DANVILLE, Ill. (WAND) -- She might be ranked No. 8 in the country in the Prospects Nation recruiting rankings, but you'd be hard pressed to find seven more mature young women than Danville's Anaya Peoples.

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) -- It started with a mystery package, delivered by a gregarious man in a red wool coat.

The cardboard box held brand new warmup tops, and as the Big Kings after school basketball program opened it up, the squeals of joy said it all. Mission accomplished.

The man's name is Terry Mason, and the Decatur resident was there for one reason: he watched WAND's feature story on the Big Kings and felt a nudge to help out.

He couldn't walk, form sentences or hear. Now he gets buckets and gives more effort than anyone you'll see. Decatur's George Johns, Jr. gets straight 'A's and inspires an entire community through his perseverance on the basketball court.

Mt. Zion eighth grader Ethan Osborne's size means being a member of the Braves' roster wasn't an option -- but coach Jeff Shumate wanted to find a way for Ethan to be a part of the program, so he offered for him to join the team as a manager. More >>

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) -- "No Excuses."

It's not just a t-shirt slogan to Decatur Christian guard Irina Yeakley -- it's a bona fide lifestyle.

The sophomore suits up for the Warriors despite having deformed and missing fingers, plus a prosthetic leg that she custom-designed with Harry Potter slogans and insignia. More >>

As 2019 begins, sports director Gordon Voit celebrates the many inspirational stories that WAND Sports ran in 2018. From national fame in the Final Four to a nine-year-old dancer beating cancer to get back in the studio, it was an incredible year for positive news. More >>

Join WAND's Gordon Voit every Wednesday for Hero of the Week, where Voit puts the spotlight on a member of the community who is demonstrating unusual character on and off the field! TAYLORVILLE -- When an array of tornadoes hit the Christian County area last week, Ryan Brown knew something had to be done. The boys basketball coach texted wrestling and football coach Lee Mateer, and rallied a large group of students from all across the Tornadoes athletic department and beyond. They ... More >>

In this Tuesday slate of highlights, Taylorville decides to host its Apollo Conference clash with Charleston despite the town's storm damage, while MacArthur tops U High and Eisenhower rolls Rochester. Plus scores from the Macon County Tournament in Maroa! Tune in to WAND during Wednesday's 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts to see the Taylorville boys basketball team featured for Hero of the Week! More >>

Join WAND's Gordon Voit every Wednesday for Hero of the Week, where Voit puts the spotlight on a member of the community who is demonstrating unusual character on and off the field! EVANSTON -- Illinois captain, emotional leader and run-blocker-in-chief Nick Allegretti wins this week's award for the character he showed throughout his career, and particularly for how he handled his last moments in an Illini uniform. Join Gordon Voit for a look at Allegretti's special day, including h... More >>

Join WAND's Gordon Voit every Wednesday for Hero of the Week, where Voit puts the spotlight on a member of the community who is demonstrating unusual character on and off the field! DECATUR -- It takes tens of thousands of dollars, countless hours and a legion of volunteers to make the economy-boosting Decatur Turkey Tournament happen each year. As we head into Year 50 of the tournament, Gordon Voit celebrates the people who work hard behind the scenes! [FOR VIDE... More >>

Join WAND's Gordon Voit every Wednesday for Hero of the Week, where Voit puts the spotlight on a member of the community who is demonstrating unusual character on and off the field! FORSYTH -- It might be the busiest leg in the state. Maroa-Forsyth's undefeated 48-point-per-game offense has a secret weapon named Reilly Fitzpatrick, and Reilly is in charge of capping off all those touchdown drives. The senior is believed to be the highest-scoring female football player in Illin... More >>

Join WAND's Gordon Voit every Wednesday for Hero of the Week, where Voit puts the spotlight on a member of the community who is demonstrating unusual character on and off the field! CHICAGO -- Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt became an international celebrity during Loyola's magical run to the Final Four last spring. Now that the Ramblers are launching their campaign to return to the Final Four, Sister Jean is back in the spotlight. As Gordon Voit reports, it's how he noticed her handli... More >>

Join WAND's Gordon Voit every Wednesday for Hero of the Week, where Voit puts the spotlight on a member of the community who is demonstrating unusual character on and off the field! MT. PULASKI -- If Donna Dulle ever moved away from Mt. Pulaski, it'd be like taking out the courthouse or bulldozing Vinegar Hill. The longtime volleyball coach is part of the town's fabric after 39 years as leader of the program. She reached the 1,110-win mark this season and is one of the mos... More >>

Join WAND's Gordon Voit every Wednesday for Hero of the Week, where Voit puts the spotlight on a member of the community who is demonstrating unusual character on and off the field! CHAMPAIGN -- First the Demirjian family paved the way for coach Mike Small's Illinois golf program to have the top indoor facility in the country. Now the Soy City family is turning its sights on a soccer and track complex. Demirjian Park will feature brand new facilities for the two programs, which... More >>

