Inductees THE POTENT 1942 Spalding Institute football team, coached by the beloved Ennio Arboit, also a member of the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame, was the third unbeaten team in the history of the school but the first to go through a season without a tie game.
Brilliant on offense and exceptionally stern on defense, the Irish scored 258 points, averaging 32.2 a game, while allowing but 18 for the season.
Spalding produced five shutouts, with only Woodruff among city schools able to score on the Irish. The only scare for this talented team came in a narrow 7-6 win over Quincy Notre Dame.
A dozen Irish gridders were named to the all-Greater Peoria team including ends Stu Montgomery (honorary captain) and Jack Errion (who later became a head football coach at Spalding), tackles Jack Tomic and Jim Robitski, guards John Pavich (All-State selection), and Bill Seitz, center Jack Donnelly and backs Rollie lngold (both team and Greater Peoria Coaches' MVP), Bob Traeger, Bob Guinnee, Dick McLinden and George Coyle. This "Dream" Season climaxed the High School playing career of 18 seniors.
THE 1942 SEASON
Spalding 30, Bloomington Trinity 6
Spalding 33, Pekin 0
Spalding 40, Central 0
Spalding 44, Springfield Cathedral 0
Spalding 26, East Peoria 0
Spalding 7, Quincy Notre Dame 6
Spalding 45, Manual 0
Spalding 33, Woodruff 6
THE POTENT 1942 Spalding Institute football team, coached by the beloved Ennio Arboit, also a member of the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame, was the third unbeaten team in the history of the school but the first to go through a season without a tie game.
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.