RIDGEWOOD SPARTANS

Head Coach: Jeff Hannam
Conference: Lincoln Trail
2008 Overall/Conference Record: First-year co-op
2009 IHSA Enrollment/Classification: 319 (1A)
Last Postseason Championship: Alwood (Regional in 1985-86). Cambridge (Sectional in 1986-87)

 

A new team is born. Say goodbye to the Aces and Vikings and hello to the Spartans. Effective for the 2009-10 school year, Alwood and Cambridge high schools entered into an all-sports co-op. The football co-op begins in the fall of 2010.

Jeff Hannam, the former Cambridge Vikings head coach will guide the new co-op. With the combined schools, only a few starters return from each team. "With the new co-op, everyone has the opportunity to earn playing time. We will need to improve defensively if we want to be successful," Hannam said.

Two starters are back from Cambridge, Tyler Nimrick (6'2") and Clayton Carr (6'0"). Alwood boasts one returning starter, Cody Lanning (6'0"). A sophomore should make an impact at the varsity level for the Spartans. Ben Smith (6'3" So.) from Cambridge should see a lot of time.

A season ago, both individual squads finished with similar records in the Lincoln Trail Conference. Alwood went 5-6 in the LTC, while Cambridge finished 4-7. The Vikings went 12-15 overall a year ago. Last year in the conference, it was a battle at the top with Wethersfield going undefeated (11-0), and Annawan right behind (10-1). The Braves of Annawan made a run to the state finals, finishing 4th in Class 1A. "Annawan looks to be very strong. ROWVA has a nice group returning. Wethersfield is always strong," Hannam said of the 2009-10 conference race.

Jeff Hannam enters his fourth season as a varsity head coach. Hannam coached the Cambridge Vikings for three seasons. His assistant will be Brent Vincent.

Cambridge last saw postseason success during the 1986-87 season when J.C. Wise led the Vikings to a Regional and Sectional championship. That team finished 27-2 overall. Cambridge won District titles in (1922-23, 1933-34, 1967-68, and 1969-70). Al Dennison won 106 games at Cambridge in his eight seasons as head coach (1995-96 to 2002-03).

At Alwood, the last postseason plaque won by a boy's basketball team was in 1985-86. The Aces won a Regional under Jeff Hester, and finished the year 26-2. Alwood won three consecutive Regional titles in 1956-57, 1957-58, and 1958-59 under head coach Eugene Behnke. Behnke won 143 games in his eight seasons as coach. Steve Lemon guided the Aces to 117 wins from 1987-88 to 1999-2000. Prior to the Alpha/Woodhull consolidation, Alpha sported quite a basketball program. The Alpha Bulldogs won Regional crowns in (1936-37, 1937-38, 1938-39, 1943-44, and 1944-45).