New McKendree Bearcats coach Mike Babcock and his staff wrapped up a busy two-month recruiting period Wednesday by announcing the signing of 24 student-athletes that will play for the Bearcats next fall.
Babcock, who was hired in December as the 17th head football coach in McKendree history, is extremely pleased with his initial recruiting class for the Bearcats.
"We are very excited about this recruiting class," said Babcock. "It's exciting to have a group of talented young men who want to be a part of this fresh start for our program. This is the kind of group that will roll up its sleeves, come to work and get the job done both on the field and in the classroom.
"Our coaching staff worked long and hard to help bring this class in to McKendree, and I think it's one we can be proud of."
The class includes a pair of metro-east players, Belleville West defensive lineman Marquis Cherry and Mater Dei offensive lineman Travis Wuebbels.
Cherry was an All-Southwestern Conference selection and an all-area selection by the Belleville News-Democrat. He was in on 69 tackles and recorded 42 solo stops for the Maroons.
"Marquis is one of the best defensive players in Southern Illinois," said Babcock. "He has the ability to become a great anchor for us on defense."
Wuebbels was an honorable mention all-area selection by the News-Democrat.
"Travis is a great lineman," said Babcock. "He is a big-body guy from just a short distance away. Travis has a blue-collar mentality that we need in our program."