Cindy Petersen
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Why she’s Coach of the Year

The outgoing Falcons leader received overwhelming support from other area coaches for this honor, with one saying Petersen “provide(s) the players with a sense of love for the game” and another noting GCMS fields upwards of 15 athletes and competes locally despite there being two usable tennis courts in Gibson City. Petersen oversaw this Falcons outfit for 12 years and guided a doubles pairing to a rare sectional tournament seed in her final go-round.

Season highlights

“All of the team-bonding suppers after away meets, getting girls seeded at the sectional, all the great relationships with other coaches and losing my front bumper after a tennis meet. I will never forget the faces of some of my girls and Coach Davis as I walked up with my bumper in my hands.”

A few of my favorites

My favorite food is my mom’s roast, potatoes and carrots. ... My first car was a Vega GT. My sisters and I called it the “Green Machine.” Not much of a machine, as my dad put a special switch on it that allowed it to only go 45 mph. ... My favorite non-sports hobby is traveling. ... My dream vacation destination is anywhere that has a beach. Nothing better than sitting on a beach and listening to waves crash against the shoreline. ... My favorite sporting event I’ve attended live is a Chicago Bears game. ... My favorite professional sports team is the Chicago Bears. I’ve been a fan ever since I watched Walter Payton play. “Sweetness” will forever be my all-time favorite NFL player. I also enjoy watching my alma mater, the Illinois State Redbirds. ... My favorite song is “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts. It is kind of my thoughts about people I care for, like my family, friends and tennis girls. ... Three items on my bucket list are visit all 50 states (I’ve got 30 under my belt), continue going to as many zoos as possible, in the Midwest and beyond, with my granddaughters, and volunteer in my community.

What I enjoy most about coaching

“The relationships I have built with my players, parents and other coaches in the tennis community. Some will last a lifetime, for sure. I also enjoyed teaching young girls a life sport and seeing them go from never holding a racket as a freshman and hitting everything over the fences to solid players by the time they were seniors.”

Honor Roll: Past News-Gazette All-Area girls’ tennis Coaches of the Year


2019 Cindy Petersen Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley

2018 Mark Bacys Danville

2017 Jim Tressler St. Thomas More

2016 Gary Day Champaign Central

2015 Teri Scaggs Centennial

2014 Teri Scaggs Centennial

2013 Mark Bacys Danville

2012 Mark Bacys Danville

2011 Mark Bacys Danville

Colin Likas is prep sports coordinator at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).

Prep Sports Coordinator

Colin Likas is prep sports coordinator at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).