A Storied Tradition
1871-1903...No records available. According to the 1937 yearbook, baseball has existed at CHS since the late 1880s with the exception of the war years through the early Twenties. Two high schools introduced to Champaign in 1871. East and West, located on the sites where Avenue school and Marquette school stood. Consolidated in 1893 the new high school was erected where Edison currently stands. A new building was erected there in 1914.
1905-1908...no records available
1909...(3-2) Coach Miller leads the Maroons. About 30 players participate. One of the more amusing days of the season involved a game with the faculty.
1910...(5-2) Coach McAdow leads the Maroons
1913...(5-2) In pre-1914 days, baseball games were played at West End Park as players and spectators alike rode the street car out Church Street to the field. Varsity teams practice at West Side Park near the current site of the high school. The Athletic Association voted to ban baseball games between school due to lack of interest.
1914...(3-1) Coach Richardson closes with 19-6-1 record and .730 winning percentage
1915-1924...no baseball at CHS
1925...(7-5) 15 boys participated in the first baseball team in a decade with eight of the boys earning letters. Requirements to earn a letter included playing in at least 7 games; pitchers must pitch in at least 3 games; catchers played in half of all games; training, attitude, and co-operation were also taken into account by Coach Moyer. Under the direction of Coach Les Moyer, the Maroons opened the season with a 7-3 victory over Tuscola in a nine inning affair on April 24, 1925. It was the first game played at historic McKinley Field. Mayor George Babb threw out the ceremonial first pitch to School Board President Dr. W. L. Grey. All games were nine innings in length. A sweep of Danville and Rantoul highlighted the season. A low was a defeat at the hands of Paxton at McKinley Field in which C. Martin struck out 23 Champaign hitters. Incidentally intramural girls baseball was also played at CHS with the freshman winning a tournament against the seniors. African American first baseman Leslie Jamerson was referred to as 'colored' often in the press. Right fielder Frank McCallister led the team with a .406 average in 32 at bats. Seniors were Julius Davis, James Major, Frank McCallister, Thomas McNeil, and Walker Gunning.
1926...(8-5) Inaugural year of the Big 12 Conference as the baseball team attempted to pull off a school trifecta as the football and cage teams had won league titles during the school year. 18 boys tried out for the team. Rain and snow cancelled the first two conference games and Tarson 'Teke' Wiley sprained his ankle. The Maroons took a two-day trip to Springfield for a Friday game before then traveling to Jacksonville to take on the boys from Illinois School of the Deaf. The Maroons split the two games losing the latter, in part, because three players helped the band win first place in a Big 12 competition in Springfield that day. The Maroons swept Urbana and defeated Danville during the campaign. Seniors departing are Russell Burke, Captain Hurem 'Dink' Derment, Ray 'Shorty' Fisher, John McKee, Walter Schrei, Johnny Shaw, and senior class president Tarson 'Teke' Wiley.
1927...(9-6) 20 players participated with 12 receiving letters. Highlights of the season included victories over Danville, Springfield and Urbana and a 25-1 verdict over Villa Grove. Seniors who led the team were Joe Clancy, Alfred Holl, Don Johnson, and Leland 'Lefty' Lair.
1928...(12-2) 17 players participated in a very successful season. The Maroons defeated Urbana 3 times and Danville twice. Senior leaders were Ray Carson, Paul Dixon, Howard Earl, William Kink, and Floyd Perry. John Bales and Sammy Vriner led the team with 26 at bats each and both batted above .300. Sophomore Jack Calhoun and Freshman Andrew Drake were African-American contributors to the team as each played in nearly every game.
1929...(7-2) 18 boys participated during the last campaign of the Roaring Twenties. Seniors who led the way were John Bales, Paul Eichorst, William Hagerman, Archie McDonald, Dale Williams and Orval Strode. A pair of losses to Trinity kept Central from an unblemished record.
1930...(10-5) 14 players participated in baseball during the first year of the Great Depression. It was the lowest number of participants since the sport was revived in 1925. 10 players lettered for Les Moyer's squad. The Maroons outscored their opponents 139 to 74. The team defeated Urbana twice. Seniors Dean Bailey, Lyle Jochim, Clarence Jones, Verne Ritter, and four year letter winner Sammy Vriner depart.
1931...(9-5) 17 boys made Les Moyer's 1931 baseball roster. The Maroons were captained by Robert Blaisdell and 11 players earned letters during the campaign. Two lopsided losses to Streator 26-2, 29-2 were low points in an otherwise successful season. Senior captain Robert Blaisdell led the Maroons with fellow classmates Don Harlow, William Maurice Hurst and George Piper.
1932...(15-0-1) 19 boys competed for the team in what was arguably the worst year of the Great Depression. The Maroons tied Bloomington Trinity to open the season before winning their next 15 games to close out the campaign. Captain Wallace Foote and fellow seniors Marvin Hout, Francis Leach, William Lierman, Paul McGuire, Ben Pfeifer and Otto Zimmerman led the squad. Just one Big 12 opponent was on the ledger and the Maroons defeated the Raiders 9-5. African American Cleo Johnson played shortstop. Karl Grolla led the team with a .439 average and Hout stole 14 bases.
1933...(9-2) CHS was home to 1195 students. A wet spring greeted 19 boys who participated in baseball during the first year of FDR's presidency. Senior class president Wayne Hawkins, and a 4-year letter winner in football, basketball and baseball led the Maroons in '33. He was joined by classmates Max Peterson, Dale Schmidt, Donald Berbaum, Joe Ponder and Gene Wheeler. The Maroons won their first 3 games of the season to run their win streak to 18 before losing to Bloomington 9-5.
1934...(15-4) Nearly 50 boys tried out for Les Moyer's '34 team with 14 players receiving letters. In the opener Warren Buswell had two hits and stole home in a 5-4 win against Armstrong. A sweep of Mahomet and Bloomington U-High by lopsided scores were highlights of the season. Senior captain Joe Chick and classmates Joe Barham, Stan Batemen, Dick Cagaan, Bob Castelo, and Owen Gilbert led the Maroons.
1935...(9-3) Moyer's boys produced another winning record in 1935, the last year freshman would be eligible to play for the high school as 9th graders will move to the junior high in the future. Highlights of the season included sweeping Mahomet and Urbana. Joshua Parker performed the rare feat of homering over the right field fence. Senior leaders were Stan Baker, Carl Canaday, Harold Grant, Lewis Hout, Robert Moore, Josh Parker, Charles Smith and Lloyd Smith.
1936...(5-5) 21 players were selected by Coach Moyer for the '36 campaign which began with a practice on April 20. It was the first non-winning campaign of the Moyer era. Champaign's baseball schedule was a short one, but few high schools play many games. Highlights included a sweep of Tolono and a victory over Urbana. Seniors included Bob Bradbury, Clarence Foster, Jerry Morfrey, Ray Nelson, Kenny Porter, Herb Rudy, Bob Sprinkle and Dale Trees.
1937...(6-6) The Moyermen started strong in '37 by defeating Lexington 17-3, Armstrong 20-1, Onarga 30-0 and Armstrong again 17-5. 35 players tried out with 17 boys receiving playing time. Seniors William Boedecker, Charles 'Chic' Bruns, Bob Curzon, Adrian Davis, James Essenpreis, Jack Lepp, John Murray, and Leon Shof led the team. Shoaf will be the last 4-year letterwinner for a while due to the fact that 9th graders have been housed at the Jr. High since 1935. Curzon led the team in hitting at a .457 clip in 35 at bats. Coach Les Moyer closes with 121-50-1 record and a .703 winning percentage
1938...(9-8) Former University of Illinois basketball and baseball star Harry Combes takes over as the Maroons skipper in '38. 10 letterwinners guided the Maroons who played 17 games for just the second time in school history. Senior captain Leal Genung and his classmates Jim Craig, Bill Ellett, Harold Grierson, Ralph Hawkins and Jack Honn led the team.
1939...(16-2) Big 12 Champs The '39 Maroons closed out the decade with a stellar record. Sophomore Harvey Ditter made quite an impression as he pitched in 11 of the 18 contests and fashioned a 9-2 record with two one-hitters. Central finished atop the Big 12 standings with a 3-1 record over second place Peoria Central with a 6-3 record. Jack Moore, who vowed not to shave until he got his second hit of the season, ended a long drought with a homer in a win against Arcola in the sixth game of the season. However, the Maroons were not awarded the title because they didn't play enough conference games. Seniors captain Bob Shapland and classmates Eddie Armstrong and Jay Flowers depart.
1940...(20-2-1) Big 12 Champs, District Champs, State Runner-Up 25 boys tried out for the team in the spring of 1940. Harry Combes third team reached the baseball state tournament for the first time in history. The Maroons 2nd Place is still the best finish in school history in what was the inaugural IHSA tournament which had 110 participating schools. After a loss to Streator early in the season the Maroons won 12 in a row, before tying Bloomington in a 15 inning affair, and played 18 in a row without a defeat. Harvey Ditter tossed the first no-hitter in school history when he bested Hindsboro on May 14. CHS won the District championship with shutout wins over Rankin, Morrisonville and Clinton to punch their ticket to state. Combes' state roster consisted of 13 players. At Caterpillar Park in East Peoria, veteran Bradley coach Robby Robinson burned over 100 gallons of gasoline on his wet infield to dry it for the tournament. CHS beat Bluffs 8-4 in quarterfinals, then Pekin 6-1 in semifinals prior to losing to Belleville 8-5 in state title game. Bob Dixon hit .416 while Johnny Warsaw was 9-0 on the bump. Senior captains Max Armantrout and Bob Kimbrell were joined by classmates Bob Dixon, Maurice Dolan, Gene Dunlap, Nelson Genung, Ray Grierson, Charles Mankey and Jack Moore who led the Maroons to a historic finish to their season.
1941...(15-7-1) District Champs, Sectional Champs, State Semifinalist The Combesmen again qualified for the IHSA state tournament in 1941. Highlights of the campaign included a 14 strikeout debut performance by sophomore pitcher Chet Trost and a 18 strikeout masterpiece by veteran pitcher Harvey Ditter. In a late April game against Clinton, both teams mistakenly traveled to the other's diamond before a couple long-distance telephone calls brought the Clinton team back to their home diamond to host a darkness-shortened contest. In district play, CHS defeated host Homer and Hindsboro to capture the title. CHS was next host to sectional play at historic McKinley Field without star pitcher Harvey Ditter who had been declared ineligible for the remainder of the season. Starters Bud Walters and Dick Squire were suspended for the first sectional game by Coach Combes for choosing to attend a movie rather than go to practice. The bus escorting the team to Russell Field in Peoria had just been overhauled and could not exceed 45 MPH, the driver got lost, and thus the Maroons arrived just 5 minutes prior to the start of the state quarterfinal contest. The Maroons dressed quickly and took a hurried round of infield drill prior to their 12-7 loss to a stout Peoria Manual team which finished second overall. Senior captain Ditter and classmates Bob Crane, Bob Johnson, Tracy Stevenson, Dean Woody and Babe Young led the Maroons to another historic season.
1942...(13-6) District Champs, Sectional Champs, State Qualifier Coach Combes used 15 boys in an opening 11-6 victory over Oakwood. CHS got off to a fast start, winning its first five contests including a 23-0 drubbing of St. Joseph. After being roughed up by Streator and Peoria Central in Big 12 play, the Maroons defeated Monticello 19-1, a game in which Combes used 18 players. The Maroons easily dispatched Bell flower and Cerro Gordo to win the Champaign District Championship. CHS next won the Buckley Sectional Championship by blanking the hosts before defeating Crescent City in the finals. A third straight trip to state tournament ended after 7-4 loss to eventual runner-up Streator in quarterfinals. Bud Walters led the hitters with a .471 average. Seniors Willard Ashby, Edgar Bent, Tom Hollingsed, Russell Hyde, Junior Lewis, Joe Moran, Richard Squire, Jim Torrence and Walters led the team.
