After years of dominating opponents in both basketball and volleyball for the Grey Ghosts, Illinois Valley Central graduate Laci Peterson is heading to Maranatha Bible College in Wisconsin.


After years of dominating opponents in both basketball and volleyball for the Grey Ghosts, Illinois Valley Central graduate Laci Peterson is heading to Maranatha Bible College in Wisconsin.

“It’s the kind of environment that I want to go to school at,” Peterson said. “ICC (Illinois Central College) was too big and had too many people. This school has under 1,000 people.”

Peterson, who will be a sophomore, played her freshman year of basketball at ICC.

“I think it made me a lot tougher,” Peterson said. “I played more timid at IVC and learned at ICC that you have to try harder with rebounding because I’m not always the tallest girl on the court. I liked the challenge playing at ICC.”

During her season at ICC, Peterson broke the school’s single season block record.

“I was surprised,” Peterson said. “I didn’t know I had broken the record until I had and people were cheering. It was really neat to break the record.”

Despite her success at ICC, Peterson missed the opportunity to play her other sport, volleyball.

“I liked the teamwork aspect of volleyball,” Peterson said. “I wasn’t really that close to my team at ICC and they won’t let you play two sports. Volleyball is a real team sport and you can’t do that well in it without communicating with your teammates and being close to your team.”

With her time off for the summer, Peterson is looking to improve a specific aspect of her game on the basketball court.

“I’m trying to work on my outside game so that I can shoot three’s better and outside shots in general,” Peterson said. “I can already shoot three’s but I want to get better at it.”

While she may have two sports to focus on next season, Peterson also has her eyes set on her goals after college.

“I’m going to school to get my masters in teaching,” Peterson said. “I’d like to stay in the area or at least stay within a half hour of Chillicothe.”

Peterson may dominate defenders on the college level now, but she says it was her time at IVC that set the foundation for success both on and off the court.

“I think going to IVC helped me academically because the teachers there actually give homework,” Peterson said. “Taking the honors classes there really helped prepare me for college too. Athletically, it taught me how to play on a team and to be a team member.”

Peterson learned from girl’s basketball coach Paul Mercer at IVC as he helped prepare her for college ball.

“I loved playing under Coach Mercer and not just because he’s a great basketball coach, but a great life coach as well,” Peterson said. “Even when he yells at you in practice, you know it isn’t mean but out of him wanting to help you get better as a player. He really cares about all the girls on the team.”