Great Rivers Athletic Conference
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Great Rivers Athletic Conference
Great Rivers Athletic Conference
GRAC
Great Rivers Athletic Conference logo
Established 1982
Association NJCAA
Division Division I
Subdivision N/A
Members 9
Sports fielded
  • 6
    • men's: 3
    • women's: 3
Region Midwestern United States
Former names None
Headquarters Belleville, Illinois
Commissioner Neil Fiala (since unknown)
Website http://www.gracsports.com/

The Great Rivers Athletic Conference (GRAC) is part of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) located primarily in the Southern part of Illinois and was formed in 1982. The GRAC is located in Region 24 which is about 4/5 the Southern portion of Illinois. The GRAC has nine member schools, with enrollments ranging from less than 1,000 to more than 6,000. While there is no limit as to how many teams each school can field, the GRAC only sponsors six sports: Men's Golf, Basketball, and Baseball and Women's Basketball, Softball, and Volleyball.[1]

NJCAA Regions Map

GRAC Member Information

The GRAC currently consists of nine schools, all from Southern Illinois. The members of the GRAC span the width of Southern Illinois with Wabash Valley on the Eastern border of Illinois and Indiana, and Southwestern Illinois on the Western border of Illinois and Missouri. There are multiple highway rivalries between schools located along Interstate 57 and 64. These include John A. Logan vs. Rend Lake and Lakeland vs. Kaskaskia.


Current schools in the GRAC and general information about them.
School Location Team Name Colors Varsity Teams NJCAA Championships
John A. Logan College Carterville, IL 62918 Vols Black & White 7 0
Kaskaskia College Centralia, IL 62801 Blue Devils & Blue Angels Navy & White 13 0
Lake Land College Mattoon, IL 61938 Lakers Red & Black 6 0
Lincoln Trail College Robinson, IL 62454 Statesmen Green, Orange, & Black 5 0
Olney Central College Olney, IL 62450 Blue Knights Navy & White 4 0
Rend Lake College Ina, IL 62846 Warriors Red, Black, & White 17 5
Southeastern Illinois College Harrisburg, IL 62946 Falcons Blue & Gold 4 0
Southwestern Illinois College Belleville, IL 62221 Blue Storm Blue, Black, & White 8 0
Wabash Valley College Mt. Carmel, IL 62863 Warriors Red & White 4 1

Men's Baseball

Every team in the GRAC fields a men's baseball team. The Wabash Valley College Warriors are annually one of the premier teams, not just in the GRAC, but in the NJCAA, given their annual success and multiple conference victories and the amount of players taken in the draft since the year 2000. This is considered to be an oddity since the school is very small and located in the Midwest and most premier teams are located in the west coast or southern regions. Other teams that have had a large number of conference titles and players drafted are Southwestern Illinois, John A Logan, Lincoln Trail, and Rend Lake College.

John A Logan College - Carterville, IL

The Volunteers have won nine conference titles, six Region 24 championships, and made two national tournament appearances. Eleven Volunteers have earned NJCAA All-American honors, and fourteen former Volunteers are currently playing professional baseball, with four competing in the major leagues. Many players over the years have been drafted and gone on to play in the MLB. The following is a list of recent players drafted.

John A. Logan Players Drafted Since 2000
Player Year Drafted Team Player Year Drafted Team
Dean Anna 2008 San Diego Padres Ken Smalley 2008 Oakland A's
Cody Dunbar 2008 Toronto Blue Jays Kyle Catto 2007 New York Mets
Andrew Dunn 2006 Atlanta Braves Zach Dials 2006 Toronto Blue Jays
Eric Barret 2006 Atlanta Braves Ryan Rogowski 2005 Los Angeles Dodgers
Jason Cairns 2005 St. Louis Cardinals Chris Johnson 2005 Los Angeles Dodgers
Drew O'Connell 2005 Chicago Cubs Chad Mulholland 2003 Toronto Blue Jays
Aaron Coonrod 2002 San Diego Padres Aaron Edwards 2001 New York Yankees
Bobby Coomer 2001 Pittsburgh Pirates Chris Johnson 2000 Cincinnati Reds
Sean Patrick 2000 Baltimore Orioles Victor Kleine 2000 Cleveland Indians

Kaskaskia College - Centralia, Illinois

Blue Devils won 108 games in 3 years, won 2 GRAC titles, have 30 Academic All-American athletes and were named an Academic All-American Team in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Many players over the years have been drafted and gone on to play in the MLB. The following is a list of recent players drafted.

