2011 Articles

2011 Articles

Season Recap

Metamora (6/23/11) – Metamora’s 2011 tennis team faced the unenviable task of following the best team in school and possibly conference history, the 2010 Redbird group.  Metamora’s players in 2011 accepted that the bar had been set very high and did not shrink from the challenge of maintaining those high standards.  Here is but a sampling of the 2011 team’s achievements:

*  Metamora swept through the Mid-Illini Conference unbeaten for the third straight year, winning 50 out of 53 individual matches during the conference dual season.  Metamora won three of the four flights at the league tournament (coming within a third set tie-breaker of winning all four).  This occurred in a year in which Morton’s tennis team was similarly talented, so for Metamora to achieve at such a high level given the competition within the league is all the more impressive.

*  Metamora was the Mid-Illini champion for the fifth straight year.  This marked the first time in conference history that a school has won five straight titles.  Freshman Will Koehrsen won the conference singles championship at #1, while junior Quinn Vaughn and freshman Mitchell Nguyen were the #1 conference doubles champions.  Senior exchange student Petr Vesely was the singles champion at #2.

*  Metamora also won its fifth straight sectional crown, capturing the Peoria Sectional championship with ease.  The Redbirds piled up 34 points (2nd place was 19 points).  Koehrsen won the singles title, while Vesely finished fourth.  Vaughn and Nguyen won the doubles title over their teammates, freshman Tyler Ngo and sophomore Christoph Goettler.  It was the third time in four years that Metamora qualified all six players for the state meet.

*  Metamora’s tennis team won the season-opening indoor event for the second year in a row, beating Moline and Danville in a tremendous day of tennis at the start of the season.

*  The Redbirds also were champions for the first time at the Bloomington Invite (out of 16 teams), where Koehrsen won the #1 singles crown and Vesely captured the #2 title.  The team also had fine showings at Edwardsville (5th of 32) and mini-state (17th of 32).

*  Metamora ended the season with a 15th place finish at the single-class state tournament.  The Redbirds were the only school outside of metropolitan Chicago or St. Louis to finish in the state’s top 20, as Metamora continues to establish itself as the top program in the middle part of Illinois.

*  The Redbirds finished 22-1 in dual matches against some of the state’s best teams.  Wins over Moline, Quincy, Troy Triad, Quincy Notre Dame, Bloomington, Richwoods, Pekin, Morton, Chatham-Glenwood, Belleville East, Alton, Rockford Guilford, and Danville were particularly impressive.  To further illustrate the strength of Metamora’s schedule, it should be noted that Metamora recorded dual victories over four sectional championship teams and six conference champions.

Individually, the season was quite successful as well.  There were many individual achievements; here are a few.

*  Will Koehrsen won tournament titles at Bloomington, the Mid-Illini tournament, and the Peoria Sectional.  He was also unbeaten at the Edwardsville Dual Invite.  His singles record of 38-5, entirely at #1, was within one win of the all-time school record for wins in a season.  Combined with his 9-0 record in doubles, Will established a new school record for highest winning percentage for a season.  Will won four matches at the state tournament, finishing in the top 32 in singles.  Because of this success, he was named honorable mention all-state in singles and was the Peoria Journal StarTennis Player of the Year.

*  Quinn Vaughn and Mitchell Nguyen won the Mid-Illini tournament and the Peoria Sectional, not dropping a set in either tournament.  They also each had only one loss on the season as singles players.  The duo won two matches at the state tournament to finish in the top 64 doubles teams in Illinois.

*  Petr Vesely won the #2 singles titles at Bloomington and the Mid-Illini tournament.  He finished 4th in the Peoria Sectional and won three matches at the state meet to finish in the 33rd-48th place group.

*  Christoph Goettler and Tyler Ngo finished second at #2 doubles in the Mid-Illini tournament (losing in a third set tie-breaker) and second in the Peoria Sectional (losing to their own teammates).  They went on to win a main draw match at the state meet.  Goettler continued his two-year unbeaten singles streak, improving to 25-0.

*  Koehrsen, Vesely, Vaughn, and Nguyen all made the 8-person All-Conference 1st team, while Goettler and Ngo were named to the 2nd team.  It was the fourth year in a row that all six Redbird players were named All-Conference.

