Behind the Mask of ICC’s Catcher is a Music Maker

Local Sports

METAMORA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — There is a side of Madi Vancil that was hidden.

Until her Illinois Central College softball teammates convinced her to sing the National Anthem before a game last season.

“They got me to do it one day,” Vancil said. “It was a big step for me because I don’t usually sing in front of people.”

Vancil is shy. Which might be why she likes to play catcher, behind a mask.

But along with playing softball growing up, she took piano lessons and a couple of piano classes at Metamora High School.

Then one day her parents overheard her singing.

“We’ve always told her she has a special talent,” said Madi’s father Billy. “But I don’t know is she believes it from us.”

Billy Vancil used to sing to his young daughter. He still plays guitar in a neighborhood band and when Madi was very young she’d listen to his band rehearse.

As she tinkered with the piano, friends took notice.

“My friends supported my music a lot and my teammates helped push me in that direction,” Madi Vancil said. “I started playing more and writing more.”

The coronavirus canceled her softball season at ICC this spring. It was going to be her final seaosn of competitive softball as she’ll transfer to Illinois State this fall to become a general student.

But with no games or softball practices on her schedule for the first time in a long time, Madi says she’s spending a little more time at her piano. And getting a little more comfortable sharing her music.

“I feel like I have more to say now,” she said. “There’s a lot of stuff in my life happening now, like going away to college.”

Hopefully, she’ll take her music with her.

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