1943-1944...No baseball team due to WWII
1945...(6-6) Through the tireless efforts of AD Les Moyer, baseball was revived at Champaign High School after a two year hiatus. WWII Manpower Commissions had infiltrated many high schools to aid in the war effort the past two years. As Allied forces were closing in on Berlin and Tokyo, 53 boys signed a petition to reinstate the program and 30 showed up for an informational meeting prior to the first practice. Letters were awarded by Coach Combes to 11 players. CHS raced to a 3-0 start before losing four straight. The Maroons defeated host Monticello in district play 4-2 before turning around to play Deland the same day and losing a heartbreaker by a score of 8-7. In the district final, a Central base runner failed to touch first base on a double while another was thrown out for wandering off the base too far on a fly out that ended a late rally for the Maroons. Track team challenged baseball team to a game at the end of the season. Seniors Claude Birch, Del Burke, Jesse Clements, Jack Genung, Charlie Gerrie, Bill McMahon and John McNabney depart.
1946...(14-2) District Champs In the opener, Dick Hyde tossed a no-hitter against Cissna Park. Hyde's pitching carried the Maroons all season who lost 3-1 to Peru St. Bede in the sectional round. The senior right hander was 10-1, tossed 11 complete games and 6 shutouts. Hyde would go on to play for the Washington Senators and Baltimore Orioles. Battery mate Jack Threet wrote a letter to our Booster Club and donated to our cause in 2020. Second baseman Jim Cottrell led the Maroons with a .346 average. The Maroons shutout Cissna Park and Armstrong and Donovan to win the District Title. Champaign next defeated Joliet before losing to Peoria St. Bede in the Sectional championship. Seniors leading the way were Stan Brown, Cottrell, Bill Hoover, Hyde, Gene Lamb, Threet, Gene Suggs, and Joe Voss.
1947...(10-6) District Champs The Maroons won their first five contests before bowing to Peoria Manual. Central won the first-ever Big 12 contest with Mattoon. Champaign captured the Loda District championship by defeating the hosts 9-2 and Buckley 10-0. Champaign was defeated by sectional host Spalding 4-2 in the opener. Shortstop Wayne Wells led the offense with a .357 average. Pud Walters and Jim Beetle were the pitchers who logged the most innings. Walters tossed 6 complete games while Beetle went the distance in five contests. In his final season, Maroons won second straight district title after finishing 3-4 in Big 12. Seniors Bob Asherman Jim Coon, Frank May, captain Jim Sands, John Schumacher, Walters and Wells led the team. Coach Harry Combes closes with 103-39-2 and a .715 winning percentage.
1948...(10-11) Coach Ray Grierson's inaugural team sported 35 players. 16 players lettered as Joe Hallbeck led the offense with a .342 average while Bob Shapland led the pitching staff with 4 wins. Highlights of the season include a sweep of Mattoon as well as wins against Bloomington, Danville and Urbana. Champaign was defeated by Danville 2-1 in the District championship contest played at historic McKinley Field. Student admission was 10 cents while adults had to pay a quarter to see the games. CHS was 2-8 in Big 12 play. Senior leaders were John Ayers, Dave Baur, Jim Beetle, Bob Corley, Richard Corley, Chris Damiano, Gene Elliott, Ed Huston, Darrell Ozier, Pete Patterson, John Perring, Jerry Steding, Jim Sturdyvin, Jim Threet, Carroll Trost, and Kenny Wilk.
1949...(10-9) 26 boys participated in the program and 11 received letters during the '49 campaign. Champaign had an up and down campaign but won 5 of their last 6 games losing to Taylorville in the District championship game. Joe Hallbeck and Gene Ward each batted .400 and Bob Shapland and Jim Walters shouldered much of the pitching duties. Shapland tossed 8 complete games, won five contests and saved two games. The Maroons finished 5-4 in conference play. Senior leaders were Bill Busch, Lorence Collins, captain Hallbeck, Ed Jackson, Mickey Legue, Walter Mays, Charlie Palmer, Mark Scheurich, Shapland, Lee Stark, Walters and Ward.
1950...(5-13) 56 players tried out for the squad and 16 earned letters for Coach Ray Grierson. A cold, wet spring kept the team for practicing much early in the season. Senior captain Jack Schuerich led the hitters with a .367 average while Kenny Stahl led the staff with three victories. Champaign won just one conference contest. Senior leaders were manager Jim Dewhirst, Lewis Hill, Barry McDermott, Jim McNabney, Schuerich, Stahl, Don Winterbottom, and Jim Wise.
1951...(7-9) District Champs Finished regular season 3-8 before postseason run ended with a loss to Streator in the sectional round of the playoffs. Highlights of the regular season included a sweep of Mahomet and a combined no-hitter by Jerry McKinney and Dick Taylor in a 10-0 victory over Tolono Unity. Tom Taylor led the batsmen with a .324 average while Jim Shedenhelm was 3-0 on the mound. Big 12 coaches and principles seriously considered moving baseball to the summer but conference officials remained split on the move. In District play, the Maroons opened with a 17-4 victory over Farmer City at historic McKinley Field. Admission was 15 cents for students and a quarter for adults. The Maroons next dispatched Bement 7-1 before upsetting an undefeated Danville squad 4-3. Champaign defeated Villa Grove 6-2 to capture its first title since 1947. Champaign dropped a hard-fought contest to Streator 1-0 in the Bloomington sectional. Seniors Caleb Bundy, captain Harlan Burgess, Charles Guiffre, Jim Jefferson, Walter Mack, manager Arnold Paden, Jack Rozene, and Joe Vermillion depart.
1952...(11-4) 23 players appeared in the opener for Coach Ray Grierson during the '52 campaign. The Maroons notched a 5-3 record in the Big 12 Conference. Dick Taylor won 5 games for the Maroons while Jim Freeman led the team with a .455 average. Taylor tossed a no-hitter to open postseason play at historic McKinley Field defeating Ogden 3-0. The victory was Maroons' tenth in a row before bowing to Danville in the District title game 4-3. Seniors Fred Gleason, Gerry Light, Bob Lowry, Jerry McKinney, Bob May, Dick Ohls, Jim Shedenhelm, Jim Smith, Dick Taylor, Tom Taylor, and MVP Ronnie Young led the team. Coach Ray Grierson departs with a 43-46 record and a .483 winning percentage.
1953...(10-7) Legendary football coach Tom Stewart also guided the Maroon baseball team for the first time in 1953. His first season was a successful one as 16 boys lettered. Bob Slade led the hitters with a .416 average while Jim Freeman won four games on the bump for Champaign. Highlights included a sweep of Mattoon, Slade stealing home to defeat Buckley-Loda, and an upset of Danville in the District semifinals. Champaign lost the District championship to Kankakee at Danville. The Maroons finished 4-6 in the Big 12 Conference. Seniors Bob Alsop, Dwight Bennett, Wendell Hull, captain Tom Meeks, Slade and Charles Stayton led the team.
1954...(9-9) 14 players lettered for Coach Tommy Stewart in '54. The Maroons were defeated by host Danville 4-1 in the District championship game. Morgan Powell led the offense with a .353 average while Jim Freeman led the way on the mound with 4 wins. Seniors Stan Ayre, Jerry Bender, Freeman, Bill Gabbard, Jim Gannaway, Glenn Herstrom, captain Dave Munnis, Jim Palmer, Powell, and Jim Smith led the team.
1955...(7-7) Coach Tom Stewart commented that "rain played a major part in the season as six games were canceled due to wet grounds. It was definitely a green team with only one letterman back. We lost four in a row before we won our first game." A highlight of the season was defeating Danville. The Maroons won five in a row before losing to Decatur 2-0 in the championship game of the Warrensburg District tournament. Jim Majors led the moundscorps with three wins while Bob Madix led the Maroons with a .342 average. Senior leaders were captain Tom Breen, MVP Terry Dahl, Tom Gabbard, Dennis Kirk and Jim Pickens.
1956...(18-6) District Champs 40 boys tried out for the team and the roster was soon trimmed to 28 to start a historic season for the baseball team as Coach Tom Stewart's wrecking crew came within one out of making the state tournament. 18 letterman helped the Maroons win 18 games and the 24 games played in '56 was the most of any season up until then. A batting tee cost $9, baseballs $15 a dozen, and a wood bat $21. Stewart reflected, "By far our best season we have had in some time at Champaign. Honestly believe if we had top notch pitching, we could have gone all the way. We had excellent hitting along with a fair defense although our defense hurt us in the finals of the sectional tourney at Danville. The games that we lost were ones that we could have won. We were never outclassed by anyone. Through having a dry spring, we were able to play 24 games winning 18 and losing 6. We won the district tourney held here at Champaign. We won our first game at the sectional tourney at Danville but lost truly a heartbreaker in the finals to Charleston." The team finished 5-3 in conference play. Jim Wheat and captain Bob Madix each had one of the finest offensive season in school history. Madix, who was voted MVP by his peers, had a 12 game hit streak while Wheat put together a 13 game hit streak. Wheat finished with a .545 average. Bob Bender pitched the Maroons to 5 victories to lead the staff in that category. Bill Wheat tossed a no-hitter against Ogden. In tournament play the Maroons opened by scoring in every inning to defeat St. Joe 16-1 at historic McKinley Field. Champaign next defeated Deland-Weldon 6-2 before besting conference rival Danville in the District championship game 8-7. In the title tilt, Madix hit a two-out, walkoff single in the bottom of the 7th inning to score Wheat with the winning run. The Maroons had rallied from a 5-0 deficit in the third inning. The Maroons next defeated Warrensburg-Latham 15-3 to advance to the Danville Sectional tournament. In sectional play the Maroons defeated a 16-win Bloomington Trinity squad by the score of 2-1 as Bender pitched a gem. With a berth in the state tournament on the line, the Maroons met Charleston for the third time in '56. The two high schools split regular season games with the Maroons winning 8-7 at McKinley Field while the Trojans won 5-4 on their diamond. Unfortunately Champaign lost 4-3 with the tying and winning runs stranded in scoring position as the Trojans got the final two outs to preserve a hard-fought victory. Seniors Jim Barger, Bender, Dick Huffer, Gary Kortcamp, Madix, Jim Majors, Bill Wheat, and Jim Wheat led one of the most successful teams in school history.
1957...(8-7) District Champs Champaign opened the season with a 7-1 win over Villa Grove played in bitter cold weather at historic McKinley Field. The poor weather never let up as 8 games were cancelled and Coach Stewart remarked, "we had no weather in which we could practice, especially batting practice." Alum Dick Hyde earned his first MLB victory over the Yankees in mid-April. The Maroons lost 3 one-run games to Big 12 rival Danville. Champaign set a school record for runs in a game after defeating Unity 28-4. Junior Richie Green tied a school record when he went 5 for 5 in a win against ABL. In district play, Champaign defeated Cissna Park in thrilling fashion 2-1 played in Roberts. Champaign went on to defeat Roberts-Thawville 15-2 in the district title game. Champaign and Danville met once again on May 22 in regional play. The two teams played to a 12 inning 1-1 tie before play was suspended. The rule of the day was that the two teams had to return the next day to play an ENTIRE new game which Danville won 5-4. Seniors Don Clabaugh, John Cushingberry, Denny Dahl, Jim Huxtable, captain Don Hepler, Dick Kell, Ted Marshky, Jim Rohr, Mickey Warmbier and Mike Whelan led the way. On his way out the baseball door Stewart said, "hope Coach Due has the luck in the weather and I'm sure he will do an excellent job. I know the kids will like him and respect his knowledge of the game." Little did he know that Coach Due would go on to lead the program for 28 seasons. Coach Tommy Stewart closes with 52-36 record and .591 winning percentage.
1958...(18-5) District Champs Coach Charlie Due's inaugural season is a big success. Due, who assisted University of Illinois Coach Lee Eilbracht in 1957, became just the sixth coach at CHS since 1909. The new coach played two years at Illinois College in Jacksonville, two years in the Washington Senators and Chicago Cubs farm systems, and three years of service ball before coming to Illinois. Central won its first 6 games of the season. Virgil Jordan paced the Maroons at the plate with a .422 average. The Maroons beat Unity to win the district title before bowing out to Danville in the regional final 3-0...it was the Viking's 20th victory in a row. Seniors Bill Barret, Lee Bray, Jack Gasche, Richie Green, Max Overmyer, Bob Rasmussen (captain) and Jerry Summerville depart.
1959...(16-7) District Champs Senior lettermen included Virgil Jordan, Lee Schinker, Ron Selvey, and Phil Summers. The first eight games were lost due to weather, inadequate facilities, or poor turnouts by opposing schools. The Maroons finished 2nd in the Big 12 with a 6-2 record. Central defeated Oakwood and Jamaica to win the district title. The Maroons then advanced to the regional finals by defeating Milford 2-1 before losing to Danville for the second year in a row by a score of 7-0.
