Tri-County Youth Sports Grant
Tri-County Youth Sports Grant Winners
1967 Pekin Basketball Team

Row 1 L to R: Jimmie "Doc" Lee, Jerry Norman, Tom Vucich, Mark Freidinger, Dick Marshall, John Venturi, Rich Hawkins.

Row 2 L to R: Coach Hawkins, Clark Joesting, Dave Martin, Doug Jones, Kim Higham, Kim Seeber, Randy Brienen.

Row 3 L to R: Coach Ortegel, Coach Venturi, Fred Miller, Steve Kingdon, Scott Lange, Barry Moran, Barry Soffietti.

THIS DAWDY HAWKINS-COACHED TEAM, the second in four years at the school to capture a state championship, won its nine games in the state tournament series by an amazing 22.7-point average.

After reaching the "Sweet 16," Pekin downed Toluca 77-64 in the supersectional, then went to the Assembly Hall in Champaign to continue the title trek 94-70 over Elmhurst York, 77-61 over Springfield and 75-59 over Carbondale in the championship game.

Pekin finished the season with a 31-2 record, the only two defeats at the hands of Peoria Central, and Pekin avenged the loss of the Mid-State 9 Conference title by ousting the Lions in the sectional finale.

"That was an awesome era for high school basketball at Pekin," said team captain Fred Miller of the last of the four years during which the school had a combined 115-11 record. "We were often ranked No. 1 in Illinois and had games televised live. We weren't that tall, but we used quickness and defense to win over teams with more height."