Saturday, September 14, 2019

Redbirds roll against East Peoria

Redbirds roll against East Peoria


METAMORA, Ill. - It was a golden opportunity for the Metamora Redbirds (2-1) (1-0) to turn it around after a frustrating loss on the road against Rock Island in Week 2.

After the opening coin toss, the Redbirds won the flip and elected to receive the opening kickoff, meaning that the Metamora fans would get to see sophomore quarterback Solomon Schwarz make his inaugural start as the man under center right away.

The Raiders did not start the game off on the wrong foot. Just 12 seconds in, the officials already had a flag on the field - face mask against East Peoria. Interestingly enough, Metamora counteracted with a personal foul penalty with just 22 seconds having ticked off the clock.

Schwarz would have an early opportunity to showcase his abilities, breaking through the East Peoria defense for a 21-yard run.

From the ground game to the air attack, the sophomore then launched a 27-yard pass to 6’3” junior Ryne Begole. That impressive pass would fall just shy of a touchdown, getting marked at the Raiders’ 1-yard line. So then within seconds, senior Carl Sally ran it in from that yard and got the game’s first tally at 7-0. Now, there was still 45:15 of play remaining after the score, so plenty of football left to be played.

Metamora would catch a break. They would fumble the ball with about five and a half minutes to go in the opening quarter, but the defense came up big and made a stand, keeping it at 7-0, at least for the interim.

Then a roughing the passer penalty came in with 1:46 until the break, and just like that, the Redbirds would hold a slim 7-0 lead against a team that hasn’t scored on the Redbirds twice in one game since the 2015 meeting between the two.

Later in the quarter, it’d be East Peoria’s Tristen Westbay adding to the running resumes of both quarterbacks, running it in for the Raiders from 23 yards to tie it up at 7-7 after a quarter.

It’s a play that 30th-year Head Coach Pat Ryan believes is just part of what Westbay can do.

“We knew that was going to happen. We knew the quarterback was a good athlete. We said - these guys are capable of making some plays.”

With just under two minutes passed in the second quarter, Metamora’s Jake Welsh ran ahead a first-down run of four yards, and that was followed by an impressive 55-yard touchdown pass from Schwarz to Connor Lopez, followed by Schwarz keeping it for the two-point conversion and the Redbirds re-took the lead.
After the Redbirds were whistled for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, it would back the home team up a whole 15 yards. Yet that didn’t make a difference for Schwarz. The sophomore completed another one, this time to Ryne Begole - 53 yards. Only this time, Begole would be marked just shy of the end zone, unlike the previous 50+ yard pass. Jake Welsh would promptly punch it in from a yard out.
On the next East Peoria drive, Metamora’s Skyler Hassinger slipped through the Raider defensive line and made his way to Westbay under center for the quarterback sack and a loss of five yard. That backed the Raiders up a ways, so when Begole pulled in another pass from Schwarz for 39 yards, he was already at the opponent’s 10 yard line.

Welsh would run another one in, this time from 10 yards, and Dylan Messacar added the extra point to make it 35-7, ending up as the halftime score in favor of the Redbirds.

Unfortunately for East Peoria, a theme of one of the first plays of the halves not being good ones, the Raiders where flagged for intentional grounding just over a minute into the third quarter, and eventually the ball would change hands.

It took until 10:40 on the clock in the third quarter, but Solomon Schwarz would throw his first incomplete pass of the game.

About two minutes later, Schwarz had already rebounded from the one incompletion, tossing a pair of passes to Begole, then Ashton Roe, both to get within the East Peoria 5-yard-line.
On the next Raiders drive, they had a very good chance at a touchdown, but the receiver dropped what would’ve been a Raider touchdown.

With 5:28 to go until the fourth, Payton McDonald completed a pass to Owen Farquer to officially send the game to its ‘running clock’ phase, with the host Redbirds leading 49-7.
It was the Raiders that started the fourth quarter well, bringing the Redbirds down in their own end zone for a safety.

