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Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame Banquet

02/10/2009

 

Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame Banquet

 

PEORIA - The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame (GPSHOF) is set to host its 28th annual banquet on March 1, 2009 at the Peoria Civic Center.

The GPSHOF will be inducting three teams and six individuals at the banquet and will also recognize the Tri-County male and female athletes and coaches of the year.  The Male Athlete of the Year is Richwoods swimmer Matt Elliott, while Limestone pitcher Mackenzie Camp will be receiving the female award.  Elliott was the IHSA state champion in the 200-yard medley and 100-yard breaststroke as a freshman at Richwoods, while Camp helped lead the Rockets to a Class 3A softball title by recording the win in six of Limestone's seven postseason games.  Limestone softball coach Leanne Bonifas was voted the Female Coach of the Year and Notre Dame soccer coach Mike Bare will receive Male Coach of the Year after leading the Irish to a Class 2A state title.

The 1953 Central basketball team, 1969 Spalding baseball team and 1972 Richwoods swimming team will be the three teams inducted into the GPSHOF at the 2009 banquet.  All three teams were second-place finishers at their IHSA state tournaments.

Coaches Bob LaCroix of Central and Richwoods and Jack Stoudt of Pekin are among the individuals being honored at the event.  LaCroix was one of the largest influences in bringing the IHSA state cross country meet to Peoria in 1970 and Stoudt coached more than 450 dual meet victories in his Pekin wrestling career.

Also being inducted this year are Central's Derek Huff (track and field), Washington's Stu Levenick (football), Manual's Curtis Stuckey (basketball) and former major leaguer William "Darby" O'Brien.  Huff won the 1989 NCAA decathlon title, while Stuckey played college basketball at Bradley and still holds the record for career scoring average (24.5 points per game).

The purpose of the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame is to promote and encourage the many varied sports programs in the Peoria area, to share with the area the accomplishments of its top athletes and to honor those men, women and teams contributing to Central Illinois' rich sports history.

The mission of Peoria Area Sports is to provide coordination and support to existing sporting events as a part of the Peoria Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau, whose mission is to promote the Peoria Area as a destination for visitors and contribute to the economic growth of the communities they represent.

For more information please contact Chevie Ruder, Sports Services Manager, at (309) 676-0303 ext. 3285.

  

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