Journal Gazette from Mattoon, Illinois on January 14, 1989 · Page 11
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Journal Gazette from Mattoon, Illinois · Page 11

Mattoon, Illinois
Issue Date:
Saturday, January 14, 1989
Page 11
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Saturday.January 14,1989 Mld-Illinots Newspapers B-3 pal Ron Ferrari, Lake' Land College By CHARLIE BROWN Staff Writer ATHERTON, Calif. - Lake Land College fans know of the several basketball . and baseball athletes who began as Lakers and went on to four-year college and professional careers. R e x Morgan went to the Boston Celtics, Reno Gray to Illinois, Do u g J e m is o n played . at the University of San Francisco and Perry Hines made 1 t a t Ron Ferrari Southern Illinois in basketball. Also, Gary Gaetti is a Minnesota Twin and Bert Bradley was an Oakland Athletic. Both started at Lake Land. And, that doesn't include several more who continued their careers at various colleges and universities. However, even the most die-hard Laker fan would be stumped when it comes to the' Laker alum who went on to play football at Illinois and earn a Super Bowl ring with the San Francisco 49ers. Ron Ferrari came to Lake Land, which has never had a football program, after lettering three years on the Moweaqua High School grid team as a linebacker and fullback. He was All-Meridian Conference his senior season, but had only one chance to play football. "I had a chance to go to Millikin University, which I think is an outstanding university," he said via telephone from his home Wednesday. "They were very interested in having me go up there to play. However, Millikin didn't have agriculture. That was my reason for choosing Lake Land. "When I was a senior in high school and we played our last game, I said 'That was my last game. That's it. I'll never play this game again.'" Ferrari stopped, and . laughed. Now, it appears he is done with football. However, just like a boxer, he has returned to the sport after three other "retirements." Ferrari, who describes himself as just an average player, is currently finishing up his master's degree in business administration at Santa Clara University. He plans to be working with investments as he and his wife Karen get on with their lives after football. "It's a nice change of pace," Ferrari said of his career choice. "I haven't played ball for a couole West Isn't By BRIAN NIELSEN TC Sports Editor CHARLESTON The man who used to be the hardest working hustler on Eastern's basketball team now just sits and watches practice. Sometimes he gets up and shoots some free throws. Other times he sits, dribbling a basketball. That's all Mike West can do right now, a week after arthroscopic knee surgery. Key words there are right now. West, who was the Panthers' starting center, has no intentions of completing his collegiate basketball career watching from the bench. Doctors say he can make it back. West's goal is to be practicing by Jan. 23 and playing as soon is he csn. Tonight, you won't see him with a handkerchief feeling sorry for himself on the Eastern bench. . "I'm using this time to learn by watching," West said. "I'll tell you, I've learned a lot. I've seen some things I can do when I get back. I'm not just sitting there gazing at things and thinking about not getting to play. I'm still trying to learn." One of his observations : - "We need a leader who can hustle and that's one thing I can do, " West said. "Maybe itawill rub off on some other players." EIU basketball fans already knew that about the 6-fooHTsenior who has almost Invisible statistics but is a constant force with his physical play inside. The hardnosed West finally faced an injury even he wasn't tough enough to handle, however. The trouble started during pregame war-mups Dec. 10 at Southern Illinois when he landed awkwardly coming down on the floor after a layup. That had happened last year toojbut this time it was more serious. West didn't realize that at the time. He sat out a garnet gainst Elmhufst but played against Xavier at home and against Iowa at the -Caminade Christmas Classic. , "But I was playing with a lot