Kaskaskia Players Drafted Since 2000
Player Year Drafted Team Player Year Drafted Team Player Year Drafted Team
Nick Gardewine 2013 Texas Rangers Brandon Hardin 2012 Chicago White Sox Philip Wetherall 2011 New York Yankees
Logan Mahon 2011 Colorado Rockies Blaine Sims 2010 Atlanta Braves Ryan Bradley 2010 San Francisco Giants
Nathan Forer 2010 New York Yankees Lance Durham 2009 Toronto Blue Jays Marcel Champagnie 2008 Anaheim Angels
Jay Voss 2007 Florida Marlins Kevin Sullivan 2006 Houston Astros Lance Durham 2006 Detroit Tigers
Marcel Champagnie 2006 Minnesota Twins Aaron Lovett 2005 Minnesota Twins Aaron Lovett 2004 Colorado Rockies
Marcus Barriger 2002 San Diego Padres

Lincoln Trail College - Robinson, Illinois

The Lincoln Trail College Statesmen have consistently battled for a top spot in the GRAC. Year in and year out the Statesmen have fielded a strong team that has given fellow conference and Region 24 teams all they could ask for. The Statesmen have been champions of the GRAC four times (2001, 2006, 2007 and 2015) since the year 2000 and champions of Region 24 twice (2005 and 2007) in the same span of time.

Along with these accomplishments on the field, the athletes have also been performing well in the classroom receiving the NJCAA Academic team of the year in 2006.

Many players over the years have been drafted and gone on to play in the MLB. The following is a list of recent players currently playing in the MLB

Justin Hancock - San Diego Padres, Chuck Ghysels - Cincinnati Reds, Zach Gerler - Washington Nationals, Ricky Marshall - Chicago White Sox, Cody Gilbert - Chicago Cubs, David Arnold - Colorado Rockies, Seth Bynum - Washington Nationals, Tyler Evans - Houston Astros, Kevin Mahar - Texas Rangers, and TJ Brewer - San Francisco Giants

Rend Lake College - Ina, Illinois

The Rend Lake Warriors are never taken for granted in the GRAC or Region 24. Rend Lake has consistently produced a competitive ball club that competes in the top half of the conference year after year. The Warriors have been Region 24 Champions three times (1997, 1999, and 2008) in the past two decades.

Many players over the years have been drafted and gone on to play in the MLB. The following is a list of recent players who have been drafted or have or are currently playing in the MLB or for an MLB minor league team.

Kyle Geiger - Twins, Jim Abbott - Twins, Neal Freandling - Rays, Dan Dement - Nationals, Mike Siefert - Blue Jays, Ryan Spille - Blue Jays, Dan Firlit - Cardinals, Brandon Braboy - Yankees, Zach Petersime - Orioles, Cory White - Indians, Nick Wooley - Royals, and Nathan Dorris - Braves.

Southeastern Illinois College - Harrisburg, Illinois

The Southeastern Illinois Falcons have put a couple players on the field over the years that have reached the MLB. Two of note are Cory Bailey and Jeff Keener.

Cory Bailey played professional baseball from 1991-2003 for five different teams: Boston Red Sox (1993-94), St. Louis Cardinals (1995-1996), San Francisco Giants (1997-1998), Kansas City Royals (2001-2002), and the Yomiuri (Japan) Giants (2003).

Jeff Keener went onto the University of Kentucky and became their number one pitcher. He then signed and played with the St. Louis Cardinals for two seasons, winning one World Series. Jeff Keener currently coaches baseball at Gen. John A. Logan High School in Southern Illinois.

All players of note would be the All-Americans that have passed through the Falcons system. Jason Colemire, Kieth Jones, Jaime Malave, Tony Ochs, Ron Wahig, and Darren Weisheit, along with Jeff Keener.

Olney Central College - Olney, Illinois

The Blue Knights have competed for top honors in the conference consistently since joining the league in 1987. Olney has produced 8 Academic NJCAA All-Americans, and 8 NJCAA All-Americans since 2000, compiling a record of 565-241 in those years (2000-present).

Olney has produced many professional affiliated players over recent years.

