Friday, February 22, 2019

#1 Schlarman bests #2 Lewistown to reach Title Game

#1 Schlarman bests #2 Lewistown to reach Title Game

The Schlarman Hilltoppers huddle up just before tipoff of their State Semifinal on Friday afternoon against Lewistown. The Hilltoppers went on to win the game and advance to the 1A State Championship Game, 58-41. PHOTO / ALEX STAAB
Normal, Ill. - It's hard being involved in compiling the Associated Press rankings for any sport. Those with a role are going to face criticism regardless of who's put where. Well, except for maybe those that compiled the 1A rankings.

On Friday afternoon at Illinois State University, the #2 Lewistown Indians (32-1) took on the #1 Schlarman Hilltoppers (32-2). Looking at how this one shaped up on paper, it would be a fairly evenly matched game.

It started as such. Almost exactly half way into the opening quarter saw the first team to make multiple shots in the game, with a layup by Schlarman's Anaya Peoples at the 4:01 mark being the Hiltoppers' second layup and it gave them a slim 5-4 lead.

Statistically, nobody would give an edge in the early-going. Points in the paint, second chance points, and fast break points were all within five points. Nothing major.

After the aforementioned layup by Peoples, there were only five more shots made between both the Hilltoppers and Indians the rest of the first quarter. Put that together and Schlarman would only have nine points after eight minutes, a far contrast from their 21-point first against Amboy in the Super-Sectional back on Monday.

The Hilltoppers' Capria Brown must not have liked how long it took for the scoring to hit a good clip at the game's beginning, as she went right to the hoop a mere 10 seconds into the quarter to pull within one of Lewistown.

Second quarter action started with somewhat of a parallel of the first, as shots were being traded back and forth. The game was within a basket for nearly the entirety of the second. That was, until Brown took over.

The junior, following a Peoples layup to make it 18-17 Lewistown, went on a personal 8-1 run with the Indians' Carli Heffren. A run like Brown's turned a one-point deficit into a six-point lead into the halftime locker room.

Granted, a six point lead in a game between two of the best teams Class 1A has to offer, especially considering how the game had played to that point, seemed like more than six to say the least.

It's the State Finals. There was still 16 minutes of basketball left to be played. The Hilltoppers just needed to get back to playing 'Schlarman Girls Basketball' as head coach Keith Peoples will tell you sometimes.

Schlarman did play their game, an element that sometimes isn't talked about as much - playing your game and not getting caught up in how the opponent is looking and fall into a trap of their style of play. Now, these two teams matched up well enough that perhaps that didn't matter.

A layup from Brown gave the Hilltoppers their first double figure lead of the afternoon, 32-22, at the 5:42 mark of the quarter.

Just when you think Schlarman had somewhat of a hold on the game, a three from Lewistown's Paige Bennett brought it back to a two-score game, 33-27.

Would this be a spot for a timeout? Actually, it would be, but Coach Peoples didn't have to use one, as it was the media timeout. That may have come at just the right time for the Hilltoppers.

A combination of the efforts by Brown, Peoples, and McKaylee Allen pushed it back to double figures, when a quality and-one play by Allen set the third quarter score of 41-29.

It became a matter of whether or not Lewistown would have one last big push in them to knock off the Hilltoppers.

Unfortunately for the Indians, that would do it. A pair of free throws by Brown gave the game its first 20-point advantage, as there was still just over half of the quarter yet to be played.

The Indians fought back to a degree, but to no avail, falling in the State Semifinal to Danville Schlarman, 58-41.

The Hilltoppers saw Anaya Peoples tally a double-double in the win, scoring 18 points and bringing in 11 rebounds. Capria Brown had a team-high 23 points, while McKaylee Allen's 11 wrapped up the double figure scoring for Schlarman.

#1 Schlarman will play #4 Lanark Eastland (31-4) tomorrow at 1:00 pm for the 1A State Championship.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

GHMS Volleyball vs Dee-Mack February 19, 2019

GHMS Volleyball vs Dee-Mack February 19, 2019

Morgan Genders taps one over in game two
of the 8th grade games


The GHMS girls volleyball team hosted the Dee-Mack Braves 7th and 8th grade teams Tuesday afternoon.

