TriCounty A third place finish by Illinois Central College in the National Junior College Division II national basketball tournament along with the notching of her 700th career win assured Lorene Ramsey of being honored for the fourth time on the Tri-County sports scene.
A shot at the buzzer gave ICC an 82-80 overtime win in the third place game in Hagerstown, MD., last March to not only give Ramsey her 700th win, but assured her Cougars of a 30-win season in 11 of the last 16 seasons.
One of the nation's most respected coaches in both basketball and softball, Ramsey was named 1992 Coach of the Year after her basketball team won the first of two consecutive National JC Division II titles.
She then was voted Female Coach of the Year the following year when her team repeated as national champions. She also coached ICC to the National Junior College softball crown in Rockford in 1982.
Earlier she was named Sports Figure of the Year for 1979 and was voted into the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame in 1983 for her brilliant softball pitching career with the Pekin Lettes.
A third place finish by Illinois Central College in the National Junior College Division II national basketball tournament along with the notching of her 700th career win assured Lorene Ramsey of being honored for the fourth time on the Tri-County sports scene.
Larry Leitner was among the state's elite officials for more than 40 years, officiating high school, college and professional sporting events from 1960 through 2003 and he remains involved in sports by serving on the board of directors for the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament, as well as evaluating current officials and moderating IHSA rules clinics.
Among his officiating highlights, Leitner worked more IHSA basketball and football tournament games than any official in the state's history, earning 27 consecutive boys basketball regional assignments. He also worked the IHSA boys basketball state finals in 1973, 1974 and 1976, including the 1976 championship game, and three IHSA football finals, including the first-ever 2A state championship game in 1974. A charter member of the Gateway Conference officiating crew in 1988, Leitner was part of the crew that officiated the 1990 and 1993 NCAA Division I-AA quarterfinals and he served as an associate official for the Big Ten Conference from 1984-88.
Leitner also was called upon to officiate two IESA state championship games, the 1990 National Catholic Basketball finals, three Shriner All-Star football games and the 1980 IBCA All-Star Classic, while also working for two seasons in the Midwest Professional Football League.
Leitner is a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association, Peoria Officials and Bloomington/Normal Officials Halls of Fame.