Illinois Legislature passes resolution honoring Z-R Coaches vs. Cancer

by Steve Dunford

From State Represenative Dave Severin’s office

ZEIGLER, IL –  In each of  the six high schools in the county there are some super fans that stick out.  At Z-R it is Randall Risley, or Double R as my good friend Tom Wheeler has me calling him.  I don’t know if I have ever been to a Zeigler-Royalton sporting event that I did not see him.  I can go all the way back to the 1980’s when I slid on the jersey of the Thompsonville Tigers.

Since I have completed my second year of covering high school sports.  I have had the opportunity to be around Randall a lot.  We would cross paths at the Christopher Turkey Tournament, the Sesser-Valier Holiday tournament, and this fall as my son was an offensive lineman for the C-Z-R Bearcats.

I had the opportunity to see him at several games, and he always graciously provides me with pics of the Tornadoes.

Z-R coaches vs. Cancer was founded in the 2009-10 school year by Risley, and Tornadoes Head basketball coach Matt Morgan.  Both lost their fathers to cancer at an early age.  I can easily identify, as I lost my mother in her mid 50’s to lung cancer.

Here is a side note I would like to share.  Six years ago today Matt Morgan was hired as the Tornadoes basketball coach.  He has always been very approachable, and I am proud to call him my friend.

In the seven year time frame Zeigler-Royalton High School has raised over $110,000 for the cause.  This is for a high school that over the years had an average enrollment of around 160.  For the upcoming school year, their enrollment has increased to 180.

Z-R leads the state in this time frame, and they are one of the top schools in the nation in fundraising for Coaches-Vs. Cancer.

State Representative Dave Severin with Zeigler-Royalton High School Principal Quent Hamilton. (from Rep. Severin’s office)

The Illinois House of Representatives passed Resolution #379, sponsored by Rep. Dave Severin (R – Benton).  The resolution will be posted at the bottom of the story. 

Rep Severin was at Art Brandon Gymnasium to present the resolution to Risley and the rest of the individuals that worked so hard in the community.  Severin made the following statement.   “Zeigler-Royalton Coaches vs. Cancer is an incredible group.” Rep. Severin said, “Zeigler-Royalton community is neither the biggest nor the wealthiest but somehow, year after year, they are one of the top fundraisers in all of Illinois. The numbers speak for themselves and what Zeigler-Royalton has been able to do is nothing short of amazing.”

In accepting the award, Risley had the following remarks, “The Zeigler-Royalton community is small but we are proud to say we have had a bigger impact than any other high school in the state since we started,” Risley said. “I really appreciate the recognition from Representative Severin as we are all so proud of what we have been able to accomplish.”

Congratulations to the Z-R community for continuing great things for a great cause. Watch for postings for fundraisers for Coaches-vs.-Cancer in the upcoming school year.

From the Z-R Coaches vs. Cancer Facebook page.


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