By Kyle Daubs
Mattoon and Charleston have combined for four winning seasons over the past decade.
Mattoon finished 19-12 during the 2018-2019 season, while Charleston has posted a losing season for seven straight years.
But the programs still had plenty of talented players.
On this All-Decade Team, we offer a starting lineup, three bench players, one player that we give our apologies, and one for fun.
Guard – Joey Miller, CHS Class of 2011: Miller finished his career with 1,254 career points, fourth most all-time. HIs 21.3 points-per-game average is the highest among Coles County players this past decade. Miller’s 618 points in a single-season are also fourth-most in a season. He later played at EIU, Illinois-Chicago and Dallas Baptist before bouncing around the NBA G-League.
Guard – Drake Jeffries, MHS Class of 2017: Jeffries was a first-team All-Apollo Conference player who averaged 17.6 points in his senior season. In terms of basketball talent, Jeffries was one of the best to go through Mattoon in recent years. Jeffries went on to play at NCAA Division II Minot College and Indian Hills Community College before signing with NCAA Division I Wyoming this past spring. He posted several double-digit games for the Cowboys early this season.
Guard – Darrell Phillips, CHS Class of 2018: Phillips finished with the second-best scoring average out of anyone in the county during this decade. His 19.2 ppg had him join Miller as one of two players to score more than 19 ppg since 1994 at CHS. Phillips later played at Lake Land College.
Guard – Jared Pilson, MHS Class of 2014: Pilson was a first-team All-Apollo selection on Mattoon’s 13-12 season his senior year. His 11.6 ppg and 3.6 assists were instrumental in landing the team’s MVP Award. Pilson led the team in 3-point shooting percentage as well. Pilson eventually played football at EIU.
Forward – TJ Bell, CHS Class of 2012: Bell was a four-star product who eventually signed with Indiana State University. Bell’s 13.1 ppg led Charleston, which nearly upset Effingham in the Regional Championship.
Guard – Ethan Miller, CHS Class of 2013: Miller was tied as a leader in scoring with 13.7 ppg to help Charleston post just its second winning season within the past 12 years. Miller was a special mention All-State recognition his senior season and was offered a walk-on spot at Eastern Illinois University.
Forward – Travis Kittell, MHS Class of 2014: Kittell was the leading scorer on a team that finished with a winning record for the first time in 21-years. Kittell’s 14.7 ppg, 3.4 rebounds, and 52% field-goal shooting average netted him first-team All-Apollo honors.
Guard – Jadyn Princko, MHS Class of 2019: Princko was a two-time All-Apollo selection, but led the team in scoring during Mattoon’s 19-10 season. It was Mattoon’s best season since going 20-7 in 1989-1990. Princko finished with seven 20-point games, an average of 15.7 ppg and a team-high 5.0 rebounds per game. He went on to play at Lake Land College.
Apologies – Jaydon Noe, MHS Class of 2019: Noe was an All-Apollo selection on the team’s 19-win campaign. He led the team in field-goal percentage, 3-pointers, and free throws.
One For Fun – Jimmy Peterlich, CHS Class of 2018: Peterlich is a fan-favorite from his time as the Trojans basketball team manager. A super fan of CHS, Peterlich was known for leading the team out of the tunnel, and who can forget his 3-point splash on senior night?