The GHMS 7th grade girls team won their last two regular season games over Dee-Mack: 25-11 and 25-15.  

The GHMS 8th grade series had plenty of action on 8th Grade Night.  After taking a 10+ point lead late in the first game, the Warriors saw the lead slip away while the Braves took advantage and grabbed the first game 25-23.  After swapping sides of the net, the second game stayed closer than the score would indicate.  The Warriors won game two 25-18 sending the contest into a third game.  Again, Dee-Mack kept the volleys flying and the scoring close, but came up just a bit short in the third as GHMS took the tie-breaker 25-15.

All photos by Brad Marks.  For full-size versions of these and other game photos please visit here.

Avery Stone with the bump.

Tatum Point taps it over as Ryan Schwarz (19)
and Emma Petersen watch

Emma Petersen (2) with the set
as Katie Donnelli (8) stands ready

Mackinzi Beccue goes deep for the bump

Mackenzie Doyle with the serve in game two

Katie Donnelli (8) with the bump
as Mackenzie Doyle (17) stands ready

Sophie Fletcher for the kill in game one

Celebrating a point

Ella Stivers with the kill

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Polar Plunge for Special Olympics

Polar Plunge for Special Olympics

It is that time of year again, where brave individuals jump into freezing cold water for charities. A new event was added to the Civic Center this year. The Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics. The event was sponsored by Law Enforcement Torch Run and GEICO, and it was a success.

[1]The 2019 Polar Plunge season will run from Friday, February 15 through Sunday, March 24th. All proceeds collected by plungers will benefit the more than 23,000 traditional athletes and 20,000 Young Athletes of Special Olympics Illinois. If you missed the event Saturday, February 16th at the Civic Center there are still many opportunities to take the plunge in surrounding areas. For more information about these events and how to participate or donate visit

Black History Month The Good, the Bad & the Beautiful Part 2 A Child Shall Lead Them

Black History Month The Good, the Bad & the Beautiful Part 2 A Child Shall Lead Them

photo via  The Problem We All Live With by Norman Rockwell

!963 in America was a defining year in our history. We were on the brink of going to war, the civil rights movement escalated, and the president was murdered. Everyone remembers all the hippie stuff the clothes, the music, the culture shock of free love, but there were many protests and beatings and deaths before the Summer of Love. Some particular areas of this turmoil were southern states.

Segregation of schools was a large issue. The ruling with the Brown vs. The Board of Education was upsetting to many in the south because they did not want integration anywhere. Some children had to be walked into the school with armed guards because of protesters who were threatening harm. It is frightening to think of grown adults attacking children for wanting to go to school. However, those protests went on for the school year. The children kept going and even though they received harsh treatment inside the schools as well they did not give up.

Ruby Bridges was seven years old when she and her mother were escorted to her school in Louisiana by federal marshalls. Norman Rockwell painted a picture depicting her life for the school year titled The Problem We All Live With. Images of children being treated so harshly touched the hearts of many Americans and they sent money and help to support these families.

Gwendolyn Sanders and hundreds of African-American children in Birmingham, Alabama, protested segregation at the height of the civil rights movement. While adults were fighting for cib\vil rights for voting and being able to sit anywhere on a bus or restaurant, the children were fighting too. The kids took to the parks and streets in protest of segregation and the police thought it would be a good idea to use high powered pressure hoses and attack dogs on the children. After thousands of kids being arrested and the news team coverage of the dog/water attacks people around the country took notice and things began to change.

Unfortunately, some innocent children were also the victims of one of the worst hate crimes. The bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. This horrific act took the lives of four innocent young girls and injured 22 other church participants. Addie Mae Collins (14), Cynthia Wesley (14), Carole Robertson (14), and Carol Denise McNair (11) just happened to be on the stairs that a timed explosive device had been placed. This event marked a turning point in America and helped to get the Civil Rights Act passed the following year.