East Peoria would find their way to the end zone, just a case of too little, too late. A 17-yard pass from Westbay to Hidden made it 49-15, and down the road, the Raiders weren’t done just yet.

Before the Raiders scoring was finished, Joe Cardin made quite possibly one of the best catches you will see all year. Video will be attached to this story later, but it was a one-handed, no-gloves catch that he got up a bit for and gained substantial yardage on. It’s a play that has Coach Ryan touting Cardin’s skills not on the football field, but on the track.

“You got to remember. As a freshman, Joe (Cardin) won the high jump in our conference, and it’s a pretty good track conference. It’s the fact, not the jump, but that he was able to catch it with one hand.”
Ryan, laughing a bit, says Cardin may have taken the idea from Begole.

“Well, it was a great catch. We’ve seen (Ryne) Begole do that a couple of times, so maybe he was watching Begole and figured it out.”
The Redbirds would score for the final time in this one, when Ethan Petri took it in for a three-yard rushing touchdown, and Trace Melody added the point-after, giving Metamora 56 points, their highest point total since Week 6 of last season (win vs. Morton).
East Peoria would quickly return the kickoff for a touchdown, and that would set the final score at 56-23, and the Redbirds would officially turn it around, becoming (2-1) (1-0) after the Week 3 win.

Despite the solid overall game, Coach Ryan believes there’s multiple parts of the Redbirds’ game that could still see improvement. He also went on to say that one unit in particular he would like to at least see improvement, as he doesn’t expect it to be perfectly fixed in the snap of a finger.

“We still have to improve our guys up front. We’re still not communicating as well on the offensive line as we would like. Defensively, we missed some tackled in open space that I thought we should’ve had.”

On top of that, the Redbirds, according to Ryan, had two objectives headed into this one: to win and not be sluggish, and to be healthy. Check and check.

Oh, but there’s one more thing he wanted to make sure of. The health. Coach Ryan says that’s going to be critical to the team’s development. He believes it will help with the health in order for his team to maintain consistency and take “a step further without having to re-do our lineup,'' adding “that’s hard to do”.
It’ll be a road trip for Metamora in Week 4, as they’ll travel to Frank Leach Field in Bartonville to take on the Limestone Rockets, who are fresh off a 34-7 loss on the road to the Washington Panthers.

Friday, September 13, 2019



From Jenny @

Fall often means trips to the apple orchard. Trips to the apple orchard often mean bringing home more apples than you planned. Having more freshly picked apples than you planned at home is a great excuse to make a delicious apple pie! Today I’m sharing my favorite apple pie recipe, along with a recipe for caramel sauce you can drizzle on the top. I used Jonathan apples, which are on the sweeter side, but you can also make this with Granny Smith apples for a little more tartness.

Read The Full Article Here



Metamora Township High School's 44th Annual Madrigal Dinner tickets will soon become available to the public on Saturday, October 26th beginning at 10:00 am. To purchase tickets, please park in the west parking lot at MTHS and enter through the large doors near the Toepke Gym, door number 9. Tickets may be purchased just outside of the Kenneth H. Maurer Performing Arts Center entrance and are $25 each. 

Checks can be made out to MTHS Madrigal Dinner

Dinner Dates & Times
Friday, December 6th @ 6:30 pm
Saturday, December 7th @ 6:30 pm
Sunday, December 8th @ 3:30 pm
Doors will open 30 minutes prior to showtime

11th Annual Community Prayer Breakfast 10/2

11th Annual Community Prayer Breakfast 10/2

The 11th Annual Community PRAYER BREAKFAST with KEYNOTE SPEAKER Illinois State Senator Chuck Weaver!

