By David Sharp
Knox and Clark County will have three representatives each on the Missouri side during the June 14, 2008 McDonald’s/Quincy Herald-Whig Classic.
The Missouri vs. Illinois all star basketball game for 2008 area graduates will be held at the Quincy University Pepsi Arena.
The 26th annual girls’ game is scheduled for a 5PM tip off. The silver anniversary boys’ game has a 7:15 PM start. The Missouri boys will be coached by Knox County’s Jesse Crawford.
Former Knox County varsity boys’ basketball coach Bruce Bonness, currently of Southeastern HS, will lead the Illinois boys’.
The Missouri teams are traditional underdogs. The Illinois side has taken all but one of the Classic boy’s matchups over the last 25 seasons. Missouri girls’ basketball was generally more advanced than their East side counterparts, leading to Missouri girls’ domination of the series’ early years.
Much of the Quincy Herald-Whig coverage area population base is in Illinois. Illinois school consolidation trends and the wide use of high school varsity athletic coops has pushed day in day out Illinois level of play to a higher plane.
When the first 20 minutes is put on the clock, current players and coaches will make their own history.
Milly Rash representing Class 3 runner up South Shelby will coach the 2008 Missouri girls’.
Amanda Winters and Kassidy Shuman will represent Tri-Rivers Conference girls’ champion Clark County.
Kassidy Shuman has committed to attend Quincy University next fall, joining Clark County alum Courtney Shuman on the Hawk women’s’ basketball team.
Culver-Stockton college signee Shawna Kriegshauser of Highland will play for Missouri along with all district teammate Abby Gaus of Highland. Guard Danielle Caldwell will represent Canton. Sam O’Brien and Whitney Kroeger will represent Palmyra.
South Shelby has three representatives including Class 3 first team all stater Erin Mayes (Truman State University) along with Miranda Chapin and Alex Milner.
The Illinois girls’ coach is Ken Schuster of West Hancock. Quincy Notre Dame’s Renita Bunte, Megan Sorrill of Liberty. Ali Schwagmeyer and Maggie Reuschel of Central-Southeastern, Alyssa Duffy of Unity and Division I signee Leah Kassing of Brown County appear of the Illinois roster.
Illini West player Randi Gronewold, Devin Wombles of Pleasant Hill along with Cassie Weigand and Emily Mast of West Hancock round out the Illinois girls’ team.
Class 2 District Champion Knox County will have all conference and All-Missouri Sportswriters’ all district players Cory Shultz and Daniel McMahon on the court for the Missouri All-Stars.
Coach Jesse Crawford won numerous 2007-08 awards including Missouri Sportswriters and Sportswriters Association Class 2 Northeast Missouri District Coach of the Year.
Jesse Crawford was the Quincy Herald-Whig area boy’s basketball Coach of the Year as well as the KHQA All Do or Die boys’ basketball coach of the year. Crawford was also the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Class 2 District 6 Coach of the Year.
Class 3 quarterfinalist and conference champion Highland will be represented by all Clarence Cannon Conference and all district players John Mims and Tad Luebbehusen.
Tri-Rivers Conference boys’ champion Clark County will have all conference and all district inside player Colt Summers on the Missouri Roster.
Drew Ayers of Canton, Cody Musgrove of Scotland County, Nathan Meyers of Marion County, and Randall Mosley of Hannibal along with Austin O’Bryan of Monroe City round out the Missouri Boys’ roster.
Southeastern coach Bruce Bonness will bring Tim Jefferson and Garrett Janssen from his team. Ben Kearse of Warsaw-Nauvoo-Colusa and Perry Bonds of Griggsville-Perry are highly decorated Illinois siders.
Mitch Rein and Shawn Blakeman will represent Quincy High School.
Tim Bearden and Matt Welding will represent Quincy Notre Dame. Jake McNulty of Pittsfield, and Jordan Cook of Payson round out the 2008 Illinois boys’ roster.
Practice sessions will be held from June 3-13. The Missouri girls’ will practice at South Shelby HS from 6-8PM on Wednesday, June 4. The Missouri Boys’ team will practice at Knox County High School on Tuesday, June 10 from 3:30 to 5:30PM.
Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at either Quincy McDonald’s location, the Quincy Herald-Whig or at the door. Five year old and under children are admitted free.
Proceeds from Classic benefit the McDonald’s/Herald-Whig Classic scholarship at Quincy University.