We still have a lot of work to do. It is 2019, and we are still having racial issues and voting rights violations. When will enough be enough?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Adlai Stevenson and the Knights of the Golden Circle from

Adlai Stevenson and the Knights of the Golden Circle from

Adlai Stevenson and the Knights of the Golden Circle from, Metamora Herald

 Shared from the Metamora Association for Historic Preservation's February newsletter. Please consider supporting this local organization by becoming a member. More information available here.

 The following articles were run when Adlai Stevenson was running for Illinois governor in 1908. Stevenson was accused of being a member of the Knights of the Golden Circle, an organization of southern sympathizers (also known as copperheads). Guess the mudslinging didn’t just start…
 BACKGROUND. The Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) was a secret society in the mid-19th-century United States. The original objective of the KGC was to annex a "golden circle" of territories in Mexico, Central America, Confederate States of America, and the Caribbean as slave states, to be led by Maximilian I of Mexico. As abolitionism in the United States increased after the Dred Scott Decision of 1857, the members proposed a separate confederation of slave states, with U.S. states south of the Mason-Dixon line to secede and to align with other slave states to be formed from the "golden circle". In either case, the goal was to increase the power of the Southern slave-holding upper class to such a degree that it could never be dislodged. During the American Civil War, some Southern sympathizers in the Union or Northern states, such as Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa, were accused of belonging to the Knights of the Golden Circle. In some cases, they were imprisoned for their activities. Southern sympathizers were also known as “copperheads.” 
 Metamora Herald Sept 25, 1908 “Former resident of Metamora, who has been falsely accused of having been affiliated with the Knights of Liberty (also known as the Knights of the Golden Circle), during his residence here in war times. Old residents of Metamora, who knew Mr. Stevenson’s war policies and worked shoulder to shoulder with him in raising troops here, stamp the charges as utterly without foundation, and declare that no branch of such an organization ever existed here. “Mr. Stevenson came to Metamora in 1858 and was a citizen of the town, engaged in the practice of law, until 1868. He served two terms as a member of the village board of trustees, and is the man responsible for having the village square planted with trees, he having assisted in the task with his own hands. In 1864 Mr. Stevenson was elected states attorney of this county. After removing from here to Bloomington Mr. Stevenson was twice elected to Congress. It was in his campaign for this office in ’74 that Bill Whiffen, editor of the old Woodford Sentinel during Mr. Stevenson’s residence here, made the “copperhead” charge. “Col. Sidwell now of Chicago, and other old-time Metamorans stamped the accusation as false and Mr. Stevenson was elected to Congress. In 1892 when Mr. Stevenson was elected vice president the charge was again made campaign ammunition, without avail. Here, where the true cause of Whiffen’s despicable attempt to politically kill Mr. Stevenson is known, little attention is given the time-worn and unproven charge.”
Washburn Leader, October 8, 1908 Connects Mr. Stevenson with Knights of Golden Circle In Affidavit Made by Mrs. Jennie Starkey. of Waynesville, Is Offered as Additional Proof - He Was Asked to Speak. Springfield, Oct, 6. “A girl’s curiosity after the lapse of nearly a half a century is responsible at this late date for the unearthing of what is considered positive proof of Adlai E. Stevenson’s connection with the Knights of the Golden Circle that much despised secret order that harassed the families of Union soldiers in the north in the closing year of the civil war when the veterans fought real rebels in the south leaving their homes unprotected from the nightly depredations of the members of the secret clan. “Further proof that Stevenson was affiliated with and was considered by his wartime friends and neighbors as a member of the Knights of the Golden Circle is furnished by Mrs. Jennie Starkey of Waynesville Ill. “Mrs. Starkey makes affidavit that she was acquainted with the secrets of the famous copperhead organization and that she has personal knowledge that Mr. Stevenson was at one time invited to deliver an address before a branch of the order of which her uncle, Andrew Hedrick, was secretary. 
