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.
When Mike began coaching Junior Football League games in 1972, money was tight. "We had our meetings on Adams Street, and they'd have to walk across the street to South Side Bank to sign a note to fund the season," Burns said.