Redbirds win M-I all sports award

Tom Batters

Metamora High School senior Alex Nelson earned a rare triple crown when he was voted to the Mid-Illini Conference all conference baseball team last week.

That means Nelson, who also played soccer in the fall and basketball in the winter, earned all conference honors in three sports in one year.

That doesn’t happen very often.

Nelson was one of many Redbirds to earn all conference accolades this spring.

Metamora also won the coveted All-Sports Award, which goes to the school with the most total points for the entire year.

Here’s how it works:

The conference champion in each sport receives 800 points. The second place team receives 700 points. Third place gets 600, etc.

After points for fall, winter and spring sports were tabulated, Metamora finished with 10,450 points. Morton was a very close second with 10,350 points. Washington was third with 8,750.

A better finish in just one sport (for an extra 100 points) in any of the sports throughout the year could have tipped the scales Morton’s way.

Metamora won the conference title in girls tennis, girls cross country, football, boys track, boys tennis and softball.

Morton won the boys soccer, girls basketball, boys basketball, girls track and girls soccer conference titles.

Washington’s only conference titles came in wrestling and volleyball (Metamora went on to beat the Panthers in the Sectional, though).

Pekin won conference titles in boys golf, girls golf, boys cross country and baseball.

Dunlap, East Peoria, Limestone and Canton did not win any conference titles. Canton, which was last in the total standings, finished in last place in 10 of 15 sports (it did not compete in boys or girls tennis).

Metamora was second in boys soccer, boys cross country, volleyball and girls track.

So, out of 17 sports, Metamora finished either first or second in 10 of them.

Back to the spring all conference teams...

Boys track and field

Senior Kevin Kamm, an all-conference selection for cross country in the fall, ended his career with an all-conference spot for boys track as part of the 4X800 meter relay team.

That relay included a couple sophomores (Ryan McMorrow and Sean Thill), and a freshman (Joel Anglin), who were also were first team all-conference selections.

The boys track team, which won the Mid-Illini Conference title, was well-represented on the all-conference teams.

Juniors Charlie Nowotnik (long jump), Jacob Armbrust (discus), Charles Fenner (pole vault) and Adam Parr (400-meter dash) all made the first team.

Armbrust, Fenner and Parr qualified for the state finals. Armbrust won a third-place medal in the discus.

Senior Michael Fay (long jump), sophomore Jack Friedrich (shot put), sophomore Nick Danner, sophomore Dekota Doerr and sophomore Lincoln Garber (4X100 meter relay) made the second team.

Fay and Nowotnik were all conference selections in football. Fenner was an all conference selection for soccer and Anglin made the cross country all conference team in the fall.

Of Metamora’s 13 all conference boys track athletes, only two (Kamm and Fay) were seniors.

Girls track and field

Metamora’s girls track and field team, which narrowly finished second to Morton at the M-I championship meet in May, placed several athletes on the all conference first team.

Senior Meghan Heman made the first team for her performance in the 100-meter dash and her role in two relays.

All the members of the Redbirds’ 4X200 meter relay team (Heman, and juniors Maddie Hadfield, Melanie Stratton and Lindsey Wille) made the first team, as did Metamora’s 4X100 meter relay (Heman, senior Ellen Goins, Stratton and Wille).

Goins, an all-conference cross country runner in the fall, qualified for the state meet in the 400-meter dash.

Wille also received first-team all conference status for her performance in the 200-meter dash.

Senior Sarah Flintgruber, an all conference and state medal winning cross country runner in the fall, made the all conference track team based on her performance in the 3200-meter run and 4X800 meter relay.

Flintgruber, a top 10 student who will attend Yale University next year, finished 10th in the 3200-meter run at the state finals in May.

Senior Holly Pfaff, and freshmen Danica Dragoo and Raven Gutierrez also made the first team for their spots in the 4X800 relay.

Dragoo was an all conference selection for cross country in the fall.

Metamora’s 4X400 meter relay team (Goins, Pfaff, freshman Katie Sutter and sophomore Jordan TerBush) also made the all conference first team.

Boys tennis

Metamora earned five of the wight spots in the all conference first team.

Freshman Will Koehrsen, the conference and Sectional champ who earned a seed at the state tournament, was the top selection.

Senior foreign exchange student Petr Vesely, junior Quinn Vaughn (who was an all conference soccer player in the fall) and freshman Mitchell Nguyen also made the first team. Sophomore Christoph Goettler and freshman Tyler Ngo made the second team.

Metamora won the Mid-Illini Conference title for the fifth straight season, and won its fifth straight Sectional title despite having six players who had never played in a Sectional before.

Softball

The Redbirds, who defended their conference title but lost to East Peoria in the Ottawa Sectional, had a total of six players on the all conference teams.

Senior pitcher Cori Maloney, junior second baseman Kasey Kanaga, junior third baseman Molly Cull and sophomore left fielder Kyler Samp made the first team.

Junior catcher Katelyn Alig and junior right fielder Hayden Filson made the second team.

Girls soccer

Junior Kristin Rauh, who also earned all conference honors in volleyball, made was a first team all conference selection in girls soccer.

Rauh, the Redbirds’ leading scorer, and sophomore center back Abby Young, were the only Metamora players on the list. Young made the second team.

Metamora finished fourth in the conference and lost to Morton in the Metamora Regional.

Baseball

Nelson and senior center fielder Joey Malaschak made the all conference second team in baseball.

Metamora, which finished tied with Canton for last place in the conference, lost to Ottawa in the first round of the Metamora Regional.