By Steve Robinson | August 27, 2009 - 5:13 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite, Unit 5

Unit 5NORMAL – After a spring semester’s worth of meetings, three public forums, and numerous articles written and opinions expressed about it, Normal’s Unit 5 School Board members unanimously passed the proposed redistricting plan, during the group’s regular meeting held Aug. 26 at District headquarters.

The new redistricting plan will go into effect at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year.

In explaining the District’s plan of deciding which students from which grade schools would go to which junior highs, and which junior high kids would wind up at one of the Town’s two high schools, School Superintendent Gary Niehaus attempted to lay out the thinking of the District.

“We wanted to do away with grandfathering,” Niehaus said in determining a reason for a student to be placed at a certain school. “We made the commitment to go (with) neighborhood schools.

“The Redistricting Committee took every single concern into consideration,” Niehaus said. He said now that the decision has been made, the district must turn its attention to having current “faculty and staff moved into place (rather than seeing) new teachers in new buildings.”

He called the plan the Board approved, “the best recommendation we could bring to (the Board) this evening.”

Also, to alleviate some parental concerns, Niehaus said the subject of attendance exceptions “is alive and well.”

Following the vote, Board Vice President John Puzauskas thanked the public for their input, on behalf of the 25-member Redistricting Committee.”We were not behind closed doors. We met with the public…the Committee worked really hard and stood up to the challenge. It’s the best recommendation.

“It meets District goals and supports the Unit 5 mission statement,” Puzauskas said.

“Six of our 7 Board members have children in the District,” Board member Mark Pritchett said. “To those people who say we didn’t have a stake in this, yes we did.”

The seventh board member, Gail Ann Briggs, has grown children.

Also, under the plan, About 34 student from Oakdale Elementary will stay at that school, rather than move to Parkside Elementary. Having those 34 students stay at Oakdale will permit special education classrooms to remain at Parkside schools and will prevent overcrowding.

“I think (the Board) did a good job of taking the recommendations of the (Redistricting) Committee,” Niehaus said, commenting on the Board’s vote.

“I felt the Committee did their due diligence to do the best they could do for the students in our school district,” Niehaus added.

Niehaus said there is a concern about keeping the enrollments of Normal’s two high schools as balanced as possible. He said NCHS enters the 2010-2011 school year with an enrollment of 1,988 students, while Normal West has 1,786 students.

Unit 5 mapBecause of those numbers, “there is a need for us to balance that,” Niehaus said.

“Our growth just happens to be on (the Town’s) east side, so we know that Normal Community is just going to get bigger and bigger,” Niehaus said.

“To balance (the schools) now is a better deal than it would be if we allowed the schools to continue to grow (and then decide to redistrict).”

“I want to take care of the sophomores, juniors, and seniors of 2010, to make sure that they can stay at the high school of their choice,” Niehaus said.

Oakdale Students To Attend KingsleyJHS: Prior to the vote on redistricting being taken, Matt Cropper, president of Columbus, Ohio-based CropperGIS, the firm that conducted the redistricting survey for the district, informed Board members that his firm determined upon further investigation, that students at Oakdale Elementary School would best be served to feed into Kingsley Junior High School.

Oakdale students were, under the plan, originally supposed to advance to Parkside Junior High School.

Cropper indicated that a plan allowing students from Colene Hoose Elementary to funnel into Chiddix Junior High School failed when transportation issues prevented that option from being viable.

Parental Concerns Expressed One Last Time: Prior to the Board’s vote, members of the public got in one last round of comments concerning the redistricting plan.

Judy Jiles, 215 Doud, was concerned with parents’ concerns being misrepresented.

“Our concern is not whether (my child) will be a (Normal Community High School) Ironmen or a (Normal West High) Wildcat,” Jiles said. “Our concern was that she is only going to class with six percent of her peers.”

“The true problem is that only a small percentage of students at Chiddix Junior High will go to Normal West,” said Pete Halter, 322 Raleigh Ct., in comments he made to the Board.

Halter said he would prefer to see students who live in the Pleasant Hills subdivision, who currently attend CJHS be advanced to Normal West. As the plan stands now, those kids would advance to NCHS.

“Consider how you would feel if nine out of 10 friends you were with were kept out of your daily life,” Halter said, posing a question which he said describes a fate awaiting these students.

