Inductees AFTER SWEEPING through an eight-game unbeaten season in 1942, Coach Ennio Arboit took his Spalding Institute team to a 9-0-0 season in 1944, the fourth unbeaten season in the school's history, but the first that finished with nine wins and no ties.
Four days prior to its opening game, the team was involved in a near fatal accident when the truck transporting the team to Bradley Park for practice tipped over on Main St. Several serious injuries were incurred, including starting halfback John Kenning. However, a "green" sophomore and future college "Little All-American" Bob Flanagan took over his position.
The Irish had much more trouble than its 1942 counterpart, scoring 211 points while yielding 63. It was involved in a one-point win over Manual and a two-point decision over St. Bede Academy.
Shutouts were produced over Bloomington Trinity and Quincy Notre Dame while the most lopsided win was over Eureka, 34-6.
The Irish placed five players on the all-Greater Peoria first team: tackle Ed Uranich (All-State and later to be the school's head football coach), All-State guard Tom Hecht, center Tex Weicherding, end Ed Dwyer and quarterback Harry Sonnemaker (team and city MVP). Named to the second team were guard Willie Densberger, tackle Hank Donnelly, halfback Tom Gorsage and fullback Ed Ritter.
THE 1944 SEASON
Spalding 32, Bloomington Trinity 0
Spalding 26, Pekin 6
Spalding 19, East Peoria 7
Spalding 20, Quincy Notre Dame 0
Spalding 32, Central 12
Spalding 34, Eureka 6
Spalding 15, Manual 14
Spalding 19, Woodruff 6
Spalding 14, Peru St. Bede 12
AFTER SWEEPING through an eight-game unbeaten season in 1942, Coach Ennio Arboit took his Spalding Institute team to a 9-0-0 season in 1944, the fourth unbeaten season in the school's history, but the first that finished with nine wins and no ties.
Marv Hamilton, an outstanding basketball player and baseball pitcher, was instrumental in developing the Caterpillar basketball program into a nationally respected one. He was also one of the Founders of the famed National Industrial Basketball League in which Caterpillar performed for so many years. His work as the Employee's Activity Director at Caterpillar also resulted in the establishment of one of the most versatile corporate recreational and sports programs in the nation.