MAHOMET — As the fall sports season is getting set to start, it’s easy to focus on athletes who proved themselves last year. But as the Bulldogs prepare for a big 2019-20 season, there are plenty of potential breakout candidates. Here are five under-the-radar athletes who have the potential to bust out in a big way this fall.
1. Skyler Yancy, football
Yancy has struggled with a variety of knee injuries, but when he’s healthy, he could be Mahomet-Seymour’s best defensive player this year. The junior linebacker is the fastest player on the team, and he’s a strong, sure tackler.
Now that he’s fully healthy, Yancy has immediately asserted himself as the leader of the defense. The Bulldogs defense wasn’t very good last year. Yancy will hope to do his part to change that in 2019.
2. Amber Yeakel, volleyball
Stan Bergman likes to use his middles a lot on offense, and senior Amber Yeakel could be the one to benefit from the new change. Without outside hitter Savannah Matthews, the Bulldogs will need some offensive weapons to step up. Obviously, a lot of eyes are on outside hitters Lauren Minick and Ainsley Ranstead, but Yeakal is very talented as well. The 6-foot-2 senior will be one to watch.
3. Chloe Allen,
Allen didn’t make a ton of noise last year as a freshman. Instead, it was Olivia Bunting, Delaney King, Elizabeth Sims, Grace Lietz and Brisa McGrath. But she had a strong finish to the season in track and field, so Allen has some momentum on her side as she enters her sophomore season.
Allen placed fourth in the 800-meter dash at the Apollo Conference meet in the spring, and if she can tap into that potential, she could have a strong
season and complement Sims really well.
4. Sam Knight, boys’ soccer
Corey Cebulski was the M-S goalkeeper last year, and he did a great job anchoring M-S’ standout defense. But when Knight got a chance, he was also really good. Cebulski has now graduated, so there is an opening for Knight to take over as the starting keeper. The 6-foot-3 senior has great length and athleticism. The Bulldogs will have to replace a lot of savvy seniors from last year’s 15-win team, but there are plenty of guys like Knight who’ve had to wait patiently for upperclassmen to graduate. Now is there time. If Knight puts it together, he could be one of the better goalkeepers in the area.
5. Joseph Scheele,
Without Mathias Powell, there will be an opening for many cross country runners to step up. Sophomore Kyle Nofziger is an easy choice to make a big leap, but Scheele has a high upside as well and is another sophomore that could make some noise.