Geneseo athletes to get their due in '22 with Hall of Fame picks

Claudia Loucks
For the Republic
Photo of the 1927 Geneseo Football Team

Tradition runs deep in the Geneseo High School football program and part of that tradition is the induction of honorees into Geneseo High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

The 2022 Geneseo High School Athletic Hall of Fame induction event will be held on Friday, Sept. 16, at the Bob Reade Football Field at Geneseo High School.

The inductees, or a representative, will be introduced after the sophomore football game.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, the inductees, family, friends and community members are invited to the official Induction Ceremony to be held in the Geneseo High School Information Commons. A social hour will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 on Sept. 17, with the Induction Ceremony to begin at 4:30 p.m.

The Athletic Hall of Fame began in 2012 at GHS, and the Class of 2022 includes:

Corey Atwell, Molly Bergeson O’Bryant, Kyle Glazier, Travis Mackey, Jon McAvoy, Mike Sweat ad the 1927 Football Team.

The 2022 honorees:

The 1927 Football Team −That team, coached by F.W. Duffini and Fred Calhoun completed a most remarkable season, finishing undefeated with six wins and one tie. The ’27 squad also was the first team to use the newly-constructed athletic field, which included two football gridirons, a quarter mile cinder track and a baseball diamond. It also had permanent bleachers with 600 seats and a dressing room, locker-shower room underneath.

These facilities were used for high school and junior high games and meets well into the 1960’s.

The team outscored their opponents 106 to 20, with only the 0-0 tie with East Moline blemishing the season. Allowing no points during the first three games, only a safety was given up in game four.

In a classic fifth game battle with Kewanee, who led 6-0 after an early score, a comeback brought a 13-6 victory over a tough Boilermaker team.

Geneseo finished out the season with a victory over Princeton on Armistice Day with the new field being dedicated.

The 1927 season would serve as an introduction to the 1928 year with another undefeated record. GHS would not enjoy another undefeated season until 1959, and would not have back-to-back unbeaten records until 1966-67.

Mike Sweat – a 1969 GHS graduate, was a multi-sport-athlete at Geneseo, who then took his talents to the collegiate level. He was a two-time starter as an end on consecutive undefeated seasons for the Green Machine, earning All-NCIC recognition each year.

Sweat also participated in basketball and wrestling, but concentrated on football and track. A hurdler and high jumper, he literally set the bar at its highest in the high jump for three years, consistently setting new records. He won Conference and State District titles and qualified for the State meet twice, finishing in the finals both years.

As a senior, Sweat was undefeated in the high jump until the State Meet and accumulated 157 points, second most in school history at that time. He received a scholarship to Illinois State University, where he immediately broke the ISU high jump record. He held all the high jump records during ISU career, threw the javelin, and was selected as team captain.

In addition to his accomplishments in track, Sweat demonstrated his football capabilities as an offensive end and served as the long snapper for the ISU Redbirds for four years.

1990 Boys’ Cross Country Team – Coached by Don Fredericks and Mel Snook, and captained by Adam Boardman, the team completed an undefeated dual meet season, 17-0 and placed first in the NCIC Conference and Regional meets.

NCIC individual champion Bryan Glass was joined by Adam Boardman, Andy Snook and Chad Pankey as All-Conference individuals, with Glass, Boardman and Snook garnering Regional individual honors. Glass again led the squad to a State Meet with the team capturing fourth place at Sectional.

At the power-packed State Meet, the Maple Leafs met up with the perennial powers from the collar counties in Northeast Illinois. Boardman, Snook and Glass were joined by Karl Taets, Gary Martin, Scott Durian and Ryan Carter, and pulled off an upset, finishing ahead of all those teams that bested them at Sectional as well as a number of the usual annual top team place winners.

Bryan Glass won All-State honors and the team packed enough points to finish fifth in State. The effort put this group of runners among the very best in the almost 40-year history of Cross Country at GHS.

Jon McAvoy – a 1990 GHS graduate, who participated in football, basketball and track all four years, earning honors in all three sports, and as a senior was a captain in all three sports.

In track, he was a two-time All-Conference thrower and in basketball, a two-year starter and MVP and captain of the All-Tournament Team at the Thanksgiving Tourney. He was an All-NCIC tackle as a senior and was named to the 1989 All-Western Illinois football squad, the 1989 All-Metro football team, and to the list of Top 100 football players in Illinois. He represented Geneseo at the Quad-City Salute to Senior Athletes, and received a 3x4 award as a senior.

