NeveHarms Russ Platt has a long record of helping youth sports.
Russ coached women's softball in the early l96Os. In the 197Os he coached baseball in West Peoria. He has been president of the Manual Booster Club, has repaired bicycles for Toys for Tots, and volunteered set-up of the initial Jumpball Jamboree at the IHSA March Madress Experience.
Russ served as president of the Independent Sports Club in 1984, and for the past 11 years has served as treasurer for the ISC. Under Russ' watch, the ISC has grown to over 700 members, making it easier to perform its mission "...to help provide Peoria area youth the best sports programs in the country."
Russ and his wife Betty celebrated 50 years of marriage last year. He is proud to join the long list of friends who have received this award: Gary Trotter, Dan Shea, Jim Watson, and fellow worker from Illinois Mutual, Chuck McCord.
Russ Platt has a long record of helping youth sports.
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.