25 Sports’ Top 5 College & Pro Sports Stories of 2022

Published: Dec. 24, 2022 at 7:12 PM CST
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(25 News Now) - We take a look back on a terrific year of college and pro sports in Central Illinois by counting down our Top 5 College and Pro Sports Stories of 2022

5. Boomer Grigsby Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame

  • Canton and Illinois State football legend Boomer Grigsby received one of the sport’s highest honors in 2022 as he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. A three-time All-American at ISU, Grigsby is the all-time leading tackler in both Illinois State and FCS history. He is the first College Football Hall of Famer in ISU history.

4. The resurgence of Illinois Football

  • What a season it was for Fighting Illini football. Led by the Power 5′s leading rusher in Chase Brown and consensus All-American cornerback Devon Witherspoon, Illinois had its most successful season since 2007, posting an 8-4 regular season record and setting themselves up to play in their first January bowl game since the 2008 Rose Bowl.

3. Ryan Pedon reinvigorates ISU basketball

  • “It’s time to get our swagger back.” From the moment new Illinois State head basketball coach Ryan Pedon said those words in his introductory press conference, a new sense of excitement and energy has been injected into Redbird hoops. Pedon already has impressive year-one wins over Valley rival Belmont as well as a win over SIU-Edwardsville in the Redbirds’ Return to Horton Field House. He has ISU feeling good heading toward Valley play.

2. The Peoria Rivermen win the 2022 SPHL President’s Cup

  • For the first time in 22 years, the Peoria Rivermen won a league championship in 2022. With a four-game win over Roanoke in the SPHL finals, the Rivs brought home the first President’s Cup in franchise history. Perhaps the best part of the cup run, Peoria native and Rivermen captain Alec Hagaman bringing a championship back home to Peoria.

1. Illinois Basketball wins Big Ten Regular Season Title

  • It was a game Illinois basketball fans will never forget. The Illini rallied from a 15-point deficit on senior night to knock off Iowa and win the Big Ten regular season conference title, the team’s first since 2005. The Orange Krush stormed the court to celebrate the win which helped send Kofi Cockburn, Trent Frazier and, of course, Peoria’s Da’Monte Williams off in style