TriCounty Brandon Hughes became the latest in a long line of standout Manual High School basketball players in 1994 when he led the Rams to their first state championship since 1930.
Averaging 20.3 points and shooting .498, Hughes was Manualís "go-to" guy in vital situations and it was his two free throws with 4.2 seconds remaining that put down Carbondale 6 1-60 in the title game of the Class AA tournament in Champaign.
He was named to the Mid-State 6 all-conference team, was the Journal Star's Metro Player of the Year and selected to all-state teams by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Champaign News Gazette and the Associated Press.
He was also named Male Athlete of the Year by the IHSA Sports Report and honored by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.
He is now attending Barton County Junior College in Kansas.
Brandon Hughes became the latest in a long line of standout Manual High School basketball players in 1994 when he led the Rams to their first state championship since 1930.
Ulrich has coached in the Junior Football League and youth baseball for 32 years, while also serving as president of numerous youth leagues and director of the Peoria Diocesan basketball tournament. He began volunteering as coach for the Richwoods Browns JFL team in 1971 and served in a coaching or administrative capacity for the Richwoods JFL program from 1971-89. In addition, he served as a coach and president of the Richwoods League League, as well as Pony League, from 1975-85. During that same period, he coached the Bergan All-Star Pony League from 1981-84. In his role as St. Thomas Grade School athletic director for 32 years, Ulrich directed the 11 boys (six) and girls (five) basketball teams for 27 years, scheduling tournaments, ordering uniforms and hiring officials among his many duties. He also served as director of the Peoria Diocesan Tournament for 14 years. Ulrich coached basketball at Peoria Heights Grade School from 2006-11 and he volunteered as manager of a fastpitch team in the Peoria Park District Softball League for 23 years, while also playing on the team for several seasons. He currently is completing his two-year stint as the St. Philomena School 5th Grade boys basketball team and is preparing for his second year of coaching in the Irish youth baseball program.