TriCounty In Pat Ryan's 20th season as head coach at his high school alma mater, the 13-1 Redbirds rebounded from their first regular-season loss since 2005 to claim their second state title in three years.
Metamora's 41-7 win over Geneseo in the Class 4A state championship game was the most lopsided of the eight finals played at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.
The Redbirds finished with 12 straight victories after suffering a 28-7 loss to eventual 5A quarterfinalist Washington in Week 2. The decision, which ultimately determined the Mid-Illini Conference championship, snapped Metamora's 35-game Mid-Illini winning streak.
The 4A playoff assignment was the first for Metamora, enrollment 985, since the state series was expanded from six to eight classes in 2001. The Redbirds were in 5A from 2001 through 2008, including when they won their first title under Ryan in `07.
In Pat Ryan's 20th season as head coach at his high school alma mater, the 13-1 Redbirds rebounded from their first regular-season loss since 2005 to claim their second state title in three years.
Neve Harms Award
The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame Neve Harms Award, formerly the Peoria Advertising and Selling Club's Annual Meritorious Service to Sports Award, was named the Neve Harms Award in 1966 and for a very good reason.
As Director of Proctor Recreation Center, Harms observed the need for all youths to experience participation in sports activities, and not just the few who excelled. He, therefore, adopted a firm policy which assured that all youths would have an opportunity to play in games of the various sports controlled by Proctor Center. This plan met with much success and certainly with acceptance by parents whose children became more interested in sport activities at Proctor and consequently made good use of their free time.
Neve carried through this policy when he was appointed Superintendent of the Peoria City Recreation Department which later became part of the Peoria Park District. In addition, he also developed a system of recognition for all youths so that each young person could feel good about his or her efforts.
This kind of interest in all youths regardless of ability came from a most competitive and outstanding athlete. Neve was a four-sport player at Manual High School and a three-sport letter winner at Bradley University. He was a member of the 1929 Manual High School State Championship Basketball team.
Awards prior to 1981 were offered through the Peoria Advertising Club, rather than the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame. We don't have biographies for these individuals. If anyone would be able to provide the bios that were written by the club at the time of the awards, we would very much appreciate receiving them for posting. We are also missing the Bruce Saurs' bio that was written in the 1991 Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame Banquet book, and we would like to receive it also. We are specifically interested in the bios written at the time of the awards, not more or less current. Please contact Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The first official Board of Directors meeting was held on October 14, 1979. Officers were elected. Early decisions determined that the Hall of Famers would be from the Greater Peoria Area; the name would be The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame; its purpose would be to promote and encourage the many varied sports programs in our area, to share with the area the pride we have in the accomplishments of area athletes, and to honor those men, women and teams contributing to our enjoyment and rich sports history.
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