Player Year Drafted Team Player Year Drafted Team Player Year Drafted Team
Derek Hankins 2004 Pittsburgh Pirates Kyle Haines 2004 San Francisco Giants Eric Everly 2004 Chicago White Sox
Jeff Mault 2004 Seattle Mariners Phil Britton 2005 Atlanta Braves Matt Hayes 2006 Baltimore Orioles
Ben Humphrey 2007 Tampa Bay Rays Brady Shoemaker 2009 Chicago White Sox Nick Graffeo 2010 Kansas City Royals
Jerad Eickhoff 2011 Texas Rangers Jeremy Sy 2012 San Francisco Giants Aaron Newcomb 2012 Los Angeles Angels
Zack Sterling 2012 Seattle Mariners

Clint Barmes also played for Olney Central College in 1998 and 1999 before transferring to Indiana State and has been a 10-year veteran in the Major Leagues for the Rockies, Astros, and Pirates. He made his big league debut on September 5, 2003.

Wabash Valley College - Mt. Carmel, Illinois

The Wabash Valley Warriors are consistently the team to beat in the GRAC. This team has national recognition along with the recognition from its peers in the GRAC and Region 24. The Warriors are consistently in the hunt for the GRAC Championship and Region 24 Championship because of all the talented players that have used this system as a sling-shot to playing professional ball. Under Coach Rob Fournier,(Head Coach of Warriors since 1997) there have been 46 players drafted into the MLB, and 38 since the year 2000. The following is a list of recent players drafted.

Wabash Valley Players Drafted Since 2000
Player Year Drafted Team Player Year Drafted Team Player Year Drafted Team
Sean Smith Pirates 2000 Bradley Haines Marlins 2000 Will Corbin Mariners 2000
Jim McMahon Orioles 2000 Justin Pouk Expos 2000 Jayson Berrios Dodgers 2000
Tyler Kirkman Expos 2001 Ross Wolf Marlins 2001 Todd Dulaney Mets 2002
Mark Wahl Orioles 2002 Andy Rohleder Marlins 2002 Kenny Pokryfke Rangers 2002
Ross Wolf Marlins 2002 Luis Sabino Tigers 2003 Ezequiel Perez Tigers 2003
Nathan Stone Independent 2003 Juan Downing Atlanta Braves 2003 Adam Swain White Sox 2004
Ramon Downing Diamondbacks 2004 Kyle Rapp Dodgers 2004 Carlos Soto Diamondbacks 2004
Joe Campbell Diamondbacks 2004 Ed Roman Diamondbacks 2004 Osvaldo Torres Philadelphia Phillies 2005
Julio Rodriguez N.Y. Mets 2005 Joe Campbell Arizona D-Backs 2005 Justin Pouk Cleveland Indians 2005
PJ Thomas Boston Red Sox 2005 Edwin Mieles Oakland Athletic 2005 Derrick Walker Arizona D-Backs 2006
PJ Thomas Boston Red Sox 2006 Josh Yates Cleveland Indians 2006 Ben Norton Kansas City Royals 2007
Toby Matchulat Detroit Tigers 2007 Reece Cheatham Chicago White Sox 2007 Axel Gonzalez Houston Astros 2007
Aaron Barrett Minnesota Twins 2008 Josh Godfrey Arizona Diamondbacks 2008 Toby Matchulat Chicago Cubs 2008

Men's Basketball

Every team in the GRAC has a men's basketball team. The Wabash Valley Warriors are the only team from the GRAC to have won a NJCAA Title.

John A Logan College - Carterville, Illinois

Always competitive, the John A. Logan program has won seven conference championships, four Region 24 Tournament titles, and produced three NJCAA All-Americans.

Kaskaskia College - Centralia, Illinois

Kaskaskia College has yielded four All-Americans in Sean Stackhouse, 1997, Jeff Rogers, 1992, Darren Hill, 1991, and Vernell Brent, 1991. The team has 4 Academic All-American athletes and 8 players who went on to play professional basketball. Shaun Durant (Spain), Mike English (Austria), Ikemefuna Attah (England), Marquis Scott (Mexico), Eoin O'Brien (England), Gavin Smith (France), Darrell Flake (Iceland), Jeff Rogers (Norway). Blue Devil Basketball player Doug Junkins was the 2005 GRAC Sportsman of the Year.

