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Orangeville father-daughter duo qualify for state 30 years apart

McKayla and Dan Riemer own the only two state trophies in school history
Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 10:36 PM CDT
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ORANGEVILLE, Ill. (WIFR) - “Orangeville is definitely a family-type community,” said Orangeville softball player McKayla Riemer.

Like father, like daughter, McKayla and her dad know this all too well.

“We were sitting in the living room and thought how cool would it be if we made it to state with both Riemer sisters on the team and my dad being a state champion,” McKayla said. “We talked about it freshman year, but we didn’t really talk about it this year.”

Now is the time to talk. It’s Mckayla’s senior year, and for the first time Orangeville softball won super sectionals and qualified for state. Her father Dan Riemer had that same winning feeling in 1989 when he was crowned a state champ with the Orangeville football team, the only Broncos squad to do it.

“It kind of goes so fast you don’t realize what’s going on,” said Dan.

Dan was a wide receiver and defensive back under coach Bryan Benning. Fast forward more than 30 years, and his daughter is on a similar winning streak.

“I’m still waiting for someone to wake me up and be like, ‘you’re dreaming,’” McKayla said.

As for Dan, his new dream is to watch his daughter play the sport she loves.

“I get more enjoyment out of that than I did when I played,” Dan said.

He admits sometimes the competitive pressure can impede the supportive father mindset.

“It gets a little more stressful in the stands than it is on the field,” Dan said.

The Broncos traveled to Peoria for their shot at the state title but lost to Illini Bluffs 6-3. They finished the day in third place overall.

“The little successes along the way hit here and there and really made a difference in the game, and those are kind of special,” Dan said.

Even though the girls fell short, they’re still champs to the Bronco community.

“No matter if you’re still living in Orangeville or if you went to school in Orangeville, we’re all one,” McKayla said.

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