NeveHarms Bruce Saurs, the successful local businessman and avid sports fan who saved professional hockey for our city, has been named winner of the 1990 Neve Harms Meritorious Service to Sports Award.
Saurs' purchase of the debt-ridden Peoria Rivermen on July 1, 1989 began a success story beyond imagination that has brought the team to prominence on the Peoria sports scene. To immediately stabilize the team, Saurs signed a three-year lease with the Peoria Civic Center and a six- year affiliation with the NHL St. Louis Blues. Under his leadership, the team showed a profit in its first fiscal year of operation.
A life-long Peorian, Bruce graduated from Peoria High School where he lettered in baseball for three seasons, making two state tournament appearances. He returned to teach and coach at Peoria High after graduation from Bradley University. He was the head baseball mentor for six years, and also served as assistant in both basketball and football. From1950 to 1955 his baseball teams compiled an impressive record of 121-62, making two trips to the Illinois State High School Tournament.
In 1951, working with the late Ed Stonebock and Harold Llntz, Bruce was instrumental in helping to establish the first Little League Baseball Program in Peoria. He later followed in the footsteps of his father, the late Eddie Saurs, a 1968 Neve Harms winner, taking over as Manager of the
Cohen team in the Sunday Morning League for several seasons. He started playing A.M. ball at age 14 ending his career at age 21, when, as Bruce often states, "I built such a great team - I couldn't make it myself."
For the Peoria Rivermen, Bruce Saurs developed a marketing plan geared to good hockey, entertainment, and a family audience. The club drew a franchise record 190,000, and drew praise from League Commissioner Tom Berry.
So far, the 1990-1991 season has been an even bigger success story, highlighted by the 18-game winning streak that gave the Rivermen the longest winning streak in Professional Hockey history, while bringing to Peoria national media attention.
Bruce Saurs, the successful local businessman and avid sports fan who saved professional hockey for our city, has been named winner of the 1990 Neve Harms Meritorious Service to Sports Award.
1975-76 Richwoods Boys Basketball Team
Front Row, left to right: R. Rice, manager, J. Grigsby, J. Hohstadt, P. Myers, R. Brandt, L. Biederbeck, F. Dothard
This Richwoods team had one of their finest seasons ever as they finished the season with 26 wins and only a single loss. The Knights won the conference for the 3rd consecutive year and also had their second straight undefeated conference season. The team ended their regular season schedule with a perfect 25-0 record and a No. 1 ranking in the state. The season started by winning the Round Robin tournament for a 6th consecutive year. The team also won the Pekin Holiday Tournament and Holcomb, Hohstadt, and Smith made the tournament team. In the regionals the Knights beat Canton in the first game, but suffered their only loss to Galesburg in overtime. The team still set the record of the best winning percentage in Richwoods history (.963). Derek Holcomb made All-State team and second team All-America as well as All Conference, Mark Smith made special mention All-State as well as All-Conference, Jim Hohstadt made honorable mention All-State as well as special mention All-Conference, Fred Dothard led the conference free throw percentage (.844) and along with Alen Cornelious made honorable mention All- Conference. Richwoods had an 83-6 overall record over three seasons and a 47-1 conference record. This was the best three-year record by any team in the state over this period.