Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

June 16, 2011

In the genes

EHS' Zerrusen carrying on hoops tradition

EFFINGHAM — Sam Zerrusen has basketball in her blood. Grandfather Lawrence Carie coached the Teutopolis boys basketball team for more than 20 years. Mother Doris (Carie) Zerrusen was the first Illinois Ms. Basketball, leading T-Town to the first of many state titles and went on to star at Illinois.

    So it’s only fitting that Sam — a recent Effingham High School graduate, who played and excelled at three sports in addition to being an academic all-star — chose to continue her career on the basketball court at a place that has a nice hoops tradition of its own. She’ll play basketball at Millikin University in Decatur, a place with both a great women’s basketball history and a great academic reputation.

    It’s the best of both worlds, and Zerrusen couldn’t be more excited.

    “I love the feeling,” she said. “I guess just the thought of knowing I get to play another four years and do something I love makes me feel great about myself.

    “It’s a very strong program, and I’m really excited about playing for them.”

    Millikin has thrived under head coach Lori Kerans. In addition to winning the 2005 NCAA Division III National Championship, the Big Blue has made 14 NCAA tournament appearances. Kerans has a record of 481-176 and 13 20-win seasons in her 25 years as the coach of the Big Blue.

    She thinks Zerrusen has the perfect tools to help continue Millikin’s basketball tradition.

    “Her Carie/Zerrusen genes give her an advantage in being a great person, student and athlete,” Kerans said. “But it is her passion, her work ethic and her dedication that have made Sam the kind of person we want wearing the blue next year.

    “As a basketball player, Sam has the ability to play any position on the court and is often responsible for guarding the opponent’s best athlete. Sam has proven herself within the tough Apollo Conference. Her dominance in our program will depend only on her ability to listen, be taught and work.”

    A Newton native, Kerans knows the Apollo Conference well. She’s also been very active recruiter in the Apollo Conference and surrounding area of East Central Illinois.

    Zerrusen, Altamont’s Ashley Fulk and Flora’s Hannah Golden will join a roster full of other area natives. T-Town grad Heather Pruemer, who will be a senior at Millikin, Newton grad Nikki Tipsword, a rising junior, and Beecher City grad Hillary Shelton, a rising sophomore, have all made their marks for the Big Blue.

    “Lori Kerans is from Newton, so my family knows her and her father,” Zerrusen said. “Also, Hannah Golden and Ashley Fulk will be playing at Millikin with me. It will be a smoother transition (having familiar faces as teammates).”

    A three-year varsity letterwinner as a guard at EHS, Zerrusen averaged more than 10 points per game during both her junior and senior seasons. She was a three-point specialist for the Hearts, shooting 38 percent from downtown and 45 percent total in her senior season. Her 10.6 points-per-game helped bring the Hearts their second-straight regional title this past season.

    “I’ve talked to Coach Kerans about it, and I’m going to play on the wing,” Zerrusen said of her presumed role for the Big Blue. “She sees me as a person controlling the team and being a shooting guard so we have somebody that can score.

    “She sees me, and I see myself, as a leader.”

    Although Zerrusen will most likely spend her time on the wing, EHS head coach Jeff Schafer thinks Zerrusen’s versatility makes her valuable.

    “She’s a real versatile player who can play any position that they need her to,” Schafer said. “I know it’s always nice to have those kids who can play in a lot of different spots.”

    Zerrusen was named to the Illinois Basketball Coaches’ Association Class 3A/4A Special Mention team, the Apollo Conference All-Conference First Team and was also an all-area player on the EDN and Decatur Herald & Review teams.

    Despite her leadership skills, Zerrusen knows her game is not complete. She knows that quickness and ballhandling are two major aspects that she’ll have to develop to be great at Millikin.

    “I’ve been working out and doing that between working two jobs,” she said of her workout regimen in preparation for next season. “(I’ve been) going to Decatur once a week for a scrimmage. The captains of the team set it up. The first one (was June 2) and then we’ll decide what days work best for scrimmages and summer workouts. We’ll be ready to go by the season.”

    “She’s got a great opportunity there to get a good education and to play for a very good basketball program,” Schafer said. “I still fell like she can keep getting better and continue to improve and flourish in that program.

    “If she gets really focused I think she can have a really good career.”

    Sam, the daughter of Anthony and Doris Zerrusen, plans to major in communications at Millikin.

    “Millikin has the education I need and it’s a four-year college,” she said. “I didn’t want to have to go through a two-year college and then a four-year college.

