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Vote: CSM Spring Athletes of the Week, March 18-24, 2024

Updated: Mar 27

Mother Nature may have been a winner a few times last week, causing multiple postponements and cancellations but the high school athletes of Central Illinois were even better, with 10 of them earning status as a CSM Spring Athletes of the Week nominee.


Among them are clutch performances against top competition, track and field championships, and big games in baseball, softball, lacrosse and soccer.


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The following athletes are our nominees for CSM Spring Athletes of the Week with information on their standout performances. There are polls for Boys Athlete of the Week and Girls Athlete of the Week below. Spread the word and vote now before polls close at 8 PM on Wednesday!


Update: Canton's Brooklyn Dennis and Morton's Christopher Schaff won voting for CSM Athletes of the Week. Voting closed at 8 PM on Wednesday night.


Girls Athlete of the Week nominees


Brooklyn Dennis, Canton softball


The 5-foot-1 outfielder for Canton packed a punch in the Little Giants’ trip to Tennessee for the Southern Warrior Classic, hitting a home run in three of Canton’s games over the course of Saturday and Sunday. The Little Giants went 3-1 in those games and Dennis also added a pair of RBIs in 19-4 win over Richwoods on Thursday. 


Alayna Bergman, IVC girls soccer


Bergman had a phenomenal day for the Grey Ghosts in their Illini Prairie Conference opener against Champaign St. Thomas More, scoring four of IVC’s five goals in a 5-5 draw. 


Karlee Pettit, Washington co-op girls lacrosse


Pettit helped Washington get its season started on the right foot in a 13-8 win over Dunlap on Thursday. The sophomore netted four goals in the win on five shots on goal and added an assist as well. 


Reese Mitchell, Normal U-High girls track and field


Mitchell had a busy week on the track, winning multiple events for the Pioneers. She ran a leg on Normal U-High’s title-winning 4x200 meter relay team at the Class 2A Illinois Top Times indoor met on Saturday, adding a sixth-place finish in the 60-meter finals and a seventh-place finish in the 200 meters as well. She won twice earlier in the week at the Clinton Last Chance Indoor Meet in the 60 meters (7.86 seconds) and ran the fastest leg (26.56 seconds) on the Pioneers’ 4x200 meter relay team that took first.  


Ava LaFollette, Peoria Notre Dame girls soccer


The sophomore forward who transferred from Metamora has made an immediate impact for the Irish (4-0) this season, perhaps none bigger than in a Saturday showdown with defending Class 2A state champion Chatham Glenwood. LaFollette knocked in a goal late in the second half to put PND ahead 2-1, a lead that they would hold for the rest of the game. 


Boys Athlete of the Week nominees


Kaileb Hackman, Normal Community baseball


Normal Community’s only game of the week came against Morton but Hackman made sure the Ironmen came out on top in a 1-0 battle. Hackman, who started the game at third base, came in to pitch in relief and earned the win against a potent Morton lineup, striking out nine and allowing two runs in 3.2 innings of work. He would ultimately earn the win and added two hits in the game, including a double.


Finan Krenz, Bloomington Central Catholic track and field


Krenz has stood out for BCC in the high jump and his strong spring helped him qualify for the Class 1A Illinois Top Times Indoor Meet on Friday. There, the junior won the high jump by clearing the bar at 1.92 meters, his first win in six podium finishes in the indoor season. 


Curt Sosnowski, East Peoria baseball


Sosnowski put together a monster game for red-hot East Peoria on Tuesday in a 13-10 win over Normal West. The senior was responsible for nearly half of the Raiders’ runs, going 3-for-6 with 6 RBIs on a single, double and home run. The win helped keep East Peoria undefeated on the season.


Christopher Schaff, Morton boys track and field


Schaff found himself on the podium twice on Saturday at the Class 2A Illinois Top Times indoor meet, winning the 200 meters in a personal-best time of 22.64 seconds. He also ran a leg on Morton’s 4x200 meter relay team that took third place, but finished less than a second behind the winners. 


Blake Crancer, Normal West baseball


Crancer was the engine behind a big week for Normal West’s bats. The shortstop went 2-for-3 with three runs, three stolen bases and two RBIs in the Wildcats’ first win of the season over Limestone on Wednesday. He added a big game in a loss to East Peoria on Tuesday, going 2-for-5 with three RBIs and a double. 


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