ENTERTAINMENT by The Kramer Family Christian Vocalists & MTHS Madrigal Singers

Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019
7:30AM at Metamora Fields Golf Club

Tickets: $25

Purchase tickets by Friday, Sept. 27th at Heartland Bank in Metamora or Germantown Hills

Sponsored by: Germantown Hills Chamber of Commerce & Metamora Area Business Association
NFHS Executive Director: Vaping Has Reached a Crisis Stage and Must Be Stopped

NFHS Executive Director: Vaping Has Reached a Crisis Stage and Must Be Stopped

NFHS Executive Director: Vaping Has Reached a Crisis Stage and Must Be Stopped, Metamora Herald

The issue of vaping has reached a crisis stage across the United States, and leaders in our nation’s schools must take immediate steps to stop the use of these electronic cigarette products by our nation’s youth – particularly the more than 12 million participants in high school athletics and performing arts programs.
            On Tuesday, CBS News reported that Kansas health officials confirmed the first death in that state linked to vaping. The CBS News release stated that last week, officials in Indiana, California and Minnesota reported deaths in their states linked to vaping. Previous deaths had been reported in Illinois and Oregon.
            Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that public health officials confirmed two people in Idaho had developed a serious lung disease linked to vaping. The outbreak of vaping-related lung disease has sickened about 450 people in at least 33 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), causing the CDC to urge people to consider stopping vaping as the number of cases of severe lung illnesses continues to rise. 
            In February 2019, the CDC reported a 78 percent increase in high school students vaping from 2017 to 2018. Youth e-cigarette use has been called an epidemic by major public health officials.
            Students in our nation’s schools have been sold a false bill of goods that vaping is a safe alternative to cigarette smoking – particularly by industry giant JUUL, which held a 76 percent share of the e-cigarette market at the end of 2018 and has wooed the youth market with its products that contain flavors such as cotton candy, chocolate, gummy bear, strawberry and many others.
            While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is giving e-cigarette companies until sometime next year to demonstrate that their products can help people stop smoking cigarettes, leaders in our nation’s school activities programs must do everything possible to stop the use of these products by our nation’s youth now – not in 2020.
            One educational tool that schools can use immediately is the online course “Understanding Vaping and E-Cigarettes” created by the NFHS with support from the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General. The free course is available on the NFHS Learning Center at
Several articles related to vaping will appear in the September issue of High School Today,  which will be posted this week on the NFHS website ( 

Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff is beginning her second year as executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is the first female to head the national leadership organization for high school athletics and performing arts activities and the sixth full-time executive director of the NFHS, which celebrated its 100th year of service during the 2018-19 school year. She previously was executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for seven years.

First responder PTSD training scheduled for Naperville Oct 9-10, Champaign Nov 6-7

First responder PTSD training scheduled for Naperville Oct 9-10, Champaign Nov 6-7

First responder PTSD training scheduled for Naperville Oct 9-10, Champaign Nov 6-7, Metamora Herald

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Public Pension Fund Association (IPPFA) and Northern Illinois University will host training sessions in Naperville and Champaign to help first responder mental health providers better identify and treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is one of the major factors that has made cases of first responder suicide outnumber all line of duty deaths in the United States.

The training sessions for all Illinois active and retired police officers and sheriff's deputies will be held October 9 and 10 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Naperville Police Department, 1350 Aurora Avenue; and November 6 and 7 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Illinois Fire Services Institute, 11 Gerty Drive, Champaign. The sessions are free of charge to those who pre-register, and are made possible by a grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. Go to, click on Education, then click on Educational Events to register.

“The attempted suicide rate for first responders such as police officers is more than ten times the rate of the general public. First responders often have nowhere to turn when the trauma they deal with every day overwhelms them,” said IPPFA President James McNamee. “This training program is a major step toward saving the lives of these everyday heroes, and I hope we can successfully expand it from these two programs to all areas of the state.”

The Naperville and Champaign seminars for active and retired law enforcement personnel will be conducted by a qualified mental health care professional with the assistance of experienced law enforcement officials. The programs will cover such topics as PTSD symptoms; conditions that are often present with PTSD, including depression and substance abuse; identifying ways to bolster resistance to PTSD; suicide; and effective PTSD treatments.