This year’s Redbird tennis team did not contain a single player who had ever participated in a conference tournament prior to 2011.  That they were able to achieve at such a high level speaks highly to their work ethic, talent, and improvement throughout the season.

The senior class of 2011 (Jason Rainville, Jake Martin, David Schrader, and Petr Vesely) participated on four straight Mid-Illini and sectional championship teams.  Even more than that, though, they forged friendships and created memories that will live on for years.  Some of these moments, whether they occurred during matches or simply on bus rides or on an overnight trip, will be remembered fondly forever.

The 2011 Metamora tennis team built upon the reputation Redbird tennis teams have established throughout the state.  I am extremely proud that Metamora tennis players are known all over Illinois as being fierce competitors but also as being fair, well-behaved young men.

The work ethic, comraderie, and good times established by previous teams and players continued in 2011.  I have no doubt that 2012 will bring more of the same, so that more memories and fantastic achievements will be possible.

Congratulations to the Metamora Redbird tennis team on a record-breaking, exceptional 2011 season!!

Top 15 in the State for Metamora Tennis Team

Arlington Heights (5/28/11) – The 2011 high school tennis season came to a conclusion with the IHSA state tournament, held May 26-28 in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.  Metamora was once again well-represented, as all six Redbird players qualified for the state’s biggest tournament.  Metamora had a fabulous weekend, finishing 15th in the single-class event.  The Redbirds were the only school outside of metro Chicago or metro St. Louis to finish in the top 20.

Will Koehrsen piled up four wins for MTHS, including three-set battles over players from Lincolnshire Stevenson and Chicago Marist.  He finished in the top 32 (out of the 128 players in the field), earning all-state honorable mention as a freshman.

Petr Vesely also had a strong tournament for the Redbirds, winning his first-round match over a sectional champion and also capturing two wins in the consolation bracket.  He finished in the 33rd-48th place group, just missing all-state recognition.

Quinn Vaughn and Mitchell Nguyen won two three-set matches at the state meet, with the first one being in the main draw of the event.  The Redbird duo finished in the 49th-64th place group.

Christoph Goettler and Tyler Ngo won their first-round match in three dramatic sets, culminating with a third set tie-breaker.  They finished in the 65th-96th place group.

All four Redbird entries scored at least one win at the state meet, with the team as a whole winning a whopping ten matches.  These ten matches allowed the Redbirds to score 13 team points and finish 15th in the state.  The Redbirds finished 10th in 2010, and this two-year period of excellence at the state level is another testament to the progress of the Metamora tennis program over the years.

Congratulations to all on a fabulous state tournament!

Redbirds Win Fifth Straight Sectional Title

Peoria (5/21/11) – The 2011 Redbird tennis team had another terrific weekend at the Richwoods Sectional, finishing 1st with a total of 34 points, easily outdistancing the hosts’ total of 19.  It was Metamora’s fifth consecutive sectional championship and seventh in the last nine years, but it was accomplished with six different players than the title from a year ago.

Freshman Will Koehrsen improved his season record to 34-3 with a very impressive run through the top two Richwoods players, besting #3 seed Kevin Wang 6-1, 6-4 in the semi-finals before defeating top seed Chandler Clayton 6-4, 3-0, ret. in the finals.  His intelligent point construction throughout the day led to his well-earned title.

Senior Petr Vesely finished fourth in the rugged singles draw, losing 7-5, 6-0 to Clayton and 6-3, 6-0 to Wang.  Vesely will take a 27-9 singles record into next weekend’s state tournament.

Freshman Mitchell Nguyen and junior Quinn Vaughn, the top seed in doubles, lived up to their seed by rolling through the sectional without dropping a set.  Metamora’s other doubles duo, freshman Tyler Ngo and sophomore Christoph Goettler, also won their first three matches easily prior to the all-Metamora championship match.  The title match was hotly contested with both teams having the momentum at different points in the match, but the team of Nguyen and Vaughn ultimately prevailed, 6-4, 7-5.

All 6 Redbirds will enter next week’s state tournament in the Chicago suburbs having completed a remarkable regular season.  Metamora’s final dual record of 22-1, its Mid-Illini title, and its sectional crown were superb achievements in a year in which the Redbirds had an entirely new top six.  This year’s Redbird players have worked incredibly hard and improved immensely during the season.

