TriCounty Leanne Bonifas' never-give-up attitude manifested itself in the spring when her 10th Limestone softball team went from a third-place finish in the eight-team Mid-Illini Conference to the Class 3A state championship.
The seven postseason wins raised the Rockets' record to 32-8 overall. The streak included a 1-0 victory in the sectional semifinals over Mid-Illini co-champion Metamora, which swept a pair of one-run decisions from Limestone in conference play.
The first state team title in Limestone's 55-year history came two years after Bonifas was diagnosed with cervical cancer. In celebration of the former Bradley softball player from Aurora Central Catholic High, the Rockets wore pink ribbons on their cleats in the 3A title game.
Leanne Bonifas' never-give-up attitude manifested itself in the spring when her 10th Limestone softball team went from a third-place finish in the eight-team Mid-Illini Conference to the Class 3A state championship.
A 1974 Bradley University graduate and longtime financial consultant for MassMutual Financial Group, Paul Herzog has served as the public address "Voice of the Braves" for nearly 600 Bradley men's basketball games for the past 39 seasons, including every game the Braves have played at Carver Arena and Renaissance Coliseum. In addition to his volunteer service for Bradley, Herzog has served as the volunteer public address announcer for every game the Peoria Civic Center has hosted in the IHSA Boys Basketball State Tournament during its 20-year run in the River City.
While "PA" Paul is well-known for his role with Bradley Basketball and the IHSA, his community service extends far beyond Carver Arena. A Braves Club Board of Directors member for 20 years and a past president (1992-94) of the organization, Herzog also served as president of the Central Illinois Bradley Alumni Chapter (1983-85) and the Bradley University National Alumni Association (1990-91). He also has began emceeing the IHSA State Cross Country Championships awards ceremony in 1996.
Closer to his home in Germantown Hills, Herzog has coached in youth baseball and basketball house leagues and from 2006-13 he was a member of the Germantown Hills Athletic Association Board of Directors. He served as a committe co-chair in the effort to acquire land for the expansion of youth sports in Germantown Hills, which led to the addition of 20 acres to school district property. Herzog also brought a little of the Bradley Basketball experience to the Germantown Hills Grade School Boys Basketball program by serving as the public address announcer from 2008-12.
Herzog is the recipient of numerous service awards, including the Bradley Varsity Club Billy Stone Service Award, the Bradley University Lydia Moss Bradley Award, the IHSA March Madness Volunteer of the Year and the IHSA Distinguished Service Award. He was inducted into the Bradley Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.