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Coal City to honor Hall of Fame coaches

Ceremony at halftime of Jan. 31 basketball game

Former Coal City baseball coach Jerry McDowel will be one of the seven Hall of Fame coaches honored at a ceremony at Coal City High School on Jan. 31.
Former Coal City baseball coach Jerry McDowel will be one of the seven Hall of Fame coaches honored at a ceremony at Coal City High School on Jan. 31.

COAL CITY — Coal City High School currently has seven former coaches in their respective sports' Hall of Fame, and the school will honor them Friday, Jan. 31.

The coaches, the sport they are inducted for and the year they were inducted are as follows: John Cullick (basketball, 1988), George Dare (wrestling, 1994), Dennis Best (track and field, 1996), Ken W. Miller (football, 2013), Ken P. Miller (football, 2016), Jerry McDowell (baseball, 2014) and Lenny Onsen (football, 2019).

On Jan. 31, when the Coalers host Plano, there will be a social hour with the coaches at 5:30 p.m. in the Coal City High School cafeteria. At halftime of the varsity boys basketball game will be the ceremony honoring the coaches.

"We have been thinking about doing this for a while now," Superintendent Dr. Kent/ Bugg said. "We are hopeful that all seven will be able to make it. We think it's a good chance for the community and their former players to recognize the work they have done and to come out and thank them.

"For a school our size to have so many Hall of Fame coaches is a rare accomplishment."


Plano 43, Morris 30: The Lady Redskins were within three points in the fourth quarter of the Interstate Eight Conference loss, but could not quite close the gap. Lainy Button led Morris with 10 points, while Alexis Smith and Kyla Kjellesvik each scored six. Chloe Ostrem led the team with seven rebounds.

Gardner-South Wilmington 53, Dwight 26: The Lady Panthers took a 30-17 lead into halftime and cruised to the non-conference win. Madelyn Storm led GSW (18-1) with 17 points, while Abby Beck added 13.

Seneca 44, Henry-Senaschwine 29: The Lady Irish continued to dominate in the Tri-County Conference, taking a 15-6 lead at the end of the first quarter and extending it to 28-9 at halftime. Brooklyn Giertz tossed in a team-high 14 points for Seneca, while Cassady Draves scored seven.


Lisle 54, Coal City 41: Austin Pullara led Coal City with 14 points in the Illinois Central Eight loss, while Jack Bunton scored nine and Payton Hutchings added eight. Kyle Burch led the Coalers with 10 rebounds, with Jarod Garrelts hauling in eight. Hutchings and Pullara each had three assists.

St. Anne 70, Gardner-South Wilmington 62 (OT): Gardner-South Wilmington (9-9, 2-2) trailed the River Valley Conference game 30-20 at halftime, but stormed back to take a 40-39 lead into the fourth quarter. The game was tied at 57 heading into overtime. Connor Steichen led the Panthers with 26 points to go with eight rebounds, while Chris Bexson had nine points and Nate Wise added eight points and nine rebounds.

Seneca 43, Newark 41 (OT): The host Fighting Irish improved to 12-6 on the season thanks to an overtime thriller against the visiting Norsemen in nonconference play.

Morris sophomores 39, Pontiac 24: Gage Phillips led Morris (11-5) with 13 points, while Zach Romak scored 11 and Henry Hansen added eight.


Poms, bowling invitationals in Morris: On Saturday, the Morris poms team will host a 19-team Class 1A invitational. All performances will be in the main gym. The Morris 1 team will take the floor at 9:58 a.m. and the Morris 2 team will perform at 11:36 a.m. The event begins at 9:30 a.m. Also, the annual Charles Butterfield Memorial girls bowling tournament will begin at 9 a.m. at Echo Lanes. There will be three games bowled in the morning, then a lunch break, then three more games in the afternoon. Award presentations will take place following the afternoon session.

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