Pekin girls basketball coach Becky Fulkerson has been a Green Bay Packers fan all her life.
So when she went to Appleton, Wis., recently to watch her alma mater Concordia University Chicago play in the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship, she couldn’t pass up an opportunity to take a 30-mile trip to Lambeau Field, the iconic home of the Packers.
“Because we were so close to Lambeau, my husband took me to the stadium,” Fulkerson said. “We did that in 2002 when we were dating, but it was pouring so we didn’t get good pictures. We made up for lost time.”
One of the 2017 photos accompanies today’s Sports Notebook.
Fulkerson has never seen the Packers play at Lambeau, “but I will,” she said. “It’s a bucket list item.”
Belated congratulations to the Class 1A state champion Deer Creek-Mackinaw 4x800 relay team.
The quartet of Victoria Meyers, Mikayla Moore, Emily Embry and Chelsea Pawlak won the race in 9:40.25 at the girls track and field state meet at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium in Charleston.
There were three other outstanding performances by area athletes at the state meet.
Delavan’s Katie Springer finished third in the 800 (2:18.16) and fourth in the 300 hurdles (:46.07) and Midwest Central’s Annah Miller was ninth in shot put (38-10.5).
‘Coach of the Year’
Belated congratulations also to three area coaches who were named “Coach of the Year” by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.
The area honorees are Tremont boys coach Troy Schmidt, Washington boys coach Kevin Brown and Morton girls coach Bob Becker.
The trio was among 73 boys and 75 girls coaches who were selected for the award by the association based on their team’s record.
Reese inks with William Penn
Deer Creek-Mackinaw football star Jared Reese has signed to play at William Penn University, an NAIA school in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
Reese rushed for 2,100 yards and 32 touchdowns last season for the Class 2A state champion Chiefs. The fullback had 4,889 career rushing yards.
From IB to Stanford
The Western Illinois University women’s basketball team will play a Dec. 18 road game next season at perennial powerhouse Stanford.
Ex-Illini Bluffs star Taylor Hanneman (the former Taylor McClintock) will be a senior next season with the Leathernecks and in her third year on the team.
Hanneman is a 5-foot-10 guard.
It will be the first meeting between Western Illinois and Stanford, which won 32 games last season and played in the Final Four.
Stanford has won two national titles (1990 and 1992) and made 13 appearances in the Final Four. Coach Tara VanDerveer has more than 900 wins in her Stanford career. She coached both of Stanford’s national title teams.
Hanneman scored 3,073 points in four seasons at Illini Bluffs. That puts her at No. 7 on the all-time IHSA list.
Steve Stein can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.