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.
1951 Pekin Baseball Team
FRONT ROW (L to R): Phil Shannabarger, Don Lee, Emil Monge, Dick Heihs, Steve Holzapple, Gary Kinder, Cliff Houghton, John Watson, Rich Lee.
Pekin's state champions, taking a 16-5 record into the elite field at Caterpillar's Tom Connor Field, used a combination of Tom Trumpy's skilled pitching arm and timely hitting to whip Big 12 conference foes Streator and Decatur in the first two games before belting Alton 11-5 in a wild title game.