“Learned Clan’s Secrets. “In her affidavit, which was made Thursday Mrs. Starkey states that she has been a resident of Waynesville since 1872 and that when a girl of 18 years she learned through the exercise of womanly curiosity secrets of the Knights of the Golden Circle. “At that time Mrs. Starkey’s uncle Andrew Hedrick, a southern sympathizer, lived at her father’s home near Downs, Ill., and was secretary of the local organization. “A visit one day to her uncle’s room led to a discovery that notices were in course of preparation for a meeting of the Knights of the Golden Circle and that these notices contained the information that the speakers were to be Adlai E. Stevenson and Dr. Worrell both of Bloomington. A further search revealed the passwords of the secret order. ‘Do you see the star in the east?’ The answer was, ‘yes, do you see the tail or it?’” “At a local social function, hearing one gentleman ask another ‘Do you see the star in the east,’ she responded surprised them greatly by giving the answer: ‘yes, the one with the tail to it’ and that both of them begged earnestly to know how she became possessed of the secret of the order, and further that she was offered $50 for the information and was told that the person who revealed the secrets of the Knights of the Golden Circle was liable to be hung. Mrs. Starkey further says that one of the gentlemen in whom she occasioned surprise by her knowledge of the correct answer is at this time a resident of LeRoy. This society was generally known in the vicinity of Downs as the Knights of the Golden Circle and Mrs. Starkey states that there is no question whatever about Stevenson’s connection with it.”
 DOES NOT KNOW HER So says Mr. Stevenson of Mrs. Jennie Starkey Here Are Some Facts That Should Remind Him as to the Identity of This Lady-—Widow of His Friend
 Washburn Leader, October 8, 1908 “Springfield, Oct. 7.—Adlal Stevenson says that he does not know Mrs. Jennie Starkey of Waynesville, who has made an affidavit that he was one of the speakers invited to a meeting of the Knights of the Golden Circle during the civil war. Mrs. Starkey is the widow of Dr. Starkey of Waynesville, who was a personal friend of Mr. Stevenson, and Mrs. Starkey says that Mr. Stevenson frequently was a guest at the house. “Perhaps Mr. Stevenson may be reminded as to the identity of Mrs. Starkey. He now owns a farm near Downs, which Uriah Washburn, father of Mrs. Starkey, left to her and his children when he died at Heyworth, in Randolph Township, May 17, 1883. “The records of the Bloomington courts show that prior to Mr. Washburn’s death, Stevenson and Ewing had been his attorneys. When the estate was filed for probate, they presented a claim against it for $188 for attorneys’ fees, which they claimed to be due from seven suits they had handled from 1881 to 1883 for Mr. Washburn. “The following paper also appears in the records for the appointment of an administrator: “Hon. R. H. Benjamin —Sir: The appointment of W. H. Whitehead administrator In the Washburn estate will be satisfactory to our side. POLLOCK” “Also to the heirs. A.E. STEVENSON” “Mr. Whitehead, who was a brother-in-law of Adlai Stevenson, was appointed administrator. His bond, dated July 19, 1883, was signed by A.E. Stevenson and James E. Ewing. “The names of the Stevensons, Adlai E., James B. and John C., appear all through the records in this case. In a partition suit filed on behalf of James Washburn vs. Elizabeth Washburn, widow of Uriah Washburn, Stevenson and Ewing were the attorneys and received for their services $300. John and Joseph Washburn, two of the heirs, conveyed their share, one-eighth each of the estate, to John B. Stevenson, brother of Adlal. The records show that on September 6, 1884, part of the land was ordered sold at two-thirds of the valuation placed by the commissioners. On September 6, 1884, it was sold by Master In Chancery John McNulta to James B. Stevenson for $8,660.96. The deed also takes in John C. Stevenson. “James B. Stevenson sold his half to John B. Stevenson for $6,000, June 8, 1888. John C. Stevenson, on July 21, 1888, conveyed his land to Letty G. Stevenson, wife of A. E. Stevenson, for $17,000, $5,000 of which represented a mortgage given in 1886, due in five years, which the purchaser agreed to pay. “The records show that Adlai Stevenson still owns this land. According to the assessor’s books, he has 470 acres in sections 18 and 19. “During the probating of the property, a suit was filed by John Smith against the estate. Judgment for $455.35 was obtained. The judgment was bought by John C. Stevenson, and was allowed according to the record, November 9, 1885. Mrs. Starkey filed a claim for witness fees for traveling 40 miles to attend the trial of the John Smith suit. Now Adlal Stevenson, in a formal statement, denies that he knows Mrs. Jennie Starkey at all, notwithstanding the records in the courthouse at Bloomington. Many of the files in the case were lost in the fire.”
