Sunday, November 27, 2005

Go Cyclones? They're Finally There

I was at the 1975 championship game between Griffin High School and Joliet Catholic, a wee lad I. A beer can collector at the time, my fondest memory of the day was my first exposure to 7oz. cans of Strohs. The guys in front of my family were drinking them, but crueling crushing them before depositing them under the bleachers. Not only did the Cyclones lose that day, but I didn't get any new pieces for my collection

I saw my school and classmates come close in 1982, when I was a GHS sophomore. Tis heartbreaking and still too hard to talk about.

In 1995, I fought through a nasty case of influenza to attend the championship game in Normal. But my grit and determination weren't enough. Again the Cyclones came up short.

I wussed out in 2003. While SHG was playing bridesmaid to Joliet Catholic, I was basking in the Florida sun, oblivous to the heartbreak that thundered through Cyclone Nation.

But I made it to Champaign yesterday, and never was I prouder to be a Griffin grad. There was a huge contingent of fans, all boisterous in support of the home team without being obnoxious or belittlering. Coach Leonard is without a doubt a class act. And the Cyclones finally got what they deserved.

I don't buy the accusation that Griffin-SHG's success is the result of improper recruitment of players. Despite the allegations, nobody has offered any reasonable proof. There were no freaks of nature donning the black and gold yesterday. Just a bunch of undersized Catholic boys who worked hard and were bolstered by the spirit of those that had gone before them. The IHSA can multiple enrollments in an ill-informed attempt to level the playing field, but they can't divide and parcel out the hardwork of the SHG program. Parity absent legitimacy is chicanery.

Should SHG decide to take the low road and offer improper incentives to would-be students, I would suggest that they concentrate on brass players and percussionists because the marching band is in need of some serious help.


Anonymous said...

Undersized my ass--the line avg'd 220 lbs

they lift weights these days like crazy

great team, great game

BlogFreeSpringfield said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Your ass not withstanding, I stand by my assessment that the Cyclones were undersized. You're right that weightlifting is a much bigger part of the sport than it was 20 years ago, that's why a 220 pound lineman isn't considered big anymore. Alleman had a defensive lineman listed at 295 pounds and another at 257. And if you happened to see the players from Morris and Normal who played immediately after, you'd agree that SHG was downright diminutive in comparison.


Monkey Boy said...

Great assessment in regard to SH-G's alledged "recruiting." Were they recruiting the season in the 90's when they only won two games? They win because of discipline, intelligence, and dedication. End of story.

A little correction; you were in your junior year in November of 1982, not your sophomore year.

Anonymous said...

If you believe that SHG doesn't recruit then I have some land to see you. Wake up, it has been done for years and will continue to be done.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

SHG recruits students, as all private schools do. But the football coaches aren't going to the public middle schools and offering kids envelopes of cash and free tuition to come to SHG.

If you have proof that they are doing something of this nature, I'd like to see proof. Just as I would need to see proof of that land you want to "see" [sic] me.

Monkey Boy said...

To Mr. Anonymous;

If SHG recruits please explain why each of the last several years key players have been suspended for a period of time from the team for various infractions. Or, how about the fact that the basketball team has been mediocre for decades. Where are the basketball recruits? SHG has won state championships in golf and soccer. Did they recruit those players too? Does that sound like a school that tries to win at all costs?

I seem to remember the basketball coach at Springfield H.S. being fired for allegedly recruiting. What about that? I guess in your world whatever school you dislike recruits while the school you support is the only one who doesn't recruit.

It is easy to throw out your personal suspicions. As Dan said, show us the proof.