TOLONO — Justin Deters has already matched his siblings’ athletic success. Today, the Unity junior will take aim at his mother’s achievements.
Attending a school with a rich tradition in athletics — top-two state finishes in five team sports — Deters is from a family whose legacy in sports is nearly as long as a football field.
TOLONO — Football fever hasn't been this contagious in southern Champaign County in three years.
That's how long it's been since Unity High School went to the state championship game — 2009. So there's plenty of excitement that the Rockets, on a 10-game winning streak, are going for the Class 3A title against 12-1 Aurora Christian at 4 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium.
PARK RIDGE — In a five-week period midway through his sophomore year, Matt Alviti celebrated birthday No. 16 and quarterbacked Maine South to its third consecutive Class 8A football state championship.
Neither event was the highlight of those fall months in 2010.
State championships are coveted treasures, hard to come by.
One Unity High School family is in position for two titles during the fall-sport season, and it’s not because they have two children on the Rockets’ football team.
TOLONO — Dave Fink started teaching science at Unity Junior High the same year that Scott Hamilton began teaching mathematics in the same building.
TOLONO — Since fifth grade, Jared Abrahamson wanted to be a starter on Unity’s varsity football team.
Now a senior, the defensive end is not just a starter but also a big part of the success for a program that has qualified for the state finals for the fourth time since 2000.
TOLONO — Unity’s final football road trip will be its shortest.
And also, its most important.
The Rockets will make the 8.8-mile trek to Memorial Stadium on Friday to play in the state championship game for the fourth time in 13 years. They extended their season with an offensive explosion Saturday that resulted in a running clock against Greenville at Hicks Field.
TOLONO — There will be a guaranteed first in five days.
TOLONO — Football is a snap these days for Cameron Swearingen, but it hasn’t always been that way.
Now a senior at Unity High School, Swearingen was primarily a defensive lineman for the Rockets during the regular season in 2011.
TOLONO — Truth be told, Mitch Negangard is not a huge pumpkin pie fan.
“I’ve been burnt out on it,” Negangard said. “I’ve been eating it since I was a little kid.”
He’s had ample opportunity to sample pies.