Year in Review 2023: Top 10 most viewed columns


Muddy River Sports Editor Matt Schuckman's take on Jirehl Brock's involvement in the Iowa State gambling probe was the most viewed column in 2023. | Muddy River Sports file photo

QUINCY — Opinions, debate and discussion are part of the sports culture, so here is a look at Muddy River Sports’ 10 most viewed columns in 2023:

1. Schuckman: Brock’s black eye brought on by gambling probe will fade and his true character will show 

“Brock likely won’t face any further charges, but he has to deal with the stigma of the black eye he now wears. The interesting thing about black eyes is they always fade away. And so will this. Brock’s integrity has never been questioned, and those who know him well will sing his praises as a person, a mentor, a teammate and an ambassador for QHS athletics and this community.”

2. Schuckman: Passion poured into baseball by Raiders’ Tollerton more than good enough to make his impact great 

“That final hit in his final game might have been good enough to get the job done, but Tollerton never played the game just to be good enough. He played it to be great. He played it for his baseball brothers to be great. He played it for this team to be great.”

3. Schuckman: IHSA fails to meet its mission by forcing basketball teams to play third-place games hours after semifinals 

“Issues with how IHSA operates, especially when it comes to the state tournament events, run deep, but treating student-athletes fairly is part of the organization’s promise. In fact, the mission statement says, ‘The IHSA governs the equitable participation in interscholastic athletics and activities that enrich the educational experience.’ The IHSA is failing to meet that mission, which is further reason it’s time for a change.”

4. Crim: NCAA rejects QU’s appeal to allow freshman to swim at Division II national championships 

“The NCAA Division II swimming and diving national championships begin Tuesday in Indianapolis. Quincy University freshman Wyatt Walsh, one of the country’s best in both the 200- and 400-yard individual medley, should be competing. But he’s not.”

5. Schuckman: Conversations about golf, dogs and life create true heart-felt friendship 

“As I sit here writing this, I remember every kind word she said, every smile she flashed when she said hello and every time she went out of her way to comment on an article I had written, often ones not involving either her son or the QND golf team.”

6. Schuckman: High fives and hugs for Taylor punctuate Moline’s run to Class 4A final four 

“He ducked behind press row and first found his son, Kyle, who greeted the Hall of Fame coach with an emphatic high five. Kyle, a freshman at Monmouth College, played for his father at Moline and had been a part of teams that built the Maroons for this moment. Next, Taylor spotted his wife, Lisa, coming down the aisle and they embraced at the railing. He gave his youngest son, Corey, a fist bump, shook hands with a few fans and rejoined his team on the Redbird Arena floor with no one in a hurry to leave.”

7. Schuckman: Rule keeping Illinois prep soccer team from playing in postseason needs to change 

“Soccer is the only sport under the IHSA umbrella where teams are banned for excessive fouls. Basketball teams aren’t left out of the postseason for accumulating too many technical fouls. Football teams aren’t sidelined because of a high number of unsportsmanlike penalties. So why should soccer be different?”

8. Crim: Timing of Longo’s return to QHS soccer program is ‘as perfect as it could be’ 

“His phone rang two hours later. QHS boys soccer coach Ron Bridal was calling to see if Longo would be interested in filling a vacancy on his staff. Not only could he still watch his grandson play, Bridal explained, but he also could make a significant contribution to a program he once guided.”

9. Schuckman: Family means everything to Bombers as support in tragic time comes from near and far 

“So the Bombers coach made it known if the grief associated with losing a teammate — freshman Landon Cromer died Tuesday from injuries sustained in a car accident — interrupted practice, it was OK. Step away. Cry. Breathe. Do whatever is necessary to find comfort and peace, even if it’s just for a moment or two.”

10. Schuckman: Best seat in house is alongside longtime coaches who delight in QHS’s success 

“Above all else, they celebrate what is taking place in front of them. They cheer. They smile. They high-five. They relish seeing this program reach new heights. As you watch their reactions, you understand what it means to see history unfold. I’m blessed to have a front-row seat to it all. As I see it, it’s the best seat in the house.”

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