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Illini Bluffs’ Finn, Normal Community’s Eberle win CSM Spring Athletes of the Week, presented by Dominos


Sara Finn of Illini Bluffs softball and Ethan Eberle of Normal Community baseball were the final winners of CSM Spring Athletes of the Week, presented by Dominos, after helping their respective teams make deep postseason runs and earning the most votes in their respective polls. 


Finn helped lead the Tigers as they reached the Class 1A State Finals for the fifth year in a row while Eberle led the Big 12 champions Ironmen in their second straight sectional appearance. 

Get to know more about our athletes and their accomplishments below.


Finn, a sophomore outfielder for Illini Bluffs, put a stamp on a standout campaign where she hit .554 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs and earned first team all-state honors by the Illinois Coaches Association. She sent the Tigers to state with a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning of their super-sectional game against Carrollton, before leading her team with three hits and two RBIs in their two games at the state finals, where they finished as the runner-up. Finn also drilled a solo home run in the Class 1A State Title game against Ridgewood.


Get to know Finn in a Q and A here:


What are your goals as it pertains to your playing career?

“My goals are to find the right place to go play college softball and wherever that leads me. I would love to play high-level Division-I ball if I’m able to.”


What’s your favorite memory of playing your sport?

“During travel ball, having some of my softball teammates go do go-karts and we were speed racing.”


What’s your walk-up song?

“My walk-up song has always been Thunderstruck [by AC-DC] because one of my coaches played college softball and when I was young, I loved her as a coach and wanted to have a song that people thought was good and now I’ve just stuck with it.”


Favorite food?

“Definitely fried chicken.”


What’s on your bucket list?

“When I’m older, to be able to travel around the world.”


Who’s your favorite teacher at school?

“I don’t really have a favorite teacher but if I had to pick one it would probably be Mr. Teel because his class is shop class and it’s pretty much up to you for what you do and it’s just great overall. Sadly, I won’t be taking his class next year because I don’t have enough time in my schedule.”


Who’s your role model and why?

“My role model used to be Willson Contreras but now he is a [St. Louis] Cardinal so he can’t be anymore but he used to hit the ball hard and throw a lot of people out. [And] Yadier Molina no matter if he is a Cardinal, he was one of the best catchers and I definitely looked up to him.”


Eberle and Normal Community finished out a historic season where the Ironmen won a program-record 33 games and went undefeated in Big 12 play in the sectional semifinals. Despite a 3-0 loss to Bradley-Bourbonnais, Eberle, who was announced as the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year on Wednesday, turned in another high-quality outing with 12 strikeouts and no walks in a complete game. Eberle, a tall southpaw, is committed to play at the University of Louisville next spring. 


Get to know Eberle in a Q and A here: 


What are your goals as it pertains to your playing career?

“Continue to build connections with people and hopefully play professionally.”


What’s your favorite memory of playing your sport?

“Getting to meet and play with people from around the country.”


What’s your walk-up song?

“Still Here by Drake.”


Favorite food?

“Chicken and rice.”


What’s on your bucket list?

“Visit every MLB stadium.”


Who’s your favorite teacher at school?

“Mr. Drengwitz or Mr. Ross because they made showing up to class every day enjoyable.”


Who’s your role model and why?

“My dad because he set a good example for me when I was younger that set me up for success later in life.”

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