Lincoln Trail College - Robinson, Illinois

The Lincoln Trail Statesmen have made two NJCAA tournament appearances: 1977 and 1994. They have also produced 3 All-Americans: Michael Gray (1997), Chris Whitney (1991), and Terry Johnson (1994)

Rend Lake College - Ina, Illinois

The Southeastern Illinois Falcons have made two NJCAA Tournament appearances: Placed 7th in 2003, and 4th in 2004. They have also produced 8 All-Americans: Tim Barnes 2000-2002 Takais Brown 2004-2006 James Foster 1997-1999 Girard Moore 1995-1997 Lamar Owen 2001-2003 Bill Patterson 1965-1967 Donta Smith 2002-2004 Damian Staple 2001-2003

Southeastern Illinois College - Harrisburg, Illinois

Southeastern Illinois is one of the premier teams in the GRAC and Region 24. They have reached the Elite 8 twice in the NJCAA tournament. They placed 7th in 2003 and then 4th in 2004.In 2000 longtime coach and athletic director Virgil Motsinger was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame.

Southwestern Illinois College - Belleville, Illinois

The Blue Storm continue to be one of the strongest programs year to year in the GRAC. They are one of the Top 40 winningest programs in NJCAA history and are coached by Jay Harrington, a NJCAA Hall of Fame inductee. Harrington's squad finished 6th at the 2004-05 tournament.

Wabash Valley College - Mt. Carmel, Illinois

The Wabash Valley Basketball Warriors is the only team to win the NJCAA tournament. They did that in 2001 in Hutchinson, Kansas, the annual site of the NJCAA Men's basketball tournament. Two players on the championship team went on to play in the NBA; Hiram Fuller and Tony Allen.

The Warriors have had many players transfer to Division I NCAA 4-year institutions throughout the years. A few noteworthy players are Carlos Williams ('06)- UNC Charlotte, Antwon Coleman ('05)-UNC-Charlotte, Jerell Jamison ('05)-UNC-Charlotte, Tony Allen ('02)-Oklahoma State-Boston Celtics Antwain Barber ('02)-Kentucky Hiram Fuller ('01)-Fresno State-Washington Wizards Daren Tarver ('01)-George Mason Dujuan Wiley ('96)-Michigan State, William Unseld ('94)- Univ. Of South Carolina, Mitchell Dunn ('94)- U. of Miami.

Men's Golf

Though not every school fields a team in the GRAC, golf in the GRAC is played at a high level, seen by the All-American honors garned since the year 2000.

John A Logan College - Carterville, Illinois

The John A. Logan Vols have won six of the past eight Region 24 Tournament titles and qualified for eight consecutive appearances in the NJCAA National Tournament. Never finishing lower than eighth at nationals, Logan's best showing came in 2004 when it placed second. Logan has produced the last six individual Region 24 Tournament medalists, and seven Volunteers have earned All-American honors: William Bremner (2008), Patrick Scheil (2008), Scott McGrenaghan (2007), Justin Fetcho (2005), Sean McNemar (2004), Brian Norman (2003), Spence Andrews (2001, 02).

Kaskaskia College - Centralia, Illinois

Kaskaskia College Blue Devils have 4 Academic All-Americans and were an Academic All-American Team in 2013..

Women's Softball

All the teams of the GRAC that field a women's softball team are very proud of what they accomplish each year. The Wabash Valley Warriors are consistently the team to be in the conference as seen by their 19 conference victories since the year 1983, and winning conference every year since the year 2000.

John A Logan College - Carterville, IL

The John A. Logan Vols have won four conference titles and produced six NJCAA All-Americans.

Kaskaskia College - Centralia, IL

The Kaskaskia College Blue Angels have produced 15 Academic All-Americans and were selected as an Academic All-American Team in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The Kaskaskia College Blue Angels have made the Final Four in 2013, 2014 and 2015 finishing in the Top 3. They had 3 players make All Tournament in 2015, 2 make All Conference and All GRAC 24, and 1 GRAC 24 Freshman of the Year in 2015.

Rend Lake College - Ina, IL

The Rend Lake Warriors have produced two NJCAA All-Americans: Jennifer Calandrilla (1999) and Jaymie Cowell (1996).

