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Boys track finals begin while Illini hopeful of transfer and local legend passes

The IHSA boys track and field finals are being conducted this weekend at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. Three local stars of note hope to bring home medals.

Standout Cole Henderson of Pekin took home three Class 3A titles last year and has high hopes of repeating the accomplishment this time around. He will be defending titles in the 100 meters, 200 meters and long jump competitions. Henderson has a full scholarship to the University of Illinois next year as a result of his track and field prowess. He also starred in football for the Dragons making several all state teams throughout his career there. Cole won his preliminary heats in Friday's qualifying in the 100 and 200 meters.

Senior Davion McManis of Dunlap hopes to also have a say in the 2A long jump competition. He is seeded third and has shown steady improvement as the year has progressed. McManis is the younger brother of former Richwoods football star and current Chicago Bear, Sherrick McManis. Keith King, Jr. of Richwoods is also looking for a 2A medal in the shot put.

In other news, former five star running back, Ty Isaac, from Joliet Catholic, has left the USC football program and is looking to transfer to a Big Ten school closer to his ailing mother. He visited Illinois yesterday and will take a look at Michigan next week. He is also applying for a hardship waiver with respect to the required year of ineligibility for a transfer. NCAA rules dictate, however, that the player must transfer to a school within 100 miles of his home in order to obtain such a waiver. This may give the Illini an edge as Ann Arbor is obviously farther than that while Champaign appears to just be within the geographical limit of his hometown of Shorewood. In addition, he would be reunited in the backfield with former Joliet Catholic teammate, Josh Ferguson, and also with familiar foe Kendrick Foster from Richwoods.

Lastly, IHSA legendary referee Wilton "Bingo" Crotz passed away this week at age 84. Crotz was renowned both in the area and statewide for his officiating ability, zeal and enthusiasm. He worked many state final basketball games and, as well, several of the early football playoff title games upon their commencement in the 70's.

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