Home • Community • Looking Back • Recent Columns • Pyne Needles • Sports • Classifieds • Weather • About • Subscribe • Rates • Contact


Get all our news every week - Subscribe to the Normalite

High School Highlights

Steve Robinson Photo
Steve Robinson

Returning in the fall of 2016 by popular demand

University High Survives 2nd Half Mistakes To Hold On To Beat Chillicothe IVC, 32-21
by Steve Robinson
University High School looked to be clicking on all cylinders against Corn Belt Conference opponent Chillicothe IVC at Hancock Stadium Oct. 9, keeping the Grey Ghosts scoreless for the contest’s first half. But following the halftime intermission, Pioneers errors allowed for the Grey Ghosts to materialize, forcing Pioneers defenders try  to help stave off their guests for a 32-21 victory before roughly 700 people.
U-High (1-2, 1-1 Corn Belt) got on the scoreboard first thanks to a 19 yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Doug Holmes to junior wide receiver Lamar Conard at 9:04 in the opening quarter to put points on the board followed by a successful two-point run conversion play by junior running back Ty Ziebarth, giving the Pioneers a fast 8-0 lead.
After Chillicothe IVC (1-2, 1-1 Corn Belt) turned their first possession over on downs, the Pioneers swiftly capitalized, with Holmes connecting with junior tight end Mark Widdel on a 86 yard pass play, topping a 2-play drive for a score, followed by an extra point by sophomore kicker Nathan Clay, extending the Pioneers’ lead, 15-0, at 5:26 in the quarter.
U-High opened the second quarter with that advantage and then built on it with a 1 yard run by junior tight end Cole Tandy at the 10:33 mark, followed by Clay’s next extra point, pushing the Pioneers’ up, 22-0.
A Chillicothe fumble recovered by U-High sophomore linebacker Branden Woods at IVC’s 23 yard line was an opportunity for the Pioneers to add to their lead, with Clay hitting a 35 yard field goal to top a 4-play drive, increasing U-High’s lead at the half, 25-0.
An interception of IVC senior quarterback Jordan Mercer by U-High junior linebacker Andy Mersch helped put the ball at IVC’s 1 yard line with 1:12 until halftime. One play later, Holmes ran the ball in for the Pioneers’ next score, followed by Clay’s next extra point, giving U-High a 32-0 lead at intermission.
IVC employed a quick fake punt on fourth down of their first 3rdquarter opening drive after having been stalled at their own 31 yard line by Pioneers defenders. The fake punt resulted in a 69 yard running score by Mercer, followed by a successful point-after by senior kicker Alex Buob, reducing U-High’s lead, 32-7 at the 11 minute mark in the third quarter.
But IVC wasn’t done using defense to get the offense back on the field, using an onside kick right after scoring. It caught the Pioneers defense off guard and allowed the Grey Ghosts to start their next drive at the Pioneers’ 34 yard line. Six plays later, Mercer marched into the end zone from five yards out, topping a six play, 34 yard drive, followed by Buob’s next extra point, U-High’s lead shrinking to 32-14.
It was a score the Pioneers would keep until Clay tried to kick a 38 yard field goal with 11:34 in the fourth quarter. The football fell short of the end zone and IVC junior defensive back Andy Timm scooped up the ball and raced 99 yards for a touchdown. Buob’s last extra point on the night resulted in the eventual final score.   
Although happy with the game’s end  result, new U-High head coach Trevor Von Bruenchenhein said afterward, “I’m going to take responsibility for those special teams mishaps we had tonight. We didn’t practice those things enough throughout the week.
“We had a huge lead going into the second half and we let IVC back into the game,” Von Bruenchenhein said. “The game shouldn’t have been close. We didn’t put together four quarters of play like we should have.” Chillicothe IVC head coach Tim Heinz wasn’t unavailable following the contest.

Chillicothe IVC    0    0    14    7    21
University High    15    17    0    0    32
UH – Conard 19 yd. pass from Holmes (Ziebarth 2 Pt. Conv.).
UH – Widdel 26 yd. pass from Holmes (Clay kick).
UH – Tandy 1 yd. run (Clay Kick).
UH – Clay 35 yd. FG.
UH – Holmes 1 yd. run (Clay kick).
IVC – Mercer 69 yd. run (Buob Kick).
IVC – Mercer 5 yd. run (Buob kick).
IVC – Timm 99 yd. run after missed FG (Buob kick).

Click to Check out our Photo Galleries from Alan Look Photography - Bloomington - Normal's Best Look in Sports Action Photography

Corn Kernels
News about the Normal CornBelters

Steve Robinson Photo
Steve Robinson

Returning in the spring of 2017 by popular demand

Former Redbird Darell Garretson to be Inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame as Referee
 The late Darell Garretson, an NBA official for 27 years who attended Illinois State and played on the ISU men’s basketball “B” team during the 1950-51 season, will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame during an enshrinement ceremony Friday night.
A native of Long Point, Illinois, Garretson officiated 1,798 regular season games, 269 playoff games, 41 NBA Finals games and five NBA All-Star games during his 27-year career. He was instrumental in organizing and heading the first union for referees, the National Association of Basketball Referees.
Garretson is widely considered the individual who shaped modern basketball officiating with a three-person crew and a focus on refereeing the defense. He served as NBA Chief of Officiating Staff and Director of Officials from 1981 until 1998, and he is the only person to have served as a staff referee and Chief of Staff simultaneously. Garretson was inducted into the Illinois State Athletics Percy Family Hall of Fame in 1983.
Garretson is part of the 10-member 2016 hall of fame class that includes: Eleven-time NBA All-Star Allen Iverson, two-time NABC Coach of the Year Tom Izzo, the first African-American coach in a professional league John McLendon, three-time NBA Finals MVP Shaquille O’Neal and four-time WNBA Champion Sheryl Swoopes.
Distinguished committees focused on preserving all areas from the game also selected four directly elected members. They include Zelmo Beaty from the Veterans Committee, Yao Ming from the International Committee, Cumberland Posey from the Early African American Pioneers Committee and Jerry Reinsdorf from the Contributor Committee.

