Prospect coach Hamann takes his place in Hall of Fame
When Jim Hamann starts his new job as Prospect's boys golf coach next fall, he will go into the season with a new title.
Hall of Fame coach Jim Hamann.
The man who elevated Prospect into the spotlight in girls golf for the past 15 seasons was inducted into the Illinois Golf Coaches Hall of Fame last Friday at The Den at Fox Creek in Bloomington.
Hamann directed the Knights to the 2011 and 2013 Class 2A girls golf state championships and a second-place finish in 2012.
"Jim has had a profound impact on so many young women in and outside of the world of golf," said Prospect assistant girls golf coach and girls athletic director Rebecca Schilz. "His influence is something our athletic community is proud of. The passion and dedication that is within the girls golf program is a product of the commitment that Jim has provided our athletic community throughout his tenure as head coach."
Schilz was an assistant for Hamann's last girls team this past fall.
"I am confident I am not the only one that can say I will miss coaching with him," she said. "I wish him the best as the new head boys golf coach as Tom Martindale retires."
Former and future Prospect girls golfers all felt grateful they were able to learn the game under Hamann.
Here are some examples:
Kiley Walsh, Class of 2014: "The greatest lesson I learned from Hamann was the importance of effort," said the recently graduated Illinois State University standout and new head boys golf coach at Bloomington High School where she is a Spanish teacher. "Every day, the golf team got better in some form. We never wasted opportunities because he made improving so much fun. He really showed us that giving your full effort is the only way to see how great you can be, and you just may become a state champion."
Kelly Kavanagh, Class of 2020: "Hamann is a very hardworking and devoted coach," Kavanagh said. "He has shaped the Prospect girls golf program into what it is today and has taught girls at all skill levels how to be a great golfer. If it wasn't for him, I would not be the golfer I am today. He made golf fun and enjoyable while also motivating and supporting me on and off the course. It is rare to find a high school golf coach that cares about their team as much as Hamann. All of the girls on the team are so thankful to have such a terrific coach."
Amanda Stein, Class of 2019: "Hamann was an amazing role model for me both on and off the course," Stein said. "He had used his experience from his past golfing career to teach me new techniques and skills to improve my golf game. Not only has he taught me how to play the game of golf, but he has also taught me how to be a better person on the golf course, and in my everyday life. Hamann has made a big impact on my life, and he is part of the reason that I am the person I am today. And I am beyond grateful to have had him as my coach."
Emily Fleming, Class of 2019: "Hamann was a big role model for me because he played college golf and is a big reason that I am able to continue to play the next four years," said the Oakland University (MI) recruit. "He never failed to push me to be my best and always had confidence in me and the rest of the team. He always taught us that "100-and-in" is the biggest part of the game and that it is the key to winning. He not only taught me the game of golf but also life lessons that I will continue to use every day."
Illinois State senior student-athlete Shannon Felde (Schaumburg) was named to the Missouri Valley Conference's All-Tournament Team.
Felde led the Redbirds at the plate, going 3-for-6 (. 500) with 2 runs scored, 3 total bases and 2 walks in ISU's contests against Valparaiso and Northern Iowa.
In the Redbirds' tournament-opening game against the Crusaders, Felde went 2-for-3 and accounted for half of the runs scored by ISU.
The All-MVC first team selection returned to the field later that night, contributing a hit and drawing the Redbirds' only walk in ISU's setback to UNI, while also making an appearance in the circle.
Felde hurled 1⅔ innings of relief, giving up just 1 hit and striking out a pair of Panthers.
She reached base safely in 45 of ISU's 51 contests in 2019, ending her senior year by reaching base in her last 11 games. She also registered at least 1 hit in 39 of the Redbirds' outings.
A familiar face is returning to the Illinois State soccer staff.
Former Redbird soccer player and Maine West High School graduate Rhianna Krutz has been named an assistant to head coach Brad Silvey.
"I am honestly ecstatic to have Rhi returning to the Redbird soccer family as an assistant coach," Silvey said in the school's news release. "She has all the necessary tools to be an exceptional coach. The experience she has accumulated as a former student-athlete, leadership group member, director of operations and assistant coach all at the Division I level will position her perfectly to immediately excel.
"Rhi is a champion and I have no doubt she will consistently bring a championship approach to our program. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Rhi while working with her as a student-athlete and now look forward to working with her on my staff."
Krutz comes to Normal after spending the 2018 season as an assistant coach with Valparaiso's women's soccer program and as the director of operations for the women's soccer team at Dayton during the 2017 season.
At Illinois State, she will primarily work with the forward line and team defending, as well as play a significant role in recruitment and many other areas of the program.
A five-year member of the Redbird soccer program (2012-16), Krutz helped Illinois State win three Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and four tournament championships during her collegiate career.
As a defender, Krutz tallied 5 assists and scored 1 goal in her 2013 redshirt freshman season that saw the 'Birds collect MVC regular season and tournament trophies, as well as advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
"I am extremely honored and humbled by the opportunity to be a part of the program and staff at Illinois State," said Krutz. "This opportunity is a dream come true and I'm excited to get started. Illinois State has always been a second home and I'm glad to be back."
Krutz graduated in 2016 from Illinois State with a bachelor's degree in therapeutic recreation.
Wheaton College senior Joshua Cheng (Stevenson), who competed at No. 2 singles and teamed with Andrew Bristol at No. 1 doubles, earned second-team all-conference honors in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin. The Thunder placed second in the CCIW.
Cheng, a Buffalo Grove resident, was a three-year varsity starter and conference doubles champion at Stevenson. He earned all-state honors and was a state qualifier.
Auustana junior right-hander Chris Refka (Palatine) went 7-1 with a 5.35 ERA and led the Vikings' staff in wins, starts (10) and innings pitched (65⅔).
• Please send sports notes items to firstname.lastname@example.org