Northern Illinois University (NIU) and the IPPFA used the $35,773 state grant to develop the program for both sessions and a total of 80 law enforcement officers may attend the seminars free of charge. This fiscal year NIU has been awarded an additional $95,000 for six more seminars and to develop additional trainers. If this initial program is successful, funding may be available for up to three years of outreach and program expansion to include firefighters and emergency medical services personnel.

The IPPFA initiated the idea for the program, providing information and support to NIU during the grant process, and is funding some parts of the program that are not covered by the grant.

A recent study by the Ruderman Family Foundation examined depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues affecting first responders and the rates of suicide in departments nationwide. The study determined that first responder suicides outnumber all line of duty deaths in the United States, making it the number one cause of death for firefighters, police officers, probation and corrections officers, paramedics and ambulance personnel.

The IPPFA was founded in 1985 as a not-for-profit organization whose mandate was to educate public pension fund trustees. In 2009 the IPPFA became the primary education provider for public pension fund trustees in the state of Illinois, and its members manage more than $18 billion in pension assets.

Seeking New RCPP Projects for Illinois

Seeking New RCPP Projects for Illinois

Seeking New RCPP Projects for Illinois, Metamora Herald
Application period has opened for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program

Champaign, IL, SEPT. 12, 2019 – USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced last week the launch of the updated Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Potential partners are encouraged to submit proposals that will improve the nation's water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability.

RCPP eligible partners include private industry, non-government organizations, state and local governments, soil and water conservation districts, universities, and more. Partners may request between $250,000 and $10 million in RCPP funding through this funding announcement. Leveraging off this NRCS funding is a key principle of RCPP; partners are expected to make value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP funding.

“The new RCPP offers opportunities for partners and NRCS to develop and implement unique conservation solutions that engage farmers, ranchers and forest landowners,” NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr said. “A single RCPP project can include just about any Farm Bill conservation activity that NRCS is authorized to carry out. We’re really looking forward to what our partners across the Nation propose to do with these new flexibilities.”

State Conservationist Ivan Dozier shares Chief Lohr’s enthusiasm. “We’ve already seen firsthand what RCPP and partners can do here in Illinois. NRCS funds last fiscal year were leveraged with those from Illinois partners for approximately $6.4 million,” Dozier explains. “The goal was to help farmers adopt conservation practices using a targeted approach. The idea of combining federal dollars with private is a game-changer,” Dozier adds.

The first iteration of RCPP, which was created originally by the 2014 Farm Bill, combined nearly $1 billion in NRCS investments with close to $2 billion in non-NRCS dollars to implement conservation practices across the Nation. There are currently 375 active RCPP projects that have engaged close to 2,000 partners. The 2018 Farm Bill made substantive changes to the program to make it more straightforward for partners and producers. Previously, in the 2014 Farm Bill, RCPP derived much of its funding from other NRCS conservation programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). RCPP is now a stand-alone program with its own dedicated funding, simplifying rules for partners and producers. Additionally, the 2018 Farm Bill reduces the number of funding pools to make the submission and approval process easier.

Today’s announcement soliciting applications marks the first step in the implementation of the new RCPP. Later this fall, NRCS will publish a rule in the Federal Register that will establish the policies for the program and further outline the funding process. In addition, the RCPP Alternative Funding Arrangement provision will be implemented through a separate funding announcement following the publication of the RCPP rule. Up to $300 million is available for RCPP projects for fiscal 2019.

Successful RCPP projects provide innovative conservation solutions, leverage partner contributions, offer impactful and measurable outcomes and are implemented by capable partners.  Illinois’ RCPP projects are helping to address important resource concerns in response to local needs.  “What other ideas do partners have that can improve water quality or soil health or solve other natural resource-related issues we face here in Illinois?” Dozier asks.

USDA is now accepting proposals for RCPP. Proposals are due December 3, 2019. For more information on applying, visit the RCPP webpage or view the Application for Program funding on