By Steve Robinson | August 23, 2009 - 6:57 pm
Posted in Category: Pekin Daily Times, Special Olympics

Special OlympicsPEORIA – Could you imagine having an active life which included competing in bowling although your physical body might lead others to believe that’s not possible?

Apostolic Christian Church Timber Ridge, a Morton-based care facility for seriously disabled adults, brought 12 bowlers, ranging in age from their 20s to their 60s, all of whom have mobility problems to compete at the Area 6 Area Bowling Tournament here Saturday.

All but two of ACTR’s bowlers are in wheelchairs. They all use a ramp to propel the ball down the lane toward the pins. Special Olympics volunteers are responsible for adjusting the ramp to the desire of the bowler. Volunteers do not come in contact with the bowlers.

A total of 11 staff, and a few parents were present to cheer ACTR’s athletes on.

The group from ACTR were among 300 athletes from Pekin, Morton, and Tazewell, Mason, and McLean Counties, who competed in singles, doubles, and four-person teams at the one-day event held at Peoria’s Landmark Lanes.

Bowlers achieving a first-place finish at this event advance to a Special Olympics Sectional Bowling Tournament, to be held at Landmark Lanes on October 17.

“(For our team,) it’s more about the social aspects and the fun, than it is about the competition,” explained Mary Beth Garza, activity director for ACTR.

The team’s primary practice lanes are at Plaza Lanes in Washington, explained Garza. She said the team occasionally goes to Sunset Lanes in Pekin, as well, to get their practice frames in.

Kim White, 46, has been a resident of ACTR for 18 years and has been in Special Olympics since before residing there, said her mother, Karen White, LeRoy.

“Truly, (being in Special Olympics) is about the excitement (of the event),” Karen White added. “She enjoys it a lot.”

“It gets her out,” Karen White said. “It gets her involved, and she does enjoy the sport.” A long-time Special Olympian, Kim White has participated in Wheelchair Races and the Tennis Ball Throw, at other Special Olympics events.

Rules for wheelchair bowlers in Special Olympics are modified also in that they only bowl two games to get an accumulative score, unlike the customary three games. Kim White will advance to Sectionals in October with scores of 112 and 118 for a 230 series and a gold medal.

Bob and Linda Ball, Bloomington, came to watch another ACTR resident and athlete, their daughter, 38-year-old Lindsay Ball. Lindsay has lived at ACTR for 17 years.

“She loves this,” Linda Ball said. “She enjoys the competition (and) looks forward to it every year.”

Linda Ball said another of Lindsay’s favorite Special Olympics sports to compete in is the Wheelchair Slalom during Special Olympics’ Track and Field season.

Like White, Lindsay Ball bowled her way to gold, too, with scores of 87 and 94 for a 181 series and a gold medal. Both White and Ball will compete in Sectional competition in Peoria in October.

1-Of-3 Bowlers Advances From Washington: When it came to bowling at the Area 6 Special Olympics Bowling Tournament on Saturday, it looked like Innis Logan, Jacob Marsh, and Sean Woods were becoming the front men for the revamped team from Washington School District 50.

Since getting a reboot last Summer, District 50, under head coach Suzanne Arterburn, found three boys, each one 13-years-old, who like to bowl, and seem to have parents and coaches who want to see them succeed.

The team has been practicing since late June, Arterburn said. She said that a parent or a sibling would bring the athletes to practice. The athletes’ relatives would stay at the practice, supporting Arterburn’s teaching of the sport to the athletes.

“They have learned focus (and) dedication,” Arterburn said. “Bowling is a little more of a tedious sport. They have to learn skills and learn to get the ball down the lane (and) be more aware of the foul line. This was a little more of structured setting, in my opinion, for their competition.

“They did a very nice job staying focused, and of listening to the rules and that’s something that they didn’t have to do so much of (in one of their other sports such as basketball or Track and Field).”

Brenda Innis, Washington watched as her son threw his first game tossing encouraging words to him as he would walk back from the lanes to his seat. “(Special Olympics) is something he can excel in. This is something that can increase his self-esteem and feel good about something he can do.”

Logan “has always been a caring kid,” Brenda Innis said. “I see him interacting with the other kids, which is good for him. He needs to find people he can establish some friendships with. I think that’s the best part for him.”

Innis took second for his efforts, Marsh got fourth.