Congratulations to all involved in the Redbird tennis program on another sectional championship.  Well done!!!

Redbirds Win Fifth Straight Mid-Illini Title

Peoria (5/16/11) –
Metamora’s 2011 varsity tennis team crossed another goal off its list at the Mid-Illini tournament, winning its fifth straight tournament and overall conference championship.  The Redbirds finished the day with 26 points in the tourney, eclipsing Morton’s 22.

Freshman Will Koehrsen began the day in style, defeating fellow frosh Grant Reiman of Morton in the #1 singles final, 6-4, 6-1.  Will’s relentless style of play and determination, combined with some fabulous shot-making, proved too much in the championship.  He improved his singles record to a sparkling 30-3 on the season.

Senior Petr Vesely also had a terrific singles day, playing nearly flawless tennis in overwhelming Trent Reiman of Morton in the #2 singles final, 6-1, 6-2.  Petr’s only conference loss during the season was to Reiman, so extracting revenge in such a dominating way was very impressive.  Equally as impressive was Vesely’s semi-final win over Pekin senior Erik Smith, during which the two players battled for over two hours in the 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 slugfest.

Junior Quinn Vaughn and freshman Mitchell Nguyen rolled to the #1 doubles title, blitzing Morton’s Calen Crim and Wes Crandall, 6-1, 6-2.  The Redbird duo has improved throughout the season, culminating in a very satisfying doubles crown.

Sophomore Christoph Goettler and freshman Tyler Ngo came up just short in the #2 doubles final, losing 7-6, 2-6, 7-6 to Morton’s Taylor Nave and Jonah Laktas.  The Redbirds played very good tennis throughout and had a set point in the first set tie-breaker, but Morton’s duo came up bigger in the tie-breaks to earn the title.

Overall, the Mid-Illini championship was a very fitting way to end a fantastic conference season for the 2011 Redbird tennis team.  None of the six players that participated in the league tournament did so a year ago, as this was an entirely new group of Redbird players.  That they were able to achieve a championship against a team as good as Morton speaks highly to their work ethic and talent on the courts.  Congratulations to all!!!!

Metamora Champs of Bloomington Invite

Bloomington (4/9/11) –
The 2011 Metamora tennis team became the first in school history to win the title at the Bloomington Invite, capturing the championship by a single point.  The Redbirds amassed 33 points to eclipse St. Charles North’s total of 32.  Belleville East was 3rd with 24 points, while Normal U-High was 4th with 23.

Freshman Will Koehrsen continued his impressive season, winning the championship at #1 singles.  He rolled through his first three matches before meeting Springfield standout Patrick Gaffigan in the final.  Koehrsen’s tenacity and consistency were too much for Gaffigan; Will earned a well-played 7-5, 6-2 victory.  As this was the last match of the tournament, it was the one that clinched Metamora’s team title.

Senior Petr Vesely also was a champion, winning the title at #2 singles.  He also had no problem through the first three matches but was challenged in the final by Ben Harbison of Springfield.  Petr played well in the heat of the day, holding off his stubborn opponent, 6-4, 6-4.

Doubles featured more good play by the Redbirds.  All three Metamora doubles teams were 3-1 on the day, with the duo of Christoph Goettler and Tyler Ngo reaching the final at #2 doubles.  The #1 duo of Quinn Vaughn and Mitchell Nguyen and the #3 tandem of Jason Rainville and David Schrader were both sent to the feed-in bracket by very good teams from Lockport, although the #3 Redbird team had a match point prior to losing 11-9 in the third set tie-break.

Metamora’s entrants were a combined 17-3 on the day, a terrific showing for this early season tournament.  Congrats to all on a tournament title!
Metamora Fares Well in Edwardsville Dual Invite

Edwardsville (4/2/11) –
Metamora spent the weekend in the Edwardsville area competing in the Edwardsville Dual Team Invite, facing off against some of the state’s top squads.  Thirty-two teams entered the event, and the Redbirds finished a very respectable 5th place in the strong field.

In the first round, Metamora defeated Robinson High School, 5-0, winning each match in straight sets.  The Redbirds continued their excellence in the second round, beating Chatham-Glenwood 5-0.  The Titans were without one of their top players, however, so the meeting later in the season should still be a good one.

