Hero of the Week: Taylorville Tornadoes spring into action

Join WAND's Gordon Voit every Wednesday for Hero of the Week, where Voit puts the spotlight on a member of the community who is demonstrating unusual character on and off the field!

TAYLORVILLE -- When an array of tornadoes hit the Christian County area last week, Ryan Brown knew something had to be done.

The boys basketball coach texted wrestling and football coach Lee Mateer, and rallied a large group of students from all across the Tornadoes athletic department and beyond.

They grabbed saws, climbed up to roofs and helped total strangers.

Downed power lines, ruptured gas lines, precarious structures and long hours potentially awaited them -- and yet the group didn't hesitate to act.

The Tornadoes not only played a role in the physical cleanup of the area, they provided an escape for the members of the community when they went ahead and played their game against Charleston on Tuesday -- barely 72 hours after entire neighborhoods were torn up.

For their selfless aid in a time of great need, the Taylorville athletic department earns WAND Hero of the Week.


Week 1: Shannon Roberts, MacArthur
Week 2: Fowler Connell, Danville
Week 3: Ken Leonard, Sacred Heart-Griffin
Week 4: Micah and Dennis Sheppard, Meridian
Week 5: Emily Short, Decatur
Week 6: Veterans and Friends golf 
Week 7: Dre Brown, Mike Dudek, Scotty Gilkey, Illinois/Eastern Illinois
Week 8: Demirjian Family of Decatur
Week 9: Donna Dulle, Mt. Pulaski
Week 10: Moe Dampeer
Week 11: Sister Jean, Loyola
Week 12: Reilly Fitzpatrick, Maroa-Forsyth
Week 13: Volunteers of Decatur Turkey Tournament
Week 14: Nick Allegretti, Illinois
Week 15: Taylorville Tornadoes