By Anthony Jones
In the midst of a year when many high school sports have been canceled or postponed, it has become much more difficult to watch local schools compete. One great source to replace that missed entertainment is a YouTube channel called IHSA Archives. The channel is run by the Illinois High School Association, the organization that regulates high school sports in the state.
The channel has countless hours of competition to watch, mostly consisting of state championship matches. It also covers many competitions, ranging from basketball and football to chess and water polo. Some footage even dates back to the 1930’s, but new and recent content is regularly added as well.
For those looking to watch Triad Knights action, there are some great watches. The video “2017 IHSA Girls Soccer Class 2A Championship Game: Troy (Triad) vs. West Chicago (Wheaton Academy)” is a highly competitive contest. Neither team manages to score during regulation, which sends the game to penalty kicks. After a nail biting finish, the Lady Knights go on to win the contest 5-4 and become IHSA State Champions.
Sticking with the Lady Knights soccer program, the video “2011 IHSA Girls Soccer Class 2A Championship Game: Troy (Triad) vs. Woodstock (Marian)” is a great game as well. The two teams battle out to a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation. This sets up another tense finish for Triad as they go to penalty kicks. Ultimately, the Lady Knights prevail after a 4-1 victory in penalty kicks.
Several great contests with the Collinsville Kahoks are uploaded as well. “1961 IHSA Boys Basketball State Championship Finals” provides a great flashback game as the Kahoks battle Harvey (Thornton). The Virgil Fletcher led Collinsville breezed to a 84-50 victory to claim the school’s first state title. This also capped off their season at 32-0.
Another entertaining watch in the pre-three point shot era is “1965 IHSA Boys Basketball Championship Game: Collinsville vs. Quincy (Sr.)”. In the final seconds of the game, Quincy rallies from down 6 to close the gap to 2 points. The Kahoks fend off their comeback attempt however and come away with a 55-52 victory. This made the team state champions yet again.
Fast forwarding a couple decades, “1991 IHSA Boys Soccer Championship Game: Collinsville vs. St. Charles (H.S.)” showcases some soccer history for the school. The game is a close battle for its entirety and never is out of reach for either squad. But the Kahoks managed to claim their first soccer state title after coming away with a 2-1 victory.
The very next year’s title game is an interesting contest as well. Titled “1992 IHSA Boys Soccer Championship Game: Collinsville vs. Evanston (Twp.)”, the game is a tough defense battle. After all shots are taken however, Collinsville claims a 1-0 victory. This gave the school their first ever back-to-back state titles in any sport.
The channel also touts a number of outstanding contests from a statewide perspective. These include many with future professional level stars in their respective sports.
One prominent example of this is “2006 IHSA Boys Basketball Class AA Championship Game: Chicago (Simeon) vs. Peoria (Richwoods)”. Donning the number 25 in this game is future NBA star Derrick Rose. He would go on to be the number one overall draft pick in 2008 and become the league’s youngest MVP ever in 2011.
The game itself is a defensive thriller. The two teams battle it out for all four quarters to arrive at a 29-29 tie at the end of regulation. This sends the game to an overtime period to decide the state champion.
Still in a 29-29 tie with only 15 seconds left, Peoria (Richwoods) calls a timeout with the ball at Simeon’s end of the court. When the ball is inbounded however, Rose steals the ball and goes on to hit a game winning buzzer beater. Sticking with Chicago (Simeon), 2010 produced another great game. In the video “2012 IHSA Boys Basketball Class 4A Championship Game: Chicago (Simeon) vs. Maywood (Provio East)”, current NBA player Kendrick Nunn plays for Simeon. Nunn, in his rookie year, made a strong impact for the Miami Heat who lost in the NBA FInals. The contest is a tough battle all throughout, but Nunn’s team clinches a 50-48 victory.
One future star featured on the channel from the southern portion of the state is Meyers Leonard. The current Miami Heat starter was drafted eleventh overall in 2012 and hails from Robinson, which is in south-eastern Illinois. He leads his team to “2010 IHSA Boys Basketball Class 2A Championship Game: Robinson vs. Peoria (Manual)” , which goes into overtime after being tied at 60-60. Leonard’s team takes off and wins the game 76-68, thanks in part to his 16 point performance.
For those looking for more action, the channel has several playlists that separate videos by sport and by time period to allow for easy watching. The channel can be found at.www.youtube.com/user/IHSAArchives or by searching for “IHSA Archives” on YouTube.