LeROY — Doug DeWald, who guided the LeRoy/Tri-Valley wrestling team to a Class 1A state quarterfinal team berth, has resigned. He will be replaced by assistant Jeff Baughman.
DeWald is going to start work on a master’s degree in the fall and said, “There just isn’t enough time to do both things well.”
He leaves behind a team with eight returning starters and four returning state qualifiers.
“The incoming freshman class is loaded, and the class behind them is loaded,” DeWald said. “The LeRoy/Tri-Valley wrestling program is poised to be very competitive for a long time.”
In eight years, DeWald’s teams were 150-22 in duals and reached the team state tourney five of the past six seasons. The team was first (2012), second (2009) and third (2011) in his tenure.
“The support that I have received over the years from our administration and parents has been tremendous,” DeWald said. “It was never a matter of what you can’t do, but rather what can we do to help you get better. That is critical for success.”
DeWald coached 17 individual medalists, including at least one for each of the past seven years.
“The athletes I worked with were hard-nosed, tough kids who understood the correlation between work ethic and outcome,” he said. ”I was fortunate to have that caliber of athletes year in and year out. The coaching staff we put together really made the difference. My assistants believed in the same things I did and wanted to put us in position to compete for a trophy every year.”
Area kids on campus ...
— Freshman Destiny Carter, from Danville, led Iowa Central Community College to the NJCAA national title. In a meet held in New York, she won the long jump (19 feet, 61/2 inches) and ran the opening leg of the victorious 1,600-meter relay. She placed third in the 60 meters (7.56 seconds) and was also third in the 200 (24.24).
— Freshman Laura Litchfield, from Champaign Central, has started 27 games for Southwestern Illinois College’s national-bound Division I junior college team. She leads the team in three-pointers (45), is second in assists (66) and ranks third in scoring (11.2). SWIC, from Belleville, is 23-5.
— Sophomore Cheyenne Hedrington, from Champaign Central, started 32 games for a 20-13 Barton Community College team, from Great Bend, Kan. An all-conference second-team selection, Hedrington led Barton in scoring (15.1) and rebounding (8.1).