Washington, Ill. residents got a brief reprieve Saturday afternoon from cleaning up after a monster storm, but it wasn’t a happy ending for them.
The Panthers rolled into Springfield the week after a Class 5A quarterfinal win that propelled them to their first semi-final appearance since the 1980’s, and the school’s first perfect record in history.
That was all but forgotten the next day as an E-F4 tornado ripped through and destroyed more than 1,000 homes while injuring hundreds. One person died.
“Our streets of our town were lined,” said Washington head coach Darrell Crouch said, recalling Saturday’s trip out of town to head to Springfield. “And then to drive through a rival school’s [territory] like Morton, [it was] a very good outpouring.”
Sacred Heart-Griffin and its community banded together this week to solicit monetary donations, bottled water, and provided seven busses for Washington fans to take to and from the game — many of those fans lost their homes and modes of transportation last weekend.
“You see what people do in a time of need,” said SHG head coach Ken Leonard. “You learn when you’re 14, 15, 16 years old how adults should act.”
SHG will take on Montini Catholic High School in DeKalb for the Class 5A title next Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
Elsewhere in high school football, Rochester beat Rock Island-Alleman 46-21 to advance to its fourth straight Class 4A title game. The Rockets face Geneseo next Friday night in DeKalb at 7:00. In Class 2A, Auburn fell to Staunton by a final score of 32-28.