SPORTS SCENE

Mac on Sports

Hits Keep Coming for Groce, Illini
 
    John Groce's Illini basketball team just took another hit with the news that Tracy Abrams will have surgery Aug. 5 to repair his torn achilles tendon, nearly 11 months after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament that caused him to miss the entire 2014-15 season.
    Obviously, he will miss the entire 2015-16 season.
    “First of all, my heart goes out to Tracy. He went through so much the last 10 months fighting back from a torn ACL to return to the court this summer,” Illinois coach John Groce said in a statement. “This is obviously a very difficult time for him right now, but I’ve said it before, Tracy has the heart of a champion and I know that he will handle this latest setback with the same resolve and courage in making a full recovery.”
Mac on Sports

Mac on Sports
Renfro Resigns as LSA Girls Coach
 
    Kaleb Renfro, LSA's head girls basketball hoach, has resigned to accept a teaching and coaching position in Nebraska.  
    About Renfro's contributions to LSA, Athletic Director Kurt Younghouse said, " Last year was a rebuilding year for LSA and Kaleb was going to see the fruits of his effort this year.  The team had some success during their summer league hosted at LSA. 
    "LSA would like to thank Coach Renfro for his time and dedication to our program this past year.  We are excited for his new opportunities but we are sad to see him leave.  He was a great Christian role model for his team and school.  We wish him the best moving forward.
    Younghouse said LSA is currently accepting applicants for the position of head girls basketball coach.  Interested persons are asked to contact Athletic Director Kurt Younghouse at LSA, 217-233-2001 or by email kyounghouse@lsadecatur.net
    I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.


Mac on Sports
 
Community Leaders Mourn Fallstrom's Passing
 
    Hall of Famer Bob Fallstrom has written his last "Good News" story which is sad news for the Decatur, Macon County and central Illinois communities who allowed him to come into their homes with his writings for the Decatur Herald and Review.
    The 88-year-old Fallstrom passed away Thursday at Decatur Memorial Hospital.
    Superintendent Lisa Taylor wrote, "I was saddened to hear of the passing of Bob Fallstrom as he is one of the good guys.  His love of sports and community are admirable and should remind us all of the importance of being supportive of Decatur.  His efforts as a journalist and specifically with the Turkey Tournament are commendable; he will be missed, but not forgotten."
    What's especially sad about Bob's passing is he will not get to help the Decatur School District 61 create an athletic Hall of Fame with his considerable expertise and knowledge of who did what when where and how from the many outstanding individuals and teams he covered during his more than six decades of writing for the Decatur daily as the superintendent had him as one of its members. 
    Team Soy Thanksgiving Tournament coordinator Mel Roustio opined, " Since moving to Decatur 17 years ago, I have become accustomed to opening the Herald -Review and quickly seeking a Fallstrom article, which was always informative and usually spiritually warm in nature. I shall miss that moment and I will miss interacting with Bob. 
    And retired Decatur orthopedist Dr. Joseph Schrodt shared this Fallstrom story with me recently when we met to talk about the Thanksgiving tournament with RCC Foundation President Richard McGowan.  Bob had fallen in San Francisco and had broken his ankle on one of his travelogues.  Fallstrom called Dr. Schrodt from there asking what he should do and the retired doctor told him to get back here to get it repaired.  Fallstrom flew back and got it treated here.  
    That's Fallstrom, he knew everyone and they knew him. 
    I will have more on his passing in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.  


Mac on Sports

Jostes Resigns as Trojans AD
 
     Josh Jostes confirmed to the Decatur Tribune tonight (Thursday) that he has submitted his resignation as Maroa-Forsyth's Athletic Director.
    "I look forward to returning to teaching and coaching kids!," responded Jostes to my inquiry about the calls I was getting that he had resigned as the Trojans athletic director. 
    Without question, this has been a very stressful year for the athletic director as anyone who reads the Decatur Tribune sports pages each week knows. 
    Jostes is Maroa-Forsyth's highly-successful football head coach, whose teams have won two state titles and three runnerups.  So, that's five appearances in the state championship games.  His comment about "returning to teaching and coaching kids!" speaks volumes.
    The Maroa-Forsyth school board is expected to act on Jostes' resignation as AD at its July meeting. 
    I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune. 


Mac on Sports
Ryan Brown Named Head Coach Of Taylorville Boys Basketball Program
 
    As expected, Ryan Brown is the new Taylorville Tornadoes boys basketball head coach after the school board approved him at tonight's special meeting.
    Brown comes to Taylorville from Cerro Gordo/Bement where he never coached a game after being hired there to replace Scott Bacon, who resigned to take the Auburn position.
    First, Brown was asked to resign at Mount Zion which he did and then was hired by Cerro Gordo/Bement, but never coached a game there, resigning as the Broncos head coach on Tuesday, June 2, following a Taylorville June 1st school board meeting where he met with them in executive session.
    Blake Doehring was named last week to succeed Brown as the Broncos head coach.
    Mark down Dec. 11 on your calendars as that's when Brown will bring his Tornadoes to Mount Zion to play the Braves.  That promises to be one interesting evening with all kinds of emotions on both benches and a capacity crowd is expected.
    I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.


