Inductees 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.
Between 1967 and 1971 Peoria Central High School’s tennis team set a national record by winning 116 straight dual meet matches.
Jim Querciagrossa was a wrestling coach at Woodruff High School from 1968-1992. He guided his grapplers to 36 individual conference titles and 64 individual regional championships. 151 boys qualified for sectional competition and 19 qualified for State matches, eight of whom earned a medal. One of his wrestlers, Jeff Sutherland, was a State Champion in 1990 at 160 lbs. His teams combined for an impressive 303-102-6 record in dual meets with five conference, 14 city championships, and four regional championships. He coached 22 winning seasons. In his final season the Warriors strung together 24 consecutive dual meet wins before losing in the Class AA state competition. Jim was named Central Illinois Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1992. He has been inducted into the Illinois Wrestling Coaches Association and Woodruff High School Halls of Fame. “Coach Q” sparked interest in wrestling with younger boys by hosting the area’s first Kids Wrestling Tournament in 1978, and beginning in 1969, he hosted the Peoria Freshmen Tourney for 42 years.