TriCounty Heather Cassady was only a sophomore in the 1995-96 school year, but the Dunlap High School two-sport standout showed such talent she was named the Tri-County Female Athlete of the Year.
First came basketball.
The 5-foot-5 guard averaged 15.5 points (including such monstrous scoring games as 30 and 35 points in the sectional and super-sectional, respectively), 8.5 assists and 4.6 steals.
She was named the Journal Star's Player of the Year in Class A and was a vital reason why Dunlap made the school's first appearance in the state finals, finishing fourth after bowing to Byron 59-57 in the third-place game.
Then the softball season arrived.
Dunlap's second baseman, Cassady hit .562, the highest on the Journal Starís Class A all-star team.
Attending grade school in East Peoria, Cassady became a basketball standout playing against boys.
"I was sort of a tomboy because I grew up around the guys," Cassady has said. "That's why I can play like a guy, because I played with boys like Mark Vershaw and Jason Jenkins (East Peoria's very large standouts)."
Heather Cassady was only a sophomore in the 1995-96 school year, but the Dunlap High School two-sport standout showed such talent she was named the Tri-County Female 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.