NeveHarms In January of 1994, Steve Kouri led a small group of civic minded citizens in seeking to persuade the IHSA to move its Boys State Basketball Finals to Peoria after it had been held in Champaign for 77 years. Few thought the goal possible, but Steve kept the focus sharp in months of quiet discussion with IHSA officials.
On May 5, 1995, the lHSA shocked folks across the state when Peoria won out over competing bids by Champaign and Bloomington.
In the years that followed, competition became fierce, but through the work of Kouri and his group of dedicated people, Peoria succeeded in putting on a tournament the likes of which became the model for states across this nation. The promise of a "March Madness Experience" was not only kept, but was improved upon year after year. No high school association has ever hosted such an event.
Kouri co-chaired the host committee for the next ten years and his group now coordinates more than 2,000 volunteers and annually raises more than $200,000 in corporate support.
Even after stepping aside and handing the reins to Cat VP Don Weston, Judge Kouri actively participates as a volunteer during the tourney, doing whatever is necessary to insure success. 2009 marks the 14th IHSA Boys Basketball Finals to be held at Peoria's Civic Center.
In addition, Steve has served on the Peoria City Council and his other activities include Bradley Chiefs Club, Easter Seals, Holy Family Parish Council, Visiting Nurses Association, Peoria Notre Dame and 0SF Community Advisory Board.
In January of 1994, Steve Kouri led a small group of civic minded citizens in seeking to persuade the IHSA to move its Boys State Basketball Finals to Peoria after it had been held in Champaign for 77 years. Few thought the goal possible, but Steve kept the focus sharp in months of quiet discussion with IHSA officials.
|1998 Illinois Central College Softball Team|
Coached by Lorene Ramsey (GPSHOF class of 1982), the 1998 Lady Cougars captured the 2nd National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Tournament Championship in ICC’s history. In addition to a convincing win (8-0 in 5 innings) over perennial power, Central Arizona (winner of 7 of the previous 10 national titles), ICC defeated 4 other teams, Charles County (MD), Ricks College (ID), DeKalb Community College (GA), and Gulf Coast Community College (FL). Outscoring their tournament opponents, 31-5, ICC won 7 games including 3 games on the final day. The Lady Cougars shutout Ricks in the last 2 games (double elimination) by scores of 6-0 and 5-0. ICC players on the All-Tournament team at the national tournament were: Cathy Peverly (ss), Kelly Grigsby (3rd), and Melissa Cassidy (pitcher). Cassidy was also selected as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. All-American selections included Peverly, Ashley Blust, and Nicole Kurth. Faced with exceptionally strong competition during much of the season, the Lady Cougars finished 1998 with a 46-9 record.