1960...(10-5) District Champs The Maroons again finished 2nd in the Big 12 standings but beat Danville for the first time in four years, a first in their last 13 attempts, on the strength of Jim Schum's one-hitter. Central defeated Unity and ABL to win another district title before losing to Donovan in the regional opener. Seniors Don Perceny, Bill Punkay, Jim Schum, Dan Skelton, and Jim Trigger depart.
1961...(19-4-1) Big 12 Champs, District Champs and Regional Champs The Maroons won the Big 12 Conference for the first time since 1940. Rich 'Rock' Callahan defeated Bloomington twice in one day, pitching the Maroons to both wins in a DH to conclude the season. Both games were won by the 10-run rule after 5 innings and the nightcap was highlighted by a Callahan no-hitter. One of the finest teams in school history, it finished one victory away from reaching the state tournament...finishing amongst the top 16 teams in the state. Val Bush led the offense with a .454 average while University of Illinois football recruit Callahan led the mound corps with 10 wins. Said Due of Bush, "He's as good a high school hitter as I've seen. He doesn't hit long, but he hits consistently which you don't often see in a high school lad. I've seen a number of Big Ten games this spring, and it's my opinion Val could play right now. He's faster than any second baseman I saw; scouts have timed him 03.7 to first base." The team stole a then school record 98 bases, hit .335, had an ERA less than 1.00, and committed just 44 errors. CHS defeated ABL and Villa Grove easily to win the District title. The Maroons next defeated Danville and Paris in thrilling fashion to capture the Regional title as Bush lined a walk-off bases loaded single in the championship tilt. Historic McKinley Field hosted the Sectional tournament and extra bleachers were installed to accommodate fans. Adult admission was 50 cents while students paid a quarter to see the games. Over 100 fans attended the Sectional opener, one in which the Maroons prevailed over Octavia by a score of 3-2 despite Bush playing with a throat infection. The Maroons lost to conference foe Decatur Eisenhower 1-0 in the Sectional championship game. Callahan won Athlete of the Year and Seely Johnston Awards. Seniors Bush, Callahan, George Peterson, Mike Peterson, and Phil Wilson depart.
1962...(13-8) District Champs and Regional Champs Due remarked "This years' club was essentially underclassmen. We won the district title and regional title and lost the first game of the sectional to Donovan 6-2. We finished high in the Big 12, our exact position unknown because of unfinished games. We finished 6-3 in conference play. This was by far our toughest schedule in the last 6 years the Maroons have played. Ably assisted by Mel Klitzing who did and outstanding coaching job. Only injury of the season was sprained ankle by sophomore Larry Bundy - this required x-rays and doctors call." Seniors Carl Punkay, Barry Moore, Bob Waller, Dave Fletcher, and Chuck Peabody led the team. Central opened tournament play with a 10-0 win over Villa Grove and then won the district title with 14-5 decision over ABL. Central next defeated Melvin-Sibley 4-2 and Danville 12-2 at historic McKinley Field to win the regional championship. The Maroons were then bested by Donovan, who won its 21st game in a row, in the Danville Sectional.
1963...(19-4) District Champs Jim Cavanaugh got the Maroons off to a great start by tossing a no-hitter in the opener against Gibson City at McKinley Field. Central one the first 5 games of the season before falling to Springfield 4-3 in 12 innings before rattling off six more straight victories. Ron Green stole second, third, and home after a walk in a victory against Tolono Unity. Don Slater tripled and scored on a wild pitch in the last inning to propel the Maroons to a 5-4 opening round victory in the district baseball tournament. Willie Jackson pitched and hit the Maroons to their 6th straight district title in a 13-2 victory over Ogden. However, in the regional semi-final played at historic McKinley Field, Willie Jackson's no-hit bid and the teams 4-0 lead were foiled by Danville in a 6-4 loss. To add insult to injury, the Vikings again beat the Maroons 5-2 a few days later in a contest that decided the Big 12 winner. Seniors Butch hauserman, Fred Klemm, Don Langoff, Willie Jackson, Jim Cavanaugh, Bill Peterson, and Mike Womacks depart.
1964...(9-10) District Champs The Maroons struggled offensively during the campaign and were no-hit three teams during the season. central opened tournament play with a 15-3 victory over Tolono Unity. Larry Bundy then tossed a no-hitter in the District championship game as the Maroons defeated St. Joseph-Ogden 9-0. Central then defeated Gibson City 8-2 before being defeated by Danville 5-2 in the regional championship contest at historic McKinley Field. Seniors Bundy and Brice McWethy led the team.
1965...(8-5-1) 23 players dressed for Varsity during a very wet spring. Said Due after the campaign, "What started out to be our most successful season, ended up being our most disappointing season." Central was undefeated until it lost its starting first baseman and clean-up hitter Lynn Peabody in a defeat against Lincoln. Central lost the opener in District play, committing 10 errors in a defeat against Tolono Unity. Danville then swept the Maroons to finish the season making it seven straight wins in the series dating back to the 1962 Sectional game. Seniors Renard Danenhower, Stan Kucharczyk, Lynn Peabody, Chuck Spencer, and John Stevens led the team.
1966...(15-4) Won Big 12 and District Titles for the first time in four seasons with an 8-2 conference record. Won 8th district title in 9 years. First time cuts were made in 9 years as 22 boys were kept to make roster more manageable. Coach Due commented that it worked better than to keep everyone around all year. It was a poor year for weather with many practices conducted in cold, wet conditions. 14 letter winners of which 8 were seniors and 5 were juniors. Lone sophomore Bruce Elliott led the team in hitting with a .368 average. The team won its first 5 games before being shutout by Danville making it 8 losses in a row to the Vikings. The Maroons later won the rematch at McKinley Field by a score of 6-2. Elliott tossed a no-hitter against Melvin-Sibley. Central defeated Tolono Unit 12-2 and and St. Joe-Ogden 5-0 to capture another District championship before losing to Danville 9-0 in the Regional opener. Seniors on the team were Randy Carr, Tom Deakin, Cecil King, Jim Leggett, Rich Patton, Rodney Peacock, Phil Rogers and Dave Trover.
1967...(17-2) Won Big 12, District and Regional Titles Central had a 15 game winning streak and 16 consecutive pitchers hurled complete games for Charlie Due's nine. The Maroons won another District title defeating Tolono Unity 23-0 and Deland-Weldon 8-0. Central then won the Regional championship by defeating St. Anne 9-3 and Danville 5-2. Newton snapped the Maroons 15 game winning streak in the regional opener by a score of 8-6.
1968...(20-8) Won Big 12 Title and State Qualifier. The Maroons were defeated by Rockford Guilford 3-1 in the state semifinals in a year when Peoria Manual won the title. It was the first time the Maroons had qualified for the state semi-finals since 1940. Willard Ashby, father of catcher Dave Ashby, was a member of the Central's three state tournament teams from 1940-1942. Pete Elliott, former University of Illinois football coach, watched sons Bruce and Dave lead the Maroons during the post-season. Bruce was 11-1 on the mound and led the team with a .407 batting average while brother Dave hit .344. In the first head-to-head meeting in any sport, Central bested Centennial 2-0 in the opening round tournament play before erasing an early 4-0 deficit prior to defeating host Tolono Unity 14-4 in the district semi-finals. Central then ended the first Urbana baseball season in decades with a thrilling 3-2 victory in the district championship game. The Maroons next opened regional play at historic McKinley Field with a 5-0 victory over Potomac. In the rain-delayed final, Central defeated Danville 7-2 at Illinois Field. The Maroons next traveled to Danville where they defeated Decatur St. Teresa 4-1 in sectional play. Bruce Elliott then tossed his third no-hitter of the season and rapped two triples to propel Champaign Central to a 2-0 victory over Normal and a trip to the state tournament. The Maroons won their tenth straight game in the state opener defeating Springfield Griffin 7-3 before bowing to Rockford Guilford in the semis. Seniors Sam Ayers and Bruce Elliott led the Maroons to "State in '68!"
1969...(8-13) Despite winning 5 of its first 6 games, the Maroons struggled to end the season. Due remarked after the campaign, "We played our entire schedule and had a very disappointing season. We lost to Urbana three times counting the District Tournament. Gave 14 letters plus 2 managers." Seniors were Pat Fitzgerald, Rich Glover, Chris Hansen, Steve Mayberry, Craig Pierce, Marty Schroeder, and Dave White.
1970...(7-13) Coach Due remarked in his end of season report, "Rather poor season. Did poorly in conference, finishing 7th. Expect better results next year." Seniors Dave Ashby, Dan Carlier, and Steve LaRocque led the Maroons into a new decade.
1971...(12-10) "Mediocre season with basically under classmen team. Won 4 out of last 5 games. Highlight of the season was beating St. Joe-Ogden (14-4) 2-0 and Centennial 2-1 in district play. Excellent weather all season. Looking forward to respectability next season but everyone else will be improved," remarked Coach Due in his end-of-season report. The first high school game played under the lights at Centennial Field was a victory for the Maroons. On that evening of April 14, the Maroons defeated Pontiac 14-3. The team turned a triple play against Decatur MacArthur on April 24. Seniors Dave Anderson, Bob Blackwell, Ron Chambers, Mike Stahl, Howie Walker, and Gary Wells led the squad.
1972...(16-5) Won Big 12 Title (12-2) Seniors Jim Cantrell, Eric Hinds, Greg Massanari, Kent Seaman, Tom Stewart led the Maroons to a Big 12 Championship. Cantrell and Seaman combined on a no-hitter to begin the season in a 3-0 victory over Freeport at historic McKinley Field. Cantrell fired a no-hitter against Charleston on the evening of April 26th at Centennial Field. The Maroons won seven in a row prior to losing the District opener to St. Joe-Ogden 3-2. The Maroons rebounded to sweep Springfield and Mattoon to capture the Big 12 title.
1973...(9-10) "We started the season 6-0 then slipped badly. This was the worst spring weather wise in the past 16 seasons. We lost senior Mike Seibold in our first game versus Danville" remarked Coach Due at the end of the season. Central lost six in a row after winning their first six games. Mike Siebold broke his leg in the first game of the year. Central defeated St. Joe-Ogden 3-1 in the District opener before losing a 2-1 heartbreaking 8 inning affair to Centennial in the District Title game played at historic McKinley Field. It was the first ever baseball defeat at the hands of the Chargers. Urbana won a share of the Big 12 Title. Seniors Lou Due, Mike Miller, Roger Parro, Calvin Pollard, Mike Seibold, and Mike Wilson led the Maroons.
1974...(11-9) Coach Due promises to implement his famous 'slot' defense again in 1974. A defense that included 5 infielders and left Right field open because as Due put it "no high school hitter will have skill enough to place - hit a ball to the open right field." A young club which finished about .500 in the Big 12 Conference was led by seniors Jeff Corley, Jeff Evans, Norm Nielsen, John Phillips, Pat Pierce, and Dick Pittman. Central turned a triple play as second baseman Jeff Corley speared a line drive then touched second and threw to first to force to wandering MacArthur runners in a night game at Centennial Field. In the District opener, Central defeated Urbana 11-7 propelled by a Dick Pittman grand slam. The Maroons next defeated Centennial in the District championship by a score of 7-4. Central then defeated Rantoul 3-2 in the regional opener which ended the Eagles' first year of spring baseball. Central was then no-hit by lefty Ed Sempsrott (his fourth of the season) of Danville who struck out 20 Maroon batters in the regional championship contest.
1975...(12-9) Seniors Doug Abolt, Mark Everette, Kevin Seaman, Mark Tymchyshyn, and Steve Yount led the Maroons to a second place finish in the Big 12. Highlights of the season included defeating Urbana three times. The Maroons were bested by budding rival Centennial 3-1 in the District championship game at historic McKinley Field.
