NeveHarms Dr. Clarence V. Ward is an Ophthalmologist who graduated from Spalding in 1940, University of Notre Dame in 1944 and St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1946. He served 2 years in the Army in Japan and had a 2-year residency at Hines Veteran Hospital. He has been in private practice in Ophthalmology continuously since 1952.
Dr. Ward received the University of Notre Dame Man of the Year Award in 1983, the IL State Medical Society Award for Outstanding Team Physician in 1990 and the Peoria Area Catholic High School Team Physician Award in 1992.
In 1965, the year that Bergan High School entered the Mid State 8, which then became the Mid State 9, he was asked by his good friend, Dr. George Best, to act as Bergan's Team Physician because Dr. Best's son, freshman Marty Best, was Bergan's starting quarterback. From that game and for the next 22 years Dr. Ward served as Bergan's Team Physician and then continued to serve in the same capacity for 4 more years as Spalding and Bergan merged to become Peoria Notre Dame High School.
Dr. Ward served 14 years under Head Coach Jim Heid, 5 years under the legendary Merv Haycock, 4 years under Tim Dougherty and 4 years under Jim Donahue. When asked onetime Why an Ophthalmologist was the Team Doctor, Ward replied "because my back-up man is an OB Gynecologist Specialist".
Dr. Clarence V. Ward is an Ophthalmologist who graduated from Spalding in 1940, University of Notre Dame in 1944 and St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1946. He served 2 years in the Army in Japan and had a 2-year residency at Hines Veteran Hospital. He has been in private practice in Ophthalmology continuously since 1952.
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.