TriCounty With a galaxy of stars that included all-state midfielder Dominic Bonello and four other all-area selections, Mike Bare guided Peoria Notre Dame to the inaugural Class 2A championship in the Irish's first trip to the boys soccer state finals since they won the Class A title in 2004.
The Irish swamped Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 3-0 in the title match at Naperville, completing a 21-3-1 season that wasn't sidetracked by an 0-2-1 start. The shutout against SHG was the 11th in a season-ending 14-game winning streak.
Bare's team won the championship in his second year as Irish coach. He took over the boys program at his high school alma mater (Class of 1999) after two years at Metamora.
With a galaxy of stars that included all-state midfielder Dominic Bonello and four other all-area selections, Mike Bare guided Peoria Notre Dame to the inaugural Class 2A championship in the Irish's first trip to the boys soccer state finals since they won the Class A title in 2004.
Larry Leitner was among the state's elite officials for more than 40 years, officiating high school, college and professional sporting events from 1960 through 2003 and he remains involved in sports by serving on the board of directors for the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament, as well as evaluating current officials and moderating IHSA rules clinics.
Among his officiating highlights, Leitner worked more IHSA basketball and football tournament games than any official in the state's history, earning 27 consecutive boys basketball regional assignments. He also worked the IHSA boys basketball state finals in 1973, 1974 and 1976, including the 1976 championship game, and three IHSA football finals, including the first-ever 2A state championship game in 1974. A charter member of the Gateway Conference officiating crew in 1988, Leitner was part of the crew that officiated the 1990 and 1993 NCAA Division I-AA quarterfinals and he served as an associate official for the Big Ten Conference from 1984-88.
Leitner also was called upon to officiate two IESA state championship games, the 1990 National Catholic Basketball finals, three Shriner All-Star football games and the 1980 IBCA All-Star Classic, while also working for two seasons in the Midwest Professional Football League.
Leitner is a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association, Peoria Officials and Bloomington/Normal Officials Halls of Fame.