Join WAND's Gordon Voit every Wednesday for Hero of the Week, where Voit puts the spotlight on a member of the community who is demonstrating unusual character on and off the field! This week's honoree is a trio of local football players who are demonstrating what it means to "suffer well". Illinois' Dre Brown and Mike Dudek have dealt with nine combined years of injury-plagued seasons. Eastern Illinois quarterback Scotty Gilkey is dealing with elbow surgery himself, in add... More >>

Join WAND's Gordon Voit every Wednesday for Hero of the Week, where Voit puts the spotlight on a member of the community who is demonstrating unusual character on and off the field! DECATUR -- Dale Jones felt the nudge, so he started Veterans and Friends. Now after establishing the golf group that brings veterans, people with disabilities and their friends together, Dale Jones feels the nudge again. Jones has expanded Veterans and Friends to certify Boy Scouts, help run tournaments... More >>

Join WAND's Gordon Voit every Wednesday for Hero of the Week, where Voit puts the spotlight on a member of the community who is demonstrating unusual character on and off the field!  More >>

Join WAND's Gordon Voit every Wednesday for Hero of the Week, where Voit puts the spotlight on a member of the community who is demonstrating unusual character on and off the field! MACON -- Meridian head coach Micah Sheppard calls one of his assistants something that no one else can: Dad. [FOR VIDEO PLEASE VISIT "GORDON VOIT -- WAND SPORTS" ON FACEBOOK!] Dennis Sheppard is a valued member of his son Micah's staff not just because of their mutual trust, but because of Den... More >>

Join WAND's Gordon Voit every Wednesday where he puts the spotlight on a member of the community who is demonstrating unusual character on and off the field! SPRINGFIELD -- Whether it's two weeks from now against Rochester (and his son Derek), three weeks from now or four weeks from now, Sacred Heart-Griffin head coach Ken Leonard will eventually become the state of Illinois' all-time leader in wins. You don't expect to find that man hustling around his school's athletic comple... More >>

Join WAND's Gordon Voit every Wednesday where he puts the spotlight on a member of the community who is demonstrating unusual character on and off the field! DANVILLE -- As he nears Year 70 as a Central Illinois sportswriter and radio commentator, 94-year-old Danville legend Fowler Connell isn't slowing down. The Kansas City native and Navy veteran moved to Champaign after his stint in the Pacific. He worked for just shy of four years in Champaign before moving east to Danville.... More >>

DECATUR -- It only takes about five minutes of watching a MacArthur General football practice and you're hooked. The player wearing practice jersey No. 5 won't stop talking to his teammates -- whether helping get them going at the beginning, picking them up after a mistake or keeping things loose. He instantly becomes your favorite player. Shannon Roberts may face developmental disabilities that his teammates don't have to deal with, but it doesn't stop him from contr... More >>

Tune in every Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. for the WAND Sports Hero of the Week! Learn about the athletes in our viewing area who are making an impact on and off the field! This week it's Nokomis seniors Ben Marley and Hunter Arndt, who are serving in the Air Force National Guard in addition to starring on the football field. NOKOMIS -- It's about enriching a family legacy. A practical way to pay for college. Most of all, a chance to serve their country. This week's Heroe... More >>

Tune in every Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. for the WAND Sports Hero of the Week! Learn about the athletes in our viewing area who are making an impact on and off the field! This week it's the football program at the Illinois School for the Deaf. JACKSONVILLE -- It's hard enough getting a team to execute the intricacies of a jet sweep or a five-receiver set. Imagine doing it without sound. The Tigers of the Illinois School for the Deaf do that, and they do it well. Head c... More >>

Tune in every Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. for the WAND Sports Hero of the Week! Learn about the people in our viewing area who are making an impact on and off the field! This week it's St. Teresa's do-it-all handyman Jim "Deacon" Davis, who has volunteered for the school's athletic department since 1995. In an era where the selfie is the norm, St. Teresa's Swiss Army Knife Jim "Deacon" Davis is the antidote. We point the lens at ourselves an... More >>

Tune in every Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. for the WAND Sports Hero of the Week! Learn about the athletes in our viewing area who are making an impact on and off the field! This week it's Eisenhower cheerleader A'shanti Mann. DECATUR -- Eisenhower sophomore A'shanti Mann doesn't even have her learner's permit to drive yet, but she's already stared down a challenge that most people don't face till they're decades older. The 15-year-old cheerleader is WAND Sports Hero of th... More >>

Tune in every Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. for the WAND Sports Hero of the Week! Learn about the athletes in our viewing area who are making an impact on and off the field! This week it's Mattoon's Brandon Richey and Laura Ash. MATTOON -- Sound is overrated. It's everywhere in football. Crucial, even. Complex play calls. Instructions from the coaching staff. Snap count. But the Green Wave's team within a team proves it's overrated. Meet senior defensive lineman Brandon ... More >>

Tune in every Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. for the WAND Sports Hero of the Week! Learn about the athletes in our viewing area who are making an impact on and off the field! DECATUR -- There's no doubt Ray Neal, Jr. was a hero for the MacArthur Generals in their 53-0 win over crosstown rival Eisenhower. The senior posted three touchdowns and showed why he was chosen as one of four captains. But that's not why the 6-foot-1 receiver is a hero in life. In a world of pain,... More >>