GIBSON CITY — Three former Gibson City athletes are receiving a second Hall of Fame invitation. Scheduled to be inducted at halftime of Friday's homecoming game against Blue Ridge are seven individuals, including Marc Knowles (1991 inductee), Ty Royal (1998 inductee) and Craig Patton (1999 inductee), who previously were enshrined as individuals and now are entering as members of state championship track and field relays.
Also being added to the Hall, which covers athletes from Drummer Township High School, Gibson City High School, Melvin-Sibley High School and Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School, are Roy Acree (1980 graduate), Marvin Beck (1953 graduate), Mike Lange (1968 graduate) and Jeff Nagle (1979 graduate). Royal graduated in 1978, Patton in 1979 and Knowles in 1980.
The GCMS Hall of Fame inducted its charter members in 1990. There are now 35 individuals, five teams and one coach in the shrine.
Rockets add to Hall of Fame
TOLONO — As part of its homecoming festivities this weekend, Unity will induct three former athletes and a coach into its Hall of Fame.
Former boys' basketball coach Don Akers, Jennifer Myers-Butts, Joella Koss-Meharry and David Tempel will be the guests of honor during a reception at 5:30 p.m. at the football field prior to Friday's game against Argenta-Oreana. The Hall of Fame induction will take place at halftime of the football game.
Akers coached the boys' basketball team from 1981 to '84 and again from 1991 to '94. He compiled a 182-67 record with the Rockets and also worked in the district for 21 years, including a stint as the high school's principal.
Myers-Butts, a 1993 graduate, starred in volleyball, basketball and track and field before continuing her career on the basketball court and track and field at Millikin.
Koss-Meharry, a 2000 graduate, was The News-Gazette's softball Player of the Year as a senior. She played collegiately at Lake Land. Koss-Meharry also starred in volleyball and basketball at Unity.
Tempel, a 1968 graduate, was a star in track and field and on the football field. He received a scholarship to play football at New Mexico.
Taking it slow
VILLA GROVE — Speed is an important aspect for cross-country runners, but for Villa Grove senior Adam Crutchley, the preferred pace is slower during the early portion of the high school season.
Stress fractures in each femur sidelined him for the majority of his junior year in cross-country as well as track and field. He ran an early-season dual meet for the Blue Devils but was not on the course for either the Chrisman Cowchip Classic or Saturday's Paxton-Buckley-Loda Invitational.
His approach is to gradually continue training and increasing his mileage, run an assortment of low-key dual meets and save the major invitationals for the postseason series, starting with regionals Oct. 22.
BEMENT — High school athletes, especially those at smaller schools, never seem to find a lack of activities in which to participate. Bement junior twins Alyssa and Anna Hendrix don't often wonder what to do next in the fall. The question is usually how do they fit it all in?
They are starters on the volleyball team, cheerleaders for the Friday football games and they play in the marching band, going straight from the sidelines to their instruments while in uniform. Anna, who is older by 5 minutes, plays the trumpet. Alyssa plays the flute and the piccolo. The Hendrix twins pay attention to more than extracurriculars. Academically, they are straight-A students.
Chargers pull off feat
CHAMPAIGN — Centennial's fourth straight girls' Twin City cross-country title was especially satisfying for seniors Audrey White and Hannah Cuttell. White, who placed fourth individually, and Cuttell, who ran 10th, were members of the Chargers' championship squads all four years during high school.
Blue Devils stay together
BISMARCK — No school in Paxton-Buckley-Loda's cross-country invitational had its runners stay as close to one another as Bismarck-Henning. The top four Blue Devils were separated by 46 seconds, and the gap between the team's first and seventh runners was 69 seconds.
Chase Connelly covered the 3-mile course in 18 minutes, 8 seconds. Teammates in close pursuit were Andy Savage, Kenneth Albin, Austin Nunn, Mason Wagner, Jacob Carter and Justin Tabor. B-H placed seventh. Of the group, Albin and Carter are the only seniors among coach Phil Benjamin's top seven. Savage and Tabor are freshmen.
Marcus Jackson and Fred Kroner