Metamora Herald Sept 25, 1908 “Notwithstanding that citizens of Metamora and Woodford County, who were fellow townsmen of Adlai Stevenson when he was a resident of this village have repeatedly refuted the false story that he was a member of an anti-war society called the Sons of Liberty, Republican campaign managers are continuing to harp upon this threadbare charge. “The old affidavit Bill Whiffen, editor of the old-time Woodford Sentinel published here, launched with malicious intent in 1874, in which the accusation was made against Mr. Stevenson, is being published by many Republican newspapers, while statements of facts in the matter by republic men who were living in this county in war times have been ignored. “Whiffen the man who originated the charge is well remembered by the old residents of Metamora. He came here in 1861 and purchased the Woodford Sentinel, which he edited until 1866. While here he was elected county treasurer. It is said he was a reckless fellow and managed to have a defalcation of about $1400 in his office. Mr. Stevenson was states attorney at the time and it was his duty to prosecute the matter against Whiffen. “He did so, with the result that the latter’s bondsmen had to make good the deficit. Whiffen then sold out the Sentinel to Power and Harl, accepting notes, which was turned over to the bondsmen. “He vowed that he would get even with Stevenson at some time, and being a crafty politician, he saw his chance when Mr. Stevenson was running for Congress in 1874 and launched the ‘copperhead’ story. “The story was denounced as false by many of Mr. Stevenson’s former friends here who knew him intimately during war times, and he was elected to Congress. “Again when Mr. Stevenson was a candidate for vice president both in 1892 and 1900 the old charge was revived, and was again refuted. “Here, where the motive for perpetrating some kind of a story that would be damaging to Stevenson, by the vindictive Whiffen, was known, little attention was paid to the matter. “A number of the older residents of Metamora have been interviewed by the Herald and all pronoun the ‘copperhead’ story as a base falsehood. Numerous incidents are recalled that prove beyond a doubt that Mr. Stevenson was not affiliated with any secret anti-war party during his ten years’ residence here. “The whole truth of the matter is that a branch of the society named never existed in Metamora. As charged by Whiffen. Henry Martin, who is an old soldier residing here, has given out a sworn statement that he has known Mr. Stevenson since 1852 and is a personal friend of the general, and that he knew him to have been a faithful supporter of the Union and a zealous worker in inducing men to enlist in the army. “John L. McGuire, who is also an old soldier, declares in a sworn statement that he knew Mr. Stevenson before and after the war and that his knowledge of him was only as a loyal citizen and man above reproach. “J. O. Irving, who was too young to enlist, but who well remembers the stirring times in Metamora at the outbreak and during the war, has prepared a detailed statement, telling of Mr. Stevenson’s part in the celebration of the victory at Vicksburg. After stating that he is 57 years old and has known Mr. Stevenson nearly all his life, Mr. Irving states: “I well recall the night of the celebration of the surrender of Vicksburg. There were no trees in the public park on that date. (Mr. Stevenson being a member of the village council a few years later was one of the prime movers in planting the beautiful grove that now adorns that park.) The entire population of the village turned out to celebrate that victory. We burned about everything in the village that could be loaded onto wheels that night. “During the illumination and general rejoicing speeches were being made from the top of the old public scales that stood on the east side of the park, and I remember stopping for a moment to look at and hear Mr. Stevenson while he was addressing the crowd. I was too deeply engaged in helping to keep up the fire, and too young to note his remarks but that they were in accord with the sentiment of the whole people who celebrated that night. I am well satisfied, from the cheering and general good feeling that prevailed. “I never heard of any such charges until long after Mr. Stevenson had removed to Bloomington, and had become a candidate for Congress. When such rumor did come to my ears I investigated among his many friends here and one and all denied the charge, and branded it as spite work by a man who had been a public officer of Woodford County and had defaulted, and who became sore at Mr. Stevenson, who was prosecuting attorney for this district at the time of that default, and who as such attorney was called on to recover for the court the amount of the default, which he did - did his duty as an honest and fearless public official. That Mr. Stevenson enjoyed the full confidence of the residents of Metamora - and does to this day - in his official and social life during his residence here, is a fact that cannot successfully be denied. “One and all pronounce that story false. Had there been any truth in it I was in a position to have heard or known of it and I am free to say that I am fully convinced that is a malicious falsehood, and not founded on any fact.”

