TriCounty The song has ended but the melody lingers on. Manual's incredible 36-game Class AA boys basketball state tournament winning streak ended in the 1998 Sweet 16. The school's record run of four championships was doomed when the 1997 graduation of All-Americans Marcus Griffin and Sergio McClain left the Rams with an all-guard starting lineup.
But what a guard Manual had in 6-foot-3 Frank Williams, the Tri-County's Male Athlete of the Year for 1998.
"With Frank on your team, you can play with anyone," Manual coach Wayne McClain said. And win 27 out of 30, he might have added. That was the worst Rams' record in Williams' four high school years.
But Williams continued the Manual mystique like a one-man army, leading the Rams in points scored (22.8 average), rebounds (6.4) and assists (4.9).
And in arguably the best year for individual Illinois talent, Williams was named the best player in the state, becoming the third Mr. Basketball award winner in area (and Manual) history.
After graduation, Williams played in the McDonald All-America game at Norfolk, Va., and in Magic's Roundball Classic in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Now at the University of Illinois, he is completing classroom work to become eligible to join the Illini and former teammates McClain and Griffin next season.
The song has ended but the melody lingers on. Manual's incredible 36-game Class AA boys basketball state tournament winning streak ended in the 1998 Sweet 16. The school's record run of four championships was doomed when the 1997 graduation of All-Americans Marcus Griffin and Sergio McClain left the Rams with an all-guard starting lineup.
1983 Elmwood Cross Country Team
Coach Tom Meyers (in back left), Left to right: Brian Opper, Curt Smith, Joe Harkness, Mitch Inskeep, Brian Miller, Jeff Kalteux, Todd Dewalt, Stan Johnson, Tracey Roberts, and Assistant Coach Greg Silzer.
The 1983 Elmwood Cross Country team could be compared to the flight of the Phoenix. The ’83 team rose from the ashes of a 106 point drubbing from number on ranked Erie at the Amboy invite to capture the state championship four weeks later. Elmwood defeated second place Erie 62 to 147 by putting three runners in front of Erie’s number one runner and seven runners in front of Erie’s number three runner. Elmwood had four all-staters and the fastest team composite time (all seven runners) in class A history. The Elmwood runners were Sr. Mitch Inskeep, 5th in 15:09; Jr. Joe Harkness, 16th in 15:16; So. Stan Johnson, 20th in 15:22; Jr. Curt Smith, 24th in 15:27; Jr. Jeff Kalteux, 37th in 15:44; Sr. Brian Miller, 43rd in 15:47; and Jr. Brian Opper, 45th in 15:50.