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.
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.