Plenty of folks throughout Monticello are no doubt thrilled after getting to stake their claim to some athletic history. The high school in Piatt County — and Loren Tate's alma mater — hosted a trophy giveaway on Wednesday, necessitated by some housekeeping tied to a renovations referendum that was approved last year. Preps coordinator COLIN LIKAS caught up with Sages athletic director Dan Sheehan about the event:
Where did all these trophies come from?
"We got up into the attic (in the 1894 portion of Washington Elementary, which is being torn down), and a lot of the trophies were discovered up in the attic. We decided a lot of history belongs to the community members, so if it's something meaningful to them, it's great for community members to be part of history."
About how many trophies were up for the taking?
"I think we're probably at 500. I would say there were probably a good 150 to 200 up in the attic. We decided we were going to collect them from all five buildings (on campus), and we're keeping all (current) conference and all state trophies."
How old are some of these trophies?
"There was a 1938 Okaw Valley, it looked like a track and field one. It had seven names on it. I'm not sure why it only had seven. You would think if it was a relay it'd have four. So I'm not sure what it is. ... We found an old Okaw Valley Conference football championship trophy. We just made an area of conference championships, which is neat to see."
What's the most unique request you've gotten about a trophy?
"My Monticello Sages Facebook page kind of threw me for a loop. I had a request ... 'Do you have the trophy Ecus Vaughn won for the state corn-chucking championship?' ... I had a couple gentlemen come in looking for specific trophies. One of them had family members part of the 1948 trophies, and there were a couple other ones that a gentleman was looking for from 1924 to 1926. The earliest we found was 1933."
How cool was it to have people so interested in these trophies?
"It goes back to the pride of the community. It's a pride not only for the school, but the athletic programs. This year at the state (football) tailgate, before the state championship game, we took an alumni football picture and had over 100 attendees. It shows ... that locals still in the area have pride in the Sages."