drained 76 3-pointers in 62 career games.

At Northview, Akers earned honorable mention All-State honors as a senior and finished his career with more than 1,000 points and averaged 19.5 points, four rebounds, six assists and three steals his senior year.

Akers and Eastern Illinois take on Western Illinois this evening, the 154th meeting between the two schools.

At Rose-Hulman, Dillon Reynolds is a member of the Engineers basketball team, but has not seen the active roster to this point.

Reynolds, a 5'10 freshman guard, was named honorable mention academic All-State after leading Northview in scoring, assists and 3-point percentage. He also earned all-conference honors as a senior and was a three-sport athlete with three varsity letters in basketball, tennis and track. He finished fourth in his graduating class and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering.