Prep Football

Unity adds three to Hall of Fame

Posted: Dec. 24, 2017 12:01 am

MENDON, Ill. -- The Unity Athletic Hall of Fame will induct three individuals during a ceremony at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday between games of the Mississippi Valley Invitational Tournament in the high school gym.

This year's ninth annual induction class includes supporter Marcia Cornwell and athletes Jerry Ellerman and Chuck Shupe.

Cornwell, who started teaching at Unity in 1968, is being honored for her involvement with many different activities during her career. She was the middle school cheerleading sponsor, organized the Girls Athletic Association in the late 1960s, was the president and treasurer of the PTA and was an assistant softball coach. She also supervised the student council, was the president of the Unit 4 Teachers Association for 20 years and was involved with several different Unity Sports Booster Club committees.

Cornwell retired from teaching in 2010 and remains involved in school and community activities.

Ellerman was a 1987 graduate who earned 11 varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball. He broke 13 school records in football and rushed for a career-best 949 yards as a senior while carrying the ball more than 40 times in several games. Ellerman went 20-1 as a pitcher his junior and senior years and was invited to play in an all-state game in Peoria.

Ellerman played at Quincy University where he was a starting running back for four years. He was nationally ranked in NCAA Division III several times in punt returns, kickoff returns and scoring. His best game was a 215-yard, five-touchdown effort against MacMurray when he was a junior. A Pizza Hut preseason All-American in 1990, Ellerman was inducted into the QU Hall of Fame in 2003.

Since graduating Ellerman has worked as a teacher, coach and administrator in the Quincy and Unity districts. He is currently in his sixth year as the principal at Unity Elementary School.

Shupe was a 1966 graduate and a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball. He was one of the top pitchers on the school's first baseball regional championship team in 1964 and was an all-conference performer in all three sports. Shupe walked onto the University of Illinois baseball team but his career was cut short with an elbow injury.

A physical education teacher and coach early in his education career, Shupe was the youngest principal in the state of Illinois when he was hired as the middle school principal at Argenta-Oreana at the age of 25. In 1976, Shupe moved to Colorado where he worked as an elementary and middle school principal for the remainder of his career, finishing in New Castle, Colo. He was also a highly-rated high school basketball official and worked several state tournaments.

Shupe retired from education in 2002 and passed away on Sept. 15, 2016 after an illness.