TriCounty In Pat Ryan's 20th season as head coach at his high school alma mater, the 13-1 Redbirds rebounded from their first regular-season loss since 2005 to claim their second state title in three years.
Metamora's 41-7 win over Geneseo in the Class 4A state championship game was the most lopsided of the eight finals played at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.
The Redbirds finished with 12 straight victories after suffering a 28-7 loss to eventual 5A quarterfinalist Washington in Week 2. The decision, which ultimately determined the Mid-Illini Conference championship, snapped Metamora's 35-game Mid-Illini winning streak.
The 4A playoff assignment was the first for Metamora, enrollment 985, since the state series was expanded from six to eight classes in 2001. The Redbirds were in 5A from 2001 through 2008, including when they won their first title under Ryan in `07.
In Pat Ryan's 20th season as head coach at his high school alma mater, the 13-1 Redbirds rebounded from their first regular-season loss since 2005 to claim their second state title in three years.
This East Peoria native and Spalding ('82) graduate took the Irish to the 1982 state finals before obtaining an industrial engineering degree from Northwestern where he was an All-Big Ten catcher in 1985 and 1986. Drafted in the 5th round MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs, Joe turned a successful major league playing career into a managerial career, first as bench coach of the New York Yankees, and recently as manager of the Florida MarIin.