1976...(17-7) Big 12 Champs. Won District and Regional Title before bowing out to Danville in Sectional Final 6-2. Team won 11 games in a row and is one of only 10 teams to qualify for sectional play in school history. Seniors Brian Christie, Karl Kern, Mike Phillips, Scott Rafferty, Dan Rebecca, Tom Sawtelle, and Dale Schweighart led the Maroons to one of its most successful seasons in history. Four players made first annual All Big 12 Team = Kern, Phillips, Rafferty, Sawtelle. Honorable Mention = Schweighart. Shortly after the historic campaign, Charlie Due called the team "the best hitting team from top to bottom that I have ever been associated with." Defeated Centennial and Normal to with the District title. Defeated Flanagan and Ottawa Marquette to with the Regional Title. Defeated Decatur MacArthur in Sectional semifinal before losing to Danville in the championship.
1977...(11-8) The Maroons finished 4th in the Big 12 Conference with an 8-6 league mark. Central lost the first game of tournament play in heartbreaking fashion to cross-town rival Centennial and pitcher Chuck Knight 1-0. 1st Team Big 12 - Bruce Brown, Greg Gadel Honorable Mention Big 12 - Chris Wicks Seniors Bruce Brown, Steve Cler, Jacques Cook, Greg gadel, Roger Heiser, Dale Jinks, John Pierce, Bill Plottner and Chris Wicks were the leaders.
1978...(14-3) Won Big 12 Title and Regional Title The first year of the two-class IHSA baseball tournament. It was the first time the Maroons won the conference title since 1972 with a 9-1 league ledger. Sweeps of Danville and Urbana wer highlights of the campaign. In the Regional, Central defeated Paris 9-2, Urbana 2-1 in thrilling walk-off fashion (and 11th straight win over the Tigers dating back to '74), before defeating Mattoon 2-1 in 9 innings to capture the plaque. In the Sectional opener, Central lost 2-0 to Decatur MacArthur. Jim Donelson paced the Maroons at the plate with a .389 average while Ferguson was a stalwart on the mound with a 6-0 record and 1.09 ERA. Seniors Paul Clark, Dan Crowell, Tim Ferguson, Rob Hildreth, Mike Leathers, Shawn Stahl and Ron Wilson led the way. Big 12 performers - Hildreth, Ferguson, Rob Phillips, Paul Pierce, Jim Donelson.
1979...(8-8) 45 players made the squad with 11 receiving letters. 8 Seniors participated. Finished near the bottom of the Big 12. Seniors Tim Dugan, Jim Donelson, Dave O'Neill, Rob Phillips, Paul Pierce, Kyle Redi, Greg Rogers, and Rob Sackett led the squad. 1st team Big 12 - Rogers
1980...(7-13) 55 players tried out and no cuts were made as only 4 kids dropped from the program. The first seven games on the schedule were postponed due to wet weather. David Beres, Dan McMahon, Grant Murray, Tony Peterson, Lou Wicks were the seniors for Coach Due in '80. 1st team Big 12 - Wicks Honorable Mention Big 12 - Peterson
1981...(11-9) Coach Due fielded a very young team that reached the regional championship game. 55 players participated and 13 letters were awarded. Seniors Dave Buckles, John Walker, and Mark Swartzendruber led the team.
1982...(19-5) Won Big 12 Title outright (11-3 record) 56 players in the program of which 13 earned letters during the successful campaign. Seniors Bob Bayne, Eric Detamore, Chris Raymond, and Mark Tufte led the group. Bayne, Preston Raad, and Dennis Stahl were all Big 12 first team selections while Chad Little, Scott Norrick, and John Patrizi were tabbed to the Honorable Mention team.
1983...(16-5) Won Big 12 Title (tied with Lincoln) 55 players participated with 13 winning letters. Seniors Dave Courson, Ken Koebrich, Chad Little, Ed Logan, Scott Norrick, John Patrizi, Preston Raad, Neil Rafferty, Craig raymond, Rob Schuster, Dennis Stahl, and Dave Washington led the squad. First team Big 12 selections were Little, Patrizi, Raad, Rafferty, Stahl and Junior Rick Aeilts. Honorable Mention selections were Koebrich, Norrick, and Raymond.
1984...(9-9) 42 players participated of which 14 lettered. No Fresh/Soph team. First team Big 12 performers were infield Rick Aeilts and catcher Matt Joop. Dave Murray was selected to the conference Honorable Mention team. Seniors Rick Aeilts, Gary Coffee, Matt Joop, Dave Murray, John Patterson, Brian Stahl, Tim West, and Ken Whited depart.
1985...(9-11) Coach Charlie Due closes with 360-209-2 record and .630 winning percentage 45 players of which 16 were awarded letters in Charlie Due's final season before tragically dying of a heart attack after officiating a football game on September 13, 1985. He was just 56 years old. He wrote the following words on his final End of the Season report..."A building year - showed much improvement at the end of the season." Seniors Mike Campbell, Lyndell Clemons, Pat Collins, Dave Hanoka, Todd Sackett, and Greg Trick led his final team. Charlie was inducted into the IHSBCA Hall of Fame on February 6, 1986.
1986...(11-10) 33 players participated and 18 received letters during John Lindstrom's first year as head coach. The Maroons were led by seniors Jim Alexander, Randy "Mo" Buhr, Matt Deering, Dave Gerard, Todd Lienhart, and Scott Shoop. The team finished second in the Big 12 East Division. Big 12 1st team - Andy Schuster, Alexander Big 12 Honorable Mention - Byron Smith, Mark Ohrenstein, Anthony Williams.
1987...(11-15) First year with a newly remodeled Fieldhouse at historic McKinley Field. The Maroons had an up-and-down season and finished 4-6 in the league. Highlights of the year included victories over Centennial and Urbana. Andy Schuster led the offense with a 16 game hitting streak and a .456 average. Rob Barham tossed over 86 innings and registered 111 strikeouts to lead the pitching corps. Barham was the Charlie Due Scholarship Award recipient. Seniors Barham, James Clemons, Jason Davis, Matt Hendren, Andy Libman, Mark Ohrnstein, Brock Petrie, Byron Smith, Anthony Williams, and Charlie Younger depart.
1988...(10-20) 37 players participated and 14 received letters in '88. The Maroons defeated Decatur MacArthur 0n 4-9-88 in the first high school game ever played at the University of Illinois Proano Stadium. Coach John Lindstrom closes first stint with a 32-45 record to concentrate on AD duties. Central upset Pontiac and Bloomington in regional play before losing to NCHS in the championship. 1st team Big 12 was Andy Schuster who also won the Charlie Due Scholarship Award. Seniors Jim Helmick, Doug McIntosh, Andy Schuster, and Phil Tousey led the Maroons.
1989...(13-20) 30 players participated with 16 receiving letters. Coach Randy Skaggs guided the Maroons in his only season as head coach. Several improvements were made to the field, two batting cages were erected, a pitching machine and screens were also purchased. More games were added to both schedules. The Fresh/Soph team finished 9-18. 1st team Big 12 - Andy Farthing. Special mention Big 12 - Brent Rakers. Honorable Mention Big 12 - Michael Clemons and Marc Funkhouser. Held first ever coaches clinic. Held first ever alumni game. Funkhouser was the Charlie Due Scholarship Award winner. Seniors Michael Clemons, Andy Farthing, Marc Funkhouser, Dan Jonas, Chris Nicholas, Brent Rakers, and Tracy Rodgers led the team. Skaggs departs with a 13-20 record and a .394 winning percentage.
1990...(7-13) 38 players participated and 17 letters were issued during the season. 1st team Big 12 - Nate Baker and Rob Mills. Coach Lindstrom remarked "...lost 16 scheduled games due to weather. Lack of experience and injuries hampered season." Baker was the recipient of the Charlie Due Scholarship Award. Seniors Nate Baker, Chad Detamore, Adam Hausermann, Rob Mills, Chris Pfaus, Rob Schroeder, Eric Simmons led the Maroons.
1991...(11-18) 36 players participated and 12 letters were awarded during the campaign. Captains were David Krug and Chad Rakers. 1st team Big 12 - Rakers. Krug won the Charlie Due Scholarship Award. Honorable Mention Big 12 - Ford. Head coach John Lindstrom "with three starters from the '90 team returning, we expected at least a .500 season. However, with some eligibility problems, injuries, and a strong conference, we did not meet our expectations. We played a strong non-conference schedule...Chicago Marist, Charleston, Peoria, Mt. Zion, Bradley." Seniors Sean Ford, Eric Helfer, David Krug, Troy Nash, and Kevin Nelson depart.
1992...(17-15) 37 players participated and 19 letters were issued. It was the first winning season since 1986. Chad Rakers was MVP and the recipient of the Charlie Due Scholarship Award. Shaundell Clemons tossed two no-hitters. Seniors Ernesto Alcaraz, Clemons, Scott Eissfeldt, Rakers, and Mark Sandquist led the team. 1st team Big 12 - Clemons and Rakers. Honorable Mention Big 12 - Alcaraz. Coach John Lindstrom closes with 67-91 record and .414 winning percentage.
1993...(20-15) Regional Champs 36 players participated in a stellar '93 campaign as the Maroons won their first regional title in 13 years. Central was defeated in sectional 4-3 in 11 innings by Decatur MacArthur which advanced to state quarterfinals. 15 Varsity letters were awarded while the JV compiled a 9-10 record. Head Coach Lee Hull commented "This team started to play exceedingly well late in the season and was a live shot to go to state. Represented school very well." Finished 10-6 in the Big 12 and tied for 4th place in the league standings. MVPs were McFarland brothers with Erick winning the Charlie Due Scholarship Award. Most improved - Alcaraz. Spirit Award - Tabeling. 1st Team Big 12 - Erick McFarland led area in RBI, Derrick McFarland led area in hits and runs scored, Dan O'Neill led team with .472 average. Honorable Mention Big 12 - Ryan Tabeling led team with 8 pitching victories and Mike Fay. 1st team All Area McFarland brothers. 2nd team All Area - O'Neill and Tabeling. JV POY - Matt Davis. Seniors Renato Alcaraz, Tim Evans, Mike Fay, Floyd Fisher, Tad McDaniel, Derrick McFarland, Erick McFarland, Andy Schuster, and Jason Sempsrott led the team.
1994...(9-16) Remarked Hull at the end of the season, "We were a young team that hit .320 as a team, but we made too many errors and walked too many batters." With 1st Team All Area selection Dan O'Neill out with the flu, the Maroons lost the regional opener 4-3 against Danville. MVP was O'Neill. MVPitcher Ryan Tabeling. Most Improved Terrance Butler. 1st team Big 12 - O'Neill and Tabeling. Honorable Mention Big 12 - Butler and John Kitson. 2nd team All Area - Butler and Tabeling. Charlie Due Scholarship winner was Tabeling. Seniors Kitson, Josh May, and Tabeling depart.
1995...(18-16-1) 36 players survived tryouts and 16 players lettered for Coach Lee Hull. Highlights of the season included back-to-back no-hitters for Terrance Butler and Ben Mast. Neil Cox homered twice against Hoopeston. 1st team Big 12 performers were Butler, Mast and Dan O'Neill. O'Neill was 1st team NG All Area while Butler was tabbed to 2nd team. Big 12 Honorable mention selections were Korley Anderson and Jimmy Brewer. Mast was chosen by his teammates as the Most Valuable Pitcher and O'Neill MVP. Most Improved were Anderson, Cox and Matt Kelly. The Maroons finished 2nd in the Big 12 Conference with an 8-2 mark. In regional play, Central defeated Kankakee in the Rantoul prior to tackling a powerful Bradley Bourbonnais squad. The Maroons came within one out of advancing to the regional finals before succumbing to the Boilers in extra innings. O'Neill, one of the greatest players in CHS history, graduated leading several career offensive categories and won the Charlie Due Scholarship Award. Seniors Matt Davis, Mike Hartter, Mast and O'Neill depart.
1996...(19-15) 15 players earned letters for Coach Lee Hull. Central started the season well with a 6-0 mark and it finished 8-8 in the Big 12 Conference. Triton recruit Terrance Butler led the team in several categories and was named to 1st team Big 12 with Jimmy Brewer. Honorable Mention Big 12 was Nate Mast. Butler was named MVP and MVPitcher by his peers and was selected to 1st team NG All Area. Dave Kitson was voted Most Improved and Mast was voted MVPitcher as well. Charlie Gorski won the Charlie Due Scholarship Award. The Maroons were bounced by future MLB pitcher Jason Anderson and the Danville Vikings 10-0. In other city baseball news, University High revived its baseball programs after a long hiatus. Seniors Korley Anderson, Brewer, Butler, Matt Kelly, Neil Cox, Gorski, Ryan Williams, Joe Wojtena and Matt Crews depart.
