Inductees A true pioneer for high school basketball in Illinois was the outstanding 1907-08 Peoria High School team which won the first state tournament ever held in Illinois.
The first state high school basketball tournament was an eight-team invitational affair at the Oak Park YMCA. Peoria High, coached by Les Straesser, a 1906 graduate of the school who also at the time was farming west of Peoria, had compiled a 14-1 regular season record.
Included in the 14 wins was a 105-23 thumping of Streator at the old Peoria YMCA on Jefferson Street. Peoria led 65-5 at halftime and Wilbur "Bill" Forrest scored 32 field goals. The team's only loss was 43-23 at the hands of Spalding. At the first state tournament, Peoria turned back Wheaton, 41-26, then disposed of Hinsdale, 32-25, and won the state title by pounding Rock Island, 48-29.
A true pioneer for high school basketball in Illinois was the outstanding 1907-08 Peoria High School team which won the first state tournament ever held in Illinois.
Ron started his career in sports at Bartonville Grade School where he led the basketball team to the State Title in 1951. He excelled in sports at Limestone High School earning letters in 3 sports. His senior year, he played every down of the Limestone football season, led the basketball team in scoring and pitched the baseball team to the 1956 IHSA State Tournament.