Football in Geneseo is a tradition steeped in history. It can be traced back to 1900 and
each season, whether or not a winning season, finds bleachers filled with fans.
That message is relayed through the story of the ”Axiom – The Story of the Green
Machine,” a historical documentary produced by Dalcon DeMaranville, owner of Dalcon
Todd Productions, a video production company in Geneseo.
There will be a premier showing of the film at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 26; 7 p.m. on
Saturday, July 27, and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, July 28. All shows are in the
Geneseo High School Fine Arts Center, 700 North State St.
Reserved seats are available for a fee of $8 per person and walk-ins, at a cost of $7 per
person, also are welcome. Reservations for reserved seating can be made by visiting
www.axiom-greenmachine.com . The film also is available to purchase on Blu-Ray or
DVD at that website.
DeMaranville shared how the birth of the story came about and said Travis Mackey,
former Geneseo High School athletic director and now high school principal, approached
him about telling the story of football and Geneseo.
“Everyone knows the story of the ‘Green Machine,’ but as time goes by, many people
don’t know about the legends that accompany that history,” DeMaranville said. “That’s
what most of this film is – yes, you get all the history. But you also get stories being told
through interviews with Wayne Strader talking about being knocked out of the 1976
championship game, or Justin Snodgrass telling what happened in the 1998 playoff game
with Normal Community. Virginia Wachtel tells us what it was like the night the 52-
game winning streak was snapped in Spring Valley in 1971 and Nick Verbeck reveals the
attitude of the great 2013 group…And so much more.”
The film features 32 on-screen interviews, and DeMaranville said, “That includes all
five head coaches and all three All-American players – Strader, Steve Penney and Bob
Orsi. This film isn’t just people talking. We also filmed several flashbacks and the film
includes lots of old game footage dating back prior to 1962.”
It was Mackey’s idea to share with the community and others how Geneseo football has
become the blueprint for so many programs at Geneseo High School. Mackey, a
graduate of Geneseo High School was a member of the 1982 Class 4A football team that
captured a state championship under the leadership of Coach Larry Johnsen Sr.
Mackey said, “We used to be known for football only and now we have many programs
that have been built on the vision similar to that of football.”
It was former Coach Bob Reade who established that vision during his 17 years as head
football coach in Geneseo. He compiled an overall record of 146-21-4 AP/UPI State
Champions in 1970, Illinois 3A State Champion in 1976, 1977, 1978; nine conference
championships, a 52-game-undefeated streak from 1965-1974. He also led 10 teams to
undefeated, regular season records.
The football field at Geneseo High School is named in honor of Reade and Mackey
recalled more than winning seasons with Reade as head coach.
“His (Reade’s) vision for football merged with the community,” Mackey said, “asking
what are we going to stand for.”
“He asked the players, ‘what do we stand for and what will we be known for?’ His
answer, ‘Keep it simple – we stand for obeying the laws of the land and behaving like
gentlemen’. His teachings included asking what we wanted to be known for and his
answer was ‘hardworking and dependable’ – skills needed in everyday life,” Mackey
Mackey praised DeMaranville’s talents in producing “Axiom – The Story of the Green
Machine,” and said, “The movie showcases the community of Geneseo and Dalcon’s
talent through football and the program.”
DeMaranville was a varsity football player at Geneseo in the 1994 and 1995 seasons.
“Longevity is something lost in today’s society,” Mackey said. “Everyone is looking
for the quick fix. If it’s built to last, it’s not built fast. The process is more important
than the results.”
“Football is a game of momentum – you have it and the opponent is trying to get it
away from you. It also is a game of adversity. So many people have to be involved and
they have to go through so much together.”
The “going through so much together” is evident in DeMaranville’s film and at a
Friday night Geneseo High School football game when the bleachers are filled with fans,
from grade school age to senior citizens.