Welcome to the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame website. We have inducted numerous individuals and teams. Their plaques are located in the Peoria Civic Center. As you browse through our site, you will learn that the Peoria area is rich in talent. Many individuals, teams and organizations have contributed to our sports history. If you have any comments or requests, please feel free to contact us at any time.
|2018 Individual Inductees|
Becky Stutzman McCumber
Becky Stutzman McCumber joins her grandfather, Carl “Pappy” Stutzman, as the second skeet shooter to be inducted into the the GPSHOF. She is considered by most experts to be one of the greatest female skeet shooters in history.She won over twenty-five world skeet shooting championships, with her first in 1983. She also set two world records, hitting 1,183 consecutive targets in the 12-gauge ladies division and 259 straight in the long run doubles division for ladies. At the Illinois state level, Becky has won six open competition titles, including the "High Over All" championship. In 1992 she won the Zone 5 Doubles Championship and made the Illinois state team numerous times over the years. At the national level, Becky has two Open Mini World titles and broke a 400x400 in the Mini in 1999. In the main events that year, Becky broke a 647x650. She has captured numerous Ladies State and National titles along the way. Becky has been named to the Ladies All American team as Captain eight times and made the team in consecutive years for decades beginning in 1983. She currently holds two world records, the ladies Long Run World Record for Doubles at 259 straight established in 1997 and the Ladies Long Run World Record for 12 gauge at 1183 straight established in 2000-2001. Becky has shot 13 career 100 straights in the 410. In 2012, at the Poco Loco (an all 410 shoot), she broke a 397x400 to win HOA RU for the shoot.
Lisa Ehrgott Street
Since age 12 when she was whacking balls off of the garage door at home, through the time of her selection as just the fifth tennis player to be inducted into the GPSHOF, Lisa Ehrgott Street has been serious about her tennis game. Under the tutelage of Bradley’s legendary tennis coach, Tom Coker (GPSHOF class of 1984), Lisa quickly developed her skill with many hours of practice and instruction at the Peoria Raquet Club. Lisa’s dedication quickly paid dividends as she led Peoria Bergan to four consecutive conference championships. She was just 13 when she earned her first varsity letter. She was twice nominated as the Tri-County Sports Figure of the Year. Lisa realized exceptional achievement nationally at the junior level. From 1978 – 1981 she was a strong player in many national tournaments including the Wimbledon USA Championships (2nd place); USTA National Indoor Championships and Hardcourt Championships; Pacific Coast Championships; and she was Champion at the Western Tennis Association Indoor Championships in 1981. After high school, Lisa accepted a full scholarship to compete on the Florida State Women’s Tennis team where she earned varsity letters in each of her four years. In FSU’s 2018 Media Guide (guide includes statistics since the NCAA added Women’s Tennis to their Divison I championship programs), Lisa is listed 3rd in single season winning percentage (minimum of 20 matches) with a 21-5 record in 1983 (.808), and 9th in career winning percentage (.673) with a record of 35 -17.
Mike McDonald was both an outstanding baseball player and an exceptional coach. He began his journey in organized baseball at Pekin High School where he was the third baseman on the 1964 team that advanced to the state semifinals. After high school he played outfield at Canton Community College (now Spoon River College) where he batted .455 and .320. He completed his college playing days at Bradley University where he was the third baseman on the Braves 1968 Missouri Valley Conference Championship Team. After his college days, McDonald coached briefly as an assistant coach at Peoria Bergan High School and played in Peoria’s highly competitive Sunday Morning League, before signing a minor league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals organizaton. After two years he retired from professional baseball (AA level), but his days in baseball were far from over. He accepted a teaching position at Morton High School and was a baseball and football coach. “Coach Mac’s” tenure as Morton’s head baseball coach covered 24 years. His teams won 452 games, including ten 20+ win seasons, seven conference titles, four regional championships, two sectionals, and two state finals appearances. In 1984 he guided the Potters to an IHSA Class AA championship, and in 1994 Morton finished runner-up. Following his career at Morton, Mike coached for six years at Illinois Central College as an assistant baseball coach and for two years at Eureka College as head baseball coach. He was an associate scout with the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals and worked at several baseball camps. Mike always stressed the fundamentals that he learned from his professional days. He taught his players the “right way” to play the game. Mike is being inducted posthumously, having passed away in 2015.
