Inductees In a city that has spawned so many outstanding basketball coaches, long-time Richwoods High school coach Wayne Hammerton was one of the best.
Hammerton ended a 30-year coaching career in the spring of 1966, the final 26 seasons at Richwoods, where his teams were annually a major factor in this hotbed of basketball.
At the time of his retirement, Hammerton ranked 26th among Illinois prep coaches, with 578 wins (53-40 in his first four years of coaching at Atwood-Hammond) and 525-191 at Richwoods.
His record at Richwoods could hardly be bettered. His 1991-92 team went 30-3 and finished second in the Class AA state finals. And, he was fourth in 1975, with another 30-3 team.
A 27-2 team in 1980 made the Elite 8 and a 25-5 squad in 1985 got to the final round of 16. And nine other teams won regional crowns. There were also seven conference titles to celebrate.
Few coaches could post a more consistent record. Of his 26 Richwoods teams, only one lost more than it won, and none of the other teams won less than 15 games. A dozen won between 20 and 30 games.
There were two great eras in all that: from 1973 to 1976, with all-staters Mark Smith and Derek Holcomb available, Richwoods went 83-6; and from 1979 through 1986, the record was 160-33.
In his final four seasons, he coached the most prolific scorer in local history, Mike Robinson, who produced 2,944 points.
And Hammerton did more than coach basketball: for 31 years he was also golf coach and had a .799 winning dual meet mark (377-95) and was 45-3 in four years of cross-country dual meets.
In a city that has spawned so many outstanding basketball coaches, long-time Richwoods High school coach Wayne Hammerton was one of the best.
|1977 Metamora HS Football Team|
Led by head coach John Helmick, the 1976 and 1977 Metamora football teams extended the program's Heart of Illinois Conference winning streak to 25 games, culminating with a third straight league title in 1977.
Metamora saw its 30-game win streak snapped in the 1976 state championship game and the 1977 Redbirds also advanced to the state championship game, losing to Geneseo for the second consecutive year to complete a second straight 12-1 campaign. Ranked #1 in the state, the 1976 Redbirds overcame a 21-0 deficit by rallying for a 22-21 win against Momence to kick off its state tournament run, while the 1977 Metamora squad rolled through the first three rounds by a combined 91-6 score against Lisle Senior HS (29-0), Taylorville (44-0) and Charleston (18-6).