Mac on Sports

Illini Coaching Legend Henson Flown to Houston
 
    Twenty years ago in 1995 Lou Henson and yours truly were inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame which the legendary coach could not attend.
    So, the winningest coach in Illinois basketball history asked me to accept his award for him since I was going to be there.
    Yesterday, (Sunday, June 21st, Father's Day), Henson was flown to Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center for tests to determine why his immune system has become compromised.
    According to Bob Asmussen of the Champaign News-Gazette, on June 15 (a week ago today), Henson checked into Carle Foundation Hospital.  He had been in the intensive care unit so as to remain isolated due to possibilities of infection.
    Since retiring from coaching, Henson has battled non-Hodgkins lymphoma and encephalitis.
    "He's very optimistic," said Mark Coomes, a longtime assistant under Henson at Illinois, today (Monday). "He's been a fighter with various issues for a long time.
    "He wants to get to the bottom of this and do what the doctors tell him to do."    
    Despite his health challenges, Henson has remained active. Henson and his wife Mary split their time between homes in Champaign and Las Cruces, N.M.
    Henson attended Champaign radio station's WDWS golf outing on June 12 in Savoy, mingling with the players on a rainy Friday.  WDWS is also the flagship station for Illinois sports.
    In February, Henson was named as part of the upcoming class for the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Mo. Ceremonies are scheduled for November.
    Henson won 779 games as a head coach, ranking among the top 10 in career victories. He led both New Mexico State (1970) and Illinois (1989) to a Final Four showing.
    His teams featured standouts Jimmy Collins, Sam Lacey, Derek Harper, Eddie Johnson, Ken Norman, Nick Anderson and Kendall Gill.
    I will have an update on Coach Henson in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.  I'm sure Lou and Mary would appreciate prayers from their many fans in Decatur and Macon County as he fights his latest battle.


Mac on Sports

Cerro Gordo/Bement Board Of Education Approves
Blake Doehring As Boys Basketball Head Coach
 
    As previously reported by the Decatur Tribune on this website last week, the Cerro Gordo/Bement board of education tonight (Wednesday) approved the hiring of Blake Doehring as its boys basketball head coach after it accepted the resignation of Ryan Brown, who had previously been named head coach there.
    Here's what the Decatur Tribune posted on the website last week which was confirmed by tonight's school board action:
    "Blake Doehring, who has coached the past two years at Oakland Tri-County, who is one of the Cerro Gordo/Bement Broncos rivals in the Little Okaw Valley, is the new Broncos boys basketball head coach, succeeding Ryan Brown, who resigned last week without ever having coached a game there.
    "Brown had been named to succeed Scott Bacon after he resigned to take the Auburn head coaching position of which Doehring interviewed for as well.  Doehring's won-loss record at Oakland-Tri-County is 28-30.  Multiple Cerro Gordo sources confirmed to this writer that Doehring would meet with his team this afternoon/evening (Tuesday).
    "Doehring was a finalist for the Broncos position to succeed Bacon that went to Brown.  Brown was named Cerro Gordo/Bement's head coach after he resigned as Mount Zion's boys basketball head coach which the administration had requested.
    "Since being named Cerro Gordo/Bement's head coach, Brown interviewed June 1st for the Taylorville Tornadoes basketball head coaching position for which he probably is headed now that he has resigned at Cerro Gordo/Bement.
    "This has been an interesting three weeks for this writer where coaches are coming and going like a carousel.  As of this time, here are the new head coaches and sites--Robo Kreps at Maroa-Forsyth, Blake Doehring at Cerro Gordo/Bement, Bryon Graven at Mount Zion, Jay Driscoll at Meridian and Scott Bacon at Auburn.
    "The other coaches we cover who are still in place are, Tom Saunches at Argenta-Oreana, Rodney Walker at Eisenhower, Ron Ingram at MacArthur, Tom Noonan at St. Teresa, Shaun Rapp at Decatur Christian, Shannon Houser at LSA, Josh Myers at Sangamon Valley, Vic Binkley at Warrensburg-Latham and Rob Smith at Central A&M.
    Once again, this illustrates that when readers want to know what is going on in prep sports in Decatur and Macon County they turn to the Decatur Tribune website and print edition from yours truly, aka, Irish Stew.  
    I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.


