NeveHarms Dr. Pat Cusack was the Spalding Irish team physician from the early 1940's until 1966 when he was succeeded by Dr. Kenny (also a Neve Harms recipient). He was associated with the legendary Ennio Arboit (a previous Hall of Fame Inductee) during the years Irish teams were Peoriarea "monsters of the gridiron."
Known simply as "Doc", even to his nine boys and two girls, Dr. Cusack, the long-time, easy recognizable East Bluff resident, graduated from Elmwood High School. He worked his way through Bradley University where he was captain of the baseball team.
Following graduation from the Loyola Medical School in Chicago, Dr. Cusack began his medical career as a General Practitioner on Peoria's Southside, where $2.00 office calls and $3.00 house calls (remember them?) were the norm. He abhorred cigarette smoking, and would never set foot in a tavern.
He was attending physician for just about every type of sporting event in Peoria, and was a fixture at the old "top of Main Street" Arena (a grocery store parking lot). As part of a battery of doctors at the Golden Glove finals in Chicago, he examined Mohammed Ali (then Cassius Clay). "Doc" regularly examined most of Peoria's Golden Glove participants.
When Spalding revived baseball in 1945, Dr. Cusack anonymously donated money for the program, including replacement of the twenty-year old uniforms Coach Father Sylvester pulled out of mothballs tattered and worn with a huge "Gothic 5" across the chest.
He was a friend and great admirer of A. J. "Robbie" Robertson. His closest doctor friend was Dr. C.V. Ward, whose son Clarence is also being honored with the Neve Harms award. From "Doc's" son Pat,"Dad would be most proud to be in Clarence's company."
Dr. Pat Cusack was the Spalding Irish team physician from the early 1940's until 1966 when he was succeeded by Dr. Kenny (also a Neve Harms recipient). He was associated with the legendary Ennio Arboit (a previous Hall of Fame Inductee) during the years Irish teams were Peoriarea "monsters of the gridiron."
Jim Querciagrossa was a wrestling coach at Woodruff High School from 1968-1992. He guided his grapplers to 36 individual conference titles and 64 individual regional championships. 151 boys qualified for sectional competition and 19 qualified for State matches, eight of whom earned a medal. One of his wrestlers, Jeff Sutherland, was a State Champion in 1990 at 160 lbs. His teams combined for an impressive 303-102-6 record in dual meets with five conference, 14 city championships, and four regional championships. He coached 22 winning seasons. In his final season the Warriors strung together 24 consecutive dual meet wins before losing in the Class AA state competition. Jim was named Central Illinois Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1992. He has been inducted into the Illinois Wrestling Coaches Association and Woodruff High School Halls of Fame. “Coach Q” sparked interest in wrestling with younger boys by hosting the area’s first Kids Wrestling Tournament in 1978, and beginning in 1969, he hosted the Peoria Freshmen Tourney for 42 years.