1997...(7-24) The Maroons struggled from the start as three potential pitchers were lost to injury and/or eligibility. Highlights of the season included DH sweeps of conference foes Normal Community and Decatur Eisenhower as well as a victory over Urbana. Central finished 3-13 in league play. The Maroons dropped their second consecutive regional opener to a 31-2 Danville squad that went on to qualify for the sectional tournament. The Vikings again prevailed by a 10-0 score. The team was led by captain and MVP Nate Mast. Mast was tabbed to the Big 12 All Conference team while Jared Flynn and Carlin Whitesell were selected to the Honorable Mention Big 12 team. Flynn was voted Most Valuable Pitcher and Joel Kaplan garnered the Most Improved Award. Mast was the Charlie Due scholarship winner. 13 players received letters while seniors Matt Dhom, Joey Froeschl, Dave Kitson, John Loftsgaard, Mast, Andy Nicol, Brent Snyder and Whitesell depart. Coach Lee Hull closes with 73-86-1 record and a .456 winning percentage.
1998...(6-21) 19 players saw varsity action for Lou Sitch's first year as skipper of the Maroons. 16 players lettered. A difficult year highlighted by four losses to crosstown rival Centennial. Finished 2-12 in the Big 12. Team captains were Joel Kaplan and Michael Sitch. David Todd was voted most improved. Jared Flynn was voted Offensive Player of the Year Shannon Kahler was selected as Defensive Player of the Year. Flynn was MVP and won the Charlie Due Scholarship Award. Flynn was also named to the Big 12 All Conference team while Todd made the honorable mention team. A doubleheader sweep against conference foe MacArthur as well as wins against Mahomet, Urbana and Unity were highlights of the campaign. Central did battle a stout Centennial team in a 4-3 loss in the regional opener. Sitch remarked, "...a tough year all the way around. Hard to capture a year like this in words." Seniors Chris Dobrovolny, Spencer Dobrovolny, Flynn, Kahler, Kaplan, Todd and Jeff Trigger Jr. depart.
1999...(11-23) First year of Freshman baseball in school history as Kerry Rodeffer and John Staab were hired as assistants. 'Rody' coached the freshman while Staab coached the JV while also serving serving as the 1st base coach for the varsity team. Varsity improved to 11 wins overall and a 3-13 mark in the league. 21 players saw varsity action while 13 were awarded letters. The Maroons again lost four games to their crosstown rivals. Speaking of the Chargers, lights were added to Centennial field in April making it the only diamond in town with lights at a cost of $18,000. The Maroons lost a 10-1 decision to Centennial in the regional opener. The Chargers went on to win 36 games and qualify for the state tournament. Sitch remarked, "Made improvements over last year. Kept shooting selves in the foot. Team played better than record indicates. Team played hard all year long except maybe a handful of games. Maturing program is beginning to take shape." Team captains were Tyler Bennett and Michael Sitch. MOP was Ryan Hiner. Most Improved was Hiner. MVD were Ryan Baumann and Sitch. Hiner was named to Honorable Mention Big 12 team. Sitch was named 1st Team All Conference and won the Charlie Due scholarship award. Seniors Baumann, Ryan Kelly, Clayton Overstreet, Sitch and Derek Vaughn depart.
2000...(15-22) Most wins for the program in four years. 19 players saw varsity action and 14 received letters. Finished 4-12 in the Big 12. Sitch stated, "Struggled at the plate with a .255 team batting average. Played some very good baseball at the end of the year beating three 20-win teams. Team continued to show improvement all year long. Over the past three years have gone from 5 to 15 wins and every phase is improving." Captains were Tyler Bennett, Matt Clegg and John Martinie. OPY was Brian Daly who hammered 6 homers during the campaign. DPY was Clegg. Daly was named to 1st team Big 12 Conference team. Honorable Mention Big 12 selections were Matt Clegg, Brett Czjakowski and John Martinie. The Maroons upset Kankakee in the regional opener, the program's first postseason victory in 5 years, before losing to Mahomet 2-1 in 8 innings...the Bulldogs went on to qualify for the state tournament. Clegg was the recipient of the Charlie Due Scholarship Award. Seniors Bennett, Clegg, Czjakowski, Daly and Ryan Hiner depart.
2001...(11-24-1) 36 players made Varsity and JV rosters for the Maroons. A promising start more the Maroons as they raced to a 4-1-1 start. John Martinie tied a school record by fanning 19 Casey-Westfield batters. Centennial won the Charlie Due Tournament by defeating the Maroons and Bradley Bourbonnais. After the Maroons shut out a stout Mt. Zion team to improve to 5-4-1, the team lost nine out of their next ten games. In one of the greatest games in the crosstown rivalry series, the Maroons dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker in 16 innings at Centennial Field. Martinie struck out 14 in the first 11 innings of the contest. Central lost the game on a controversial play at the plate on a batter interference call that was not enforced after a strikeout would have ended the inning. The Maroons lost the rematch by a score of 6-5 at McKinley Field, stranding the tying run at 2nd base. It was the twentieth straight defeat at the hands of the Chargers. The Maroons swept conference foes Decatur MacArthur and Rantoul. Central finished 3-7 in the league and dropped a 9-2 decision to Danville in the regional opener at historic Danville Stadium. Martinie was the winner of the Charlie Due Scholarship Award. Seniors Matt Logsdon, Jason Marry, Martinie, Rory Overmyer and Mike Vriner depart. Coach Lou Sitch closes with a 43-91-1 record and a .319 winning percentage
2002...(9-20) Charlie Due Tournament Champions Nearly 50 players tried out and 39 survived Selection Week for John Staab who became just the 13th baseball coach since the 1909 season. 22 lettered for the Maroons which began the season strong winning 4 of its first 6 and the Charlie Due Tournament Championship in thrilling fashion. Sophomore Alex Dye pitched a complete game against Pontiac in the opener and the Maroons rallied to defeat the defending state champions in the championship. Central scored two runs in the bottom of the 7th inning to walk off Bradley-Bourbonnais. It was the first time the Maroons won the Due. Another highlight was ending an eight year drought to their crosstown rivals. Following 20 straight defeats, The Maroons finally bested the Chargers 9-8 in thrilling walk-off fashion at historic McKinley Field. Central defeated non-conference foe Mahomet but limped down the stretch and finished 2-12 in Big 12 play. The Maroons hosted regional play at but lost their opener 6-2 to eventual regional champion Lincoln. Team captains were Eric Burge and Dan Thurston. Burge led the offense with a .449 average, was voted MVP and named 1st team Big 12 while Brian Deters was an Honorable Mention Big 12 selection. Ryan Logsdon led the pitching staff with 16 appearances and 3 wins. Burge was the recipient of the Charlie Due Scholarship Award. Seniors Mark Baumann, Burge, Chase Daugherty, Brian Deters, Andrew Harrington, Steve Layman, Ryan Logsdon, Dave Mangian, Griffin Mulcahey, Dan Thurston, and Brandon Wright depart. Ryan Logsdon will play at Monmouth College
2003...(16-18) Charlie Due Tournament Champions Central began to turn the corner as only 13 teams in school history had won more games than the 2003 Maroons. 40 players survived Selection Week. Champaign raced to a 9-2 mark to begin the season with signature wins against Mahomet and Mount Zion. Although Centennial was favored by Centennial to win the Charlie Due Tournament, the Maroons defeated the Chargers 7-5 to win the title for the second consecutive year. The Maroons struggled in conference play but defeated league foes Centennial, Rantoul, Decatur Eisenhower and swept Bloomington at the end of the season. Alex Dye tossed a no-hitter against Eisenhower, fanning 13 Panther batters in the contest. Three losses to Urbana, including the regional semifinal game, was a low point. The JV team was 19-10. MVPitcher was Tim Carey, MVDefense was Ross Hiner, MVHitter was Chris Elliott, Practice Player Award was Hiner and Ross also was voted MVP by his teammates. Dane Wallace led the team with a .388 average while Hiner fielded .980. Dye led the pitchers with 5 wins and 3.63 ERA. Hiner won the Charlie Due Scholarship Award. Seniors Ryne Crawford, Hiner, and Brent Moore depart. Ross Hiner will play at Illinois Institute of Technology
2004...(19-16) 57 players expressed interest in trying out and 44 players survived Selection Week. First year of the leaf raking fundraiser netted $3000. A solid non-conference schedule produced an early 6-5 record with wins over Charleston, Mahomet and Pontiac. The Maroons had one of its best finishes in the Big 12 Conference in years. Central's 8-6 conference ledger was good for 4th place behind twenty game winners Normal Community, Mattoon and Normal West. Central culminated it's conference season with a dramatic come-from-behind victory over Big 12 Champ Normal Community at historic McKinley Field. The Maroons scored six runs in the bottom of the 7th inning to prevail 9-8 over the Ironmen. Central then defeated Urbana 6-2 to open regional play. It was the first postseason victory for the program since the 2000 campaign. The host Maroons next dropped an 11-1 decision to evential state-qualifier Normal Community in the regional championship game. It was the program's first appearance in the regional championship contest in 11 years. The program took a big step forward as only three teams had won more games in school history. Alex Dye, Chris Elliott and Dane Wallace were selected to the Big 12 All Conference 1st team. Varsity MOP was Dane Wallace, MVH Chris Elliott, MVD Alex Dye and MVP Wallace. JV MOH was Mike Martinie, MVH Cam Strang, MVD Mitch Kresca and MVP's Martinie and Strang. Frosh MVP was Derek Leemon and Practice Player Award Aub Greenberg and Kevin Murphy. Elliott led the offense with a .449 average while Wallace led the pitching staff with 6 wins and a 2.73 ERA. Dye was the Charlie Due Scholarship Award recipient. Team stats were .336 BA, .935 F%, 4.32 ERA. Seniors Tim Carey, Nick Clegg, Dye, Elliott, Frank Giammaria, Brian Murphy, Kevin Sitch, Wallace and Jason Yambert helped lead Central to its first winning season since 1996. Chris Elliott and Dane Wallace will play at Augustana College. Alex Dye will play at Kankakee Community College.
2005...(23-13) Charlie Due Tournament Champions and Big 12 Champions 43 players survived Selection Week and 17 Varsity players embarked upon one of the most memorable seasons in school history. Beginning the season with a lackluster 3-4, the Maroons caught fire after getting stuck in a traffic jam on the way to a contest against Armstrong-Potomac. The Maroons arrived and Colin Crawford drove in a school-record 8 runs to lead the visitors to a 21-9 victory. The next day the Maroons beat Springfield Southeast before Zack Flynn tossed a two-hit shutout against powerful Tinley Park Andrew in the Charlie Due Tournament Championship game. Central then went on to defeat Argenta-Oreana and Unity to conclude non-conference play. The Maroons opened conference play with a thrilling 12-11 victory over Normal West at historic McKinley Field. Alex Acheson hit a walk-off single to drive in Cam Strang, who had doubled three times in the game, with the winning run in the 8th inning. It was the first win over the Wildcats in a decade. Central then swept Centennial with complete game efforts from Pat Donovan and Flynn. Drake Wallace punished the Chargers by pounding six hits in the intracity series. The Maroons ran its conference record to 4-0 with a win over Decatur MacArthur. After losing its first conference game to Mattoon, the Maroons bounced back two days later to defeat the Green Wave for the first time in a decade. Acheson rapped four hits and Tucker Strang drove in four runs in the contest. Mike Martinie next ran his record to 4-0 after a complete game victory against Decatur Eisenhower. Central then briefly stepped out of the conference to travel to Mt. Zion and defeated a stout Brave team 10-8 in extra innings with Acheson's 2-run homer in the 10th inning proving to be the difference. Returning to Big 12 action, Andy Cekander pounded seven hits to propel the Maroons to a doubleheader sweep of host Normal Community. Unfortunately catcher Crawford broke his wrist in the opener of the twinbill. The Maroons next swept Danville behind solid pitching performances from Martinie and Donovan. In the second game against the Vikings, played on a beautiful day at historic McKinley Field, the hosts rallied to score four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to win 5-4 after RBI hits from John Beck, Mitch Kresca and Martinie. The Maroons next hosted a doubleheader with conference foe Bloomington with the league title on the line. On a beautiful day at historic McKinley Field, the Maroons appeared to defeat the Raiders on a walk-off single by Acheson in the bottom of the seventh. However, base runner Cekander ran into the celebration instead of touching second base and was called out on an appeal by the Bloomington coaching staff. The Raiders went on to sweep Central after Wallace hurt his pitching arm and Cekander was ejected. For those who believe in Karma, it was the first time Coach Staab failed to rub the team's good luck charm, John Beck's Buddha, prior to a game and the coaching staff could not find pitching coach Bob Weatherford's lucky bucket in time to be used during the contest. The cardiac Maroons (had 12 come-from-behind victories) next orchestrated another come-from-behind victory at crosstown rival Urbana 12-10 before narrowly beating the Tigers two days later to secure their first conference title in 22 years. The team traveled for an overnight stay in Galesburg to compete in the Silver Streak Classic. In the regional opener the Maroons squandered leads of 3-1, 4-2, and 6-5 before losing a heart-breaking 8-6 extra inning affair to Urbana at Centennial Field. Freshman Practice Player Award Taylor Downey, Frosh MVP Nick Kresca, JV Practice Player Kye Kibler, JV MOP James Katsinas, JV MOH Brett Anderson, JV MVD Rob Smith, JV MVP Brett Anderson. Varsity Practice Player Andy Cekander, Var MOP Zack Flynn, Var MOH Alex Acheson, Var MVD Cam Strang and MVP Acheson. 1st team Big 12 performers were Cekander, Tucker Strang, Wallace, Acheson and Flynn. 1st team News Gazette All Area were Acheson (NG Player of the Year), Cekander and Tucker Strang. Seniors Ian Anderson, Andy Cekander, Pat Donovan, Tucker Strang and Drake Wallace left a lasting legacy with their leadership during the record-breaking season. Andy Cekander will play at Kankakee CC and Tucker Strang will play at Arkansas Tech University.
