TriCounty A truly dominating player in every facet of the game, Manual High School all-state basketball standout Sergio McLain is the Tri-County Male Athlete of the Year.
Son of Manual coach Wayne McClain, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound junior has triple threat ability: he can score, averaging 17 points; rebound, bagging 6.3 a game; and play sturdy defense.
McClain has had a career that high school players only dream about. In his first three varsity seasons, he had been a major reason Manual has won three consecutive state Class AA tournaments.
He has been an automatic all-stater several times, honored by the Chicago Tribune and the Champaign News-Gazette, and named to the first team of the Journal Starís Class AA team.
Wrote veteran Journal Star prep expert Bob Leavitt of McClain: "The strength muscular McClain added to Manual's lineup was nothing compared to the mental toughness his leadership gave the Rams."
Pursued by dozens of major college coaches, McClain and teammate Marcus Griffin, also a consensus all-stater, will attend the University of Illinois.
A truly dominating player in every facet of the game, Manual High School all-state basketball standout Sergio McLain is the Tri-County Male Athlete of the Year.
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.