1. Becky Clayton
SULLIVAN – There has not been a more decorated athlete in the 110-plus years Sullivan High School has fielded athletic teams than Becky Clayton. In addition to helping the unbeaten 1990-91 Redskins to the Class 1A girls' basketball state championship (and a final national ranking of No. 14, according to USA Today), she was the runner-up for the state Ms. Basketball award.
Clayton, a 6-foot center, set a still-standing single-season school record of 491 rebounds, the fourth-best mark in state history upon her graduation. Nineteen years later, Clayton ranks fifth on the single-season chart.
In addition to headlining The News-Gazette's list of top all-time athletes at her school, Becky Clayton Anderson soon will have more recognition. In March, she will become the first member of the 35-0 state championship team to be inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as an individual.
An all-conference player in volleyball, Clayton earned a scholarship to Western Illinois University for basketball. The News-Gazette All-State co-Player of the Year as a senior, she transferred to Decatur's Millikin University, where she helped the team reach nationals for three years.
In her self-evaluation, Clayton doesn't see herself as the mega superstar.
"The individual honors were always hard for me to handle," she said. "I was a player on a team of very talented young ladies. We were balanced and complemented each other better than I've seen on any other team.
"More specifically, I wouldn't have been a fraction of the player I was without Glaze (Amanda Glazebrook). She and I were like PB&J. We had a court sense for one another that is hard to explain."
Clayton derived inspiration from her brother, Jeff, who was 13 years older and introduced her to the basics of the game.
"He was a big part from 8 to 12 years of age, teaching me fundamentals and how to be physical," Clayton said.
Two years before she entered high school, 25-year-old Jeff Clayton was electrocuted.
"He lived the remainder of his years as a quadriplegic," Becky Clayton said. "He was a source of motivation and drive for me. I felt I had to do things that he didn't get a chance to do anymore because he couldn't move on his own."
Before she played in a varsity game, Clayton recalled a conversation she and Glazebrook had with Sullivan coach Scott Thomas.
"He said, 'Before you graduate Sullivan High School, you will win a state championship,' " she recalled. "It sounded pretty daunting, but hearing something like that over and over, you start to believe it. It was no longer a matter of 'if,' but 'when.' "
Until Clayton's freshman year (17-9 record), Sullivan never had a winning record in girls' basketball. The Class of '91 brought about change, going 105-14 in its four years.
The teammates became basketball junkies.
"We dedicated an obscene amount of our summers playing, playing, playing," Clayton said. "We would travel on off nights during the season to watch other teams play, so we could scout."
Thomas said Clayton was "the best post defender of her time, and she could contain the other team's point guard in the open court. She was the best low-post offensive player I've ever seen and was the most fundamentally sound rebounder I've seen play high school girls' basketball. Her bullet-like outlet passes led to several uncontested layups a game."
Sheri Adams, 1992
Four-year letter winner in basketball and a double-figure scorer on teams that played for the state championship in two consecutive seasons. Scored 1,376 career points and helped Redskins win 75 straight regular season games from sophomore year until Game No. 20 as a senior. Sullivan was 121-7 in her prep carer.
Seth Dunscomb, 1993
Four-year swimming state placer and the state champion in the 200-yard individual medley (1 minute, 51.81 seconds) as a senior. His winning time was a state record that lasted four years. Also earned medals in the 100 backstroke, 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle, securing all-state honors six times in his prep swimming career. Also placed at state track and field meet in the discus (twice, including a runner-up finish) and shot put (once).
Bill Dwyer, 1932
Was the central Illinois scoring leader as a senior on a 7-0-2 football team, a squad that shut out its first six opponents and won the school's first Okaw Valley Conference title in the sport. In a history of Sullivan football printed in 1966, he was considered as the school's "greatest football player." Also a sprinter in track who was part of a school-record- setting 880-yard relay that was unmatched for nearly 30 years.
Derek Eatin, 1986
A quarter of a century after his graduation, still holds school records in the 3,200 meters (9:22.2) and 1,600 (4:23.1). His 3,200 time ranks sixth all time in The News-Gazette area. State runner-up as a senior in the 3,200, helping the Redskins to a second-place tie in the Class 1A team race. At state in cross-country, placed fourth as a senior. Ran collegiately for Eastern Illinois University.
Allyson Glazebrook, 1995
Four-year letter winner in volleyball and basketball, plus one letter in track. Holds school's basketball career scoring record (1,950 points) as well as most points by a freshman (355). Played on basketball teams that were 109-22 in her career and was a News-Gazette All-State first-team selection as a senior. Helped Redskins to a state runner-up finish as a freshman. Played collegiately at Drake University.
Amanda Glazebrook, 1991
Four-year letter winner in volleyball, basketball and track. All-conference in volleyball and two-time state qualifier in track as a hurdler. Point guard on undefeated basketball state championship team as a senior, setting record for most points scored by a senior (646). Scored 1,683 career points (fourth all time) for teams that were 105-14. Was seventh in Ms. Basketball voting as a senior. Played collegiately at Illinois State University.
Lori Moody, 1990
Four-year letter winner in volleyball and basketball. Also lettered in track. Held career scoring record (1,899 points) at time of her graduation (now second all time). Set school record for points scored by a sophomore (511). Played on teams that were 70-14 her final three years. A second-team all-state pick by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. Played collegiately at Bradley University.
Harold Pogue, 1912
As a senior, he was state long jump champion (20-9) and quarterbacked football team to 12-0 record as a captain. He switched to halfback at Illinois, where he lettered for three years and was a first-team All-America selection as a junior on the 7-0 national champion UI team. As an Illini senior in 1915 on a 5-0-2 team, was a second-team All-America pick.
Luke Standerfer, 1998
Two-time cross-country all-stater, placed third at state as a senior and 21st as a junior; in track and field, was a three-time state placer in the 3,200 meters and a two-time state champion. His best time (9:27.3) ranks eighth on the all-time News-Gazette Area Honor Roll. As a senior, clocked 9:35.88 at state and won by more than three seconds. As a junior, timed in 9:31.86 and beat teammate and runner-up Nick Parks to the finish line by seven seconds.