Saturday morning, Metamora faced off against a powerful Naperville Central squad.  Despite the Redbirds putting up a gallant effort, Central won the match 4-1.  Freshman Will Koehrsen recorded the only victory, an excellent 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Central’s Sid Swamy, who holds a ranking of #88 in the Midwest in boys 16.  Senior Petr Vesely and the junior / freshman duo of Quinn Vaughn and Mitchell Nguyen lost in third set tie-breakers.

The Redbirds had to quickly recover to face a much improved Belleville East team.  Metamora won easily at both singles positions but found itself down a set at all three doubles spots.  The #1 duo of Vaughn and Nguyen rallied for a third set tie-break victory.  The first time duo of sophomore Christoph Goettler and freshman Tyler Ngo narrowly lost an 11-9 third set tie-break after holding match point at 9-8.

In the 5th place match, Metamora found itself up against Alton, who had defeated Triad in the previous round.  Koehrsen played another excellent match, defeating Alton’s Patrick Spain (who was a top 24 doubles player a year ago).  Metamora ultimately won the dual, 4-1.

Naperville Central fell 4-1 in the semi-finals to Edwardsville, primarily due to two third set tie-breaks that went against them.  Edwardsville won the final over an injury-riddled Belleville West team, 5-0.

Redbirds Win Indoor Event to Begin Season

Peoria (3/19/11) – Metamora kicked off the 2011 season at The Clubs at River City with its annual indoor quad.  This year, the quad was reduced to three teams due to a college tennis match occupying one of the buildings.  Danville and Moline came to Peoria to play the Redbirds.

In the first match of the day, Metamora bested the Danville Vikings, 5-0.  Senior Petr Vesely and freshman Mitchell Nguyen won handily in singles, dropping a combined one game.  On the doubles side, Danville’s top two players combined to form a good #1 doubles team.  Metamora’s Quinn Vaughn (junior) and Will Koehrsen (freshman) teamed up to win in three sets.  Christoph Goettler (sophomore) and David Schrader (senior) won in straight sets at #2 doubles, while freshman Tyler Ngo and senior Jason Rainville did the same at #3 doubles.

In the day’s second match, Koehrsen jumped into singles, defeating a good Moline player, 6-0, 6-2.  The Moline player had qualified for state two years ago before missing last season.  Vesely won at #2 singles, 6-0, 6-4.  Metamora’s #1 doubles duo for this match was Quinn Vaughn and Mitchell Nguyen, and they handled Moline’s top doubles team, 6-0, 6-4.  The Redbirds lost two three-set matches at #2 and #3 doubles to prevent the day from finishing without any losses.

In the day’s other match, Moline defeated Danville, 3-2.

Last year, Moline won its sectional title, while Danville tied for 1st at the Urbana Sectional.  We wish both squads good luck this year.

Coach Willard Named IHSTCA Coach of the Year for State of Illinois

Lincolnshire (1/1/11) – Metamora head coach Kelly Willard was recently named Illinois High School Tennis Coaches Association (IHSTCA) Coach of the Year for Illinois for the 2010 boys season.  He will be honored at the IHSTCA Hall of Fame luncheon at the Lincolnshire Marriott on Friday, January 14, 2011.  The girls’ coach of the year was Denise Murphy of Lake Forest.  Below is the biography from the Hall of Fame luncheon booklet.

Boys Coach of the Year
Kelly Willard — Metamora High School

Recap of 2010 Metamora Boys Season:

  • 21-1 in dual matches
  • Sectional champions for the 4th straight year and 6th time in the last 8 years
  • Conference champions for the 4th straight year
  • Won every league match 9-0 and all flights of the conference tournament
  • 10th place at the state tournament
  • Top singles player (Stephan Rauh) finished top 16 — only non-Chicago area player in the top 16
  • Top doubles team (Nate Wilson and David Stewart) also finished top 16
  • Every player won at least one match at the state tournament
  • Tom Pitchford Award winner — Stephan Rauh

Kelly has been the boys varsity head coach for 13 years at Metamora.  He has a cumulative record of 167-41.  He has also coached girls’ tennis at Metamora for five years.  Over this time, he has a total of eight conference and six sectional titles.  In the past thirteen years, he has had a total of 50 state qualifiers.  In the program’s previous history, only seven players had qualified for the state meet.

