TriCounty Wayne McClain had both a plus and a minus going into his first season as head coach of the Manual Rams last season.
He was now the boss of the bench at his alma mater after a long stretch as an assistant coach, which means he had great knowledge of his players, but he was succeeding an Illinois coaching legend and his long-time chief, Dick Van Scyoc.
So all he did in his initial season as head coach was post a 32-2 record and coach Manual to a second consecutive state championship, something only a handful of teams have managed.
And his long affiliation with Manual, both as a player under Van Scyoc and his tenure as an assistant coach, helped much in his quick success story.
"Some teachers and townsfolk tend to think of you as still a kid in short pants," the 39-year-old coach, who played one season for Bradley in 1974-75, said after bringing his team back from Champaign with its first-place trophy. "I went to school with the parents of a lot of my players and they trust me to mold their kids."
In his first season, Manual lost only to Danville and Springfield Lanphier and won the prestigious Pontiac Holiday Tournament and whipped St. Louis Vachon in the St. Louis Shootout. On the way to the state title, the Rams disposed of Quincy 74-63, Glenbrook North 64-36, Joliet 62-60 and Harvey Thornton 65-53 in the championship game.
Wayne McClain had both a plus and a minus going into his first season as head coach of the Manual Rams last season.
|Jerry & Elaine Reibling|
For four decades Jerry and Elaine have volunteered their time and effort to benefit the runners competing in events within the Tri-County. Just prior to Jerry’s induction into the Steamboat Classic Hall of Fame in 2015, the race’s co-founder, Steve Shostrom said, “Jerry and Elaine are treasures in the running community. They have made substantial, lasting contributions to the Steamboat Classic and the Illinois Valley Striders over the years. They have worked tirelessly at countless local races through heat, rain, ice, snow and wind to get quick, accurate results for runners of all ages and abilities." Jerry was involved with the Steamboat Classic for 35 years and Elaine has been a part of the Race for the Cure for about 30 years. Married over 50 years, the Rieblings helped pioneer the transformation from hand timing to computerized timing for the major running events in the Tri-County area. In addition to the Steamboat Classic and Race for the Cure, they have served at the following events over their decades of service: the IHSA State Cross Country Meet; Illinois Valley Striders events; countless high school invitationals including the Richard Spring Memorial Invitational (Peoria Notre Dame) and the Peoria High Invitational at Detweiler Park; and Bradley University and the University of Illinois cross country meets and invitationals. Jerry has also raised funds for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by participating in the Memphis to Peoria Run and running the satellite event from Canton to Peoria. The dedication and passion of Jerry and Elaine for these events has enabled thousands of others to experience achievement and enjoyment while competing in running events.