Woods took gold for his efforts and will advance to Sectionals.

One Fon du Lac Bowler Advances: East Peoria’s Fon du Lac Park District had three individual bowlers competing and while they were not new to Special Olympics, they were new to bowling for the agency, whose head coach is Erin Heinold.

Fon du Lac Park District brought three bowlers, and all three were new to representing the Park District, but not new to Special Olympics.

The bowlers were Kathy Jones, Dan Jones, and Daniel Malek. Heinold said balance problems have caused Kathy Jones to use a ramp for bowling, but that Kathy has adapted quickly to the change, learning where she needs to place the ramp in order to make successful shots down the lane with her ball.

Of Fon du Lac’s trio, Dan Jones earned a gold medal and a trip to Sectional in October, while Kathy Jones and Malek each earned a bronze.

IRVSRA Singles Going To Sectionals: A total of 15 bowlers, competing in singles matches, earned gold medals, giving them all the opportunity to move on to Sectional Bowling competition in Peoria in October.

Those IRVSRA singles bowlers advancing are: George Berry, Cecil Broomfield, Skylar Broomfield, Nick Butler, David Campbell, Robert Cunningham, Erin Fitzanko, Bernard Harms, Mary Harper, Jennifer Johnson, Joe Leesman, Aldeen May, Trent Newell, Gina Windsor and James Wireman.

IRVSRA also could claim a record number of four-person teams competing in this year’s event. The Flames had 3 four-person teams competing this year.

Team 1 was made up of: Rick Fryman, Larry Woods, Bill Hopkins, and Cecil Broomfield.

Team 2 was made up of Carla Hopkins, Annette Bartley, Leesman, and Fitzanko.

Team 3 was made up of Judith Rich-Smith, Harms, Wireman, and Windsor.

While no IRVSRA doubles teams earned gold, all three 4-person teams earned gold medals for their efforts. All three will be at Sectional Bowling in October.

Gail Smith, IRVSRA Co-Coach, along with Denise Fountain, said the team pairings were based on the bowlers’ averages. The teams practice at Rosewood Lanes, Pekin.

Woods said there is nothing new he had to learn from going to bowling in a doubles team to a four-person team, specifically. “(I) just get up there and do what I always do, throw the ball, (and) pray for a strike,” he said casually.

Turnout Trumps Economy: Athletes who compete in an event such as this derive some benefits from their participation, explained Katie Herriott, area director for Area 6 Heartland Special Olympics, based in Normal.

“Most of the athletes competing here have been competing against each other for at least two months prior to the Area Games (Saturday),” Herriott said. “It’s so neat to see the excitement on their faces because they get to bowl today, and they get the chance of advancing to another level of competition.

Herriott said there are “social benefits” for their athletes as they participate in an event like this. She said they get to make new friends with the volunteers, and reacquaint with old friends from other agencies.

Herriott said there are volunteers who return annually to help at this event and the athletes bond with some and renew the friendships when they see each other at events such as this.

The turnout of 300 athletes for this event left Herriott “pleasantly surprised with that number, given the budget cuts that are going on in our state.

“We’re very happy – thrilled – to have 300 athletes competing,” Herriott said.

Heinold commented that she was sorry that her program was not able to garner further interest in bowling. For the second straight year, she only had three bowlers sign up to compete. She said she couldn’t be sure of the reason why, but speculated there might have been economic reasons.

Herriott said since the state has cut funding in its budget to agencies which use some of their money to help athletes participate in Special Olympics, those agencies with now limited funds find they must choose other priorities over helping athletes compete in Special Olympics.

On the other hand, offsetting that is the fact that agencies participating Saturday brought an increased number of athletes, Herriott said.

By Steve Robinson | August 18, 2009 - 5:05 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Town Council, The Normalite

Town of NormalNORMAL – A Twin City developer who proposed building a 350-bed student housing complex to the current site of the University Cinemas withdrew his offer after hearing concerns brought forth by Normal Town Council members at the governing body’s meeting Monday night at City Hall.

After a 40-minutes of discussion on the matter, developer Ed Brady, a member of a group called 1010 S. Main, LLC, asked to withdraw his request. Council members unanimously voted to accept Brady’s offered withdrawl.

The partnership group wanted to construct a student complex at the current theater site, purchasing the land, then, razing the theater, which has been part of that neighborhood since the 1970s.

