Illini sports briefs: Football squad to hold charity drive

By Jason Grodsky

The Illinois football team will host a charitable supply drive to benefit the Cunningham Children’s Home for the second consecutive year on Wednesday, July 18.

The charity event will take place on the east side of Memorial Stadium, starting at 6 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m. The Illini will be helped by the C-U Radio Group, featuring Q96, 95.3 The Rock, 105.9 WGKC.

The squad’s goal for the event is to “Score a Touchdown For the Cunningham Children’s Home,” and the Illini will attempt to line up donated items the length of a football field with help from members of the community.

This will be the second consecutive summer that the Illini have hosted this event. Last summer the Illini raised more than $13,000 in goods and cash on behalf of the home.

“Last year was such a positive experience for the team that we had to do it again,” Illini senior linebacker J Leman said in a press release. “Not only did we enjoy the event as a team, it was very rewarding to see how the community came together for such a good cause. It definitely opened up our eyes to all the good that the Cunningham Home does for children in need.”

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Two Illini baseball players named to summer league All-Star teams

Illinois starting pitcher Scott Shaw and utility player Joe Bonadonna were selected to play in the Northwoods Leauge All-Star game this Wednesday in Mankato, Minn. Shaw and Bonadonna will compete on opposing teams; Shaw will suit up for the South Division All-Star team while Bonadonna will play for the North Division All-Star team.

Shaw heads into the All-Star break with a 3-2 record and a 3.46 ERA for the Waterloo Bucks, while Bonadonna has stolen a team-record 31 bases for the Duluth Huskies in the season’s first 38 games.

Women’s soccer player makes cut for U.S. Under-21 National Team

Illinois senior soccer player Ella Masar was named to the United States’ Under-21 Women’s National Team last week. Masar will get the opportunity to compete in the 2007 Nordic Cup tournament in Vassa, Finland, on July 18-24.

The U.S. team has won eight Nordic Cup titles, including a streak of seven straight that was snapped last year by Germany. This year’s tournament will feature two pools of three teams.

The U.S. will be in Group B along with Norway and Sweden, while Finland, England and Germany will comprise Group A. The U.S. will face Norway on July 18 and Sweden on July 22 before the championship-round matches open on July 24.

Masar trained with the U-21 team throughout the spring and has been playing with Illini teammate Emily Zurrer on the Vancouver Whitecaps of the W-League this summer.

Compiled by Jason Grodsky