Pictured: Chuck, Sophia, James and Michelle Sherline.
Chuck Sherline was a highly-decorated athlete at Mattoon High. The 1982 graduate was a three-sport lettermen in cross country, basketball and track & field. He was inducted into the Mattoon Letterman’s Club sports hall of fame in 1992. Sherline now resides in Chicago, so he doesn’t get back to Mattoon as much as he would like, but Jeff Owens still caught up with him for our new “Where Are They Now” segment.
Coles County Sports: Tell us what you are doing now?
Sherline: I have been in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry since graduation from Illinois. I am now a field medical scientist working for a small start-up company setting up a clinical trial for diabetics. I have been in sales, marketing, and many different business and science roles in my career. (Thanks to Mrs. Scott, Mr. Mills and Mrs. Doyle at MHS for my interest in science).
Coles County Sports: Tell us about your family?
Sherline: I am married and have two children. James is 17 (soon to be 18) and a senior at Whitney Young High School and Sophia is 15 (soon to be 16) and a sophomore at Whitney Young. Both kids are very active in sports. My wife Michelle played softball at Princeton and she has a better arm than I ever did. James is being recruited for college baseball, so that takes up a lot of my time. We enjoy living in Chicago and taking advantage of the big city when we can.
Coles County Sports: You live in Chicago, do you follow Chicago pro sports?
Sherline: We live about a mile (10 blocks) south of Wrigley Field and three blocks north of DePaul University. We have lived here for 18 years and love the neighborhood. We all follow Chicago sports teams – the Cubs, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks. Because the family has their own activities, we don’t go to as many live games as we used to, but we see a couple games in person each season.
Coles County Sports: How often do you get back to Mattoon?
Sherline: I was coming back to Mattoon about once a month while Al and Aileen were still alive. I always enjoy getting away from Chicago and coming home. My sisters and I would meet to see them and we had all the holiday celebrations in Mattoon. Now that they have passed away, I have not been back since June. I miss Mattoon. I actually made a video for myself while I drove around town the last time I was there – pointing out many of the places and memories I have.
Coles County Sports: What athletes do you enjoy watching these days?
Sherline: My favorite athlete is probably still Ryne Sandberg. Although professional sports have progressed and the talent is amazing, he seems to be my comparison to all others. I love college basketball and enjoy watching college women’s volleyball and softball, too. Those sports are fast-moving and quite different from men’s sports. Because my kids play sports in the Chicago Public League, I enjoy high school basketball. There are some phenomenal high school players up here that my son competes against. Although neither of my kids run, I still attend high school cross country meets when they are in Chicago on the lakefront.
Coles County Sports: How often do you talk to your former Mattoon team-mates?
Sherline: I keep in touch with a few of my basketball and running teammates. Although we don’t see each other as often as we would like, we email and talk on the phone. John Crutcher, Paul Hunt and I were trying to meet at an Illinois football game, but COVID put that plan on hold. I keep in touch with Sean Kirts, too. It is always fun to hear about the kids and how their families are doing. Our class reunions have been fun seeing many of my 1982 classmates as well. Especially the cheerleaders.
Coles County Sports: What was your favorite moment in a Green Wave uniform?
Sherline: My favorite memory in a Green Wave uniform must be the regional basketball championship in 1982. I think my greatest individual memory is the fourth-place finish at state cross country in 1981. It’s funny, however; when thinking back, it is not really about the wins and losses but the memories with the team during practices, on bus rides, etc. I guess I look back on cross country practices and the overnights we had most fondly, because our cross country traditions were crazy, and our practices were sometimes unpredictable. I have so many fun memories of basketball, cross country and track.
Coles County Sports: What’s your favorite college sports memory at Illinois?
Sherline: At Illinois, my sports progress on the track was limited due to injuries. Looking back, I wish I would have pursued college basketball more. When I met with Lou Henson at Illinois as a potential walk-on, he told me he wasn’t looking for someone to take the place of a current player … basically telling me he would not give me chance ahead of the players on scholarship. I ended up having a pretty successful track and cross country career, but still did not meet all my goals of running in the Olympics. Running in the Texas Relays and Drake Relays were two of the greatest memories I have.
Coles County Sports: What is the Chuck Sherline advice for young athletes?
Sherline: Love what you are doing. Your passion will lead you to success. Find ways to motivate yourself and don’t rely on others to provide motivation. Try lots of sports to see what you like the best. Believe in yourself and never give up on your dreams. Get good grades because some day sports will end.