2006...(30-7) Charlie Due Tournament Champions, Galesburg Silver Streak Classic Tournament Champions, Big 12 Champions Nearly 60 players expressed interest in trying out and 50 survived Selection Week to secure a roster spot. Former U of I coach Itch Jones spoke at the First Pitch Banquet. 1961 alum and MLB draft selection Val Bush tossed the first pitch of the Charlie Due Tournament. Mike Martinie tossed a no-hitter against Springfield Southeast in the semifinal and Eric Wilson hit a three-run homer to help defeat Geneva 7-6 in the title tilt. The Maroons defeated a very formidable Mt. Zion squad in dramatic fashion. After officially signing his letter of intent to play at Evansville University that morning, Alex Acheson hit a walkoff triple to erase a two-run deficit in the last inning of a 12-11 victory over the Braves that afternoon at historic McKinley Field. The only two non-conference defeats came at the hands of pitchers heading to ISU - Pontiac's Chris Newsome and Elk Grove's Ryan Copeland. Central's Eric Wilson had a banner day against perennial conference power Normal West on the first sun-splashed day of conference play in Normal. He belted two homers, drove in seven runs, and registered a save in a 9-8 victory over the Wildcats. The Maroons went on to win the nightcap to register its first sweep of West in school history. The Maroons next swept the intracity series by dominating Centennial. Zack Flynn and Cam Strang tossed complete games as the Maroons defeated the Chargers 13-3 and 10-2. The Maroons next steamrolled Decatur MacArthur by blanking them in a doubleheader before next defeating Mattoon 14-4 to extend their winning streak to 15 games. The streak ended at Mattoon as the Green Wave walked-off the visitors in a 2-1 thriller. The Maroons rebounded to defeat Decatur Eisenhower and Normal Community by convincing scores before sweeping Danville to set a new school record of 24 wins. In the series with the Vikings, Flynn and Martinie notched complete game victories and Wilson hit his 8th homer of the season setting a new school record. Central was swept at league-leading Bloomington which put a damper on their efforts to secure its second consecutive Big 12 Title. However, the Maroons prevailed in two come-from-behind victories against crosstown rival Urbana to capture the Big 12 crown. Acheson hit a dramatic grand slam late in the second game to seal the victory. While the Maroons were disposing the Tigers, Bloomington lost conference games to Danville and Normal Community. The Maroons went on to defeat Peoria Notre Dame, Peoria Woodruff and East Peoria in the Galesburg Silver Streak Classic. The Maroons bested Danville for a third time to open regional play at historic McKinley Field. The Maroons scored 16 runs in the first inning in a game was suspended by rain and completed the following day resulting in a final score of 23-13. Unfortunately the Maroons fell to their recent nemesis Bloomington 5-1 in the regional final. It was the first 30 win team in school history. 1st team Big 12 performers were Acheson, Martinie, Cam Strang, and Wilson. Honorable mention was Flynn. Aceson, Strang, and Wilson were named to the News Gazette All Area 1st team with Acheson again capturing Player of the Year honors. Frosh MVP - Mark Pataky. JV practice player Award - Nick Kresca. JVMVP - Kresca, JV MOHitter Kresca, JVMODefense - Alec Gillespie, JVMOPitcher - Ben Freeman. VAR practice player - Wilson, VARMVP - Acheson, VAR MOH - Wilson, VARMOD - Strang, VARMOP - Martinie. Seniors responsible for the record-setting season were Acheson, John Beck, Colin Crawford, Flynn, Sam Freeland, Mitch Kresca, Martinie, and Will Schoell. Alex Acheson will play at Evansville University
2007...(17-18-1) Charlie Due Tournament Champions 65 players expressed interest in trying out for the program and 51 showed up for the first practice, one in which Coach Rodeffer suffered a broken eye socket and orbital bone when he was stuck by a line drive. 44 players survived Selection Week. Former Illini and MLB player Darren Fletcher spoke to the boys at the First Pitch Banquet. In a doubleheader sweep to begin the season, Ben Freeman tossed a no-hitter against Armstrong Potomac. About 30 campers attended a Spring Break Baseball Camp. After stumbling against Charleston and St. Joe, the Maroons defeated Villa Grove 26-2 and James katsinas fired a no-hitter in the nightcap of a doubleheader sweep of Pontiac. Central then split a couple games at the Tuscola Tournament before tying Mahomet at McKinley Field. The Maroons then tied Mahomet before winning its third consecutive Charlie Due title. Eric Wilson was 5 for 5 on the day and Cam Strang notched two saves as the Maroons defeated Georgetown-Ridgefarm and Oswego East on a frigid day with the wind chill in the teens. The 1968 Maroon team that qualified for state was honored prior to the first pitch of the tournament. Central next defeated Argenta-Oreana and Unity prior to conference play. Central sported a 10-3-1 heading into Big 12 play but stumbled as they were routed by Bloomington and lost one-run games to Urbana before upsetting Normal Community on a day Coach Staab was serving a one game suspension for an ejection in the Urbana series for arguing a check swing call by the umpire. Central was then swept in the Danville series before defeating Decatur Eisenhower and sweeping Decatur MacArthur. In the Mattoon series, the Maroons rebounded from an 18-0 rout to defeat the Green Wave two days later at historic McKinley Field. After being swept by Normal West the Maroons played their best baseball of the year as they swept a series with crosstown rival Centennial. James Katsinas pitched a complete game victory in the first game and Cam Strang duplicated the feat under the lights at Centennial field two days later. Unfortunately, the team lost its last four games of the season including three in the galesburg tournament and the regional opener to Normal West. Staab coached the last game with his jaw wired shut after being struck in the jaw by a pitched baseball during a practice. Strang and Wilson were named 1st team Big 12, 1st team News Gazette All Area, and 1st team All State. Frosh MVP - Kollin Marquardt. Frosh practice players - Evan Slazinik and Tyler Tester. JV practice player Award - Braden Anderson. JVMVP - Anderson, JV MOHitter Sean Cory, JVMODefense - Harrison Freeland, JVMOPitcher - Anderson. VAR practice player - Wilson, VARMVP - Strang, VAR MOH - Wilson, VARMOD - Strang, VARMOP - Strang. Strang and Wilson split the Charlie Due Scholarship Award. The Maroons hit .319, fielded .924, and had a 4.84 ERA. The team placed 5th in the Big 12 Conference with a 6-7 mark. Departing seniors responsible were Andrew Cox, Steven Davis, Aubrey Greenberg, Nick Grider, James Katsinas, Derick Leemon, Kevin Murphy, Robby Smith, Cam Strang, and Eric Wilson. Kevin Murphy will play at Parkland College, Robby Smith will play at Kankakee Community College, Cam Strang will play at Eastern Illinois University, Eric Wilson will play at Bradley University.
2008...(11-23) 58 players expressed interest in trying out for the team and 48 survived Selection Week to make the roster in 2008. A wet spring and inexperienced roster hampered the Maroons during the campaign. The team finished their non-conference slate at 6-6. 40 players attended the Spring Break baseball camp. Central struggled in Big 12 play but upset Mattoon 5-4 in 9 innings. Other conference victories were against Urbana and Decatur Eisenhower. Five Big 12 teams won 20+ games. It was the first time the Maroons had defeated the Green Wave in mattoon in a decade. In a rubber match with rival Urbana, the Maroons lost the regional opener 6-2 at Prairie Park. JV finished 9-11 and Frosh 1-13. Frosh MVP - Tristan Rivera. Frosh practice player - Justin Rondon. JVMVP - Clint Miller. VARMVP - Ben Freeman The Maroons hit .332, fielded .881, and had a 5.31 ERA.
2009...(19-18) The Maroons finished with a winning season for the first time in three years. The 2009 Maroons registered 19 wins on the diamond, which ranks in the top 10 in school history. Central nearly won its first regional championship in 16 years but was defeated by Mahomet-Seymour 11-9 in a see-saw affair. Highlights of the campaign included a spring break trip to Cocoa Beach Florida, a first in school history. The Maroons played 5 games in sunny Florida and both parents and players had a great experience. During the trip, Central notched its 1,000th baseball victory since the program was resurrected in 1925 by Athletic Director Les Moyer, defeating West Mifflin, PA, 5-4. New additions to McKinley Field included a new, more spacious, home dugout as well as new infield sod. An irrigation system was also added to the infield. Team totals included a .331 (.330 v. Big 12 opponents and .345 during the last 3 weeks of the season) batting average, a .934 fielding average (roughly 50 points higher than '08), and a 5.97 earned run average. Evan Ellsworth led the team with a .402 average and hit safely in 16 of the final 17 games of the year. Braden Anderson won 4 games with a 3.3 ERA while Mark Pataky won 5 games with a 3.9 ERA. Drew Beard had a 1000 fielding % with 57 chances while Harrison Freeland fielded .992 in 124 chances. Bryan Bachman was a welcome addition to the coaching staff as he assumed the role of pitching coach. Former Illini baseball coach Itch Jones also helped at a few practices. Central finished third in the Charlie Due Tourney for the second straight year when they defeated Springfield SE after losing an extra-inning contest to Georgetown-Ridgefarm in the semifinal game. Geneseo won the Due title. Individual highlights included no-hitters pitched by Timmie Johnson against Kankakee and Clint Miller against Decatur Eisenhower. Harrison Freeland tripled twice in a game against Bullis Academy, MD, in Florida to tie a school record. Tony Giammaria also tied a school record by swiping 4 bases at Mattoon. Central finished with a disappointing 4-9 record in Big 12 play with wins against Centennial, Eisenhower, Mattoon, and Urbana. However, 5 of the conference losses were by 1 run. In fact, CHS lost seven games by 1 run and 6 of those contests were lost in the 7th inning or in extra innings. Normal West won the conference crown for the second consecutive year. Mark Pataky won the Charlie Due Scholarship Award. Practice Player Award winner was Braden Anderson. Selfless award to Bobby hart. Best defensive player and Quality At Bat winner was Timmie Johnson. 90-7 award winner was Luke Kriegel. Most Valuable Hitter was Clint Miller. Most Valuable Pitcher and MVP was Mark Pataky. Timmie Johnson and Mark Pataky were 1st team All Big 12 Conference selections while Doug Kyrouac was an honorable mention selection. Team BA .331, ERA 5.97, F% .934. Seniors Aaron Beckemeyer, Drew Beard, Sean Cory, Evan Ellsworth, Bobby Hart, Adam Hawthorne, Timmie Johnson, Mark Pataky, and Nate Sokolski participated in the 2009 campaign. Their dedication to the program and leadership will be missed.Timmie Johnson will play for Lincoln Land Community College
2010...(19-17) The Maroons finished the season above the .500 mark for the second year in a row with another 19 win campaign. Central bowed out in the regional quarterfinal, losing to pitcher Blake Janesky and the Danville Vikings 10-0 at historic Danville Stadium. It was the 5th time Janesky defeated the Maroons during his career. Central finished with a 4-9 mark in the league, but lost 5 conference games by one run. '93 alum Ryan Tabeling spoke at the First Pitch banquet while '83 alum Dennis Stahl tossed out the ceremonial first pitch of the Charlie Due Tournament which was played with wood bats for the first time. Central returned to Cocoa Beach for Spring Break for the second straight year and registered a 3-2 record in the Sunshine State. Central won the Due Tourney for the first time since 2007 by defeating Springfield Southeast and Chicago Harlan. Central defeated Mattoon, Decatur Eisenhower, Bloomington, and Urbana in conference play. Capital improvements made to McKinley Field included new bullpen mounds added to the home dugout side. Bullpens near the cages were revamped. A new full infield tarp was also purchased with the help of leaf-raking and cookie dough fundraisers. Another highlight of the campaign included an opening day no-hitter by Braden Anderson and Evan Slazinik against Fisher. Anderson, who tossed a complete game in the Charlie Due title game, was the recipient of the Charlie Due Scholarship Award. Doug Kyrouac established a new IHSA record by hitting safely in 13 consecutive at bats. Kyrouac also established a new school record after knocking in 9 runs against Meret Academy (MD) on March 25 in Florida. Kyrouac also had 5 hits in that game, two of them triples, both CHS records. Doug kept setting records that season as he established new career marks for At Bats (403) and Games Played (137). Thirteen members of one of the largest senior classes depart. Braden Anderson, Riley Brunson, Jeremy Coleman, Harrison Freeland, Tim Frye, Tony Giammaria, Luke Kriegel, Doug Kyrouac, Theo McFarland, Kollin Marquardt, Clint Miller, Evan Slazinik, and Tyler Tester will be missed.
