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  • Writer's pictureDave McKenzie

I decided to break dig the camera out and head over to watch the Freshman/Sophomore football game between Anna-Jonesboro and Carterville on Monday night.

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Yes, the high school football season starts tomorrow the Carterville Lions!

The Lions will host the Anna-Jonesboro Wildcats in IHSA/SIRR Conference football action on Saturday afternoon starting at 1:00 PM.

Coach Brett Dial look to run wild this season, as he wants to utilize his teams speed to get the ball out into the open field and run through the defense.

The last time this team played all the way back in October of 2019, they finished the season with a 3-6 record. This is a much better team than they were then.

Eli Downen will lead the offense again at QB. The Lions speed will be on the outside with the receivers. Ben Haake, Bryce Anderson and Townsend Barton along with Lance Thomas at tight end will look to catch and run all game long. In the backfield, Preston Sumner will see most the action at running back.

I had a chance to talk to Coach Dial tonight about the the matchup against Coach Brett Detering and the Wildcats.

The schedule is abbreviated this season due to the pandemic, however here is the 2021 football schedule. Please note that the first two games will be played on Saturday afternoons.

3/20 - vs. Anna-Jonesboro

3/27 - vs. Nashville

4/2 - @ Sparta

4/9 - Open Date (Pinckneyville cancelled football)

4/16 - @ Herrin

4/23 - @ Du Quoin

I will have the play-by-play on NewsRadio WJPF (AM1340/FM 99.5) and on our Youtube livestream starting with the pregame show at 12:45. Kickoff is slated for 1:00 PM. You can watch the livestream here:

Here are the rosters for both teams.

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Tonight, Coach Shane Hawkins and the Carterville Lions begin a stretch of four games in five nights to wrap up the 2021 basketball season.

The Nashville Hornets make their way to Carterville for a SIRR Conference matchup scheduled to start at 7:45 PM.

These two teams met just this past Monday in Nashville, with the Hornets walking away with a 62-46 win.

The Lions currently sit in third place in the conference behind Nashville and Pinckneyville.

After tonight, there is only one more conference game. Tuesday night the Lions will wrap up the season when the Sparta Bulldogs come to town. This will be the last time the Lions and Bulldogs will match up, as Sparta is headed to the Cahokia Conference starting next season.

The Lions hit the road tomorrow night traveling to Vienna to face the Eagles in non-conference play and then Monday night will host Joe Hosman and the Massac County Patriots in another non-conference game.

As we wrap up the end of the basketball season, one of the stories to watch the drive for 1,000 career points for Lions Senior Eli Downen. Coming in to tonight's matchup with Nashville, he is only 44 points away from this impressive feat. Eli has scored 956 points in his career and he only needs to average 11 points per game to reach the 1,000 mark. Good Luck Eli!

Scott Hudson and I will have the radio call on NewsRadio WJPF (AM 1340/FM 99.5) starting at 7:30 pm for each of these game. You can watch tonight's game on our livestream along with the radio call here:


Congratulations to Coach Rogers and the Carterville Girls basketball team. Last night the girls went to Nashville and came away with a 37-33 win over the Hornettes, vaulting their way to the top of the SIRR Conference standings.

The ladies have two more conference game to play to wrap up their season. Monday night they will head to Sparta to face the Bulldogs and on Thursday they will travel to Anna-Jonesboro to play the Wildcats.

Good Luck the Coach Rogers and the Carterville girls!

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  • Began his radio career in radio at WXAN (Ava, IL) in 1985

  • Has worked at several radio stations in the Southern Illinois area including, WDQN (DuQuoin, IL),  WQRL (Benton, IL), WDDD (Marion, IL).

  • Currently works for Max Media in Carterville, IL.  Dave has worked on each of the five station in that group including WOOZ (New Country Z100), WCIL-FM (Today's Hit Music 101.5CIL-FM), WUEZ (Magic 95.1), WJPF-WCIL-AM (NewsRadio WJPF), WXLT (103.5 ESPN).

  • On-Air Talent on New Country Z100 since 2004 and host/producer of the Saturday Morning Oldies Show.

  • Host of "Riding the Pine", on 103.5 ESPN, a weekly sports talk show covering the Southern Illinois Miners, Southern Illinois' minor league baseball team in Marion, IL.

  • Program Director for 1035 ESPN

  • Play-by-play announcer for Carterville High School sports including football and basketball on NewsRadio WJPF.

  • Fill-in host for the Morning Newswatch with Tom Miller, heard Monday-Friday on NewsRadio WJPF.

  • Emcee/host for Music & Motion Marching Band field competition held each October at Saluki Stadium hosted by the SIU School of Music (2011-2016).

  • Emcee/host for the Walk for a Cure for Arthritis held every May at the University Mall in Carbondale, IL.

  • Main stage Emcee for the first Bluegill Music Festival held July 4th, 2015 at the Rend Lake Dam.  Over 20 music acts performed throughout the day.

  • Herrinfesta Italiana stage host for various music acts

  • Commercial voice-over work

  • Live remote broadcasts at various businesses and events throughout Southern Illinois.

  • Event Coordinator for five station group

  • Experienced HR/Safety/Environmental Manager for manufacturing and transportation companies.

  • Public Address Announcer for the Southern Illinois Miners Minor League Baseball team (2016).

  • 2016 Illinois Broadcasters Association "Silver Dome Award" 2nd place for Best Sportscaster in Medium Market radio.

  • 2017 Illinois Broadcasters Associations "Silver Dome Award" 2nd place for "Best Radio Play-by-Play for Medium Market Stations".

  • 2017 Southern Illinois Miners On-Field Host

  • Two-time segment host of the "show that made country music famous", the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN (February 7, 2010 and May 6, 2017)

  • 2017/2018 Emcee - Barry Apple Festival Pageant (Barry, IL)

  • On-Field Host for the Southern Illinois Miners Minor Leagues Baseball team (2017-2021)

  • 2018 & 2019 Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome Award Winner for Best Play-by-play in Illinois.

  • 2018/2019/2021/2022 PONY Baseball International Colt World Series Play-by-play

  • 2019 Play-by-play Broadcaster for National Pro Fastpitch TV (Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois)

  • 2022 - Play-by-play Broadcaster of John A. Logan College Men and Womens Basketball

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