Fall a busy time for sports fans

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

During the NFL season, I admit I tend to get a little myopic. With games from noon to 10 p.m. or later on Sundays, combined with the Monday and Thursday night games, I lose sight of some of the other things going on in the world of sports.

For instance, baseball fans have their attention focused on the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants. Last night (Tuesday, Oct. 21), they faced one another in game one of the World Series. (Results of that game were unavailable at press time.) The Royals will host game two tonight before the two teams head west for games four, five and, if necessary, six this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 24-26.

Professional basketball fans are eagerly awaiting the start to the NBA season. In less than a week (Tuesday, Oct. 28), the 2014 season will tip off with the defending champion San Antonio Spurs hosting their in-state rivals, the Dallas Mavericks. The Chicago Bulls open their regular season on the road against the New York Knicks Wednesday night, Oct. 29.

The NHL season is under way, and so far so good for the Chicago Blackhawks. At press time, they were 3-0-1 with 11 goals. Their next game is on the road tomorrow night (Thursday, Oct. 23) against the Nashville Predators.

Locally, area high school football teams wrap up their regular season this Friday night, Oct. 24. The Rockton Hononegah Indians and the Belvidere North Blue Thunder share the top spot in the NIC-10. Both schools are 7-1. The Indians will play their last regular-season game at home against the Freeport Pretzels. The Blue Thunder close out their regular season on the road against the Rockford Jefferson Jayhawks.

More than 625 athletes will be in northern Illinois to compete in the Special Olympics Illinois Fall Games this weekend. Volleyball competition will take place at Machesney Park Harlem High School from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 26. Equestrian competition will take place at BraveHearts at the Bergmann Centre in Poplar Grove from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25, and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 26. 

Approximately 450 volleyball athletes will be competing in traditional team, modified team or unified team play, with 43 athletes competing in the individual skills competition. The individual skills competition involves different skill tests that the athletes participate in, including forearm pass, overhead set and serve. Unified teams include players with and without intellectual disabilities who compete against other unified teams.

More than 130 athletes will compete in equestrian competition, including dressage, English equitation, showmanship, stock seat equitation and working trails. 

There’s proof positive that there are lots of other things happening both nationally and locally in the world of sports for those of you looking for something other than the Bears and Packers.

From the Oct. 22-28, 2014, issue

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