Had it not been for Mother Nature's intervention, Luke Guthrie might not have been the first in his family to win a state golf championship. In 2001, as a junior at Quincy High School, Zach Guthrie opened the Class AA state golf tournament with a 1-under 71 at the Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington and was tied for second, just two strokes off the lead. Steady rain the next day forced the cancellation of the second round, costing Guthrie the chance to move up. Still, he made history, becoming the 23rd QHS golfer at the time to finish in the top 10 and the fourth to finish second. It ended what had been a remarkable run in which he won medalist honors at the Western Big Six Conference Tournament and the Class AA Charleston Sectional. As a senior, he took second at the WB6 and at the sectional, while helping the Blue Devils finish fourth at the Class AA state tournament. Guthrie graduated summa cum laude from Western Illinois University with a business degree in economics. He was named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District team, was selected a Golf Coaches Association of America All-America Scholar and earned three All-Mid-Continent Conference Academic honors. He spent six years coaching at the University of Illinois before leaving in 2012 to become the caddie for his brother, Luke, on the PGA Tour. Guthrie and his wife, Kellie, recently were married and live in Florida.
When Al Knepler informed his assistant coach, Matt Longo, he was resigning as the Quincy High School boys soccer coach in the summer of 1987, Longo immediately sought out QHS athletic director Bill Gross to inquire about the job. Longo found Gross putting the football players through a workout on the empty field behind the high school, and a brief conversation ended with a handshake and Longo taking over the program. It was the easiest and best decision Gross made. Longo spent two stints coaching the Blue Devils, spanning 23 seasons in which he became one of the winningest coaches in Illinois State High School Association history. Longo compiled a 386-104-55 record at QHS, coaching from 1987-1996 and 2004-2016. He led the Blue Devils to four state tournament appearances, including a second-place finish in the Class 3A state tournament in 2015 and a fourth place finish in the one-class tourney in 1995. His teams won 13 or more games in each of the last 13 seasons. Twice, he had teams win 20 or more games, and the Blue Devils fashioned together a string of seven straight Western Big Six Conference championships from 2004-2010. Quincy won 20 WB6 titles under Longo's watch. A graduate of Quincy Notre Dame, Longo played soccer at Quincy College and was part of three NAIA national championship teams. He and his wife, Amy, live in Quincy and have three children -- Rose, Jacob and Michael -- and four grandchildren.
The defining moment of Marcus Medsker's high school basketball career didn't occur in Blue Devil Gym as you might expect. It took place in the Panther Den at United Township High School. Despite missing practice most of the week leading up to that game while battling the flu, Medsker didn't expect to start or even play much. It turns out the Panthers were the ones left feeling ill that night. Medsker scored 10 points in overtime and 32 points overall -- his most ever in a WB6 game -- to lift the Blue Devils to a 68-61 victory. It was his signature moment in a season in which he helped the Blue Devils win 21 games and another regional championship. Medsker was the Herald-Whig 2003 Player of the Year after finishing his QHS career with 1,348 career points, the 10th highest total in school history, and becoming one of just five players in program history with 100 or more career 3-pointers. He was a two-time all-state selection, earning second-team honors his senior season when he averaged 21 points per game. Such success earned him recruiting interest from a handful of NCAA Division I programs, but he opted to play at John Wood Community College for one season before transferring to Quincy University. In three seasons with the Hawks, Medsker became known as a defensive stopper and helped QU reach the NCAA Division II national tournament three times. He and his wife, Meghan, live in Chicago.
For two decades, Angelo Rinchiuso was synonymous with the Quincy High School cross country and track and field programs. Rinchiuso coached the Blue Devils from 1972-92 and developed the cross country program into one of the most respected downstate teams. From 1985-88, Quincy won 35 consecutive dual meets, which is the fourth longest streak in Illinois High School Association history. The Blue Devils finished 13th at the state championships in 1986 and 12th in 1987. Rinchiuso coached four all-state runners in cross country and seven all-state participants in track and field. He had one individial state champion -- Pat McCulla in the discus in 1977 -- and 27 state finalists in track. Rinchusio became the athletic director at Deactur Eisenhower before joining the coaching staff at Millikin University. He also served as an assistant track coach at Mount Zion High School and is currently the head cross country coach and assistant track coach at Decatur MacArthur. Rinchiuso is a graduate of Illinois State University with master's degrees in education and administration from the University of Missouri and the University of Illinois-Springffield.
The first year Quincy High School fielded a varsity baseball team, the Blue Devils won a sectional title and qualified for the state tournament. It took nearly 40 years for it to happen again. In 1971, the QHS baseball team became only team in program history to reach the state tournament, finishing 25-10 after a loss in the state quarterfinals. No team since has won a sectional or gone to the state tournament. In the sectional, Quincy beat Bartonville Limestone 3-1 and Pekin 5-1 to reach the state quarterfinals in Peoria. The Blue Devils drew Waukegan in the sweet 16 and suffered a 2-1 loss. Quincy opened the season with an eight-game winning streak and put together another eight consecutive victories in the postseason to win district, regional and sectional titles. The 1971 baseball team included: Randy Miles, Kerry Anders, Steve Sturhan, Marc Simons, Bill Kuhlman, Chuck Heitholt, Kevin Slough, Kerry Ingram, Vick Peters, John Holzgraefe, Kimber Gay, Carl Stewart, Jim Gilbert, Kevin Dinkheller, Russ Holschlag, Craig Kroeter, Mike Harberts and Rick Vogel. The trainers were John Spiler and Maurice Lomax. The head coach was Gary Zbornak and his assistant was Jim Kaiser.
Winning any championship in back-to-back years in difficult. Now, imagine the challenge of repeating as the national champion. That was the daunting task the 2006 Quincy High School rifle team faced. Yet, the pressure never bothered the Blue Devils. They repeated as the NRA national scholastice air rifle champions, capping a memorable season in which the Blue Devils were the state's top rifle team throughout the year. The Blue Devils won the Illinois High School Rifle League with an 8-0 mark and were the NRA sectional champions. They took second place at the Civilian Marksmanship Program air gun championships in Bowling Green, Ky., and at the Montgomery Bell Rifle Classic in Nashville, Tenn. Four members of the team were invited to compete at the USA Shooting Junior Olympics at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The members of the team were Josh Holtman, Kasey Meyer, Lauren Moenning, Jordan Smith and Logan Czapluski. The team was coached by Bob Distlehorst and Jim Holtman.