CANTON-The Canton Community College/Spoon River College Alumni Association held their annual Alumni Awards Reception and Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Saturday, Nov. 2 in the Spoon River College Conference Center on the Canton Campus.
Canton native Lance Zedric was this year’s Athletic Hall of Fame inductee.
He attended Spoon River College from 1979-1981 with a full athletic scholarship, graduating with an Associate of Arts degree.
While at SRC, Zedric broke 13 Track and Field marks in four events—discus, shot put, hammer, and javelin.
In 1981, he finished second in shot put for Region IV, and was the Region IV javelin champion, ultimately culminating in a 10th place finish in the javelin at the NJCAA National Championships in San Angelo, Texas.
Zedric went on to receive a BA in History from Monmouth College, where he also set school records in the javelin and shot put and set a Midwest Conference record, won the Midwest Conference Championship in shot put, and finished seventh in the event at the NCAA Division III National Championships.
He was inducted into their Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014, and he was also a member of the 1978 CHS Football Team that was inducted into the Canton High School Hall of Fame.
Zedric earned a MA in History from Western Illinois University, and is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Intelligence School. During his four years in the U.S. Army, he served as an intelligence analyst in the Republic of Korea; at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and in support of coalition forces during the Gulf War. He was a two-time member of the U.S. All-Army Track & Field Team.
A noted author, historian, and consultant specializing in the history of U.S. military special operations, Zedric has authored ten books and been published in VFW, ARMY, Behind the Lines, The Writer, Heartland USA and others. His first book, Silent Warriors of World War II, was the first published history of the famous Alamo Scouts and was optioned by Universal Studios.
Zedric has appeared on and consulted for programs on the History Channel, PBS, Japan Television, Sunwood Entertainment, Flashback Television, and for Miramax Studios on the motion picture, The Great Raid.
He is the former Director of Public Information and Sports Information at Monmouth College and was nominated for the Bernard Dial Award for Excellence in Military History. Lance is also the historian for the Alamo Scouts Historical Foundation and editor of Recon magazine.
Zedric has taught special education in Peoria for 22 years and was the 2018 recipient of the prestigious ELITE Suzi Russell Teacher of the Year Award and a multi-recipient of the Children’s Home Educator of the Year Award.
He was an assistant coach for Dunlap High School’s girls track team, which won the IHSA State Championship.
Zedric said that being back on campus was like déjà vu and joked “especially the long walk across that windy parking lot.” He admitted to being more of an athlete than a student while at SRC, but said “this is where I learned how to study.” He fondly remembered teacher Martha Strode, who “expected more and tolerated less of me,” and coaches Fred Harms (Canton HS) and Charlie Black. Harms was in attendance at the reception.
Zedric and his wife, Ching live in Peoria, and his daughter is a sophomore at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.
The 2020 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees will be Homer Adams and the 1964 baseball team.