Although Mayor Chris Koos began his remarks to Brady by saying the developer and the group he represented “were honorable people,” and did a good job of staying in touch with Town Staff concerning the project, Koos told Brady he “had security concerns and feels the desired zoning being requested is something I can’t support.”

Council member Cheryl Gaines indicated to Brady that she lives in the area, and said, ”what little amount of student housing there is (available) is already plenty.” She said she had concerns about an increase in problems for the area if more people were added there.

Gaines said student housing should not be going south of Vernon Ave. She said keeping that boundry between off-campus students and Town residents was a promise she wants to help keep for her constituents.

Council member Jason Chambers called the developer’s plans “too much for that area.

“I don’t want it to decay, especially along Main St.,” Chambers added.

Council member Adam Nielsen asked if Brady had spoken with neighbors in the area. Brady said he had, and that he had just one homeowner who opposed the plan until Brady was able to change the opinion of that homeowner.

Nielsen said he was “concerned about extending the (student housing) footprint beyond the boundaries already set.

“We owe it to (the citizens of) Normal to further define where to have such housing,” Nielsen said.

The size of the planned development was a concern for Council member Jeff Fritzen. “Your development would double or triple the number of beds allowed for that area,” Fritzen told Brady. Fritzen added his concern about what that many more residents would do to density in that neighborhood.

“There is a future for 1010 S. Main, but not as a theater,” Fritzen said. He said the property has multiple-use in its future, but not the way Brady’s group was intending.

Fritzen said the need for more bed space “is being addressed to some degree,” and cited construction of the University Commons project in Uptown Normal as an example.

Council member Chuck Scott said he, too, was aware there were other off-campus properties in the area geared toward student living.

“I’m aware that this isn’t about saving the theater,” Council member Sonja Reece said. “That’s not the issue before us.

Without stating which ones, Reece said she knew ISU will have some residence “will be coming down in the next two years, putting the demand on the Town to find buildings.”

Before making his formal withdrawl, Brady told Council members he understood parking was among the chief concerns about this project. He said the development group intended to “develop and build this with parking and around-the-clock security.”

He said he was also intent on hiring a professional management company to come in and operate the complex on site. He said there was never any intention to have any sort of retail on the newly developed premises.

Liquor Commission Fines Wal-Mart: Council members, serving in their capacity as members of the Normal Liquor Commission, voted unanimously to levy a $250 fine against Wal-Mart Supercenter #1125, 300 N. Greenbriar Dr., for sales to a minor during a liquor audit on July 15.

Town Attorney Wayne Karplus told Liquor Commissioners Wal-Mart has already paid the fine.

Commission members also unanimously approved a liquor license for Fresh Market, Inc., doing business as The Fresh Market of Illinois, 200 N. Greenbriar Dr., Suite C, Normal.

Omnibus Agenda Items Approved: Omnibus agenda items approved by the Council included:

• Approval of the minutes of the regular meeting of Aug. 3, 2009.

• Approval of Town expenditures for payment as of Aug. 12, 2009.

• A motion to accept a bid and award a contract in the amount of $569,436.19 to Bloomington-based Rowe Construction Co. for the 2009 Street Resurfacing Project.

• A motion to approve the 2009-10 Employee Group Health, Dental, and Life/AD&D Insurance Program.

• A motion authorizing a one-month waiver of premium payments in the Group Insurance Program for the month of September 2009.

• A motion authorizing participation in a Diabetes Disease Management Program.

• A resolution authorizing execution of Normal Theater Use Agreement.

• A resolution accepting a warranty deed for right-of-way at the northeast and southeast corners of Main St. and Virginia Ave. and a temporary construction easement along Virginia Ave. from BroMenn required for the Virginia Ave. Bridge Replacement Project.

• A resolution approving a site plan for Shepard Park on Hershey Rd. at Taft Drive.

• An ordinance amending Division 7 of the Town Municipal Code – Water System Development Fee.

By Steve Robinson | August 16, 2009 - 7:20 pm
Posted in Category: Pekin Daily Times, Washington HS

FootballWASHINGTON – Entering his fifth season as head coach of Washington Community High football, Darrell Crouch believes he will spend less time teaching his team about the playing system his players will use and more time tweaking those parts they already know and can improve on.

