The smell of burning leaves. Since he lives in Champaign, staff writer Paul Wood misses that childhood joy (and potential health threat). Along with sweater weather, color-rich leaf displays are what autumn is all about.
And then there’s football — there’s always a game somewhere, whether you’re in Memorial Stadium or a park in Tolono. Robbie Schmidt was 8 when a News-Gazette Media photographer caught him and his buds in combat, with a red oak in the background. One of the things he’s studying at the University of Illinois now is Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, so he’s pretty sure that’s the tree.
Nov. 1, 2007, was a good day for the running game. Schmidt broke free with the football from Josh Stricklin and Derek Stevens.
“We played so many pick-up games every day over the course of the years. It was just a beautiful moment,” said Schmidt, who played football from fourth grade to freshman year, before wrestling stole his heart.
The friends were on their way to an after-school program that day, and his mom was with them — in fact, Shelly Schmidt was the quarterback.