TriCounty Van Scyoc coached the Manual Rams to a 31-3 record and second place in the Class AA state high school tournament, losing last March to Proviso East 68-61 in the championship game. The Rams were ranked No. 1 statewide throughout much of the season.
The Rams captured the Mid-State 9 championship, Van Scyoc's 19th conference title in 44 years of coaching, and started their state tournament bid with a 93-57 regional victory over Streator. Morton, Woodruff, Central, Danville, Rock Island and Chicago Marshall were then beaten on the way to the finale at the Assembly Hall in Champaign.
Van Scyoc-coached high school teams - at Hittle Township in Armington, Washington and Manual - came into February, 1992, with a record of 770 victories and 384 losses. His teams have won six of the last seven Pontiac Holiday Tournament titles.
Van Scyoc has received eight Illinois Basketball Coaches Association "Coach of the Year" awards. He's a past member of the IHSA Basketball Advisory Board and a member of the IBCA Hall of Fame.
The Rams came into this season with 10 consecutive years of 20 or more victories. Van Scyoc has coached nine teams to the ìSweet 16î and four teams in the Final Four at Champaign.
Van Scyoc coached the Manual Rams to a 31-3 record and second place in the Class AA state high school tournament, losing last March to Proviso East 68-61 in the championship game. The Rams were ranked No. 1 statewide throughout much of the season.
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.