1996-97 (Peoria) Manual Boys’ Team
Year Inducted: 2001
Schools / Organizations: (Peoria) Manual High School
All-staters Sergio McClain and Marcus Griffin helped lead Peoria Manual to a record fourth straight state title as the top-ranked Rams rallied from a 5-point deficit after three quarters to beat Aurora West 47-43 for the Class AA title. McClain scored a game-high 22 points and Williams added 10 in the final as both were voted all-tournament. McClain was second in tournament scoring (65 points in 4 games) and Williams was fourth (57 in 4 games). McClain and Griffin also finished 1-2 in the Mr. Basketball voting and Williams won the award the next year.
The semifinal and rematch of the previous two AA title games was one for the ages between the Rams and (Harvey) Thornton High School, who finished 1-2 in the final USA Today national rankings. Manual rallied from an early 14-point deficit and then saw a late 15-point lead disappear but survived 65-62 when a Thornton 35-footer at the buzzer fell short. Manual finished 31-1 and Wayne McClain was named national Coach of the Year after his third straight title.
Team Members in the Picture (not in order):
Players: Greg Andrews, Jerron Hobson, Creston Coleman, Drake Ford, Herbert Griffin, Felix Abner, Frank Williams, Alphonso Pollard, Marlon Brooks, Sergio McClain, Robert Johnson, Seneca Davis, Alex Stephens, Marcus Griffin and Jerral Page.
Coaches: Head coach Wayne McClain; Assistant coaches Chuck Westendorf, Tim Kenny, Fred Lee and Al Smith.
Cheerleaders: Chrissy Putnam, Kizzy Mozeke, Angie Dougherty, Mia Vance, Holly Grayson, Sara Thomas, Jenny Wilson, Lynn Wells, Jamie Winder, Kristin Wolschlag, Latoya Dudley, Tricia Masters, Tara Tolliver and Bethany Zentko.
Principal: S.D. Farkash.
Athletic Director: Mike Hampton.