The Mount Rushmore of Local Sports — Quincy High School

August 1, 2012 2 Comments

George Washington. Thomas Jefferson. Theodore Roosevelt. Abraham Lincoln.

Who belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of QHS?

We know the four presidents well as they are carved into the side of Mount Rushmore for a reason — being the best of the best representing a country.

Well, WGEM SportsCenter is doing the same, looking for the four faces (coaches/players) that represent the sports world the best in a specified area, looking at West Central Illinois, QND, Northeast Missouri, and QHS.

It’s The WGEM SportsCenter’s Mount Rushmore of Local Sports … insured by Eric Kiser Insurance.

The list has been narrowed for Week 4 down to 10 for QHS. Vote now as your vote along with that of area sports writers/reporters and listen for the weekly debate with the top four being revealed Monday, August 6.


(In alphabetical order)

Bruce Brothers — When a period of time (1949-52) in Quincy is called “The Brothers Era,” you know it must have been good. The Blue Devils reached the single-class state  tournament in each of his three seasons with a combined record of 82-15. A 6-foot-5 post player, Brothers, scored a then-school record 1,464 points during his career. He went on to the University of Illinois where he was a three-year starter and team MVP as a senior.

Eric Bush — A gifted three-sport athlete that brought some of the biggest college football coaches to Quincy to seek the services of the Blue Devil QB. Accounted for 26 touchdowns his senior season as he led the team to a 7-2 mark and into the playoffs. Named Herald-Whig Player of the Year and also started in the 13th Annual Shrine All-Star football game. Was also drafted out of high school by the Mets in the MLB Draft. Went on to the University of Michigan where injuries cut his career short.

Bruce Douglas — One of the reasons QHS basketball is known nationwide is because of Bruce Douglas. Named “Mr. Basketball” in the state as a senior with many all-state honors as well as being a Parade All-American. The fact that during his days as a Blue Devil the team went 123-5 with a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-place title says enough. In there includes a 1980-81 season where QHS went 33-0 with a state title added on. Douglas went on to being named co-Big Ten Player of the Year one season at Illinois and was drafted by the Kings in the NBA.

Sherrill Hanks — Some say the legacy that is Blue Devil basketball started with Coach Hanks. It didn’t hurt that he walked away with a school-record 354 wins and seven trips to the state tournament. He collected a third-place finish in 1962, with second-place finishes in 1965 and 1972. Went on to Quincy College where he led the Hawks to third in the nation in 1978.

Ruth Kipping — Many see the 1995 grad as just one of the best female basketball players to ever grace the court in this area. That she was, but Kipping also earned all-state track and cross country honors for three years, as well. But it was on the basketball court that people knew her, and for good reason as she finished her career with 2,287 career points — most ever by a QHS basketball player. She led QHS to two WB6 titles and a state tourney appearance — the only one in the program’s history. She continued her career at Michigan and SIUE.

Jerry Leggett — Led by such greats as Bruce Douglas and Michael Payne, the “Runnin’ Devils” needed a coach to guide them to state dominance and Coach Leggett did just that. His resume includes a school record five final four appearances with one state title coming in 1981. He stepped away in 1990 with a QHS record of 330-77.

Michael Payne — The QHS hoops team rarely lost a game with Payne in the middle. Actually, they only lost four times. The Blue Devils went 91-4 with Payne in the lineup, including a state title in 1981. As a senior he averaged 16.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per game and was selected as an All-American by both Street &  Smith and Parade Magazines. He also represented Quincy in the McDonald’s All-Star game. After high school Payne went to the University of Iowa where he starred all four years and was later drafted by the Houston Rockets,

Gary Phillips — Being drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1961 says Phillips had to be pretty good in high school as well. He averaged a team-leading 15.7 per game as a junior when the Blue Devils went 27-6. At 23.9 points per game as a senior, Phillips was named to the Chicago Daily News All-State team. He scored 1,224 points during his Blue Devil career and went on to succeed at Houston University and played five seasons in the NBA.

Herman Schneidman — An early face of QHS athletics, Schneidman lettered three years in football, basketball and track from 1929-31. He received the Watson Honor  Cup and the school’s sports award in each of his last two years. He went on to the University of Iowa to play basketball, but concentrated on football after one season and then joined the Green Bay Packers, spending five seasons and earning a place on the NFL championship team.

El Tappe — The last name rings a bell for many not only in Quincy, but the surrounding area. Tappe was a member of the 1944-45 basketball team that went 28-5 and finished third in the state tournament. He, along with his brother Mel, starred in baseball at QHS. Following high school he spent time in the Navy and at Quincy College. He went on to play, and manage, for the Chicago Cubs.

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About the Author:

The host of the only morning sports talk show in the Tri-states, Josh Houchins has been with WGEM since the Fall of 2006 and full-time host of WGEM SportsCenter shortly after. WGEM SportsCenter is dedicated in bringing local, regional, and national topics to a local audience from 7-9 on weekday mornings. * ESPN 1440 AM (also available w/ Android and iPhone app by searching WGEM ESPN 1440) *

Comments (2)

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  1. Doug Miller says:

    When El is voted to Mt. Rushmore — remember — Mel should be part as well — they were not only twins but did EVERYTHING together..

  2. Penny Mast says:

    Just wanted to make a correction. Ruth Kipping was a 1998 grad not 1995.

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