Redbird Football Report
Slattery’s Game-Winning Field Goal Lifts ISU to 9-7 Win Over Northwestern
A 33-yard field goal off the foot of junior placekicker Sean Slattery as time expired gave Illinois State (2-0) a 9-7 win over Big Ten Conference foe Northwestern (0-2) Saturday at Ryan Field in front of a raucous crowd of 30,478. The win was the first in nine tries for the Redbirds against teams from the Big Ten.
It was the Redbirds who put points of the board first, but with the clock winding down late in the fourth the Redbirds were down by one and in need of a score. Despite missing a field goal and extra point earlier in the game, Slattery sealed the Redbird victory when ISU was forced to kick the 33-yard field goal with just three seconds remaining in the game.
George Moreira recorded the lone touchdown for ISU on a six-yard run late in the second quarter to put the ‘Birds ahead, 6-0 at halftime. The touchdown was Moreira’s second of the season and third of his career. The Redbirds also found success in their passing game thanks to Jake Kolbe, who finished the game 30-for-41 for a total of 287 yards with two interceptions. Senior wide receiver Anthony Warrum led the way with nine catches for 116 yards, the seventh 100-plus yard receiving performance of his career at ISU.
The defense remained stout for the second-straight game for ISU, with Dalton Keene and James Graham picking up back-to-back sacks late in the first quarter to put a stop to the Wildcats 28-yard drive and regain possession deep in Redbird territory. The Redbird defense came together to record three sacks, five tackles-for-losses, one forced fumble and nice pass breakups against the Wildcats. Alejandro Rivera led the defense in tackles with nine, while B.J. Bello, Dalton Keene, and James Graham all picked up sacks along with Keene also tallying two tackles-for-loss and two pass breakups.
In a game that saw a total of 13 punts throughout the afternoon, the offenses for both ISU and Northwestern got off to a slow start as both teams exchanged punts to begin the first quarter. Despite a drive by the Redbirds midway through the second quarter that was highlighted by a 36-yard reception and 29-yard diving catch by Warrum, the Wildcats’ defense disrupted ISU’s 69-yard drive with an interception by Northwestern’s Montre Hartage in the end zone for the touchback.
The Redbirds struck first inside the one minute mark of the second quarter, after picking up two quick first downs. ISU then found itself in a fourth-and-one situation, when DeMarco Corbin busted through the line and carried the ball 10 yards to easily pick up the first down. The 11-play 80-yard drive was capped off by a six-yard rush into the end zone by Moriera to break the 0-0 tie and put the Redbirds ahead by six heading into the locker room at the half.
The beginning of the second half was much like the first, as each team’s defense held strong and forced punts from the opposition. After an uneventful third quarter, Northwestern took a one-point lead at the nine minute mark of the fourth quarter. The 12-play 55-yard drive ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Clayton Thorson to wide receiver Austin Carr to put the Wildcats ahead of the Redbirds, 7-6.
The Redbirds will return home to Hancock Stadium next Saturday to battle Eastern Illinois in the annual Mid-America Classic on Family Weekend at ISU. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on CSN Chicago and ESPN3.

Redbirds Soar To No. 5 In FCS National Polls
A 9-7 win over FBS foe Northwestern on the road last Saturday catapulted the Illinois State football team into the Top 5 of every national poll Monday, a jump of nearly five spots on each list. 
The Redbirds (2-0) flew up five spots in both the HERO Sports Top 25 and the STATS FCS Top 25 polls and improved four spots up to No. 5 in the FCS Coaches Poll.  A total of six Missouri Valley Football Conference teams, led by top-10 ranked teams North Dakota State (1), Illinois State (5), UNI (9) and South Dakota State (9) are ranked in the three polls this week.  Western Illinois (15) and Youngstown State (20) are also in the Top 25, while South Dakota and Southern Illinois received votes.
Illinois State joins three other league teams (Missouri State, North Dakota State, Western Illinois) with 2-0 records to start the season.  The Redbirds last started 2-0 to begin the 2014 season, which ultimately saw them win 13 games on way to an appearance in the FCS National Championship game against the Bison. ISU also started 2-0 in 2012, and finished the year 9-4 advancing to the FCS playoff quarterfinals.

Alan Look Photography logoAlan Look Photography - Bloomington - Normal's Best Look in Sports Action Photography
Images from recent games are available for viewing and/or purchase

Normal Community Ironmen, Normal Community West Wildcats, Ridgeview Mustangs, University High School Pioneers, Central Catholic Saints, Lexington Minutemen, ElPaso Gridley Titans, Illinois State University Redbird, Illinois Wesleyan Titan, State Farm Holiday Classic, McLean

Special Editions of Best Look Magazine chronicaling the historical runs to the IHSA Finals by the Normal Community Ironmen and the Ridgeview Mustangs boys basketball team are not available.

Best Look Magazine


Site Maintained by Alan Look Photography
@ Normalite Newspaper, All Rights Reserved
1702 W. College Suite G
Normal, IL 61761

All content is the property of The Normalite and/or Alan Look Photography.  All content and images are copyright protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any reuse or redistribution without prior consent is prohibited.