Inductees Between 1967 and 1971 Peoria Central High School’s tennis team set a national record by winning 116 straight dual meet matches.
The streak started May 4, 1967 against Woodruff and ended with a 5-4 loss to Pekin April 29, 1971.
The old record had been 107 consecutive wins by Coral Gables, Fla. High School. The record set by Central has since been eclipsed.
Neil Wicker, who became head coach for the 1967 season, tutored the team throughout the streak although Steve Yang was head coach in 1971 when Wicker assumed an administrative post with the school district.
Seventeen lettermen took the major part in establishing the long winning streak with John Casey, Jim Kahn and Chris Peerless playing in four of the five seasons the streak covered.
Mike and Eric Holden and Chris Martersteck played in three of the seasons, John Fritts, Fred Graf, Tony Mead, Dwight Morris and Tim Tiarks two each and Jeff Ballowe, Jim Cummings, Jeff Goll, Bob Thornburg, Steve Woodworth and Gary Zumwalt one.
Others who played were Gary Aterburn, Rob Bordeaux, Bill Defenbaugh, Chip Dempsey, John Dempsey, Ben Dwyer, Dick Ellis, Mike Finn, Doug Holmes, Mike Keele, Mike Keller, Steve Kraft, Blaire Gorsuch, Richard Lewis, Gary Nunes, Dan Osterman, Scott Reed, Lance Rodewald, Rich Sathoff, Bob Schroeder, Jeff Shaw, Hank Sincere, Marcus Sharpe, Alan Smith, Bob Steimle, Jeff Spietz, Jerry Storm, Jim Thomas, Bruce Ulrich, Dick Whitney and Brian Woodworth.
Between 1967 and 1971 Peoria Central High School’s tennis team set a national record by winning 116 straight dual meet matches.
Hockey was a sport local fans could watch only if they went to Chicago or St. Louis until BardezBanian founded the Peoria Stars in 1959.
The two were with the Pekin Stars until 1970, when they formed the Peoria Blades, on the outdoor rink at Logan, in 1971. The Logan "bubble" went up the next year and the Blades, through membership in the Continental League, gave Peoria a solid taste of hockey.
BardezBanian played with the Blades for a few years, then became president while Olson always served as the team's general manager.
And the two gave hockey a boost whenever they could. BardezBanian coached the Bradley University club team for many years and both were instrumental in starting and maintaining youth hockey in Pekin and Peoria.
Both are now retired, Olson from Caterpillar's Mossville plant and BardezBanian from a management position with the City of Peoria.