Inductees The late Tony Lawless achieved athletic greatness in two Illinois cities -- Peoria and Chicago.
As a multi-sport standout athlete at Spalding High School he played a key role as the Irish won the 1924 National Catholic High School basketball tournament, a team enshrined in the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame.
From there he went to a standout football and basketball career at Chicago Loyola, where he was named All-Midwest as a fullback and captained the basketball team. He went on to an unprecedented coaching career at Fenwick High School in Chicago.
In 47 years at Fenwick he became a true legend. Hired over 250 other applicants for the brand new Chicago school that opened in 1929, he would be athletic director for his entire career while coaching football, basketball, swimming, golf, tennis and track.
He was best known as a molder of great football teams. Fenwick went 177-43-8 with him at the helm and and amazing 142-17 in the rugged Chicago Catholic League.
He coached many all staters including Notre Dame all American and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Lattner. When he gave up coaching to become athletic director in 1947, he never had a team lose more than two games in a season.
He won five Catholic League football titles, the 1935 Catholic State basketball crown and the 1937 National Catholic basketball tournament.
Lawless also organized the Chicago Catholic League Coaches Association and the Chicago Catholic League Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Illinois Football and Illinois Basketball Coaches Halls of Fame.
The late Tony Lawless achieved athletic greatness in two Illinois cities -- Peoria and Chicago.
Fauser is one of the most-accomplished softball pitchers in the area, excelling at Morton High School before starring at the University of Wisconsin. A two-time Peoria Journal Star Softball Player of the Year (1994, 1995), Fauser led Morton to three straight conference championships and back-to-back appearances in the IHSA state tournament, earning a second-place finish in 1994 and a third-place trophy in 1995. Named to the all-tournament team in both 1994 and 1995, Fauser was the 1994 state tournament MVP after pitching back-to-back no-hitters. She still holds school records with 20 strikeouts in a game, 294 in a season and 882 in her career, as well as the school marks with 25 wins in a season and 81 wins in a career. After graduating from Morton, where her jersey was retired in 1996, Fauser starred on the pitching rubber at Wisconsin, appearing in 125 games during her four-year collegiate career. The 1997 team MVP and 1999 recipient of the Coaches Award, Fauser pitched 747.2 innings at Wisconsin, compiling 52 wins, 551 strikeouts and a 2.72 earned run average with 15 shutouts. Fauser went on to play with several area women’s fast pitch teams after graduation, including East Peoria Hits and Avanti’s, and she remains active in area youth softball as a coach and clinic speaker.