TriCounty Illinois Central softball coach Lorene Ramsey, who has molded dozens of outstanding players in her long Cougar career, may have never had a player like Kim Hartzler of Washington.
An outstanding pitcher who finished last season with a 17-2 record and an ERA of 0.85 Hartzler also was the team's leading hitter with .477 average, a flock of extra base hits and 62 RBls.
"I've had some very versatile pitchers in the past, but I've never had a pitcher that hit almost .500," praised Ramsey.
Hartzler always had her bat in the lineup, playing third when not pitching. And she was no slouch there, either. "She's played third base for us in All-American fashion defensively," points out Ramsey.
"In my years involved with ICC softball, I have never seen one person be such an impact player offensively, pitching and defensively," says batting coach Rudy Rudolph.
"She can hit for singles or for power," points out Ramsey. "She's a tremendous RBI player."
Hartzler, who is now attending Eastern Illinois University, was selected along with teammate Brigit Cornish for the United States Junior College All-Star team that played in the Canada Cup tournament last season. She played every inning of all nine games.
In 1995 she also was named to the First Team All Regional; first team all regional tournament; Most Valuable Player NCAA regional tournament; first team National Softball Coaches Association All-American; first team National Junior College Athletic Association All-American.
Her .478 batting average at ICC last season was the highest average of any regular player in the 27-year history of the ICC softball program.
Illinois Central softball coach Lorene Ramsey, who has molded dozens of outstanding players in her long Cougar career, may have never had a player like Kim Hartzler of Washington.
Jim Lewis served as Athletic Director, head football, golf, basketball, and baseball coach at Pekin Community High School during his career from 1933-1955. Jim received his BA from the University of Illinois and a masters from the University of Iowa. During his days at the University of Illinois he played football and basketball. Jim also served in the military. Jim Lewis started his coaching career at Pekin in 1933 with the baseball team. He compiled a record of 118-71-1 in eleven seasons under his direction. Lewis led Pekin to six regional titles in his seven seasons as basketball coach, including state trophies in 1947 (4th place) and 1948 (3rd place). Jim coached football for eleven seasons with a 71-30-1 record. The 1951 unbeaten Pekin football team was the first team in the history of the school to win ten games. The 1951 team was considered the mythical Number 1 team in the state. Pekin won both the Greater Peoria Illini Conference and the Big 12 Conference titles that year. Jim's golf teams excelled, winning a 3rd place (1948) and a 2nd place (1949) in the state tournament during his seven years as coach. Jim Lewis was one of the driving forces behind building Pekin Memorial Stadium. Jim was a member in three Halls of Fame, the Pekin High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Illinois High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, and the IBCA Hall of Fame. Even by today's standards, Coach Lewis' coaching achievements are legendary.