McAvoy was awarded a Presidential Academic Scholarship and a football scholarship at Illinois State University where he was a three-year starter in the offensive line, receiving All-Gateway Conference honors. He was named to the ISU Athletic Honors list all five years at ISU and was awarded an Illinois State University Scholar Athlete of the Year Award as a senior. HE also was named to the NCAA Division 1 Midwest Region All-Academic Team.

Corey Atwell – graduated from GHS in 1990 after completing an athletic career in football, baseball and wrestling. He was an All-Conference football player and MVP his senior year. It was on the wrestling mat, however, that he set the bar at a remarkable level. HE was a four-time varsity starter and letter winner, leading his team to Conference and Regional championships.

He was in individual NCIC Champ his senior year, placed sixth at the State Meet, received the McCormick Award, and represented GHS at the Quad-City Salute to Senior Athletes.

After graduating from GHS, Atwell had a four-year wrestling career at Illinois College and reached the NCAA Division III Nationals twice.

When he graduated from college, Atwell returned to GHS as an assistant wrestling coach, then coached wrestling and football at Kewanee High School for three years.

He moved to Neuqua Valley where he coached both football and wrestling before moving to his current position at Vernon Hills where he served as an offensive coordinator, leading his squad to the IHSA Title Game. Atwell currently coaches Special Olympics Athletics at Vernon Hills and coaches wide receivers at Grayslake North High School.

Molly Bergeson O’Bryant – graduated from GHS in 2004 having played basketball and volleyball, but it was on the softball diamond that she set the highest standards. In her pitching circle, she was 89 and 20 the last three years, had a career total of 121 victories, going 22-3 with an ERA of .87 as a senior, with career marks of 418 strikeouts and 23 shutouts. She also set school records in a variety of offensive categories --- a season record .527 batting average, and a career average .482---most triphies-10…walks – 48…and 33 stolen bases.

A two-tie MVP at GHS, she was a three-time All-Quad City Metro player. She received an academic and athletic scholarship at Bradley University in Peoria where she excelled in the classroom, earning multiple academic recognitions and was an impact player on the softball diamond, starting in all 51 games as a freshman. She led Bradley in 2005 and 2006 in runs scored, hits, walks, and triples.

In 2007, the athlete moved to St. Mary’s in California where she led the team in slugging average, total bases and runs scored. At St. Mary’s, she was selected to All-Tournament and All-Conference teams. Since graduation, she has coached at various levels, both in the U.S. and Canada.

Travis Mackey – After graduating from GHS in 2001, Mackey returned to his alma mater to serve as athletic director, and was named GHS principal in 2016. He retired in June of 2022.

As a student athlete at GHS in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Mackey was part of an exceptionally talented group garnering multiple NCIC Conference and Regional Championships in multiple sports, with the senior-led Green Machine winning the Class 4-A State Championship. He was among several individuals on that squad that received state, conference and area honors.

After GHS, Mackey went to Harding University and then transferred to Northeast Missouri State. After graduating, he taught and coached at Fulton, for four years, then at Rock Island for eight years before returning to GHS.

In addition to the demands that accompany organizing finances, personnel, schedules, travel, equipment and facilities for the 20 boys’ and girls’ sports at GHS, as athletic director Mackey took the lead for garnering community resources and support that resulted in building of the Geneseo Foundation Activity Center. This facility enhances not only the school-related activities, but community activities as well.

More recently, Mackey led the effort in organizing the GHS Athletic Hall of Fame which now rightfully welcomes him as a member, honoring his more than 20 years of exceptional contributions to Geneseo High School.

Kyle Glazier – a 2006 graduate of GHS, followed up a noteworthy athletic career at GHS with another at Western Illinois University.

A three-year starter in football and basketball at GHS, Glazier was also on a relay team that held records in track. On the gridiron, he was a two-time All-Conference player, named to multiple all-area teams, All-State as a senior, and was MVP. He finished his GHS career as a 3x4 award recipient.

At WIU, Glazier completed an even more impressive career on the field and in the classroom. He was an All-Missouri-Valley Conference and Academic All-American, a 1st team AP All-American, a Walter Camp All-American, and the MVC Defensive Player of the Year.

Glazier led the FCS NCAA Division 1 with a season high 25 tackles in one game and was the only WIU player in history with two games of 21 tackles. He received multiple Player-of-the-Week awards by conference and national associations and was runner-up for Buck Buchanan National Defensive Player of the Year. He was invited to the NFL tryout Combine, the results of which were curtailed due to the NFL players’ strike.