In four seasons, he has taken the Panthers program from a work in progress when he first arrived in 2005 to two State Playoff appearances in 2007 and 2008. In 2007, getting as far as the second round, and in 2008 making it to the semifinals before losing to Mid-Illini nemesis, Metamora.

As the 2009 season dawns, Crouch said the players who are currently juniors and seniors have been taught the Panthers’ system of play since freshman year, and so, Crouch said he figures, there will not be as many moments he and his assistants will need to teach, and be able to spend more time refining the skills the players should already know.

“Our biggest battle is trying to find as many guys as we can who can play one way,” Crouch said, referring to players who are playing both sides of the ball most of the game. Crouch is looking to find players who can concentrate on being either solely offensive or defensive players.

He said every year, he has “six, sometimes seven guys” who have to play both sides of the ball in a game. “Those guys don’t really get a rest during a game,” Crouch said. “And, really, they don’t get to focus on solely offense or solely defense (as a result), either,” Crouch said.

Position-By-Position: For the second year, after engineering the Panthers’ 10-2 from behind center in 2008, senior Drew Schlink will be the Panthers’ starting quarterback. “He’s a very smart kid,” Crouch said of his starting passer.

Sophomore Isaac Fisher, WCHS’ backup quarterback, continues at free safety, where in the Panthers’ last three playoff games and last regular season game, was a starter at that position, earning credit for three interceptions, one of them for a touchdown.

At running back, senior Justin Riley will be looking to add more rushing numbers having rushed for over 1,000 yards last season. He’ll be joined in the backfield by senior Evan McCauley, senior fullback Colton Underwood, backed up by Aaron Jazerowski.

Washington Panthers football At the receiver position, Washington has options for Schlink to work with, too. Crouch said seniors Andrew Watson, Robert Izaguirre, and Dylan Newbury, Fisher, and Riley are the corps of receivers Crouch knows Schlink can rely on in heated situations.

“All of those guys have done a pretty good job all season catching the ball for us,” Crouch said.

“Depending on what we’re trying to get done, the thing that’s good for us is that, when you have a big fullback like Underwood, you can put four receivers out there and still run the ball, or throw the ball,” Crouch said.

He said there are some battles going on in camp for offensive line positions. But Crouch said he would consider using senior Sam Ryan as a weak side tackle and senior Randy Bertelsen at weak side guard.

A battle was shaping up in camp for the center position between senior Connor Underwood and Jake Berkean. Mitchell Brown will find himself starting at strong-side guard, senior Grant Dingledine will find himself at strong side tackle, and senior Austin Nichols at tight end.

Crouch said his team has been fortunate to have good players at center. “With the battle (for that position) right now, (Underwood) is a little more consistent on his shotgun snaps and that helps him out.”

Given his druthers, Crouch would like to use Berkean at center and move Underwood to the defense, as well as at tight end.

“(Center) has been an important position the last two years and we’ve done well,” Crouch said.

Tony Ramadani will punt for the Panthers this year. But the real question is will he be playing at the Ivy League level in college. His coach said Ramadani, a senior, has been getting recruited for football by Princeton. But Ramadani has also gotten recruited by Division 1-AA, NAIA, and NCAA Div. III schools.

On defense, WCHS has one senior who will be playing his very first high school game this fall. Connor Calabrese, a senior, had been involved in Crouch’s weight training classes, and has tried out at nose tackle.

“He was in my weight training class,” Crouch said of Calabrese. “We’ve just been talking to him about trying out and he’s done a pretty good job at nose.”

Also on the front line will be junior Dylan Koontz, Bertelsen, and Watson will be part of Washington’s defensive line.

At linebacker, senior Mitchell Brown, Jazerowski, Dingledine, Newberry, Cal Zimmerman, and Underwood would all be at that position, rotating depending on the offense being employed by the opposition.

Squib Kicks: Pekin’s Mid-Illini game at Washington is Oct. 2 at 7:30p.m…..Washington hosts Metamora on Sept. 4 at 7:30p.m…..2009 marks the last year Washington will start and end the season against Springfield schools, as the contract between the two districts expires after this season…..In 2010, WCHS will start a contract to play Peoria’s two high schools, Peoria Central and Peoria Richwoods.

