Three former area basketball players will be enshrined in the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on April 28 at the Illinois State University student union.
Amanda Glazebrook, the point guard on Sullivan's undefeated and nationally ranked 1981 state championship team, is the lone girls' honoree. Former DeLand-Weldon athlete Larry Huisinga — who played football at Illinois — and former Gibson City standout Steve Arends, who played collegiately at Illinois State, are other upcoming inductees.
In the friends of basketball category, four men and one woman with area connections will be inducted. They include 30-year Urbana scorekeeper Bob Smith, former Gibson City girls' coach Ossie Jordan, whose 1992-93 team placed third at state, as well as Roland Meyer, from Cissna Park, and Corliss Norton, from Buckley-Loda and Clifton Central. Also being enshrined is longtime Urbana and Rantoul middle school coach Diane Enos.
Rantoul native Sean Taylor, the head coach at Quincy, is another inductee with area connections. Taylor coached Shelbyville to a state championship in 1996.
Tickets to the 40th anniversary banquet are $35 apiece and can be reserved by contacting IBCA executive director Chuck Rolinski at 815-452-2903.
Area coach headed to Hall
B.J. Luke, from Danville, has been chosen for induction into the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place in March. In seven years at Danville, the Vikings are 52-25 with six consecutive teams qualifying for the IHSA playoffs.
Area ump headed to Hall
Jeff Reese, an umpire from St. Joseph, will be inducted into the Illinois Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Feb. 19 in the softball group's annual banquet at the Doubletree in Bloomington.
The ICA also will honor SJ-O coach Randy Wolken as the Super-sectional Coach of the Year. Wolken is the state's all-time winningest softball coach.
Fisher adds to Hall of Fame
Fisher High School added 16 members to its Hall of Fame in a ceremony last month. The newest additions (and the years of their graduation) are Michael Bayler (1982), Matt Blackburn (1989), Troy Burgess (1982), Susan Chandler-Rubenking (1985), Thomas Christians (1987), Bruce Culbertson (1980), Brice Deer (1988), Justin Deer (1989), Robert Eichelberger (1986), Brian Headley (1980), Craig Horsch (1981), Eric Horsch (1987), Grant Horsch (1989), Kaye Ingold (1981), Jennifer Nigg (1984) and Gunner Schwing (1989).
Malone chosen for honor
FARMER CITY — Senior J.J, Malone, from Blue Ridge, was chosen to the 23-player Chicago Fire boys' soccer all-state academic first team. The Area Player of the Year, Malone netted an area-best 64 goals as a senior.
On the second team was Fisher/GCMS' Cameron Heiser. Another Fisher/GCMS athlete, Jordan Sizemore, received special mention status. Named to the honorable mention unit was Fisher/GCMS' Joel Hood. All of the honored area athletes are seniors.
East Central hires Harmon
Bill Harmon, who has been coaching youth football in Urbana the past decade, will be the next East Central football head coach. East Central is a cooperative between students who attend Heritage and Shiloh high schools. The Panthers compete in the Little Okaw Valley Conference.
East Central has won seven games during the past five seasons, and last fall the team was outscored 324-26.
"I don't know how many games we'll win (next year), but we're done being embarrassed," said Harmon, who has been studying game film from last season's 0-9 team. That has helped him develop a starting point.
"We'll pound the fundamentals, the way we block, the way we tackle, the way we throw," he said. "From what I've been able to watch, that's what we're lacking. Any kid that comes out next summer, I'll treat them like they've never played a down of football and build from there."
Harmon expects to have some of last year's East Central staff members return as assistants and will be joined by three individuals he's worked with in Urbana. Holdovers include Darren Beard, Rich Ferriman, Brad Lowe and Andy Lubben. Expected to join the staff are Rod Campbell, Roy Sadler and Jayvon Thomas.
"It's hard to get a program turned around when you have a new coach every other season," Harmon said. "To me, that's the biggest part of building: to have continuity."
A game — and a reunion
Former Centennial girls' basketball coach Tim Fairchild has scheduled Thursday's home game against Central as the night for the Chargers' annual alumni reunion. All former players, coaches, or parents of former players and coaches, as well as fans, are welcome to attend. The junior varsity contest will start at 6 p.m., with the varsity to follow at about 7:30.
Tigers, Vikings swap dates
Urbana and Danville have traded home dates for upcoming boys' basketball games. Friday's contest, originally scheduled for Urbana, has been shifted to Danville. The varsity game will start at about 7:30 or 20 minutes following the conclusion of the junior varsity contest. When the teams play their rematch Feb. 3, the home site will be Urbana.
B-H the team to beat — twice
When the Vermilion County basketball tournaments start Saturday at Danville's Palmer Arena, the No. 1 seed in the boys' and girls' divisions are the same school. Bismarck-Henning has been selected as the team to beat.
For the 93rd boys' tournament, other top seeds are Georgetown-Ridge Farm (second), Westville (third) and Salt Fork (fourth).
In the 32nd girls' tournament, the other top seeds are Armstrong-Potomac (second), Milford (third) and G-RF (fourth).
A win to savor for Charger rival
CHAMPAIGN — It certainly wasn't Normal Community's biggest win in boys' basketball this season. That distinction would have to go to the Ironmen's 61-52 overtime triumph against Springfield in the Class 3A/4A title game of the State Farm Holiday Classic at the Shirk Center in Bloomington.
Still, Normal Community's 62-48 Big 12 Conference victory at Centennial last Friday was significant to Dave Witzig because it had been a while since his Ironmen last won on the Chargers' court.
"It might be six or seven, eight years," the 13th-year Ironmen coach said. "We come here every other year, so it's been a while since we've won in this gym. So it was a great win for our team in the conference."
Normal Community's last win at Centennial was nearly six years ago. Those Ironmen defeated a Chargers team that included current Detroit Lions running back Mikel Leshoure 64-57 on Jan. 31, 2006. Craig Lutes, who went on to play baseball at Illinois, led the Ironmen with 20 points.
Home or away, Centennial had won four in a row in this series until losing last season at Normal.
Fred Kroner and Jeff Huth