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Sportswriters #107: Missouri State's peaks and valleys

Back in the Missouri Valley Conference with "Valley Views," talking the Missouri State Bears with their longtime beat reporter Lyndal Scranton. The Bears, who play at Bradley on Tuesday night, were the preseason Valley favorite, but inconsistent guard play has left them struggling on the road. Get more of the scoop.

Duration: 00:21:39

Sportswriters #106: An SPHL All-Star Dream Team and memories of the bus crash

Peoria Rivermen head coach Jean-Guy Trudel, co-owner and COO Bart Rogers, and play-by-play announcer Brad Kupiec join Journal Star hockey writer Dave Eminian for another edition of The Journal Star Sportswriters podcast.Trudel and Kupiec discuss their SPHL All-Star dream team,and Rogers joins them to share memories of that terrible but ultimately triumphant day one year ago when the Columbus Cottonmouths bus crashed on the way to Peoria.

Duration: 00:29:09

Sportswriters #105: About that I-74 rivalry ...

Our Valley Views special edition focuses on Round 1 of the Bradley-Illinois State rivalry, which resumes Wednesday night at Redbird Arena in Normal. Our guest is beat reporter Jim Benson from the Bloomington Pantagraph, and in addition to the BU-ISU game, we try to figure out what’s going on in the MVC, where home teams are struggling to hold serve and a .500 record probably won’t keep you out of the dreaded play-in game at Arch Madness.

Duration: 00:33:51

Sportswriters #104: Jim Thome and the Baseball Hall of Fame

The 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame class will be announced in 12 days. The Journal Star staff discusses Jim Thome's chances of becoming the first Peorian to be selected among other Hall of Fame topics.

Duration: 00:35:45

Sportswriters #103: Scouting the Salukis

Another special Valley Views edition: SIU comes to Peoria on Tuesday night to play Bradley in a game between teams locked in a four-way tie for fourth place in the Missouri Valley race. We get the lowdown on the Salukis from Todd Hefferman, beat reporter for the Southern Illinoisan newspaper.

Duration: 00:24:48

Sportswriters #102: Fond memories and bold predictions

Before 2017 fades from memory, the Journal Star sports reporters offer up their favorite moments from the sports year, give each other some well-deserved grief — and go big and bold with predictions (and daring dreams) for 2018.

Duration: 01:03:35

Sportswriters #101: Valpo beat writer Paul Oren of the Times of NW Indiana

We journey back into the Valley again, talking men's hoops with Paul Oren, Valparaiso beat reporter for the Times of Northwest Indiana. After an 8-0 start, the Crusaders have lost six of seven, including their first two conference games in their debut season in the Missouri Valley. They visit Peoria to play Bradley on Wednesday night, so what can we expect to see?

Duration: 00:30:07

Sportswriters #100: Valley views with UNI beat writer Clay Cunningham

With the Missouri Valley Conference basketball season underway, we start a series of weekly chats with MVC experts. Our debut guest is Clay Cunningham, UNI beat reporter for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. He gives us the lowdown on the Panthers, what makes them tick and what has thrown them off kilter so far, as they prepare to visit Bradley on New Year's Eve for a 1 p.m. game at Carver Arena.

Duration: 00:28:22

Sportswriters #99: All about the State Farm Holiday Classic basketball tournament

Eleven teams from the Journal Star-area will play in the State Farm Holiday Classic during holiday tournament week. Dave Oloffson is on the tournament committee in charge of tournament operations. He joins high school sports writer Aaron Ferguson to discuss this year's field, how teams are selected and all that is a part of the 64-team field. The tournament runs from Dec. 27-30 and tickets can be purchased at each venue. Ticket information can be found at

Duration: 00:38:47

Sportswriters #98: Teaching communication skills to Bradley student-athletes

You expect college athletes to get better as they journey from freshmen to seniors, but the real fun is watching them grow up, mature and become better people. Bobby Parker, Bradley's associate athletics director for communications, and Heather Moles, director of academic services for BU student-athletes, join us today to talk about their special program for freshmen. From handshakes to mock press conferences, they've got it covered.

Duration: 00:31:25

Sportswriters #97: Thanksgiving with the Rivermen

A group of Peoria Rivermen share memories of Thanksgiving with Journal Star beat writer Dave Eminian, and Rivermen co-owner Bart Rogers chats about the upcoming designation of Bruce Saurs Way and a youth hockey jamboree coming to the Peoria Civic Center.

Duration: 00:12:08

Sportswriters #96: Dunlap football heads to state

Dunlap is on the cusp of its first-ever state championship appearance in football. With titles in boys tennis, girls cross country, girls track and field and in swimming, Dunlap coaches Brett Cazalet, Teague Dentino and senior Luke Bennyhoff look to add football to the championships won in 2017. They join preps beat writer Aaron Ferguson on the latest edition of the Sportswriters podcast to preview the Class 5A state championship game, share memories of the historic season and more.

Duration: 00:27:22

Sportswriters #95: Dunlap or Washington? There can be only one

It all comes down to this. The powerful, undefeated Dunlap Eagles meet the talented, scrappy Washington Panthers in a battle royale on Saturday for a spot in the IHSA Class 5A state game. Journal Star sports writers Aaron Ferguson and Stan Morris discuss this historic and eagerly awaited state semifinal matchup and recap the small-school season.

Duration: 00:21:19

Sportswriters #94: Recap and preview of the state football playoffs

Journal Star high school football beat writers Aaron Ferguson and Stan Morris recap last week's state football playoff games and share their insights heading into the quarterfinals this weekend.

Duration: 00:24:18

Sportswriters #93: Bradley Braves men's basketball coach Brian Wardle

Bradley Braves men's basketball coach Brian Wardle joins Journal Star beat writer Dave Reynolds to discuss #themovement and the Braves' encouraging prospects for the upcoming college hoops season. Bradley opens its season on Nov. 11 against IUPUI at Carver Arena.

Duration: 00:26:53

Sportswriters #92: Recap and preview of the state football playoffs

It's time for Round 2 of the IHSA state football playoffs. Join Journal Star beat writers Aaron Ferguson and Stan Morris for our weekly recap, analysis and picks for Saturday's games.

Duration: 00:36:58

State Cross Country With Coach Bob

With the IHSA state cross country championships coming to Detweiller Park this weekend, we talk with retired hall of fame coach Bob LaCroix, who laid out the famous 3-mile course on which so much running history has been written.

Duration: 00:42:05

Sportswriters #90: Round One of the high school football playoffs is set

Join Journal Star sportswriters Aaron Ferguson and Stan Morris for this week's high school football recap and playoff preview.

Duration: 00:35:09

Sportswriters #89: It's the final week of the high school football regular season

For some, it's the last game of their high school careers. For others, it's a final shot at a spot in the state playoffs. Journal Star prep football writers Aaron Ferguson and Stan Morris discuss the events of Week 8, preview final Week 9 and talk playoffs in this week's Journal Star Sportswriters podcast.

Duration: 00:34:53

Sportswriters #88: College hoopin' with Dana O'Neil of

College basketball tips off in four weeks. To start prepping, we check in with national basketball writer Dana O'Neil of and get her take on the bribery scandal, some ideas on how to clean up the culture and an early look at some of the storylines to watch this season.

Duration: 00:38:08

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