I had to walk uptown this afternoon to vote and visit the bank when I walk, I usually stop and rest at a few different places, including a bench in the back yard of Spoon River Towers, the senior citizens’ high rise in Lewistown, IL.
While sitting there this afternoon, I watched some members of the girls’ cross country team (I think) as they ran through the streets practicing. As I watched the girls’ practice, I harkened back to 1992, when I was writing the season preview for Mount Vernon’s boys’ and girls’ harrier squads.
That was the first year Don Sellers coached the Cats and one of the top runners on the boys’ team was Brady Gottman, a spiky-haired, hard-nosed kid who was also one of the top wrestlers for Mount Vernon (cross country is that kind of sport, a training exercise for athletes in other sports and sort of spring football for distance runners). When Gottman participated in a summer tournament, I wrote a column talking about how he had “the face of intensity” and always admired him as one of the better athletes I covered.
Anyhow, in discussing Gottman, Sellers said that “if Brady Gottman can come out and have a good season in cross country, he’ll go into wrestling in the shape of his life.”
I forget right now how well Gottman did in cross country that year, but he did reach he state finals on the mats. Oh, and his coach, Doug Hamm, said that Gottman entered the season “in excellent shape.”
I sure hope they have something like this around Dorchester in Peoria.