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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mattoon- More Pictures

Three All-Tourney players.

Casey driving for big late basket vs. Salem.

First Year Coach

John Hanlon was captain of my first cross
country team in 1974. He was a ref at the
Mattoon Tourney this winter. 
My first coaching job at GHS was coaching boys cross country in the fall of 1974.

My understanding they had asked the last coach to leave over some conflicts. I was told one of three reasons was that he had chosen to purchase blue and gold sweats for the team, and blue and gold uniforms for the team. He was told if he wanted blue stuff to go coach at Quincy, Galesburg school colors were silver and gold with black.

You have to realize this was a different era, an era of great school pride, and of great dislike of Quincy. This was a time when we had pep rallies in the gym where the entire student body of 2200 kids jumped to their feet and started clapping when the band played Hi Yo Silver.

I was introduced to the returning runners one evening in late summer by the AD. It was nice of him to come and do this, but his intro was not what I had hoped for. He told the boys, "He has never run cross country, he doesn't know about it but he will work to learn." It was accurate but I wish it was not how I was introduced.

2 & 5 Start

Streaks started out 2-5 on the season. We lost games to Illini West, East Peoria, Springfield, Alleman, and Moline. On December 5 we lost to Moline 40-20. We only scored 7 points in the entire first half. We were totally dominated by Moline. That game left us at 2-5 overall and 0-2 in the WB6.

At that point there was no finger pointing by the players. There was no "poor, poor me", feeling sorry for themselves. The players continued to do what they had done all season- they practiced hard, they listened, and they got better and better.

The result has been an 8 gaming winning streak and a record of 10-5 now. The "streak" has included big wins at Dunlap, over Maine South at Galesburg, over Mattoon at Mattoon, and then wins over excellent Olney and Salem teams. We still have a long ways to go, but we are getting better.

The championship at Mattoon was so much more satisfying for all of us because we know the battles we have fought to get to this point!

We are headed in a VERY challenging part of our schedule with Rocky, Sterling, UT, Geneseo, IVC then Alleman, Morton, U-High, QND among others. So our upcoming schedule suggests there will be bumps in the road, but the key is to just keep working and improving.

Mattoon Pictures

We had a good weekend on and off the court at Mattoon. It resulted in a championship after going 5-0. The following are some pictures- some from Mr. Henning and from Kathy Boydstun.

Haley, Shayli, & Sabrina receiving all-tourney awards- and Sabrina
with MVP award!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mattoon Tourney Preview

From the Mattoon newspaper....

MATTOON — The biggest school and the smallest – if you consider the IHSA’s multiplier for non-public school Effingham St. Anthony – are to meet in the first round of the Mattoon Girls’ Basketball Christmas Tournament.
Newcomer Galesburg, 5-5 with a four-game winning streak, brings a 1,320 enrollment to become an instant contender in this 35th annual event set for Thursday through Saturday.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Bill Allen's Christmas Eve Letter

Christmas Card sent by William Allen
to his little brother Ben. 
The following is a letter written by Bill Allen to his Aunt Mabel on Christmas Eve, 1944. This would be Bill Allen's last Christmas, and it was to be spent in Germany away from his family. Bill Allen was my wife's uncle.     

                                                                                    Christmas Eve, 1944

Dear Mabel,

   I should be writing home tonight, but my mood is not conducive to uplifting homefront morale.  Maybe you’ll understand; so I’ll spend the evening answering the several letters which I’ve received from you lately.

  I’m thinking of all the Christmases of the past and what the day has always meant to our family.  Partly because I’m sentimental and it’s such a hard time of the year to be so far away from all those I love and the prospects of ever returning seem so remote and partly because I needed the emotional release after living under so much tension of late; I took advantage of the opportunity a while ago and sneaked off by myself and shed a great many tears.  I’m good for another year now and do realize that I’ve been one of God’s favored.  To be alive and whole is all one can ask for these days, and that is my blessing.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mattoon Tourney History

Mattoon is one of the oldest girls basketball tourneys in Illinois- it is on its 35th year...

From the Mattoon Newspaper...

MATTOON – Starting with a revamped field for what was going to be a Big 12 Conference tournament and living through roof damage to the high school gym, Mattoon’s Girls’ Basketball Christmas Tournament hits its 35th year this week.
 In fact, in a time when some tourneys struggle to keep the field full of varsity teams, Mattoon doesn’t seem to have that worry.
“Every tournament that we host, we usually have one or two teams on a waiting list,” said Dave Vieth, the most recent of several athletic directors who have overseen this event.
He isn’t claiming this to be the school district’s accomplishment all by itself.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Streaks Over MS

From the Register- Mail....

By Aaron Frey
The Register-Mail 

Posted Dec. 14, 2013 @ 10:16 pm 

GALESBURG — Evan Massey called three timeouts in a span of 3 minutes, 32 seconds during the second quarter Saturday.
The Galesburg High School girls basketball team finally got its coach’s message after the last one.
“Coach Massey said we didn’t play like we were wanting to win,” Silver Streaks forward Sabrina Clay said. “We wanted to prove him wrong.”
They did just that, turning a six-point deficit into a six-point halftime lead en route to a 42-29 victory over Park Ridge Maine South at John Thiel Gymnasium.
Trailing 17-11 midway through the second, Galesburg closed the half on a 12-0 run and never trailed the rest of the way for its third straight win and fourth in five games.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Streaks over Quincy

From Whig...

Quincy High School girls basketball coach Demond Dade is always looking for the silver lining, even when it is tough to see.
"Every game, regardless of the score, we have gotten better in some aspect," Dade said.
Thursday night, the Blue Devils believe their defensive intensity improved. However, that didn't happen until the fourth quarter.
Quincy scored just 19 points over the first three quarters and suffered another humbling Western Big Six Conference loss, falling 69-31 to Galesburg at the QHS gym.
"We take away the little things that are positive," Quincy sophomore guard Casey Kelley said. "We can't build off of negative things."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013