Southeast graduate drops track and field scholarship to play football


No sports writer has ever been able to say that there are no great story ideas.

On the contrary, there are dozens of topics and tips that we come across or are submitted to us that we will never have time to do – even if we would like to.

This is the start of what we’re planning as a semi-regular feature to try and mention some of the local people who have notable stories.

The big shot of the native of Springfield

Springfield’s David Emuze made a surprise announcement on November 20: The 2020 Southeast graduate canceled his track and field scholarship to the University of Illinois to pursue his dream of playing college football.

Emuze did not play football during his senior year of high school in order to focus on athletics. Emuze had just finished fourth in the long jump in the 2019 Class 2A track and field competition, as well as a ninth place in the high jump.

“My parents have always been very strict about football because they knew how serious I was with athletics,” said Emuze. “Playing football obviously put me at risk of getting injured and losing scholarships, so they told me to prioritize athletics, which was to keep me from not playing my senior year. I respect my parents and what they ask me to do.

When he arrived at the U of I, Emuze said he checked with one of his track coaches, who had discouraged him from trying to be on the team as well. of football.

But the itch still hasn’t gone away.

“But loving football as much as I did… it never really went away,” said Emuze. “I really love athletics, but there is nothing quite like the feeling of playing football. There really is no sport like this.

Emuze said he contacted associate football head coach Kevin Kane, who told Emuze this summer that he was not eligible to receive football aid due to his track and field scholarship. , and that he couldn’t walk for football either.

“Being 19 and still having four years of eligibility is still realistic; it’s still possible, ”Emuze said of pursuing his football dream. “So I made the decision to retire from the (track) team in October.”

On Monday, Emuze officially entered the transfers portal.

He said he left his options open and was even encouraged to play a year in college so he had a recent movie to give to college recruiters. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Emuze said that with his speed and athleticism, he believes he could help a special teams unit.

“The guys have speed and they put them in special teams and make them comebacks and kickoff shooters; guys who can run fast and play games, ”said Emuze, who added that he believes in himself.

“I want to play football and I am able to really play at this level or at FCS level. It is a difficult nut to crack. But I think that with the right coaches who bet on me, there is potential there. “

SHG graduate sets swimming record

Ryan Held reacts after swimming in his heat in the men's 100-meter freestyle prelims at the US Olympic Swimming Trials Wednesday, June 29, 2016, in Omaha, Neb. [Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press]

On November 20, Ryan Held, a Sacred Heart-Griffin graduate and former US Olympic swimmer, set a world record in the 50-meter freestyle at the Ron Johnson Invitational Masters State Championship.

Ryan’s time of 21.28 seconds beat Cesar Cielo’s previous best time of 21.37 in the 25-29 age group. Cielo’s record has been in effect since 2014. Cielo won the 2008 Olympic gold medal in the 50 freestyle.

According to, Held set the record at the same Mona Plummer pool complex at Arizona State University where the former North Carolina state graduate trains.

Three added to HOF Bowling

In October, the Springfield Bowling Hall of Fame added three members to its ranks.

Jeremy Grigg and Kurt Riley were each inducted in the “Outstanding Performance” category. Karen Downs entered as a veteran bowler.

Taylorville’s Coy is cornhole champion

Taylorville’s Miranda Coy won her first professional sack competition with a victory in the American Cornhole League during the 2021-22 ACL Open season opener at West Dundee, near Chicago, in October.

Coy won the ladies’ singles. His cousin, Courtney Coy of Morrisonville, was third.

Almost a month later, on November 7 in Cincinnati, she tied for fifth.

Miranda and Courtney Coy are also planning to take part in the ACL Pro Cornhole Championships Tour, which begins in February.

Springfield High grad honored by the State of Indiana

Tunch Ilkin played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1980 to 1992 and then joined their broadcast team.

A new Indiana State University Football Program Endowment has been created in honor of a former Springfield High football player and his offensive lineman.

Ron Carpenter, a 1973 Springfield High School graduate who was a co-captain and member of the Citywide Soccer Team and the Big 12 Conference, participated in a pre-game ceremony to announce the endowment . The endowment recognizes the contributions in the mid-1970s of Carpenter and Tunch Ilken, who played 14 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and were twice selected to the Pro Bowl. Following his playing career, Ilken worked in broadcasting for 23 seasons and announced his retirement earlier this season due to his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Ilken died shortly after the ceremony in September.

Carpenter graduated from ISU in 1977 with a pair of degrees and went on to serve as chairman of the ISU board of directors as well as the board of the school’s alumni association.

The school announced that more than 50 donors have raised over $ 40,000 for the endowment.

Ryan mahan

Submit your ideas

The State Journal-Register’s coverage area is quite extensive and we cannot know everything. We welcome all story ideas, so please keep emailing them to us at [email protected]

Contact Ryan Mahan: 857-246-9756, [email protected],


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