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  • Writer's pictureDave McKenzie

Coach Shane Hawkins and the Carterville Lions open the 2021 basketball season tonight as they travel to Red Bud for take on the Musketeers.

The Lions will have played five games of the season before they play their home and conference opener on December 10th against Du Quoin.

The Lions are coming off the shortened 2020/21 basketball season in which they finished 11-4 overall.

Here are the rosters for both the Lions and for Red Bud for tonights game.

Coach Shane Hawkins will have to deal with a short lineup to start the season as two of the starting guards are out rehabbing injuries in Peyton Bittle and Caden Hawkins. Both are expected to back in the lineup in a few weeks.

Not a lot is known about this Red Bud team coming in to tonight's matchup. The Musketeers are being led by first year head coach Dane Walter.

Scott Hudson and I will have the call from Red Bud starting with our pre-game show at approximately 7:15 PM, immediately after the JV game is completed. Tip-off should be around 7:30. You can hear the game on NewsRadio WJPF (FM 99.5 / AM 1340) and here on our YouTube Livestream.


Coach Todd Rogers and the Carterville Girls have opened the basketball season with a 3-1 record heading into tonight's game versus the Carbondale Terriers.

On Saturday, the Lions will wrap up play in the Salem tourney when they face the Teutopolis Wooden Shoes at 1:30 PM at Salem High School.

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  • Writer's pictureDave McKenzie

Photo: 103.5 ESPN

The Carterville Lions are preparing for week two of the ISHA playoffs as they will travel to Freeburg to take on the Midgets at 2:30 PM on Saturday afternoon.

The Lions are coming off of a 42-12 win over the Harrisburg Bulldogs. Freeburg advanced to the second round after a 69-19 drubbing of Olney (Richland County) last Friday night.

When you look at these two teams, they are pretty evenly matched on paper. Both teams enter this week game with a 8-2 record.

The Lions have been on a roll of late, as they have won their last four games of the season. In those four games, they are average 49.25 points per game. However Freeburg is riding their own six game winning streak where they are averaging 38.6 PPG.

This Lions team has just shown continued improvement every game coming down the stretch of the season. While being led by Andrew Hellriegel at quarterback, the Lions are able to spread defenses out and make them cover the entire field. The Lions QB1 is taking care of the football as well, having only thrown five interceptions on the season while throwing for over 1600 yards.

What I have been most impressed by of late, is the play of the Carterville defense. This Lions defense is capable of shutting down an offense. In the four game winning streak they are only allowing just over 17 ppg.

I had the chance to talk to Lions Head Coach Brett Diel about this weeks matchup with Freeburg.

If you are keeping track of the playoff bracket, the winner of this game will face the winner of #1 Rochester at #9 Paris. That game will kick off at 3:00 PM.

Carterville and Freeburg will kickoff at 2:30 PM from Freeburg. Scott Hudson and I will have the call starting with our pre-game show at 2:10 PM on NewsRadio WJPF.

We will also have our YouTube livestream available if you can't make it.

I highly encourage you to make the trip to Freeburg to support your Lions. This is the time of the year when these kids need to be able to you the fans on the sidelines. And yes...being there can make all the difference in a game. I have included instructions to get to Freeburg High School.

Good luck to Coach Brett Diel and the coaches and players. Lets bring home a winner!

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  • Writer's pictureDave McKenzie

Lets flash back for a moment...all the way back to last Friday night.

Week 9 of the high school football season featured a matchup between the Harrisburg Bulldogs and the Carterville Lions.

On a night when the Lions were celebrating the seniors not just on the football team but all the fall sports senior players, the football team closed the night out in style with a 45-12 win.

The Lions were efficient in all aspects of the game. In my opinion, probably the best played game of the season. That's a good sign going into playoff season.

Five different players scored touchdowns for the Lions:

First quarter:

9:33 - 24 yard pass Hellreigle to Bittle

6:57 - 38 yard pass Hellreigle to Burkey

3:37 - 34 ayrd pass Hellreigle to Cordes

Second quarter:

4:39 - 61 yard pass Hellreigle to Barton

1:23 - 23 yard run for Barton

Third Quarter:

9:13 - 16 yard run for Lannom

Fourth Quarter:

3:28 - 34 yard field goal by Luttenbacher

Oh, and don't forget the Lions executed a perfectly played onside kick which the later score on in the first quarter to take command of the game.

As you can see, this Lions team has plenty of weapons offensively and Coach Brett Diel and has been spreading the love in the offensive play calling.

But do not forget about the boys in the trenches on the line on both sides of the ball. And defensively, the team can play shutdown defense.

You always hope that once you get to the playoffs, you will have the opportunity to play someone new...someone who haven't played before. But this is something that schools have absolutely zero control over.

The task at hand is to focus on who is in front of you. This week, it's the Bulldogs.

These teams come in to this game knowing what the other brings. There should be no surprises shown by either team.

This is a game where you just go out and hopefully execute at a high level.

The winner of this game will face Freeburg, who defeated Richland County 69-19 last night.

I spoke with Coach Brett Diel about the repeat matchup against the Harrisburg Bulldogs

There is nothing like a home game in the playoffs. 2015 was the last time the Lions hosted a home playoff game. That is the cross-county game between the Lions and Herrin.

I hope everyone is able to come out and support this team. They are a fun team to watch. If you can't make it out, we will have our live stream up and running or can you catch the play by play call as always on NewsRadio WJPF.

You can watch it here.

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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)

  • 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)

  • 2022/23/24 - Play-by-play Broadcaster of John A. Logan College Men and Womens Basketball

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