    “I’m looking forward to getting away for a while and meeting new people. Campus life, I’m kind of anxious to see what it’s like.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • daughertyfootball.jpg Hearts to prep with Mattoon 7-on-7

    Two weeks ago, Effingham was supposed to start shaking off the rust with a 7-on-7 football tournament in Mattoon. Naturally, it rained and was canceled.
    So Saturday, the Flaming Hearts will head up to Mattoon and play their first 7-on-7 event of the season, taking part in an 10- team field with Mattoon, Rochester, Robinson, Marshall, Cahokia and Pleasant Plains from Illinois, with Terre Haute North and Northview coming from Indiana. Rochester is bringing two squads.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mammoser3.jpg Newton Post 20 plays Belleville Saturday

    With the District 23 tournament behind them, Newton Post 20 now knows its fate for the Fifth Division Junior Legion tournament this weekend in Bethalto.
    Newton will play Belleville Post 58 at 2:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon in Bethalto, in the third game of six on the day.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bateman.jpg Effingham's season comes to a close with 11-1 loss to Salem

    A 1-0 lead for Effingham Post 120 rapidly evaporated, and the post’s Junior Legion season came to an end with a 11-1 loss in five innings to Salem Post 128 Tuesday night.
    The game was for the final spot of District 23 in the divisional tournament, with Newton Post 20 and Breese Post 252 Gray punching their tickets by winning their district divisions.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bierman.jpg Newton Post 20 falls short against Breese Gray 9-3

    While the District 23 title ultimately exceeded Newton Post 20’s grasp, their season will continue in Bethalto.
    Newton took on Breese Post 252 Gray for the Junior Legion District 23 title as the two division winners, but Breese’s bats proved too much for Newton in an 9-3 loss for Post 20.
    “The innings where they put some runs on us, we gave them some extra outs,” said Newton coach John Grunloh. “You’ve got to make the plays when you play better teams.”

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Barnes3.jpg Barnes' one-hitter boosts Post 120; Effingham beats Dieterich 1-0

    Ryan Barnes hasn’t seen a lot of time with Effingham Post 120’s junior legion team this season, but he showed up in a big way Monday night in a 1-0 win over Dieterich Post 628.
    The win kept Effingham’s season alive one more day in the Junior Legion District 23 tournament, as the post will face Salem Post 128 at 5:30 p.m. today for the district’s final spot in the divisional round. Salem Post 128 downed Mt. Vernon Post 141 1-0 in the West Division loser’s bracket, setting up the final with Effingham today.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mammoser2.jpg Newton Post 20 tops Effingham Post 120 7-5 late

    Most of the games at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament have seen pitching take control, but the pitchers in Sunday night's Effingham Post 120/Newton Post 20 game faced an uphill battle.
    While Brock Mammoser started the game for Post 20 on the hill and struggled, he came through with the biggest hit in the game, putting Newton up for good in a 7-5 win over Effingham.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Campton.jpg Dieterich Post 628 eliminates Teutopolis Post 924 3-2

    Errors proved to be Teutpolis Post 924's undoing against Dieterich Post 628, as Dieterich's sixth-inning rally in an 3-2 win were boosted by three Teutopolis errors
    To lead off the sixth, Trenton Poe reached on an error by Brock Bueker, and came around to score on an infield single by Ryan Radloff with a throwing error on Bueker. Poe was already on third when the ball went in the Teutopolis dugout, awarding Poe home to tie the game.
    Bryce McClain followed with an RBI single to score Radloff and put Post 628 up for good. Dieterich scored again on a Briar Schmidt groundout where first baseman Brant Bueker tried to get an inning-ending out at second, but the throw was wild and brought home McClain.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teutopolis, Deters down Altamont Post 512 2-0

    TEUTOPOLIS — Lucas Deters didn't get a ton of run support from his Teutopolis Post 924 teammates, but he didn't need much in a complete-game shutout, and Teutopolis ended Altamont Post 512's season with a 2-0 win Sunday afternoon.
    Deters' efforts at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament kept Teutopolis alive in the loser's bracket to face Dieterich Post 628 immediately following the win.

    July 21, 2014

  • Poe.jpg Two-out rally pushes Dieterich to win; Post 628 beats Vandalia Post 95 4-3

    Down one with two outs and Vandalia Post 95 ace Zach Schaal coming in in relief, Dieterich Post 628 had a tough task to keep its season alive.
    But down 3-2, Cole Hartke and Charlie Thoele laced back-to-back singles to score Briar Schmidt and Flach, respectively, to take a 4-3 lead.
    Clayton Campton held the lead in the seventh, striking out two and getting Post 95 in order to keep Dieterich's season alive.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jansen.jpg Late Newton rally downs Robinson 4-2

    Newton Post 20 rarely had an answer for Robinson Post 69's Brayden Burch, but thanks to a few key Robinson errors, Newton took their District 23 opener 4-2 Friday night.
    With the game tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Mitch Jansen led off with a walk, followed by Tim Weber reaching on an error by Robinson shortstop Zander Laino and a bunt single by Luke Geier.
    Mike Carr came through with a bloop single to center, scoring Jansen to put Newton up 2-1.Burch struck out John Grunloh and Joe Stone, but second baseman Cameron Neese booted a grounder by Mitch Bierman and two more runs scored.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.