All-Area Boys' Soccer Coach of Year: Urbana's Randy Blackman

In his 27th year as the school’s only boys’ soccer coach, Blackman guided the 21-3 Tigers to an undefeated Big 12 Conference season and a runner-up finish in the Class 2A state tournament.

Season highlight: “It was a wonderful season. The players did everything I asked. They may feel they came up short, but they gave their best. It was not due to lack of effort. We gave them (Peoria Notre Dame) a scare for a little bit. We lost to a very good team,” Blackman said.

A few of my favorite things: Toby Keith ... “Breaker Morant” ... My wife’s spaghetti ... “Brian’s Song” ... Chicago Bears ... Chili’s ... Lowe’s ... Menards ... Farm & Fleet ... Ford Windstar  ... Newspaper delivery boy for the Chicago Tribune ... On my bucket list, take my wife, Ann, to Hawaii, visit China, visit Australia.

About Coach Blackman: “Even as a coach outside of soccer season, he has been dedicated to helping all of us improve in our daily lives and in school. It gave all of us an incentive to always do well, not just in soccer season. As a coach, he always believes in our abilities, even if we don’t. He has taught me the importance of teamwork. I have had a couple of amazing coaches in my soccer career, including two head Harvard University coaches, but Coach Blackman is right up with the best. Coach has taught all of the people that he has coached you can do anything as long as you are willing to work for it.” — Urbana sophomore midfielder David Anderson

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