Luke Kriegel will play at North Central College
2011...(6-31) 37 players participated. A frustrating year from a record standpoint, The Maroons still managed to play in its forth regional championship game in the past seven years losing to Lincoln 5-2. Central was very young, starting a freshman catcher, shortstop, and centerfielder most of the season. Central managed to play 37 games despite an unusually cold, wet spring. Highlights of the campaign included taking two teams to Memphis during spring break, installing two new batting cages, and another regional title appearance. Sophomore Kurtis Brown led the Maroons in several offensive categories while senior Alan Paul led the pitching staff, pitching a complete game in a regional win over Decatur Eisenhower. The team hit .244, fielded .888, and had an ERA of 7.27. Former Illinois wrestling coach Mark Johnson spoke at the First Pitch Banquet. Former Maroon great Alex Acheson threw out the first pitch of the Charlie Due Tournament won by Chicago Harlan. Central finished ninth in the Big 12 with a 1-12 record. The conference was very strong again with five 20 game winners and three sectional qualifiers. JV was 15-17 while the Frosh were 1-16. Frosh MVP Zach Williams, Frosh Practice Player - Austin Boma, JV MVP Caleb Plattner, JV MVPitcher Colin deBlouwe, JV MVHitter Plattner, JV MVDefense - Taylor Beard, JV Selfless Award - Plattner, Varsity MVP - Brown, Varsity MVPitcher - Paul, Varsity MVHitter - Brown, Varsity MVDefense - Jacob Cribbett, Varsity Selfless - Tanner Goslin, Varsity Practice Player - Brown, Varsity 90-7 Award - Jake Henss, Varsity QAB - Brown. Captaines were Paul, Brown, Goslin, and Henss. 1st team Big 12 - Brown. Charlie Due Award - Paul. Seniors Nick Hooker, Paul, and Tristan Rivera depart.
2012...(13-23) 43 participated. 2012 Awards = Frosh MVP Luke Meyer, Frosh Practice Player Grant Semonin, Frosh 90-7 Award Riley Staab, Frosh QAB Award Joel Thompson, JV MVP Jon Foster, JV MVPitcher Charlie Due, JV MVHitter Jon Foster, JV MVDefense Luke Beesley, JV QAB Award Connor Mapes, JV Selfless Award Connor Mapes, JV Practice Player Jon Foster, JV 90-7 Award Jon Foster, Varsity MVP Kurtis Brown, Varsity MVPitcher Zach Williams, Varsity MVHitter Kurtis Brown, Varsity MVDefense Tate Long, Varsity Selfless Aaron Weckhorst, Varsity Practice Player Kurtis Brown, Varsity 90-7 Tate Long, Varsity QAB winner Kurtis Brown. Kurtis Brown was unanimous 1st team Big 12 selection and was voted OPY by the Big 12 coaches. Tanner Goslin was tabbed to the Big 12 Honorable Mention team.
2013...(19-18) A line of irrigation to the outfield was added in September.
2014...(35-3) Big 12 Champs and Regional Champs The Maroons won 30+ games for the second time in school history, while also securing its 16th Conference championship and first regional championship in 21 years. The Maroons season ended with a 2-0 defeat at SHG in a sectional semifinal contest against a team that would finish runner-up at the 3A State Tournament. Winningest team in CHS and CU history (passing '06 CHS 30-7 and '99 Centennial 35-5 teams) 1st regional title since '93 1st outright conference title since '06 1st time since '78 that CHS won both regional AND Big 12. 2nd consecutive season in which all 3 teams had a winning record. 46 players participated. Seniors Alec Altmyer, Taylor Beard, Jake Cribbett, Mike Menard, Wyatt Simmons, Zach Williams, and Lucas Wilson, left a selfless legacy. Another amazing year to be a baseball Maroon!
2015...(32-5) Big 12 Champs The Maroons won 30+ games for the second year in a row, and for the third time in school history, while also securing its 17th Conference championship. Central raced to a 9-0 record before losing a wild 15-13 game at Mahomet. A highlight of the streak was taking two teams to Cocoa Beach for Spring Break and winning all 5 games in Florida. Central later defeated Lincoln in the Charlie Due Tournament title game while honoring several 1982-1983 alums who led the Maroons to back-to-back Big 12 titles during those years. The Maroons successfully defended their Big 12 title by defeating 20-game winners Normal Community, Centennial, and Peoria Notre Dame in conference play. The only conference losses were to 4A regional champion Normal West and to a Peoria Richwoods team than won over 20 games. The Maroons locked up the title outright at historic Danville Stadium, celebrating the victory by wearing championship t-shirts and posing for pictures at home plate. In regional play at Rantoul, Central rallied to defeat Mahomet 11-6 before losing a heart-breaker to Centennial in the championship game. Centennial went on to win 29 games and went on to lose to evential 3A state champion Highland in the Super Sectional contest. Ranked 7th by Prep Baseball report to begin the season, the Maroons finished 23rd amongst all Illinois high schools. The JV finished 23-7 while the Frosh was 6-14. New white pants were purchased for all by the booster club while the Varsity received throwback jersey tops. 55 tons of infield mix was also added to the infield skin. A used tractor/groomer was also purchased to help maintain the 90 year old diamond. 45 players participated. 2015 Awards = Frosh MVP Conor Butts, Frosh Practice Player Andrew Shumaker, Frosh 90-7 Award Conor Butts, Frosh QAB Award Matt Tyner, JV MVP Jake Beesley, JV MVPitcher Dom Erlinger, JV MVHitter Jake Beesley, JV MVDefense Joe Bagger, JV QAB Award Jake Beesley, JV Selfless Award Josh Caughey, JV Practice Player Josh Caughey, JV 90-7 Award Marshall Thompson, Varsity MVP Joe Aeilts, Varsity MVPitcher Zach Dorner, Varsity MVHitter Jake Snider, Varsity MVDefense Luke Beesley, Varsity Selfless Will Gerard, Varsity Practice Player Luke Beesley, Varsity 90-7 Jon Foster, Varsity QAB winner Jake Snider. Captains were Luke Beesley, Nick Brunson, Connor Mapes, Joe Aeilts, Jake Snider and Phillip Swartz. Aeilts and Swartz were 1st team IHSBCA All State Selections. Snider was USA Today 1st team All State selection. Aeilts, Alec Barger, Beesley, Brunson, and Swartz were to named 1st team Big 12 Conference. Aeilts was Big 12 OPY for the second year in a row and was a 1st team All Area selection by the Champaign News Gazette. Aeilts was selected by WCIA as their POY. Beesley, Snider, and Swartz were also 1st team All Area selections. Beesley and Mapes were selected to play in the Senior East/West All Star game. Snider was selected to try out for the 18U USA National Team in July but was unable to do so due to an injury. Former Maroon All Conference performer Mike Sitch ('99) spoke to the team at the First Pitch Banquet. The leadership of seniors Josh Bagger, Zack Baumann, Luke Beesley, Nick Brunson, Zach Dorner, Jon Foster, Will Gerard, Spencer Hays, Connor Mapes, and Noah Wells will be sorely missed. Another amazing year to be a baseball Maroon!
Luke Beesley will play at Parkland College, Nick Brunson at Kaskaskia College, Connor Mapes at ISU
2016...(28-10) Regional Champs Staab commented, "Arguably the toughest schedule we have played in my 15 years as head coach." Only one 2A school on schedule. 7 of 10 losses by one run. The Maroons captured their second regional in three years by besting a strong Mt. Zion at McKinley Field. Only losses to 3A schools were to Bloomington, Peoria Richwoods, Peoria Notre Dame, Centennial, Charleston, and Springfield...all teams that won 20+ games with the exception of Bloomington. 3rd season in a row we were defeated in post season by a team that eventually made the Elite Eight or better...SHG runner-up '14, Centennial Elite Eight '15, Springfield runner-up '16. Seniors leave program with 115-36...most wins for a senior class in history. 7th year in a row that the program garnered the IHSA Team Academic Award (Team GPA of 3.56) 47 players participated. Infield mix for Southside practice infield and a new ATEK pitching machine was purchased. 2016 Awards = Frosh MVP Jake Cochrane and George Rodawig, Frosh Practice Player Rodawig, Frosh 90-7 Award Jake Meyer, Frosh QAB Award Cochrane, JV MVP Hayden Cekander, JV MVPitcher Zak Hartleb, JV MVHitter Seth Richmond, JV MVDefense Jake Meyer, JV QAB Award Seth Richmond, JV Selfless Award Elliot Brown and Caleb Carr, JV Practice Player Hayden Cekander, JV 90-7 Award Elliot Brown, Varsity MVP Tanner Gordon, Varsity MVPitcher Phil Swartz, Varsity MVHitter Alec Barger, Varsity MVDefense Matt Brown, Varsity Selfless Tommy Krouse, Varsity Practice Player Joe Aeilts, Varsity 90-7 Josh Caughey, Varsity QAB winner Tanner Gordon. Captains were Joe Aeilts, Alec Barger, Matt Brown, Tanner Gordon, and Phil Swartz. Other Individual Awards: PBR (Prep Baseball Report) Player of the Week April 3 thru 9 - Alec Barger; First team All Conference = Aeilts, Barger, Gordon (all unanimous selections); Honorable Mention All Conference = Swartz, Dom Erlinger; Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year = Alec Barger; Big 12 Pitcher of the Year = Tanner Gordon; Charlie Due Scholarship Award = Joe Aeilts (voted on by the coaching staff); News Gazette 1st Team All Area = Alec Barger and Tanner Gordon; News Gazette 2nd Team All Area = Joe Aeilts and Josh Caughey; News Gazette Special Mention All Area = Phillip Swartz; News Gazette Honorable Mention All Area = Dom Erlinger; Corn Crib MCStrong All Star game - Alec Barger; IHSBCA 1st Team Class 3A All State - Tanner Gordon. New IHSA Records: Team Wins: 1,267-969-9 is currently 6th best. No school on list has played more games than Champaign Central. Most Triples, Season, Team: 30 is currently 13th best. Most Triples, Career: Joe Aeilts 24 is 5th best. Alec Barger 20 is 10th best. Most Triples, Season: Alec Barger 10 is 11th best. Joe Aeilts 9 is 18th best. Lowest ERA, Career: Tanner Gordon 0.63 (10 ER in 110.3 IP) is 7th best. New CHS Career Records: Games Played: Alec Barger 139 Stolen Bases: Alec Barger 80 Triples: Joe Aeilts 24 Pitching Appearances: Phillip Swartz 43 (tied with Zach Dorner) Strikeouts: Phillip Swartz 191 Pitching Victories: Phillip Swartz 25. Saves: Alec Barger and Phillip Swartz 6. New CHS Single Season Record: Triples: Alec Barger 10 (tied with Joe Aeilts) Joe Aeilts won the Charlie Due scholarship. The leadership of seniors Joe Aeilts, Alec Barger, Matt Brown, Josh Caughey, Tanner Gordon, Trystyn Schoonover, and Phil Swartz will be sorely missed. A record year to be a baseball Maroon!
