NeveHarms Players and coaches could come and go, but the two Dr. Harts could be counted on to stay. Both became fixtures at home and away games where they were an essential part in the success of the Peoria High School football program.
Lifelong Peorians, Dr. Robert and Dr. William Hart have been associated with Peoria High as students, parents of students and as team physicians. Unmatched for continuous service to the school, the two doctors served for a period spanning six decades. Dr. Bob became the team physician in 1946 and Dr. Bill joined him in 1949, both serving through the 1992 football season.
A 1931 Peoria High School graduate, Dr. Bob played football and was active in other school functions. After finishing at Bradley U., he attended the University of Illinois College of Medicine graduating in 1939. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he returned to Peoria in 1946 where he established a practice in Pediatrics. His daughter and four sons graduated from PHS where they were involved with a number of school teams. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Bill was active in various school activities, graduating from Peoria High in 1936. After completing his degree at Bradley U., he received his medical degree from the University of Illinois, finishing his internship and residency in general surgery in 1949. He practiced surgery in Peoria until his retirement in 1992. Several of Dr Bill's five daughters and two sons graduated from PHS. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgery.
Both would interrupt busy schedules to care for the athletes of Peoria High. They would keep their offices open after hours to administer the needs of injured players, whether it be game night or regular practice. Coaches could count on the two doctors to return to the school or go to the hospital following a ballgame to ensure that the athletes received proper care.
In 1982, Dr. Bob and Dr. Bill were honored by the Illinois High School Association as the FIRST recipients of the Team Physician Award for service rendered to high school teams of Illinois, an award they richly deserved.
AND - just for the record, they served under SEVEN coaches. Their names in order are: John Noppenberger, Leon Daily, Tony Juska, Wm. ìCorkyî Robertson, Dick Whitaker, Dick Jamieson, and Larry Lavery. EIGHTY NINE (89) YEARS OF TOTAL SERVICE - a tough act to follow!!
Players and coaches could come and go, but the two Dr. Harts could be counted on to stay. Both became fixtures at home and away games where they were an essential part in the success of the Peoria High School football program.
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 email@example.com.
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The first official Board of Directors meeting was held 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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