Inductees THE METAMORA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAM OF 1975, the state Class 3A champions with a 13-0 record, flashed both a devastating offense with a rock-ribbed defense.
Coached by John Helmick, who produced a 81-17-1 record at Metamora in nine seasons (1974-1982), the Redbirds raced through a nine-game schedule with ease, sweeping to the Heart of Illinois Conference championship and allowing just 35 points.
In the state playoffs Metamora rolled over Alton Marquette 41-28, Kankakee McNamara 31-8, East St. Louis Lincoln 14-12 and Geneva 25-7.
Offensively, the team was lead by burly running back Larry Sommer, quarterback Jim Garber and wide receiver Phil Schertz.
Sommer, Metamora's first all-stater, roamed for 1,973 yards in 274 carries, scored 18 touchdowns and had a 7.2 average. He gained 320 yards against Spring Valley Hall and 375 against Alton Marquette. He finished his career with 3,343 yards, a Metamora record. He also was an outstanding defensive tackle.
Garber passed for 673 yards and 11 touchdowns while Schertz had 20 receptions for 420 yards and nine touchdowns.
Sommer was named to the Chicago Daily News first team from among class 1-A, 2-A and 3-A players and was named to the first team of the Champaign News-Gazette all-state team.
The Heart of Illinois All-Conference first team included Sommer, Schertz and halfback Paul Wernsman on offense and Sommer, end Vic Friederich and linebacker Tom Miller. Special mention offensive honors went to tackle Rocky Elbert, guard Scott Ruder and Garber, while end Jeff Nauman, tackle Pat Ruder, linebacker Scott Ruder, Garber and Schertz were honored on the defensive unit.
THE METAMORA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAM OF 1975, the state Class 3A champions with a 13-0 record, flashed both a devastating offense with a rock-ribbed defense.
Paul Reatherford was the main ramrod in establishing Peoria's first Biddy Basketball program in 1951 at the old Salvation Army gym with 275 boys. He started as Coach and Director in that league in 1947 where he stayed for 23 years. That first year in the official Biddy program his team won the state title but lost its first game in the national tournament in Scranton, Pa., home of the Biddy program. In subsequent years, his teams would have first and third place finishes, plus one season where our town hosted the national tournament.