1967-71 Peoria Central Tennis Team
Top row, from left, Fred Graf, Tim Tiarks, Gary Zumwalt, Jim Cummings.
Middle row, from left, Mike Holden, Chris Peerless, Jim Kahn, John Casey, John Fritts, Tony Mead, Chris Martersteck.
Bottom row, Jeff Ballowe, Rob Thornburg, Jeff Goll, Steve Woodworth, Eric Holden, Dwight Morris, Coach Stephen Yang, Coach Neil Wicker.
Between 1967 and 1971 Peoria Central High School’s tennis team set a national record by winning 116 straight dual meet matches.
The streak started May 4, 1967 against Woodruff and ended with a 5-4 loss to Pekin April 29, 1971.
The old record had been 107 consecutive wins by Coral Gables, Fla. High School. The record set by Central has since been eclipsed.
Neil Wicker, who became head coach for the 1967 season, tutored the team throughout the streak although Steve Yang was head coach in 1971 when Wicker assumed an administrative post with the school district.
Seventeen lettermen took the major part in establishing the long winning streak with John Casey, Jim Kahn and Chris Peerless playing in four of the five seasons the streak covered.
Mike and Eric Holden and Chris Martersteck played in three of the seasons, John Fritts, Fred Graf, Tony Mead, Dwight Morris and Tim Tiarks two each and Jeff Ballowe, Jim Cummings, Jeff Goll, Bob Thornburg, Steve Woodworth and Gary Zumwalt one.
Others who played were Gary Aterburn, Rob Bordeaux, Bill Defenbaugh, Chip Dempsey, John Dempsey, Ben Dwyer, Dick Ellis, Mike Finn, Doug Holmes, Mike Keele, Mike Keller, Steve Kraft, Blaire Gorsuch, Richard Lewis, Gary Nunes, Dan Osterman, Scott Reed, Lance Rodewald, Rich Sathoff, Bob Schroeder, Jeff Shaw, Hank Sincere, Marcus Sharpe, Alan Smith, Bob Steimle, Jeff Spietz, Jerry Storm, Jim Thomas, Bruce Ulrich, Dick Whitney and Brian Woodworth.