By Steve Robinson | August 15, 2009 - 9:06 pm
Posted in Category: Olympia HS, Pekin Daily Times

FootballSTANFORD – Two seasons ago, when Stanford Olympia High head coach Matt Koeppel was beginning his second season at the helm of the Spartans, he said he wanted to look at each win as a building block toward a winning foundation.

The Spartans went 2-7 that season and things looked up for Koeppel’s troops. But the Spartans backslid in 2008, winning just one game, and losing two in which poor fourth quarter play by his team contributed to.

As the Spartans’ 2009 season opens, Koeppel admits his team had problems last season. “We had some key players not decide to play,” said Koeppel, who enters his fourth season coaching the Spartans when the season opens Aug. 28 hosting Pontiac at 7:45p.m.

“We had some bad hands in the fourth quarter,” Koeppel said, pointing to two games in particular. On Sept. 15, Prairie Central doubled up on Oly, 38-19, and on Oct. 3, Watseka claimed a 39-14 win over Koeppel’s team.

But with his team in camp for the 2009 season, Koeppel seemed confident that situation would not repeat itself. He started his argument by pointing out that senior quarterback Brent Williams, a three-year starter for the Spartans, will be the quarterback starting the season.

Williams took half the snaps from center as a sophomore and all of the snaps last season in his junior year, Koeppel said. “The learning curve for (Williams) is out of the way. There’ll be no silly INTs. He knows it’s about ball control and moving down the field. He’s blessed with a strong arm.”

Koeppel said junior Clint Stroud is Williams’ backup. Should Stroud not get the controls, he will contribute as a tight end or wide receiver. On defense, he will serve as a defensive end.

Williams will be throwing to a five-man receiving corps – four seniors and a junior, all of which Koeppel seems very confident about regarding their performance.

Seniors Brady Schroeder, David Baldega, Jake Rutherford, and Dillon Phelps will be joined by junior Michael Hallstein in the receiver position.

“It’s really a pretty balanced group,” Koeppel said, adding that Hallstein’s height – 6 foot 6 – will bring an extra measure of intensity to the game.

With receiver Alex Freshour’s graduation in the spring after catching 14 scores last season, Koeppel said having five receivers “will be a pretty wide open group” looking for the ball.

Opposing defenders could be facing a Hazard in trying to tackle Oly junior tight end Jake Hazzard. Koeppel said defensively, Hazzard’s blocking game at defensive end will cause problems for opposing offenses, as well.

Stanford-Olympia SpartansSenior Miles Girdler and junior Chase Hainline were two running backs Koeppel seemed high on this early in the season. At 5 foot-8, 155 pounds, Girdler, like many of his teammates, has spent the offseason in the weight room gaining strength to his frame. Koeppel is hoping Hainline can add more numbers to the four rushing scores and 350 yards he gained on the ground last season.

He is also looking for positive results from two more big players on the team, senior Lonnie Kirby and junior Zach Thomas.

At 6 foot-3 and 275 pounds, Kirby “is just a big strong kid,” Koeppel said. “I think he’s finally buying into the fact that he can be a dominant player in the Corn Belt (Conference). He can be a disruptive force defensively.”

While Koeppel does not mind touting his offense players on that side of the ball, he is not saying anything about what plans his defense has, at least in terms of specifics, for handling opposing offenses.

“People will find out when they come to that first game against Pontiac,” Koeppel said.

(Not Quite) New Assistants: There are two new names on Koeppel’s coaching staff this season. While they are new to his staff, their names will bring new blood and good memories to Spartans football fans because of their return.

Ron Smith, the Spartans’ baseball coach who coached football in the mid-1980s, is coming to Koeppel’s staff as the Spartans’ new defensive coordinator.

“I think Ron got rejuvenated and wanted to get out there and coach,” Koeppel said of Smith. “He brings leadership. When it comes to defense, when Coach Smith says it (to the kids) they take notice of it.”

Koeppel said Smith helped bring in Oly’s new wide receiver/defensive back coach, Brian Foley. Foley played three seasons of Spartans football, graduating in 2007. He played baseball for Smith for three seasons (2003-2005). A shoulder injury from baseball kept him from playing football his senior year.

Smith also recruited Oly’s new defensive line coach Danny Logston. “I wanted to surround my staff with people I could trust,” Koeppel said. “Smith trusts (Logston). He has a good mix of fiery enthusiasm and sturdy calm, both when needed.”