of pain," he ' said. "I went through warmups for the Miami game (at Chaminade) and I couldn't stand it. ' Usually I can fight through the pain but I couldn't this time." An orthopedist then determined West and torn cartilage and needed surgery- west didn't argue. "At that point I knew something had to be done," I just wanted something to be done so I of years. I enjoy what I'm doing. It's very dynamic." So was football. His pigskin career resumed in Lake Land's intramural program, which is now defunct, in the fall of 1977, his first year at Lake Land. "Of course, we never knew what was going to happen," said Robert Orr, who was the director of the intramural program. "He was very aggressive and enjoyed the contact. Yeah, he was over-aggressive. We threw some flags on him." "I had a lot of fun (at Lake -Land)," Ferrari recalled. "I'm sure I stretched the rules quite a bit doing some things. I know we didn't lose many." Ferrari graduated from Lake Land in the spring of 1979 and continued on in the transfer program to Illinois. No, then-IUinl coach Gary Moeller did not crowd the Lake Land intramural fields .with recruiters and came up with a coup. , Ron Ferrari had retired from football for the second time. He joined Illinois' agriculture economics program to learn more about farm management. However, even though he was working part-time, he found the costs of college staggering. A friend suggested he go out for football and get a scholarship. "I didn't know if he were lying or "not," Ferrari said. "It just sounded good. I thought a scholarship would be worth it." Having missed spring ball in 1978, Ferrari knew he would be behind. However, he latched on through the special teams. "I always played special teams," he said. "That's a tough way to make a living, but I enjoyed it. That was why I stayed around so long." After one season, he was awarded a scholarship and new coach I Mike White played him at fullback and on the special teams, where he -was a captain. After two seasons, at Illinois and a combined 5-15-2 record i-Ferrari was ready to graduate. However, since he never played official college football at Lake Land, he still had another year of eligibility. "I went and told Coach White that I was reaJy to graduate, but that I could goto graduate school if he wanted me to come back for , another year," Ferrari said. "He said he wanted me to stay." So, stopped short of retiring for the third time, Ferrari went back for the 1981 season, this time as a linebacker and special teams captain. He started as seventh of seven on the depth chart, but worked his way up to a starter in just two weeks. That year, the II-lini were 7-4 and missed a bowl game because of Big Ten proba- -tion stemming from the Dave sulking on sidelines ao r I I i N DRY GAS I FACE protector ' Pr , 0 GASLINE I . V JY A ANTIFREEZE 1 jg jk 'f x ill s89Js2- i A h 5, WHITMAN I G.E. STANDARD j f SAMPLER I LIGHTBULBS U ""Ss! 1-Pound I j;, 3-pack 60. 75. lOOW J (( If ,4 f99 1 iV; . iVrXfc) Vh Si .Reg. aSO. I Reg. 1.49.,, L ,Jy .ySSSSfr -i?2r , v ; STROH'S BLATZ 5 - ) iK -r-p H y' sTr' BEER J? "BEER ' ) OitLtv 't l '1 H (A Reg.orUght Reg. or Light rl ' 89 i; .Q19 , ,4-- ) - 4iv C jL ROYAL Jfk scoTCir t-'fy, vl ov 12" I 9" r; ' -'fj J I I , walker's I nn.RP.v5 I F;:. v- . . ' i ' ' v I . W nF.T.TTYR I 14 11 Eastern's Mike could get DacK betore me season was over.,It's my senior year, I'm a captain and I care about the team." So now West does what he can at practice, shooting free throws and handling a basketball. He also gets treatments in the training room and elevates his leg at night. - - v.