Inductees Though perhaps best known for his outdoor writing, Jack Ehresman covered many high school, college and professional sports events during his 43-year career at the Journal Star.
A graduate of East Peoria High and Bradley(1954), he began working full time at the newspaper in 1953. He retired in 1997.
His early assignments included the Peoria Chiefs when they played at Woodruff Field in the 1950s and prep sports. Later he covered Northwestern and Notre Dame football, Bradley basketball under Chuck Orsborn, and whatever came up on the sports calendar.
Jack became Outdoor Sports Editor in 1967 and turned out columns for thirty years.
During those years he authored more than 7,500 stories and columns, becoming well-known throughout the Midwest. Ehresman became widely respected among his peers. He was invited to sit on a variety of state and national boards dealing with various environment issues.
His writings won numerous awards. For many years he was a trustee for the nationally respected Ducks Unlimited. Upon his retirement in 1997, Jack chose to continue that relationship. He is a charter member of the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame.
Though perhaps best known for his outdoor writing, Jack Ehresman covered many high school, college and professional sports events during his 43-year career at the Journal Star.
Jim Lewis served as Athletic Director, head football, golf, basketball, and baseball coach at Pekin Community High School during his career from 1933-1955. Jim received his BA from the University of Illinois and a masters from the University of Iowa. During his days at the University of Illinois he played football and basketball. Jim also served in the military. Jim Lewis started his coaching career at Pekin in 1933 with the baseball team. He compiled a record of 118-71-1 in eleven seasons under his direction. Lewis led Pekin to six regional titles in his seven seasons as basketball coach, including state trophies in 1947 (4th place) and 1948 (3rd place). Jim coached football for eleven seasons with a 71-30-1 record. The 1951 unbeaten Pekin football team was the first team in the history of the school to win ten games. The 1951 team was considered the mythical Number 1 team in the state. Pekin won both the Greater Peoria Illini Conference and the Big 12 Conference titles that year. Jim's golf teams excelled, winning a 3rd place (1948) and a 2nd place (1949) in the state tournament during his seven years as coach. Jim Lewis was one of the driving forces behind building Pekin Memorial Stadium. Jim was a member in three Halls of Fame, the Pekin High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Illinois High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, and the IBCA Hall of Fame. Even by today's standards, Coach Lewis' coaching achievements are legendary.