TriCounty National championships for Illinois Central College and long-time coach Lorene Ramsey go hand-in-hand.
And this was especially so in 1998 when she won not one but two national titles: the National Junior College softball crown in Hutchinson, Kansas and the National Junior College Division II basketball title in Hagerstown, Md.
The double victory march earned her the honor of being named the Tri-County Female Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year and fifth time overall adding to previous awards in 1993, 1992 and 1979.
She won her first national JC softball title in 1982 and followed up with Division II basketball crowns in 1992 and 1993. She was named national JC Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1993.
Ramsey felt her basketball team hit its peak in the national tournament. "We put together our three best back-to-back games in the national tournament, and we got contributions from a lot of people. Sometimes they contributed in a way that amazed me."
In the softball national tourney, ICC had to win five games after a loss put it into the loser's bracket, but it then won the tourney with ease with back-to-back shutouts of Ricks College.
Ramsey was voted into the Women's Softball Hall of Fame last May. Kathy Leitke, president of the Women's Softball Coaches Association, lauded Ramsey: "There's no doubt in my mind that Lorene Ramsey is as solid as a rock. She is the foundation of JCAA women's softball."
Following the season, Ramsey retired as softball coach with a career mark of 840-309. She will continue as ICC's basketball coach.
National championships for Illinois Central College and long-time coach Lorene Ramsey go hand-in-hand.
Before building a solid professional foundation in the Greater Peoria area that lead to his legendary career in sports broadcasting in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, Bill King actually gained his initial broadcasting experience with Armed Forces radio. He simulated live play-by-play accounts of games from information received over the wire. After WWII he began his professional broadcasting in Pekin, Illinois. Bill broadcasted high school games in Pekin and Peoria. He called his first minor league baseball game in 1948 in Peoria, at the age of 19, and went on to call Bradley University basketball and University of Nebraska football and basketball. Moving to the Bay Area in the late 1950s, King was hired by KSFO-AM as a fill-in broadcaster for the San Francisco Giants baseball games after the franchise moved from New York. A major turning point in his career occurred in 1962 when he landed the job as the play-by-play voice of the NBA’s San Francisco Warriors after the franchise moved from Philadelphia. (The team became the Golden State Warriors in 1971.) His stint with the Warriors lasted through the 1982-83 season. In 1966, King added the duties of Oakland Raiders play-by-play to his schedule, becoming one of the signature voices of the National Football League when the Raiders and the American Football League merged with the NFL in 1970. He called Raiders’ games through the 1992 season. Despite his already considerable workload for two professional teams, King was convinced to become the lead radio announcer for the Oakland A’s in 1981. He became a beloved and legendary broadcaster during his 25 years with the A’s. He was also considered quite the “character”. He was once responsible for the Warriors being assessed a technical foul after berating an NBA official. Among a very small and select group of announcers, Bill received championship rings from teams representing all three major sports. He received three Super Bowl rings (Raiders - NFL), one NBA Champion ring (Warriors), and one World Series ring (A’s – MLB). Some of his actual play-by-play calls can be heard in the movie, Moneyball, an account of the Oakland A’s season of 2002. His career sadly ended with his death in October of 2005. His partner for 13 years, Greg Papa, said about King, “Bill is without a doubt the best radio play-by-play announcer I have heard in all of sports. His energy, preparation, his thoroughness, his word choice—he is without peer.” Indeed, in 2017, the National Baseball Hall of Fame named King the 41st recipient (posthumously) of the Ford C. Frick Award, the highest honor for American baseball broadcasters. Among the many other tributes to his career are: 1) the naming of the radio booth at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum, “Bill King Radio Booth” 2) the placement of a sign on the centerfield wall with King’s catchphrase, “Holy Toledo” in script font, that can be flashed on an A’s homerun or other “King worthy” play. 3) On Opening Night of the 2006 season, a video tribute was played on the coliseum’s large screen, and in lieu of the ceremonial first pitch, Bill King's chair, a baseball, and his headset were on the pitcher's mound. 4) His partner for the last 10 years of his career, Ken Korach, authored a biography about King, “Holy Toledo – Lessons from Bill King: Renaissance Man of the Mic.”