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."
|1977 Metamora HS Football Team|
Led by head coach John Helmick, the 1976 and 1977 Metamora football teams extended the program's Heart of Illinois Conference winning streak to 25 games, culminating with a third straight league title in 1977.
Metamora saw its 30-game win streak snapped in the 1976 state championship game and the 1977 Redbirds also advanced to the state championship game, losing to Geneseo for the second consecutive year to complete a second straight 12-1 campaign. Ranked #1 in the state, the 1976 Redbirds overcame a 21-0 deficit by rallying for a 22-21 win against Momence to kick off its state tournament run, while the 1977 Metamora squad rolled through the first three rounds by a combined 91-6 score against Lisle Senior HS (29-0), Taylorville (44-0) and Charleston (18-6).