Mac on Sports
Doehring new Broncos Coach
 
    Blake Doehring, who has coached the past two years at Oakland Tri-County, one of the Cerro Gordo/Bement Broncos rivals in the Little Okaw Valley, is the new Broncos boys basketball head coach, succeeding Ryan Brown, who resigned last week without ever having coached a game there.
    Brown had been named to succeed Scott Bacon after he resigned to take the Auburn head coaching position of which Doehring interviewed for as well.  Doehring's won-loss record at Oakland-Tri-County is 28-30.  Multiple Cerro Gordo sources confirmed to this writer that Doehring would meet with his team this afternoon/evening (Tuesday).
    Doehring was a finalist for the Broncos position to succeed Bacon that went to Brown.  Brown was named Cerro Gordo/Bement's head coach after he resigned as Mount Zion's boys basketball head coach which the administration had requested.
    Since being named Cerro Gordo/Bement's head coach, Brown interviewed June 1st for the Taylorville Tornadoes basketball head coaching position for which he probably is headed now that he has resigned at Cerro Gordo/Bement.
    This has been an interesting three weeks for this writer where coaches are coming and going like a carousel.  As of this time, here are the new head coaches and sites--Robo Kreps at Maroa-Forsyth, Blake Doehring at Cerro Gordo/Bement, Bryon Graven at Mount Zion, Jay Driscoll at Meridian and Scott Bacon at Auburn.
    The other coaches we cover who are still in place are, Tom Saunches at Argenta-Oreana, Rodney Walker at Eisenhower, Ron Ingram at MacArthur, Tom Noonan at St. Teresa, Shaun Rapp at Decatur Christian, Shannon Houser at LSA, Josh Myers at Sangamon Valley, Vic Binkley at Warrensburg-Latham and Rob Smith at Central A&M.  
    I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

 
Mac on Sports
Millard Leaves Hawks for Chargers
 
    Tony Millard is the new Champaign Centennial assistant principal and athletic director after the Champaign school board Monday night unanimously approved him.  The appointment is effective Aug. 1.
    Before Monday night's meeting, we reached out to Millard last week for comment on his pending change since we had heard he was being recommended for the job there and approval was expected, but we did not receive a response. 
    Millard has worked as the athletic director and a history teacher at Meridian since 2009, holding positions as a middle school teacher in the Iroquois Unit 9 school district (2005-08) and a middle school teacher in Edinburg Unit 4 school district (2002-04) before that.  Not new to the high school sports realm, Millard has also coached varsity baseball and middle school basketball teams.  
    An Illinois State University alum, Millard earned his bachelor’s degree in social studies from the university in 2001 and went on to earn a master’s in educational leadership from the American College of Education in Indianapolis in 2012.  
    I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune. 


Mac on Sports
Kreps Named Trojans Head Coach
 
    Robo Kreps is the new Maroa-Forsyth boys basketball head coach.
    The Maroa-Forsyth school board tonight (Monday) approved Kreps to succeed Chad Cluver, who resigned to become head coach at Watseka which is his home town and from where he graduated.
    The board's formal action was expected since Athletic Director Josh Jostes had recommended Kreps for the position and the board had informally approved him to start running the summer program previously.
    Kreps is no stranger to Maroa-Forsyth where he will hit the ground running as he is the Trojans all-time leading scorer and 15th top scorer in Decatur and Macon County boys basketball history.  His international basketball jersey already hangs in the hallway outside the Trojans gym. 
    In early May he was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as an individual, a year after he and his Trojans teammates were inducted (2014) for winning the 2007 state basketball championship in the last year of the two-class system.  They won the football championship in 2006 and the basketball crown in 2007, only the second school at the time to win back-to-back state titles in football and basketball in the same calendar year.
    Elementary school kids remember him as he led his teammates to those back-to-back football and basketball state championships when he was a senior.  Coming back days after an emergency appendectomy makes his appendix the most famous in Maroa-Forsyth history.  He's a hero to them as they call out "Robo" when he walks into gyms.
    He already is hosting open gyms where he's been well-received and that's because of his success at the high school, college (UIC Flames) and international ball.
    I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.
    
Mac on Sports
Driscoll Named Hawks Coach
 
    JUNE 4 --Jay Driscoll, who coached eight years at Mount Zion where he compiled an overall winning record, is the new Meridian Hawks boys basketball head coach.
    Athletic Director Tony Millard said, "we feel his positive attitude, organization, and high-energy will continue the tradition of winning that is expected at Meridian."  Driscoll was approved tonight (Thursday) by the Meridian school board.
    During his eight seasons with the Braves, Driscoll's teams won 110 and lost 106 for a .509 winning percentage.
    He replaces Jack Blickensderfer, who retired at the end of this past season.
    Driscoll will welcome four starters from last year's Hawks--Judah Renfro, Quand Bradford, Drake Baker and Layne Kircher. 

Mac on Sports

Apollo Admits Mahomet-Seymour
 
    JUNE 4 -- By a five-to-one vote, the Apollo today (Thursday) approved Mahomet-Seymour for membership.
    I have written new conference president, Jason Fox of Effingham, for comment which I have not received as this is written.  The same is true for Shannon Cheek, Mahomet-Seymour principal and outgoing Apollo president.
    For background on Mahomet-Seymour's request for admission and other extensive information, turn to this week's Decatur Tribune that is on the newsstands now and either in or on its way to our subscribers.
    I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.


J. Thomas McNamara
Sports Editor
Decatur Tribune

Email Tom at JThomasMc@aol.com

Check out McNamara's "Irish Stew" every week in the print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

Columns Are Printed With The Most Recent Displayed First


            * * * *

Decatur Tribune Offices Are Located At:
132 South Water Street 
Suite 424
P. O. Box 1490
Decatur, Illinois 62523

                Hours: 
      Mon.-Thurs. 9:00-4:30
      
Phone: 217/422-9702
     Fax: 217/422-7320
Email: decaturtribune@aol.com
Website Builder