NeveHarms About the Neve Harms Award
The Neve Harms Award for Meritorious Service to Sports was established in 1966.
Neve was director of Proctor Recreation Center. He knew the need for all youths to participate in sports activities, not just the few who excelled. He therefore adopted a firm policy that assured all youths would have an opportunity to play in various sports activities.
Neve was a 4-sport player at Manual High and a member of the 1929 Manual High State basketball champions.
His tradition was carried on by former winners Tony Van Dyke, Paul Reatherford, and many others who made sure all participated, boys and girls.
In the last number of years, many teams were formed, in basketball, football, soccer, hockey, but that also required sponsorship from various organizations throughout the Peoria area. Such a group is the Independent Sports Club of Peoria (ISC), a current member of the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame. It was established in 1945 with its goal to help kids in the greater Peoria area.
Our winner this year is Cliff Coddington a man who has belonged to this club for 50 years, serving as past president, board member, and many activities chairman, but by far his most important achievement is that of being treasurer this past 16 years. He took the ISC through a very troubled era to where today it is financially sound, while contributing thousands of dollars to our youth and fulfilling Neve Harms' dream that as long as men like Cliff Coddington are alive, that dream will last forever.
About the Neve Harms Award
Jim Lewis served as Athletic Director, head football, golf, basketball, and baseball coach at Pekin Community High School during his career from 1933-1955. Jim received his BA from the University of Illinois and a masters from the University of Iowa. During his days at the University of Illinois he played football and basketball. Jim also served in the military. Jim Lewis started his coaching career at Pekin in 1933 with the baseball team. He compiled a record of 118-71-1 in eleven seasons under his direction. Lewis led Pekin to six regional titles in his seven seasons as basketball coach, including state trophies in 1947 (4th place) and 1948 (3rd place). Jim coached football for eleven seasons with a 71-30-1 record. The 1951 unbeaten Pekin football team was the first team in the history of the school to win ten games. The 1951 team was considered the mythical Number 1 team in the state. Pekin won both the Greater Peoria Illini Conference and the Big 12 Conference titles that year. Jim's golf teams excelled, winning a 3rd place (1948) and a 2nd place (1949) in the state tournament during his seven years as coach. Jim Lewis was one of the driving forces behind building Pekin Memorial Stadium. Jim was a member in three Halls of Fame, the Pekin High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Illinois High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, and the IBCA Hall of Fame. Even by today's standards, Coach Lewis' coaching achievements are legendary.