Mt. Vernon Register-News

Sports

February 17, 2013

MVTHS Sports Hall of Fame: Linda Sanders

MT. VERNON — As a multi-sport athlete, Linda Sanders showed a grit and determination in leading her teams on both the basketball court and in field events for the track team while at Mt. Vernon Township High School.

For that reason, Sanders is being inducted into the MVTHS Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2013.

“That class (1980) was special for me because their freshman year was my first year here at Mt. Vernon,” longtime Lady Rams basketball coach Sara Rennie said. “That was really the first group of girls that I had spent four years of high school with. That was a special group for me and Linda led the way with her athleticism. She was a three-sport athlete (basketball, volleyball and track). Back then, most of the girls were multiple-sport athletes.”

Rennie said Sanders began playing with the varsity at an early age, and once she started, she never stopped.

“In her freshman year, she started playing some varsity about midway through the season,” Rennie said. “She finished the year playing quite a bit of varsity minutes. Her sophomore year, she was a starter and her feet never left the floor.”

Rennie added that Sanders became a mainstay in the lineup as soon as she first took the floor for the Lady Rams.

“For three years, she was out there. She was one of our many scorers and our main rebounder,” said Rennie. “She was just a phenomenal athlete.”

Rennie said that Sanders was instrumental in the early success of the Lady Rams basketball team.

“In her sophomore year, we won our first regional tournament, but lost in the first game of the sectional,” Rennie said. “In her junior year, we won both the regional and the sectional tournaments. When she was a senior, we won the regional and that was the first year that they held a conference championship. We won that too, with a record of 14-0. That year we set a school record with 23 wins and three losses. We ended up losing to Belleville West in the sectional final. She had a phenomenal run in basketball.”

That phenomenal run put Sanders above the mystical 1,000 career points level; she could rebound too.

“She scored over 1,100 career points and her career rebound average was probably 11.5 - 12.0 rebounds per game. She did some great things in her career,” Rennie said. “In those four years, she really came on strong in basketball. She went on to Rend Lake (College) to play basketball and volleyball for two years, then on to SIU-Carbondale to play basketball for another two years. Linda was a good student, and a good representative of this school, and of this community.”

For Sanders, the roundball court wasn’t the only place she shined. Sanders was also a record-setting member of the Lady Rams track and field team, which included setting a school record in the discus throw as a senior in 1980 with a length of 114 feet 11 inches. That season Sanders was named as the most dedicated participant on the team.

“Linda was always dedicated and very loyal,” said Sherry Payne, a former Lady Rams track and volleyball coach, talking about Sanders. “The kids went through a lot back then, since girl’s athletics was still very new.”

Payne said Sanders was very good at keeping her grades up while the volleyball team endured some very late nights on the road.

“Some nights we were playing as many as seven games. We might get back home at 1 a.m.,” Payne said. “But Linda always kept her schoolwork up. She was just a wonderful, wholesome girl. And she had the total support of her family. She was just a very strong player and morally, a good person.”

As a freshman in 1977, Sanders placed second in the South Seven conference meet in the shot-put, with a throw of 35 feet two inches, then second in the district meet with 33 feet 11 inches. Sanders qualified for the state track-and-field meet, then threw 35 feet while there. Her best throw of the season was 36 feet four inches in a meet against the Benton Lady Rangers.

After sitting out her sophomore year, Sanders returned as a junior, setting a new record (at the time) in the conference meet at 40 feet three inches and one quarter.

As a senior, Sanders qualified for the state meet in both the shot and the discus. She was also the South Seven conference champion in each of those events, with a shot put throw of 38 feet 10 and a half inches, and a discus throw of 114 feet four inches.

“Linda was always the same, whether it was volleyball or track,” Payne said. “Even though track is a team sport, it’s still an individual sport and Linda would even practice on her own.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Hines Sight: Cards aggressive at deadline

    It's been a wild couple days for Cardinals fans.

    They've seen their team and management engage in a flurry of deadline trading activity unlike the past few seasons. St. Louis ripped off a deal a day in the two leading up to the deadline.

    July 31, 2014

  • Young Lady Rams gain vital summer experience

    This summer might have been more critical than usual for player development within the Lady Rams basketball program.

    We graduated six seniors, and we're not kidding ourselves in saying we're going to be veteran because we're not,” Mt. Vernon coach Jeff Lonnon said.

    July 29, 2014

  • Rams spend time at SIU football camp

    The Rams football team spent a little time away from their traditional summer practice setting at the end of last week.

    On Thursday close to three dozen sophomores, juniors and seniors traveled to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale for a football team camp. The camp, which included three other high schools, wrapped up Saturday.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hines Sight: St. Louis, Chicago bring exciting aspects into season

    St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears fans have reasons to be excited for the upcoming football season.

    Both teams feature explosive young talent, who have a chance to dominate the league. Challenges also stand in their way.

    July 25, 2014

  • Sam Root award Root calls award 'humbling'

    Webber's baseball team capped the season with several individual honors, and coach Sam Root recently added to the postseason awards list.

    Root, who guided the Trojans to the 1A state finals in Peoria this spring, was named the Southern Illinois Baseball Coaches Association 1A Coach of the Year.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rays win 6th straight, 7-2 over Cardinals

     Jake Odorizzi allowed two runs over 5 2-3 innings and Yunel Escobar highlighted a five-run fifth inning with a two-run double to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to a 7-2 victory over the StLouis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

    July 22, 2014

  • MTV-Salem Junior Legion Salem ends Mt. Vernon's season

    A sacrifice fly made the difference in Salem's 1-0 win against the Post 141 Junior Legion team Monday.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Breese shuts down Mt. Vernon

    Post 141's Junior Legion team lost 4-0 to the Breese Gray Post 976 squad on Sunday in the district title game.

    July 20, 2014

  • Juniors top Salem

    An early lead and strong pitching propelled the Post 141 Junior Legion team to a 3-1 win over Salem in the district tournament semifinals Saturday afternoon.

    July 19, 2014

  • 7-19 jr. legion cut Lyday shuts out Bluford MT. VERNON — Jeremiah Lyday went the distance and Mt. Vernon’s Jr. Legion squad did just enough offensively to advance in the district tournament at Brennan Klein Field on Friday.Lyday scattered three hits and recorded six strikeouts as Post 141 shut

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Tom Lindley Sports