Kelly runs free summer camps for high school players, junior high students who have shown an interest in tennis, and grade school kids that are eager to learn.  Kelly also runs one of the best high school tennis web sites in Illinois.  Check out the Metamora Tennis web site, home of more information, statistics, and stories than anyone can imagine.

Statewide, Kelly has been on the board for the IHSTCA and has served as secretary, president, and Hall of Fame chair.  He has also served on the advisory committee for the IHSA and the boys state seeding committee.  He also successfully ran the first three IHSTCA Team State Tournaments for Class A.

Here are some of Kelly’s thoughts on the 2010 season:

“Seeing our school’s name near the top of the state tournament leader board was a dream come true this past spring.  Competing with some of the teams we have always admired was a bit surreal.  Working with kids in Metamora from a young age and seeing them grow into successful tennis players, students, and people has been a tremendously rewarding way to spend the past thirteen seasons.  We have had many successes, but the lasting memories come not from the wins or losses but rather from the journey with the players.  The bus rides, overnight tournaments, team meals, and things that seem pretty ordinary turn into life-long memories for the players as well as coaches.  I love what I do.”

Congratulations, Kelly, on your award as 2010 IHSTCA Coach of the Year.


2011 Mid-Illini Boys Tennis Preview

Metamora (11/1/10) – Metamora will enter the 2011 Mid-Illini Conference boys tennis season as the four-time defending league champion.  The Redbirds have won their last 11 conference dual matches by the score of 9-0.  However, all six of Metamora’s state qualifiers from 2010 are gone, so the 2011 Mid-Illini campaign will be an entirely new one for Redbird athletes.  The graduation of so many outstanding players will lead to a much more competitive conference race in 2011, and the addition of some outstanding freshmen into the league will make the league exciting for years to come.

Morton will likely be the team to beat in 2011, as the Potters add the final two Reimans to an already promising young team.  Among Metamora’s newcomers this year will be a very solid freshman class and a foreign exchange student.  Pekin, which became the first M-I team in 16 years to beat any of the league’s big three (Metamora, Morton, Dunlap – the Dragons beat both Morton and Dunlap) last year, returns two very good players.  Washington’s two top guns return for more in 2011, while East Peoria, Dunlap, and Limestone will largely be unknown entering the season.

League singles champ Stephan Rauh of Metamora graduated last spring, so the battle for individual singles honors should be hotly contested.  Doubles champs David Stewart and Nate Wilson of Metamora also graduated, leaving the doubles title wide open as well.  The Mid-Illini will return a very unusually low number of state qualifiers to the courts in 2011, as Morton’s Taylor Nave and Pekin’s Derek Rineberg and Erik Smith are the only three that have experienced the state’s toughest tournament.

Metamora’s sectional title in 2010 gave the Mid-Illini its tenth straight year of having at least one member winning a sectional crown, but that streak may be in jeopardy in 2011.  The Redbirds finished 10th at last year’s state tournament, the second highest finish ever by a Mid-Illini team, but it looks like no M-I squad will challenge that finish this year.

It has now been 17 years since any Mid-Illini team other than Morton or Dunlap defeated Metamora.  Morton and Dunlap could make a similar claim until last year, when they were both defeated by Pekin.

(Metamora has been unranked)  
Predicted M-I Finish Last Year’s Result Last Nine Years
Metamora  (Kelly Willard – 14th year)
21-1 (1st)
1.  Morton  (Joal Stanfield – 7th)
7-10 (4th)
2.  Pekin  (TBA)
10-1 (2nd)
3.  Washington  (Dave Krostal – 11th)
4-7 (5th)
4.  Dunlap  (Jon Allison – 3rd)
8-12 (3rd)
5.  East Peoria  (Shane Smith – 10th)
3-7 (7th)
6.  Limestone  (Bill Wallinger – 3rd)
4-9 (6th)
Coached By:

  • Joal Stanfield (7th year – record of 62-27)

Long Gone
  • Ling Sun, Jon Block.  
Returning for More:
  • Taylor Nave – state qualifier.
  • Calen Crim, Wes Crandall, Jonah Laktas, Ben Maurer.
Important Newcomers: 