Joe Aeilts will play at ISU, Alec Barger will play at NIU, Tanner Gordon will play at John A. Logan CC, Trystyn Schoonover will play at Calumet College in St. Joseph, IN.
2017...(30-11-1) State Qualifyer Charlie Due Champs, Regional Champs, Sectional Champs, Super-Sectional Champs The Maroons won 30+ games for fourth time in 11 years while also qualifying for the 3A state tournament for the first time since 1968. All levels had at least 20 wins. The underdog Maroons were an out away from elimination before embarking on an incredible post-season run. Central took advantage of a late miscue by Matton to come from behind to win in the regional semifinal contest. We faced every team's ace in the postseason and defeated Mt. Zion 3-2 on their field in the regional championship contest. Central hung on to beat SHG 8-4 before advancing to defeat heavy favorite Chatham-Glenwood 9-7 on their field in a wild, see-saw sectional championship affair. The Maroons capped the trip to state with a 13-6 victory over Mascoutah at Sauget. The Maroons fell behind 6-0 before rallying to score 13 runs in a row during the exciting super sectional contest on the turf. Every arm we faced in the tournament went on to pitch in college: Rappe (Mattoon/Greenville), Smith (Mt. Zion/junior), Warrington (SHG), Detmers (Chatham/Louisville/LA Angels #10 selection in 2020 MLB Draft), Kraljev (Mascoutah/McKendree), DiLuia (Marian Catholic/Maryland), McPherson (Marmion Academy/junior) Central was defeated in dramatic, walk-off fashion 4-3 by Marian Catholic before being defeated by Marmion Academy in the 3A state consolation game in Joliet. The Maroons finished 3rd in the Big 12 with a 10-3 conference ledger. The JV finished 23-7 while the Frosh was 20-6-2 despite a very wet spring. New white pants, white tops, gray pants were purchased for all by the booster club and the infield tarp was repaired as well. 48 players participated. 2017 Awards = Frosh MVP Drew Adams, Frosh Practice Player Evan Czys, Frosh 90-7 Award Sam Chapman, Frosh QAB Award Nik Johnson, JV MVP Hayden Cekander, JV MVPitcher Jack Born, JV MVHitter Hayden Cekander, JV MVDefense Harry Bodine, JV QAB Award Connor Milton, JV Selfless Award Sam Butler, JV Practice Player Sam Butler, JV 90-7 Award Sam Chapman, Varsity MVP Cade Sestak, Varsity MVPitcher Dom Erlinger, Varsity MVHitter Jake Beesley, Varsity MVDefense Cade Sestak, Varsity Selfless Ben Carnahan, Varsity Practice Player Cade Sestak, Varsity 90-7 Joe Bagger, Varsity QAB winner Zak Hartleb. Captains were Patrick Beckemeyer, Tommy Krouse, Cade Sestak, and Marshall Thompson. Jake Beesley and Cam Robinson were 1st team IHSBCA All State Selections. Beckemeyer, Robinson, and Sestak were named 1st team Big 12 Conference. Beesley, Robinson, and Sestak were tabbed to the 1st team All Area Champaign News Gazette team. Staab was named NG Coach of the Year for the second time in his career. The team won its 8th consecutive IHSA Academic Award with a team GPA of 3.269. Former Maroon All Stater Eric Wilson ('07) spoke to the team at the First Pitch Banquet. The leadership of seniors Joe Bagger, Jake Beesley, Patrick Beckemeyer, Elliot Brown, Ben Carnahan, Caleb Carr, Dom Erlinger, Isaac Heaton, Jeremiah Hicks, Avery Ingram, Tommy Krouse, Anthony Schreiber, Cade Sestak, and Marshall Thompson will be sorely missed. Another amazing year to be a baseball Maroon!
Dom Erlinger will play at Beloit College and Cade Sestak will play at Lincoln Land CC
2018...(22-15) The Maroons won 20+ games for the fifth year in a row. A highlight of the season was taking two teams to Cocoa Beach, Florida again for Spring Break. Central finished fourth in the always competitive Big 12 Conference. The team won 7 of its last 10 games and lost eight games by one run. Coach Staab miscalculated pitch count in Florida which resulted in a victory over St. Thomas More being counted as a forfeit. Another highlight of the season was hosting the regional semifinals at U of I field. Central defeated Mahomet before losing a heartbreaking 3-2 decision to Mt. Zion in the regional championship. It was to be the last baseball game played at McKinley Field prior to moving to a new location at Spalding Park. McKinley will be renovated into a new turf football field/track. It was Central's fifth consecutive trip to the regional championship game. The JV finished 24-11 while the Freshmen were 14-10-3. New white pants and L screens were purchased for all by the booster club. 47 players participated. 2019 Awards = Frosh MVP Nate Allen, Frosh Practice Player Ben Dickerson, Frosh 90-7 Award Brayden Helfer, Frosh QAB Award Leo Severin, JV MVP Tobin Herges, JV MVPitcher Evan Czys, JV MVHitter Tobin Herges, JV MVDefense Graham O'Gorman, JV QAB Award Drew Berringer, JV Selfless Award Yianni Laros, JV Practice Player Nik Johnson, JV 90-7 Award George Wilson, Varsity MVP Cam Robinson, Varsity MVPitcher Cam Robinson, Varsity MVHitter Hayden Cekander, Varsity MVDefense Joel Sarver, Varsity Selfless Jack Born, Varsity Practice Player Zak Hartleb, Varsity 90-7 Connor Milton, Varsity QAB winner Zak Hartleb. Captains were Hayden Cekander, Jake Cochrane, Zak Hartleb, Jake Meyer, and Connor Milton. Robinson was 1st team IHSBCA All State. Cekander and Robinson were named 1st team Big 12 Conference. Robinson was also a 1st team All Area selection. Former Maroon great Alex Acheson ('06) spoke to the team at the First Pitch Banquet while alums Kent ('72) and Kevin Seaman ('75) were invited back to throw out the first pitch of the Charlie Due Wood Bat Tournament. Cam Robinson won the Charlie Due scholarship. Seniors Hayden Cekander, Zak Hartleb, Carter Oye, Seth Richmond, and Cam Robinson will be missed.
Zak Hartleb and Cam Robinson will play at John A. Logan CC
2019...(27-10) The Maroons won 20+ games for the sixth year in a row, and for just the eleventh time in school history, A highlight of the season was taking two teams to Cocoa Beach, Florida for Spring Break. Central finished third in the always competitive Big 12 Conference and later defeated defending 3A state-champion Morton in the Charlie Due Tournament title game while honoring alums Brent and Chad Rakers and their father Harry, a long time Champaign Legion baseball coach. Central competed well in two elite PBR tournaments in Edwardsville and Louisville, KY; getting a tour of the facilities from former alum Jake Snider and Centennial standout Luke Smith. The Maroons won 16 of its last 18 games. In regional play at Mahomet, Central routed Mt. Zion 15-1, avenging last year's regional championship defeat, before folding to Charleston and Indiana recruit Ben Hess 12-1. It was Central's sixth consecutive trip to the regional championship game. It was just the second time CHS had been run-ruled since 2013. The JV finished 24-7 while the Fresh/Soph (only 3 freshmen necessitated the change to a Fresh/Soph team) were 11-8. New white pants were purchased for all by the booster club while the Varsity received black jerseys as well. A trying year logistically, the Maroons were forced to return to McKinley Field after their opener as the sod which was laid in December at Spalding Field didn't properly root. Ironically, Staab surpassed Charlie Due as Central's all time winningest coach on the last game played at McKinley Field, a 5-2 victory over Bloomington on April 17th. 41 players participated. 2019 Awards = Frosh MVP Jack Doubet, Frosh Practice Player Tony Hubbard, Frosh 90-7 Award Jack Doubet, Frosh QAB Award Tony Hubbard, JV MVP Nik Johnson, JV MVPitcher Jake Lehr, JV MVHitter Jake Munroe, JV MVDefense Cam Baker, JV QAB Award Max Herr, JV Selfless Award Nik Johnson, JV Practice Player Nik Johnson, JV 90-7 Award Nate Allen, Varsity MVP Cole Jones, Varsity MVPitcher Joel Sarver, Varsity MVHitter Connor Milton, Varsity MVDefense Chris Wurl, Varsity Selfless Jack Born, Varsity Practice Player Cole Jones, Varsity 90-7 Sam Chapman, Varsity QAB winner Cole Jones. Captains were Sam Beesley, Jake Meyer, and Connor Milton. Milton was 1st team IHSBCA All State. Jones, Milton, and Sarver were named 1st team Big 12 Conference. Jones and Milton were also 1st team All Area selections. Jones played in the ICA/MCStrong senior all star game. Former MLB player Kevin Koslofski spoke to the team at the First Pitch Banquet. The team received the IHSA Academic Award for the ninth straight year. Jake Meyer won the Charlie Due scholarship. Seniors Sam Beesley, Jack Born, Sam Butler, Jake Cochrane, Tobin Herges, Cole Jones, Yianni Laros, Luke McMahon, Jake Meyer, and George Rodawig depart.
Cole Jones will play at Parkland College and Sam Butler will play at Millikin University
2020 The Maroons were tabbed as one of the top teams in the state by PBR and their preseason predictions. 43 participated including 14 freshmen. On April 17, Governor J.B. Pritzger extended e-learning for all Illinois schools until the end of the semester. On April 21, IHSA cancelled all spring sports state championships due to the Covid-19 Virus. Our hearts go out to the 16 seniors who didn't get a chance to participate. Best of luck to Drew Adams, Cam Baker, Drew Barringer, Sam Chapman, Evan Czys, Max Herr, Isaiah Jackson, Nik Johnson, Jake Lehr, Connor Milton, Graham O'Gorman, Caleb Pyrz, Joel Sarver, Chase Vickers, George Wilson, and Chris Wurl!
Max Herr will play at Parkland, Isaiah Jackson will play at John A. Logan JC, Connor Milton will play at Illinois, Graham O'Gorman will play at Hope College, and Joel Sarver will play at NW Florida State JC.
2021...(23-10) Charlie Due Champs, Regional Champs Players and coaches were able to practice twenty days to be used by October 31 due to the pandemic. 35 players tried out in the spring and no cuts were made. The Maroons limped out of the gate in 2021 losing its first three games and was 2-4 after a 21-1 drubbing at the hands of Mahomet Seymour on April 28. The only bright spot during a rough two weeks to open the season was winning the 30th annual Charlie Due Tournament on April 24 by defeating Rantoul and Marshall. The Freeland family was honored prior to former Maroons Sam ('06) and Harrison ('10) each tossing the ceremonial first pitch alongside their dad Rusty. After the rout at Mahomet, the Maroons turned things around by winning their next nine games and 15 of their next 16 contests. Central finished second in the Big 12 Conference with a 10-3 mark and won it's fourth regional championship since 2014 when it defeated Rantoul 11-1 in six innings at Spalding Park. The Maroons next lost a tough ballgame to Chatham Glenwood in the Sectional Semi's. Central had opportunities to win but lost a see-saw affair 7-5 in 8 innings at Spalding Park. Seniors Nate Allen, Matthew Currey, Ben Dickerson Jack Doubet, and Leo Severin will be missed.
Ben Dickerson will play for Kankakee Community College
CHS currently has the 5th most wins in IHSA history with an overall record of 1,369-1,015-10 dating back to 1903.