Marlys Taber Watts
Described by Hall of Famer Lorene Ramsey (GPSHOF class of 1982) as the “best defensive shortstop in the nation while in her prime,” Marlys Taber Watts experienced a truly outstanding career in women’s softball. She played nine seasons (1964 – 1973) with the highly touted Pekin Lettes before finishing her career with the West Allis State Bankettes. The 1965 Lettes team (GPSHOF class of 1988) finished third in the Amateur Softball Association’s World Tournament. She was known for her speed and defensive ability and was sometimes considered one of the top two hitters in the lineup. Marlys was a five-time National Amateur Softball Association All American, twice named to the 1st team and three times selected to the 2nd team. Other recognitions included being selected to numerous All-West Central Region All-Star Teams and receiving an invitation to the USA Pan-American Games tryouts in 1979. Other noteworthy experiences on the “big stage,” Marlys participated in three National ASA All-Star Softball Series, most significantly in 1966 when she was the leading hitter with a .389 batting average. At Illinois State University, Marlys played four varsity sports, field hockey, basketball, volleyball, and softball. She was inducted into the ISU Hall of Fame in 1982. The ISU “Hall” is not the only one of which she is a member. Marlys was inducted into the Illinois ASA Hall of Fame in 1989 and the National Amateur Softball Hall of Fame in 1991.
|2018 Team Inductees|
1997-98 & 1998-99 ICC Women's Basketball Teams
The 1997-98 team, Coached by Lorene Ramsey (GPSHOF class of 1982), and loaded with talent from the Greater Peoria area, the Lady Cougars captured the second National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Tournament Championship in ICC’s history. Their march to the crown included wins over Calhoun (AL) 70-60; Kirkwood (IA) 70-69; and Penn Valley Community College (KS) 72-65 in the championship tilt. Kelli Ryan, Marlena Williams and Beth Zeone were named to the All Tournament 1st Team. Williams was named the Most Valuable Player in the Tournament. Ryan was named to the NJCAA All-American 1st Team, and Williams received 3rd Team All-American recognition. Ramsey was named NJCAA Division II National Coach of the Year. At the time of the team’s induction, inside player, Pauline Harris (Peoria Manual) held ICC’s single game record for the number of rebounds (22). The majority of the players on the roster were from Peoria area high schools including Peoria schools, Manual, Notre Dame, and Woodruff; and area schools Dunlap, Pekin, Limestone, Illinois Valley Central, and Brimfield. The Lady Cougars owned a 30-5 record for the season that included a 23 game win streak.
The 1998-’99 Lady Cougars successfully defended their National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Tournament crown with an 86-81 victory over Northwest-Shoals Community College (AL). Other wins preceding the championship game included the defeat of opponents Mesa (AZ) 81-69; Monroe (NY) 84-71; and Mott (MI) 78-51. Marlena Williams and Beth Zeone repeated as members of the All Tournament 1st Team and were joined by teammate, Elena Karama. Zeone was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Williams and Zeone were also named to the NJCAA All-American 1st Team with Williams also being named a Kodak All-American. She was then drafted by the Indiana Fever of the WNBA. Lorene Ramsey was again named NJCAA Division II National Coach of the Year, making it the fourth time that she had received the award. The roster was again filled with several players from high schools in the Greater Peoria area. At the time of their induction the ’98-’99 team held ICC records for single season Field Goal percentage (49.9%) and Assists (749). They finished the season with a record of 31-2.
1985-88 Eureka Girls Basketball Teams
Coached by Ron Eeten, the 1985-1988 Eureka High School Girls Basketball teams compiled an impressive 76-14 record over three consecutive seasons. The 1985-’86 team ended the season with a record of 24-5 before losing an Elite 8 contest to Pittsfield. The Hornets’ victories included a 22 game winning streak. The 1986-’87 team was undefeated during the regular season, ending the year with a near perfect 27-1 record. After attaining a number 6 ranking in the state polls, the Hornets suffered their only loss in the quarterfinals to undefeated and eventual state champion, Seneca. The third team in this era, the 1987-’88 Hornets, also lost in the state playoffs to another undefeated and eventual state champion, Teutopolis. The team finished the season with a 25-8 record that included a 10 game win streak. Major contributors to the success of these three teams included Kara Smith, Peg Wettstein, Tammy Siverly, and Lorna Knepp. Smith was selected to the 4th Team All-State squad in 1986, and in 1987 she became the all time leading scorer in the history of the program.