Wabash Valley College - Mt. Carmel, IL

The Wabash Valley Warriors are consistently known to be the premier team of the GRAC, and even Region 24.
The Warriors have won 19 GRAC titles: 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1997, 2000 (Co- Champs), 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
The Warriors have also won nine Region 24 titles (place): 1984, 1985 (4th), 1997 (5th), 2001 (9th), 2002 (13th), 2003 (10th), 2004 (6th), 2005 (4th), 2008 (7th).
The Warriors are led by NJCAA Softball Hall of Fame coach Paul Schnarre. Currently, Schnarre is first in active coach's wins in the NJCAA. He has guided the Lady Warriors to 17 Great River Athletic Conference championships, 9 NJCAA Region XXIV Championships, and 8 NJCAA Division I National Tournament appearances. In 2006, the Illinois Eastern Community College Administration dedicated the Softball field as the Paul Schnarre Field in honor of his accomplishments. In 2007, Schnarre was inducted into the NJCAA Softball Hall of Fame.

Women's Basketball

Every school in the GRAC fields a women's basketball team. The Southeastern Illinois Falcons are consistently the team to beat as seen by the amount of All-Americans players from their team.

John A Logan College - Carterville, IL

The John A. Logan Vols have won 16 GRAC titles and twelve Region 24 titles with their best finish in 1988 of second place. The Lady Vols have also been named NJCAA All-Americans.

Kaskaskia College - Centralia, IL

The Kaskaskia Blue Devils won 2 GRAC titles, have produced 6 Academic All-Americans and 3 NJCAA All-Americans: Kierra Graves (2014, 2015), Miranda Burroughs and Leslie Dumstorff (2000).

Southeastern Illinois College - Harrisburg, IL

The Southeastern Illinois Falcons have won the Region 24 title three times 1990 (place): 2006 (5th) and 2007 (4th). The Lady Falcons have also produced 9 NJCAA All-Americans: Chandra Brown (2003), Crystal DeLorch (2004), Juliana Fernandes (2005), Christy Henry (1994), Amber Holt (2006), Lesha Jones (2007), Armelie Lumanu (2008), Chanel Mokango (2008), and Sonja Thompson (1997)

Women's Volleyball

John A. Logan College is consistently the team to beat in the GRAC, as seen by their winning three GRAC titles since the year 2000.

John A Logan College - Carterville, IL

The John A. Logan Vols have won three GRAC titles: 2000, 2002, and 2008. They have won three Region 24 titles and (placed) in the NJCAA Championship: 2000 (8th), 2002 (7th), 2008. They have also produced five NJCAA All-Americans: Shannon Winkeler, Jenny Heimann, Shannon Winkeler, Megan Markwell, Amy Verseman

Kaskaskia College - Centralia, IL

The Kaskaskia College Blue Angels have won one GRAC title, produced 19 Academic All-Americans and were an Academic All-American Team in 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Rend Lake College - Ina, IL

2002 was Rend Lake's best season as a Women's Volleyball team. They went 35-17 and gained second in the GRAC.

Other Sports

Though not officially sponsored by the GRAC, many of the schools also field teams such as men's and women's track and field, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, women's golf, men's and women's tennis, and many others.

Women's Cross Country

Kaskaskia College - Centralia, IL

The Kaskaskia College Blue Angels have produced 4 Academic All-Americans and were selected as an Academic All-American Team in 2012 and 2013.

Men's Cross Country

Kaskaskia College - Centralia, IL

The Kaskaskia College Blue Devils have produced 4 Academic All-Americans.

Women's Golf

John A Logan - Carterville, IL

The Lady Vols have won three Region 24 Tournament titles and competed as a team in the NJCAA National Tournament seven times. Their best finish at nationals came in 2002 when they placed fourth. Logan has had five individual Region 24 Tournament medalists, three NJCAA All-Americans, and one honorable mention All-American selection.

Kaskaskia College - Centralia, IL

The Kaskaskia College Blue Angels have produced 8 Academic All-Americans and were an Academic All-American Team in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014. The Blue Angels were the Academic All American Team of the Year in 2008.

Women's Soccer

Kaskaskia College - Centralia, IL

The Kaskaskia College Blue Angels have 1 NJCAA All-American - Miranda Burroughs, 14 Academic All-Americans and were an Academic All-American Team in 2012.

Men's Soccer

Men's Tennis

Kaskaskia College - Centralia, IL

The Kaskaskia College Blue Devils have produced 3 Academic All-Americans and were selected as an Academic All-American Team in 2013..

Women's Tennis

Kaskaskia College - Centralia, IL

The Kaskaskia College Blue Angels have produced 2 Academic All-Americans and were selected as an Academic All-American Team in 2012.

References

Links


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