  • Grant Reiman, Trent Reiman.
Potter Outlook:
After having an unusually average team in 2010, the 2011 Potter squad should return to the upper echelon of the Mid-Illini Conference.  Morton debuts two dynamite freshmen in twins Grant and Trent Reiman, who should immediately impact the top of the Potter line-up.  Assuming the Potters enter post-season play in Bloomington, Morton should hoist a sectional plaque after one year of not doing so.  They should also have a great chance to break Metamora’s four-year stranglehold on the Mid-Illini Conference crown.
Interesting Facts:
  • Morton finished 4th in the Mid-Illini Conference last year, the first time since 1994 that the Potters did not finish 1st or 2nd.  It was also Morton’s lowest finish in the history of the league.
  • The Potters qualified one singles player for the state tournament last year, but he did not win a single game in his two state matches.
  • Morton’s 7-10 dual record in 2010 was the program’s worst since the 1978 team finished 7-13.
Coached By:

  • Jon Allison (3rd year – record of 22-19)

Long Gone

  • Austin Anderson, Neil Brown, Daniel Boerckel. 
Returning for More:
  • John Collins, Sam Park, Taylor Jensen, Ricky Barrack. 
Eagle Outlook:
After years and years of outstanding tennis teams, the Eagles have hit a minor dry spell.  Dunlap still managed to finish 3rd in the Mid-Illini Conference last year, but the graduation of their top two players should make the sledding more difficult in 2011.  Morton, Metamora, and Pekin will likely have success against the Eagles in 2011, and Washington could even surprise the perennial power.
Interesting Facts
  • Dunlap’s 8-12 record in 2010 was its worst in program history.
  • Last year’s 7-2 loss to Pekin was Dunlap’s first Mid-Illini loss in history to a team other than Metamora or Morton.
  • The Eagles did not qualify any players for the state tournament last year.  That marked the first time since joining the league in 1999 that Dunlap has not sent players to the state tournament.
  • In its dual match against Metamora last year, Dunlap only won 7 games in 9 matches, believed to be its worst dual result in school history.
Coached By:

  • Dave Krostal (11th year – record of 52-92)

Long Gone:  

  • Dakota Lanier. 
Returning for More:
  • Brian Kinas, Dan Nulte, Chris Swank, Andrew Reynolds, Cameron Sharp. 
Panther Outlook:
Washington returns its top two players from a year ago in sophomore Brian Kinas and junior Dan Nulte.  This dynamic duo should allow the Panthers to have more success in the Mid-Illini Conference than they have experienced in many years.  Overcoming the teams at the very top of the league will still prove to be a daunting challenge, but the 2011 Washington tennis team will not be a pushover.  Look for Brian Kinas to seriously challenge for a state tournament slot in singles.
Interesting Facts:
  • Washington has not defeated Metamora, Morton, or Dunlap since 1994, compiling an overall record of 0-77 against those three schools during that time frame.  There is a good chance that will end in 2011.
  • The Panthers will try to keep pace with their girls tennis team, which finished a very respectable 3rd in the Mid-Illini this school year.
Coached By:

  • Shane Smith (10th year – record of 37-72)

Long Gone:  

  • Dylan Lucas. 
Returning for More:
  • Wes Grove, Ross Johnson, Joe Warren, Aaron Kurth, Elliot Lambdin. 
Raider Outlook:
East Peoria found itself in the Mid-Illini cellar last year for the first time since 2004.  However, most of Coach Smith’s 2010 Raider team returns with more experience in 2011.  With no dominant players near the top of the line-up, however, competing against some of the league’s top teams should remain difficult.
Interesting Facts:
  • Two East Peoria graduates are current Mid-Illini boys head coaches.  Shane Smith (EP) and Jon Allison (Dunlap) played tennis for the Raiders.
  • East Peoria’s 3-3 league record in 2006 was the only time in the last 16 years that the Raiders have won at least half of their conference matches.
Coached By:

  • TBA

Long Gone:  

  • Branden Brill – all-conference, 2-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (2010), sectional doubles runner-up (2010).
  • Bryten Brill – state qualifier.
  • Neil Mulvey – state qualifier.
  • Blake Butler.

Returning for More:

  • Derek Rineberg – all-conference, state qualifier, Mid-Illini singles runner-up (2010).
  • Erik Smith – state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (2010), sectional doubles runner-up (2010).