1994-98 Morton Girls Softball Teams
Coached by Gigi MacIntosh, this era of softball excellence produced an impressive 172 – 29 record over five consecutive seasons. With that kind of overall mark, it should be no surprise that there were several impressive winning streaks, shutout victories, and four Mid Illini Conference championships. All five teams brought home trophies from the IHSA Class AA State Finals (2 class system). The 1994, 1996, and 1997 teams reached the championship game and finished 2nd in the state. The 1995 and 1998 teams secured 3rd place trophies. The 1994, ’95, ’96, and ‘97 teams were Mid-Illini Conference Champions posting a combined 45 – 3 conference mark.
|2018 Neve Harms Meritorious Service Award|
Junior and Jackie Watkins
Junior and Jackie coordinated basketball and golf events for the Elks organization on an international level when Junior served as the Grand Athletic Global Director for 20 years. The Watkins’ founded and ran the Hersey Hawkins Summer League for 35 years. Junior was the league commissioner while Jackie oversaw scoring, scheduling and other matters. Each served on the Peoria Park District Athletic Advisory Board. Junior has been a member of the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame board for over 20 years and Jackie has lent her singing voice to the GPSHOF banquet for years. The couple was involved with PHY (People Helping Youth), a non-profit designed to help Little League Baseball at State Park. Junior has been a volunteer official for Caterpillar Leagues and a volunteer host for the IHSA state basketball tournament.
|2018 Tri-County Athlete and Coach of the Year Awards|
Tri-County female athlete of year:
Amelia Glueck (Illinois Wesleyan University): Tremont High School grad overcame preseason foot surgery to place second in the long jump at the Div. III indoor nationals (18-11.75 feet). Then in May she won her second Div. III national outdoor championship with a school record leap of 19-10.25 feet. Glueck was top 30 finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year for exemplifying excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership.
Tri-County male athlete of year:
Jace Punke (Washington High School): Won class 2A state heavyweight title (285 lbs) despite wrestling at 245 pounds. Finished 45-4, ranked 10th nationally. Helped Panthers win a third consecutive state duals title. In the
summer he won the Greco-Roman title and was freestyle runner-up at the
U.S. Marine Corps Junior Nationals at 220 pounds. Punke was a starting
offensive and defensive lineman for 11-1 state football quarterfinalist.
Tri-County female coach of year:
Olivia Morris (Eureka High School): Took her girls cross country team to a class 1A state title for first time in school history with three runners in the top 25, including state champion Emma Argo. Her top five female runners recorded personal best times at state. Morris also coached the Eureka boys cross country team to tenth at the state meet.
Tri-County male coach of the year:
Pat Garst (Dunlap High School): Qualified girls in 14 of 18 events at the state track and field meet and scored in each event, winning three relays and the 1600 meters. Dominating the class 2A girls meet, the Eagles became the first team in the three-class era to score 100 points at state. Dunlap’s 102 points were 51 points better than the state runner-up. Garst
was named Illinois girls track and field coach of year.
March 30, 2019
38th Induction Banquet
The 38th Greater Peoria Sports Hall Of Fame Induction Banquet will be held on Saturday, March 30th at the Peoria Civic Center. Social Hour begins @ 5:00 pm, followed by dinner @ 6:00 pm and the induction ceremony. Tickets are $35 before March 15 and $40 if purchased between March 20 thru March 26, 2019.
To order using a Credit Card,
You must print off
this form and send to Susie. click here
Tickets will NOT be available at the door the night of the banquet.
Newsletters/Banquet Programs2019 Newsletter2018 Newsletter2018 Hall of Fame Program2017 Newsletter2017 Hall of Fame Program2016 Hall of Fame Program2016 Newsletter2015 Newsletter2015 Hall of Fame Program2014 Hall of Fame Program Listing2014 Newsletter2012 Newsletter2011 Newsletter2010 Newsletter2009 NewsletterMission Statement
The first official Board of Directors meeting was held on October 14, 1979. Officers were elected. Early decisions determined that the Hall of Famers would be from the Greater Peoria Area; the name would be The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame; its purpose would be to promote and encourage the many varied sports programs in our area, to share with the area the pride we have in the accomplishments of area athletes, and to honor those men, women and teams contributing to our enjoyment and rich sports history.
With the cooperation of the Peoria Civic Center Commission and generous community support, the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame is a reality and it's future is bright..
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