- - Ron Ferrari (54) with Wilson case. "I think it would've been very exciting (to go to a bowl)," Ferrari stated. "However, I was fortunate enough to play in the Japan Bowl (a college all-star game). I was an alternate, but they called me at the last minute and I went. "I knew it was my last game. I had interviewed and accepted a position in southern Illinois with a merchandising firm." Then thephone rang on NFL draft day and the voice said he was selected in the seventh round by the 49ers, coming off their first Super Bowl win. "I thought it was a joke," he said. "I don't know why .1 got drafted, but I went to my employer and told them I had to try it. They were nice and said to go for it and to call them if it didn't work out." It did. Ferrari played at San Francisco from 1982-86, including a. Super Bowl victory after the 1984 season. He spent most of his time as a starting nickel linebacker (coming in on third down to coyer the running backs) and, "UT'CSarse, on special teams. "No, I don't miss it," he said. HI miss playing on Sundays and the friends, but I don't miss training camps and practice all week. More than anything, I don't miss coming in Monday and icing everything because I'm sore. Now, I go to work Monday morning and I feel good." Ferrari is proud of the fact that he quit football, it didn't quit him. "I had reached a lot of personal West (42) hopes to make plays like this again. wasn't. r l 4 San Francisco 49ers goals," he explained. "I played two years after the Super.Bowl and it was time to do other things. Although nobody said anything, I didn't want them to tell me I couldn't play football anymore. I was going to make the decision." As for this year's Super Bowl, Ferrari, who is picking his old team, offered his insights. "The game, whether people believe it or not, will be won these i three days (last week)," he said. "I know Bill (Walsh, the 49ers coach) and Sam (Wyche, the Bengals' coach). Sam was with Bill for awhile. He's like a young Bill Walsh. "The game plan is put in (last week), because all the distractions begin next week," he continued. "They'll just fine-tune next week." ' One of his fondest memories from the 1985 Super Bowl, a 38-16 win over Miami, is when Jack "Hacksaw" Reynolds, a 49ers veteran linebacker got up in a meet ing and said "It's just a game. No matter what you think, no matter what the hype. It's just a game."- - That's the way Ferrari approaches the whole thing. He's grateful for his career and for the people he's met. He loved it. But, he says, there is a lot more. "I don't mean to minimize playing in the Super Bowl, but there is no way I'm going to look back 40 years from now and call it the highlight of my life. It was the highlight of my football career." A football career that (maybe) is over. Photo by Jay Kimball fr-- "No one will work harder at it than Mike wilt, " Eastern coach Rick Samuels said West never even thought about the possiblity that he was done. , - "No, I'll be back," he said. "It could have been worse, but thank God it 1 Lana PLAYER G TP HG AVE 1 Andrea Baker (Neoga) 12-322 52 26.8 Lana Davis (Casey-Westfield) 14 328 31 23.4 Lori Moody (Sullivan) 18 361 32 20.1 Nicki Nacke (Areola) 20 310 28 15.5 Kara Hendren (Oakland) 11 169 24 15.3 Becky Clayton (Sullivan) 18 233 22 12.9 Amanda Glazebrook (Sullivan) 18 226 22 12.6 SfaceyWoolever (Mattoon) 16 183 l $p Becky Ettelbrick (Cumberland) 14 155 )for 11.1 Rhonda Kaufman (Arthur) 10 110 20 11.0 Deena Starwalt (Mattoon) 16 170 25 10.6 Jenny Osborn (Charleston) 17 175 19 . 10.3 Melissa Baxter (CaseyWestfield) 14 141 23 10.1 TEAM PS PA AVE AVE DIF Sullivan (15-3) 1271 631 70.7 35.1 35.6 CaseyWestfield (11-3 ) 714 510 51.0 36.4 14.6 Areola (16-4) 1015 837 50.8 41.9 8.9 Mattoon (12-4 ) 801 674 50.1 42.1 8.0 "Charleston (10-7) 863 884 50.8 32.1 - -1.3 Neoga (6-7) 676 705 52.0 53.8 -1.8 Cumberland (2-12) 562 761 40.1, 54.4 -14.3 Oakland (1-10) 383 603 34.9 54.8 -19.9 Arthur (1-10) 355 707 32.3 64.3 -32.0 PHARMACY 235-3126 - STORE 235-3191 OPNE MON.-SAT. CROSS COUNTY QUAHTITT RIGHTS RE8ERVED-N0W THRU TUESDAY SALE B FIDDLE FADDLE ftopcorn Clusters CHARMIN BATH TISSUE 50z. 21 00 rail Ree. mm 1,29 ft 229 ! JL WHISKEY I - U V wm-A - - - - l i tvmv r . i Davis 31 points CaseyTWestfield senior Lana Davis scored 31 points in the Lady Warriors' 58-26 win over Cumberland Thursday. Davis also scored her 1,000th point during the ball game. She's averaging 23.4 points a game. FRII at WiIimw Thi InU'eom Ca'd llwl M row HI . . IMMWhM . mm 9:00 - 9:00; SUN. 10-5 MALL-MATTOON BRACH PIK-A-MIX CANDY 19 Per Pound Reg. 1.79 LB. CHAMBLY MILK BATH Reg. or Aloe 5 4 A d A A A' i 4 4 A 4 4 . ..

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