Saturday, February 16, 2019

GHMS Volleyball vs Lowpoint-Washburn February 13, 2019

GHMS Volleyball vs Lowpoint-Washburn February 13, 2019


The GHMS girls volleyball teams hosted the Lowpoint-Washburn Wildcats 7th and 8th grade teams Wednesday afternoon.

The GHMS 7th grade girls team won in two games over Lowpoint-Washburn: 25-10 and 25-11.

Sydney Walker serves in the first game

Karagan Hartnett serves in game one

Katelyn Miller hits a kill shot

Katie Donnelli hits one over in game two
while Izzy VandeSchraaf (14) and Ryan Schwarz (19) look on

Tatum Point (27) sets for Esma Frieden (13)

Mackinzi Beccue serves in game two

Emma Petersen (2) reaches to set the ball
while Tatum Points (27) watches

The 8th grade Warriors won in two games over the Wildcats: 25-10 and 25-7.

Ella Stivers (1) hits a kill shot early in the game

Jersey Harrison serves in game one

Bella Signa (11) sets while Ashton Davis (16) looks on

Jersey Harrison (4) goes for a kill
while Bella Signa (11) and Ashton Davis (16) watch

Libero Mallory Bennett serves in game one

Bella Signa serves for match point in game two

For more photos of the games please visit here.

All photos by Brad Marks
GHMS Warriors volleyball vs Washington Central Trojans February 12, 2019

GHMS Warriors volleyball vs Washington Central Trojans February 12, 2019

Mackinzi Beccue sets while Ella Russell (13), Jillian McDaniel (18)
and Maicey Adams (21) look on


The GHMS girls volleyball teams hosted Washington Central in a series of conference games Tuesday afternoon, February 12, 2019.

The GHMS 6th grade girls team won in two games over the Trojans: 25-11, 25-8.
Jillian McDaniel serves
Addie Pacha serves in the second game
Addison Davis serving later in the second game

The Warriors 7th grade team took the first game 25-18 but had a battle on their hands for the second game.  The Trojans kept it close, with many lead changes, ending in a 28-26 win for the Warriors.  

Libero Abbie Jewell sets for Esma Frieden (13)

Ryan Schwarz (19) taps one over a Washington Central defender

Sydney Walker serves in the second game

Karagan Hartnett (12) gets ready for a kill with Esma Frieden
and Ryan Schwarz (19) looking on 

Nora Johnson sets late in the second game

The 8th-grade Warriors lost the first game 12-25.  In the second game, the teams played more evenly, but GHMS won the second game 25-23.  All tied up for the third, the Trojans kept it close and made a very exciting game of it.  But in the end, the Warriors won 25-20.  

Sophie Fletcher with a block in the first game

Ella Stivers hits one past a Washington Central
defender at the net

Morgan Genders with a tap over the net in game two

Libero Mallory Bennett sets in game two

Izzy VandeSchraaf with a block in the third game

For more photos of the games please visit here.
All photos by Brad Marks