Inductees THIS DAWDY HAWKINS-COACHED TEAM, the second in four years at the school to capture a state championship, won its nine games in the state tournament series by an amazing 22.7-point average.
After reaching the "Sweet 16," Pekin downed Toluca 77-64 in the supersectional, then went to the Assembly Hall in Champaign to continue the title trek 94-70 over Elmhurst York, 77-61 over Springfield and 75-59 over Carbondale in the championship game.
Pekin finished the season with a 31-2 record, the only two defeats at the hands of Peoria Central, and Pekin avenged the loss of the Mid-State 9 Conference title by ousting the Lions in the sectional finale.
"That was an awesome era for high school basketball at Pekin," said team captain Fred Miller of the last of the four years during which the school had a combined 115-11 record. "We were often ranked No. 1 in Illinois and had games televised live. We weren't that tall, but we used quickness and defense to win over teams with more height."
THIS DAWDY HAWKINS-COACHED TEAM, the second in four years at the school to capture a state championship, won its nine games in the state tournament series by an amazing 22.7-point average.
This East Peoria native and Spalding ('82) graduate took the Irish to the 1982 state finals before obtaining an industrial engineering degree from Northwestern where he was an All-Big Ten catcher in 1985 and 1986. Drafted in the 5th round MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs, Joe turned a successful major league playing career into a managerial career, first as bench coach of the New York Yankees, and recently as manager of the Florida MarIin.