TriCounty Heather Cassady was only a sophomore in the 1995-96 school year, but the Dunlap High School two-sport standout showed such talent she was named the Tri-County Female Athlete of the Year.
First came basketball.
The 5-foot-5 guard averaged 15.5 points (including such monstrous scoring games as 30 and 35 points in the sectional and super-sectional, respectively), 8.5 assists and 4.6 steals.
She was named the Journal Star's Player of the Year in Class A and was a vital reason why Dunlap made the school's first appearance in the state finals, finishing fourth after bowing to Byron 59-57 in the third-place game.
Then the softball season arrived.
Dunlap's second baseman, Cassady hit .562, the highest on the Journal Starís Class A all-star team.
Attending grade school in East Peoria, Cassady became a basketball standout playing against boys.
"I was sort of a tomboy because I grew up around the guys," Cassady has said. "That's why I can play like a guy, because I played with boys like Mark Vershaw and Jason Jenkins (East Peoria's very large standouts)."
Heather Cassady was only a sophomore in the 1995-96 school year, but the Dunlap High School two-sport standout showed such talent she was named the Tri-County Female Athlete of the Year.
A native of Morton, Ill., Al Carius came to North Central in 1966 after two years as a graduate assistant at the University of Illinois. As an undergraduate at Illinois, he was a two-time Big Ten Conference champion in cross country, and he added three Big Ten two-mile titles in track. He continued to run competitively until 1968, and at the end of the 1966 season, had the fifth-best time in the United States in the 3,000- meter steeplechase (8:48-plus, run at the Kentucky Relays).