Dragon Outlook:

After a highly successful 10-1 dual season in 2010, the Dragons will attempt to build upon that success in 2011.  Returning two of their top three players from a year ago (sophomore Derek Rineberg and senior Erik Smith) will help the Dragons near the top of the line-up, but it will be the rest of the line-up that helps determine if Pekin can remain near the top of the Mid-Illini in 2011.

Interesting Facts:

  • Pekin’s wins over Dunlap and Morton last year were the first Pekin, EP, Washington, or Limestone wins over the league’s top three (Dunlap, Morton, Metamora) since 1994.
  • Between 1942 and 1974, Pekin won 20 district titles and finished in the state’s top ten 15 times.  Since 1974, the Dragons have 1 sectional title (1992).
Coached By:

  • Bill Wallinger (3rd year – record of 6-20)

Long Gone:  

  • Nick Stein, Alex Peacock.

Returning for More:

  • Jordan Adams, Corrie Lambie, Tyler Leuallen, Jacob Fletcher.

Rocket Outlook:

Limestone still has work to do to regularly compete with the other teams in the Mid-Illini Conference.  The Rockets are 1-43 in league matches over the last six years.

Interesting Facts:

  • Despite its struggles within the league, the Rockets are 19-20 over the last six years in non-conference matches.
  • Limestone last finished above .500 in 2002, when the Rockets were 7-6 overall, 4-6 in the Mid-Illini Conference.
  • Limestone has never defeated Metamora, Morton, or Dunlap.
Coached By:

  • Kelly Willard (14th year – record of 167-41)

Long Gone

  • Stephan Rauh – four-time all-conference, four-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles champion (2007), Mid-Illini singles champion (2010), two-time Mid-Illini singles runner-up (2008, 2009), three-time sectional champion (doubles – 2007, 2009; singles – 2010), sectional runner-up (singles – 2008), 2nd team all-state – doubles – 2009, 2nd team all-state – singles – 2010, Tom Pitchford Sportsmanship Award – 2010, Peoria Journal Star Player of the Year – 2010.
  • David Stewart – three-time all-conference, four-time state qualifier, two-time Mid-Illini doubles champion (2009, 2010), Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (2008), Mid-Illini doubles champion (#2 – 2007), three-time sectional champion (doubles – 2008, 2009, 2010), 2nd team all-state – doubles – 2009, 2010.
  • Nate Wilson – two-time all-conference, three-time state qualifier, four-time Mid-Illini doubles champion (#1 – 2009, 2010; #2 – 2007, 2008), sectional champion (doubles – 2010), sectional runner-up (doubles – 2008), 2nd team all-state – doubles – 2010.
  • Ryan Donnelly – two-time all-conference, three-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini singles champion (#2 – 2008), Mid-Illini doubles champion (#2 – 2010), Mid-Illini singles runner-up (#2 – 2009)
  • Greg Coffman – two-time state qualifier, sectional runner-up (doubles – 2009).
  • Kevin Wang – all-conference, state qualifier, Mid-Illini singles champion (#2 – 2010), sectional runner-up (singles – 2010).
  • Justin Rauh.

Returning for More:

  • Quinn Vaughn, Christoph Goettler, David Schrader, Jason Rainville, Jake Martin, Jordan Rauh, Caleb Neumann, Alec Gardner. 

Important Newcomers:

  • Petr Vesely, Will Koehrsen, Mitchell Nguyen, Tyler Ngo 

Redbird Outlook: 

Metamora graduated the best tennis-playing class in the history of the Mid-Illini Conference in 2010.  A staggering 695 wins are gone from last year’s team.  The new Redbirds in 2011 will take on the daunting challenge of replacing that group.  If the Redbirds wish to extend their streak of Mid-Illini and sectional championships to five each, they will need to do it with new faces.  No current Redbird team member has participated in a sectional or varsity conference tournament, so the inexperience of high school tennis on this year’s team will be unprecedented.

Interesting Facts:

  • Since Dunlap joined the league in 1999, Metamora’s 2009 and 2010 unbeaten conference seasons were the first back-to-back ones recorded.
  • Metamora has won 7 of the last 8 Mid-Illini doubles titles (#1 in 2007, 2009, 2010 and #2 in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010).
  • The Redbirds have won 5 straight sectional doubles titles.
  • 2010 saw the first Metamora sweep of a sectional (team, singles, and doubles titles).
  • In the last ten years, Metamora has at least one win over Dunlap in every season except 2006.