Donnie Stephens graduated from Taylorville High School in 1982 after a having an outstanding career in four sports. A winner of 12 varsity letters, three each in football, basketball, baseball and track, Stephens was one of the most versatile athletes to play at Taylorville High School.

    As a running back and kick returner on the football team, Donnie Stephens amassed nearly 1400 yards rushing his senior year. On route to that total he set a state record against Flora, when he rushed for 335 yards and six touchdowns. During that 1981 season, he also led the conference in rushing touchdowns, punt return average, punt returns for touchdowns and punting average. He was selected to the Mid-State All- Conference football team and played in the Illinois Coaches Association Shrine/ East-West All-Star Game. He was selected as the Tornadoes MVP following his senior year.

    On the basketball court, Donnie was a guard on Coach Lee Emery’s first two teams, helping the Tornadoes to a 22-6 season in 1982. That year, the Tornadoes’ 22 wins matched the most wins by a Taylorville team since 1966. In collecting those wins, they won the Apollo conference championship, the Litchfield Holiday Tournament, placed second to eventual Class A state champion Lawrenceville, in the Charleston Tournament and won the Alton Regional tournament. Two of the Tornadoes six losses that year were to eventual state champions Lawrenceville and East St. Louis. Donnie was named to the All- Apollo Conference second team.

    With spring came track and baseball. Stephens excelled in both sports, but gained greatest recognition on the track where he advanced to the state track meet in both the long jump and the 100 meter dash in 1982. During the season, he set the Apollo Conference record in the 100 meter dash with a time of 10.68 seconds. He also established a record in the long jump at 22’10”. He was awarded MVP honors in both baseball and track during his senior year.

    After graduation, Stephens attend Eastern Illinois University on a football scholarship. Following that year, however, he transferred to Millikin University where he lettered four years in football and three years in baseball. During his football career for the Big Blue, he received CCIW all conference honors two years; honorable mention in 1985, and second team honors in 1986. He was selected as CCIW “Player of the Week” in 1985 for his performance against Wheaton.

    On the baseball diamond, Stephens lettered three years, 1985, 1986 and 1987. He was voted “Rookie of the Year” in 1985 and team MVP in both 1985 and 1986. He led the CCIW in doubles in 1987 and was selected to the All-Conference first team in both 1986 and 1987.

    While still in college, Donnie played fast pitch softball for the Decatur Blues. Following graduation, he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins but chose to stay with softball, playing with the Decatur Pride in 1990 and 1991 when they advanced to the World Fast Pitch Softball Tournament in British Columbia.

Donnie Stephens is truly one of the most versatile and exceptional athletes to play at Taylorville High School.