Granite City football fans will get to see something big when they come to the home games this fall.
It’s a 30-foot board honoring the football teams that won Southwestern Conference championships and qualified for the state playoffs. Granite City had a total of six football teams that qualified for the state playoffs, including its last one in 2011.
Babe Champion — a community activist and member of the 1948 Granite City baseball team that won a state title — and Gus Lignoul did the research. Keith Wagner, a Granite City graduate in the mid-1970s, designed the big board, which was built over the summer. The board was funded by the Granite City Sports Hall of Fame group and the Granite City High School Class of 1959.
“We’re so proud of it,” Champion said.
Champion said there are more than 700 names on that board, which is located in the exterior wall of the Granite City Sports Hall of Fame building.
“I’m not on it,” Champion said. “My sons (Keith and Kirk) are not on it. Gus Lignoul is not on it. But we didn’t do for us. We did it for our high schools and that included (Granite City) North and Granite City High School. It’s got all of the coaches’ names, the principals’ names and the superintendents and the people who were involved in that particular year.”
Football fans will get a chance to see the big board for the first time at 7 p.m. Friday, when the Warriors play the Jerseyville Panthers in their season opener.
“It’s a beautiful thing,” Champion said.
Carl Luehmann returns for his sixth season as Granite City football coach. He coached the 2011 team that went to the playoffs with a 6-4 record.
The Warriors finished 1-9 last year, with their only victory coming against Riverview Gardens in their second week.
The Granite City fall athletic season officially began on Aug. 18, when the girls’ golf team finished second to Edwardsville in the large-school division of the Madison County Golf Tournament at the Legacy Golf Course.
Karen Greenwald returns for her ninth season as Granite City girls’ golf coach. Last year, the Warriors had a pair of sectional qualifiers in Mallory O’Gara and Megan Keel.
The Granite City boys’ golf team started its season on Aug. 20 with a fourth-place finish in the large-school division of the Madison County Golf Tournament at Gateway National Golf Links in Madison.
The Warriors were scheduled to begin their season Aug. 18 at the Alton Tee-Off Classic, but the tournament was cancelled because of rain.
Jeff Ridenour returns for his sixth season as Granite City boys’ golf coach.
The Granite City boys’ soccer team was scheduled to start its season on Tuesday against Columbia at Gene Baker Field. The Warriors play at Edwardsville tonight to begin their Southwestern Conference season.
Kenny Jackson returns for his second season as Granite City boys’ soccer coach. Last year, the Warriors beat Kennedy and Nixa for their only victories.
The Granite City girls’ tennis team starts its season on Sept. 1 with a road match against Triad. The Warriors start their home season against O’Fallon the next day.
Linda Ames returns for the third season of her second stint as Granite City girls’ tennis coach. She returned as head coach in 2013 after coaching the program from 1994-2004.
The cross country team begins its season on Sept. 2 at the Columbia Relays. The squad will have its 42nd annual Granite City Invitational on Sept. 5 at Wilson Park.
Last year, the boys’ squad placed third in the Southwestern Conference and Class 3A regional meets and qualified one runner to state, junior Will O’Keefe. The girls’ team qualified for sectionals by placing sixth in regionals.
Richie Skirball returns for his fourth season as Granite City cross country coach.
The Warriors’ volleyball team starts its season on Sept. 3 with a road match against Highland. Granite City starts its home season on Sept. 8 against Civic Memorial.
Ginger Harrison returns for her third season as head volleyball coach. Last year, the Warriors won four matches.