The 2018-19 school year was filled with spectacular performances from many Bulldog athletes. As ISAAC TROTTER continues to look back at the 2018-19 season, here are his top 10 athletes. An added bonus for M-S fans is that four athletes who made the list are going to be back next year with hopes of breaking even more records.
1. Hunter Hendershot
Hunter Hendershot just finished up his junior year, and he already has three state titles under his belt. Not many people can say that. Hendershot was dominant this season in the shot put and the discus. Hendershot won two state titles and broke the school record in both events. Hendershot’s performance was instrumental in helping the Bulldogs take home another state trophy. Hendershot has a great chance to defend his titles next year and finish his career with five total state championships.
2. Mathias Powell
Mathias Powell has a case to be named the best long-distance runner in the entire state of Illinois. In the fall, Powell won the Class 2A state title in cross-country. This spring, he capped off his senior season with a state title in the 3,200-meter race. Oh, and he earned a third-place medal in the 1,600. The Villanova signee will go down as one of the best runners M-S has ever seen.
3. Jordan Veldman
Jordan Veldman was the best player on the field for the Bulldogs in football and in baseball. Veldman also started every game on the basketball court this year. Veldman’s three-sport excellence put him squarely into the discussion for the No. 1 Bulldog athlete in 2018-19. Veldman was named first-team All-Apollo Conference and second-team All-Area by The News-Gazette in football after finishing with 1,181 yards from scrimmage. He led the Bulldogs in touchdowns. In baseball, he was named first-team All-Apollo Conference and first-team All-Area. On the court, Veldman was second on the team in scoring and was named honorable mention All-Area. A pretty impressive senior season for Veldman.
4. Maddy Wade
Maddy Wade was the straw that stirred the drink for the best girls’ soccer team that M-S has ever seen. The senior was second on the team with 27 goals and dished out a team-best 23 assists. In back-to-back wins over Lincoln and Mattoon, Wade racked up six combined goals and two assists. In the regional championship victory over Centennial, Wade had two more goals. For her efforts, Wade was named first-team All-Apollo Conference and first-team All-Area by The News-Gazette. Wade was the News-Gazette’s 22nd annual All-Area Player of the Year. It was the third straight season that an M-S player has been named Player of the Year after Meredith Johnson-Monfort was chosen in both 2017 and 2018.
5. Austin Carr
Austin Carr was the No. 1 offensive weapon for M-S boys soccer and finished with a team-high 23 goals. He also dished out seven assists and was named first-team All-Area and first-team All-Apollo. Carr only had one goal in the first eight games. But he found his stride when it mattered most. In a five-game stretch, Carr tallied eight goals, including a hat trick in the win over state-ranked Champaign Central. Carr was white-hot at the end of the year, tallying six goals in the final three games of the regular season. Carr signed with Augustana to play soccer.
6. Aubrie Shore
Aubrie Shore was a big reason why the M-S softball team finished with 18 wins and a regional championship appearance. The sophomore was named first-team All-Area by The News-Gazette and first-team All-Apollo Conference. Shore finished with a superb .490 batting average, which was tops on the team. She also added eight homers, 33 RBI and a team-high 48 runs scored. Shore was also the Bulldogs’ ace, finishing with 10 wins and a team-high 105⅓ innings pitched. Shore’s earned run average was 4.58, and she fanned 130 hitters.
7. Grant Coleman
Grant Coleman had a lot of weight on his shoulders this season on the basketball court. The star junior entered the year as the only Bulldog who had played meaningful varsity minutes, and he lived up to the hype this year, averaging over 20 points per game. Coleman was named first-team All-Apollo Conference after a terrific season. Coleman poured in a career-high 39 points in a win over Charleston early in the year. He also scored 29 points in a come-from-behind win over Rantoul in the Class 3A regionals and concluded the year with a 23-point barrage against a tough Champaign Central team in the regional semifinals. If he continues to put in the work and improve, the college offers could start pouring in. When Coleman played well, M-S was a different team. He finished leading the Bulldogs in scoring, free throw percentage, rebounding and 3-pointers.
8. Elizabeth Sims
Talk about a fabulous freshman year for Elizabeth Sims. The youngster has already cemented herself as one of the best long-distance runners in the state. In the 3,200, Sims placed 14th at the Class 2A state meet with a time of 12 minutes, 10.27 seconds. Sims undoubtedly has the talent to place even higher as a sophomore. At the Tolono Unity Sectional, Sims ran the 3,200 in 11:35.65. That time would’ve placed fifth at state. At the Apollo Conference Meet, Sims won both the 1,600 and the 3,200, and she finished in the top-5 finishes in both races at sectionals. Sims will have a chance to earn M-S points at the state meet in two events next season. Sims was also a standout in cross country, finishing eighth in state in Class 2A. Sims’ ceiling is through the roof.
9. Savannah Matthews
Savannah Matthews was the only Bulldog volleyball player named first-team All-Apollo Conference. Matthews had an incredible season, racking up 338 kills this year. The Kent State commit was also second on the team with 297 digs. She also contributed 28 assists, 22 aces and 17 blocks. With Matthews leading the charge, the Bulldogs won 20 games. Matthews was named first-team All-Area by the News-Gazette for her efforts.
10. Seth Buchanan
Seth Buchanan was also named first-team All-Apollo conference after a fabulous junior season for M-S wrestling. Buchanan was the wins leader and finished 34-12. The 285-pounder was named the most valuable player. He also had the most falls (24) this season. Buchanan didn’t qualify for state due to one of the toughest sectionals in Illinois, but he will undoubtedly have a chance to make a run at an individual state crown as a senior.
Honorable mention: Connor Thomason, football; Kobe Essien, basketball and baseball; Nyah Biegler, girls’ soccer; Ethan Mansfield, boys’ soccer; Wyatt Heimann, wrestling; Daunte Roberts, football, wrestling; Maddie Louis, girls’ soccer; Cayla Koerner, girls’ soccer; Kailyn Northrup, girls’ basketball; Lakeida Nichols, girls track and field and basketball; Brisa McGrath, girls’ cross country and track and field.