Mac on Sports

Williams Enrolls at St. Teresa
    Realizing that his high school basketball career probably is over, Christian Williams this morning (Monday) enrolled at St. Teresa, Dr. Ken Hendriksen, the school's principal and chief executive officer, announced.
    Dr. Hendriksen's statement reads, "Christian Williams, an 18-year-old senior student who has previously attended St. Teresa since his freshman year, was accepted and officially enrolled at St. Teresa High School on Monday, Sept. 15.  Christian has been accepted
as a student today with the understanding that he is probably forgoing his senior year athletic eligibility.
    Williams states in the release, “I have attended Decatur Catholic Schools with my friends
since the 4th grade. I want to attend St. Teresa High School whether or not I’m able to play basketball. My goal has always been to graduate from St. Teresa.”
    His mother previously enrolled him at Springfield Lanphier where he briefly attended before leaving there.
    If he has played his last game as a Bulldog, Williams' imprint on the boys basketball program will last indefinitely since he has scored 1,226 points in his brilliant career there.  Unfortunately for him, he will not have the opportunity to break the school's career all-time scoring record of 1,443 held by Dave Fisher, who graduated in 1973.  He also will not have the privilege of being named the first player to be named all-tournament in four years of competing in the Team Soy Decatur St. Teresa Christmas tournament since he won't be playing.
    I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

Taylor, Murrell Seek Increased Athletic Participation
    Dr. Tim Murrell is getting acquainted with the news media after being named the Decatur School District's deputy superintendent where he succeeds Superintendent Lisa Taylor, who is now Decatur's superintendent.
    Murrell returns to Decatur from St. Louis where he's been after serving as director of the Decatur Technical Academy for the 2009-10 academic year.
    He and Superintendent Taylor sat down with me recently for an early morning breakfast to discuss their respective visions on where they want to take Decatur public school elementary, middle and high school athletics.
    "It begins with increasing our participation numbers," said Superintendent Taylor of one of her primary goals she has given Dr. Murrell to pursue with the high school, middle school and elementary school coaches.
    To start moving toward that goal, the district recently moved the two high school athletic directors Greg Collingwood of Eisenhower and MacArthur's Jason Crutcher into the administrative ranks because, as the superintendent explained, the athletic directors positions have evolved into more than scheduling athletic games and officials into more of a management/administration role of evaluating coaches and other managerial duties and responsibilities.
    In fact, since he already has his management/administrative certificate, Crutcher is serving as assistant principal at MacArthur where he is responsible the senior class and teaches an advanced placement class as well as continuing to serve as the school's AD.  Taylor said Collingwood will retire in two more academic seasons, now teaches two classes in addition to his AD responsibilities, and his successor will be classified as administrative/managerial capacity.
    To increase interest in athletics from students, Taylor said they are adding sports at the elementary and middle school areas, like volleyball and cross-country with some interest in softball and baseball which are in addition already to basketball and the public school Junior Football League activity.  
    I will have more from my in-depth interview with Superintendent Taylor and Deputy Superintendent Dr. Tim Murrell in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.
Double Whammy for Illini, Groce
    First, Jalen Brunson, Stevenson's talented point guard, breaks the hearts of everyone in Illini Nation with his Wednesday afternoon announcement that he is headed to Villanova to play for Jay Wright's Wildcats instead of John Groce's Illini.
    And now, moments ago (Thursday afternoon)  this writer learned from Illinois sports information personnel that Tracy Adams has torn his anterio cruciate ligament (ACL) and is out for the season.
    Here's the Illini statement on Abrams, "Fighting Illini senior guard Tracy Adams (Chicago, Ill./Mount Carmel H.S.) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during preseason skill workouts.  His surgery has yet to be scheduled.  Abrams will redshirt the upcoming season and return to action for his final year of eligibility in 2015-16.
    "Tracy worked hard in the offseason to put himself in great position heading into his senior year, so he's obviously disappointed and we are for him as well," Groce said.  "But Tracy personifies toughness; he has the heart of a champion and I know that he will only come back stronger from this experience when he returns to the court next year.  In the meantime, he will continue to play a vital role for our program with his leadership."
    I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

Williams Visited St. Teresa

    Dr. Ken Hendriksen, St. Teresa principal and chief executive officer, confirmed this afternoon (Wednesday) that former St. Teresa student-athlete Christian Williams, who is enrolled at Springfield Lanphier, visited the school today to inquire about transferring back to St. Teresa.
    Hendriksen told Marla Williams, Christian's mother, that he would not accept Christian's transfer back to St. Teresa without her approval.
    Williams is a Division 1 basketball recruit, who has been attending Springfield Lanphier since school opened several weeks ago.
    I will have on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune. 

Kreps Joins UIC Staff
    Robo Kreps, who won back-to-back state championships in football and basketball as a Maroa-Forsyth senior in 2006-07 and who starred in UIC's upset win over Illinois at the United Center, is now a member of his former college coach Howard Moore's staff. 
    Kreps' official title is graduate manager where he will handle several logistical needs for the program, including video, practice schedule, travel, et cetera.
    In addition, he will also assist Matt Saey, director of player development, with strength training and conditioning exercises. 
    “Robo is the ideal candidate for this position,” said Moore.  “His passion for the sport and ability to relate to the players will be a welcome addition to our staff.  He is a first-class individual and going forward I know he will make decisions based on what is best for the players.”
    Kreps was a senior during Moore’s first year with the Flames, leading the team in scoring (15.8 ppg) and made three-pointers (71).  On Dec. 18, 2010, Kreps helped UIC make history by scoring a team-high 15 points in a 57-54 victory against No. 12 Illinois in front of a 13,000-plus crowd at the United Center.  The win tied a program record for the largest upset in UIC basketball history, which still stands today.
    “This is a perfect fit and opportunity for me,” said Kreps.  “I love the sport of basketball and the strength training behind it.  I have a great relationship with Coach Moore and several others on staff, so this will be an easy transition for me.  I am truly excited to begin this next chapter of my life.”
    Robo is attending grad school and working towards a master's degree in educational leadership.
    Kreps ended his Flames career ranked seventh all-time in scoring (1,594), fourth in three-point field goal attempts (625), eighth in free throws made (298), fifth in free throw percentage (.816) and seventh in steals (146).

J. Thomas McNamara
Sports Editor
Decatur Tribune

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