THE CANDIDATES FOR 2017
Dick Becker – (Elgin High 1957) is a nominee for basketball. Dick was a tri-captain for the EHS basketball team that was 27 - 1, losing in the state final tournament. His game high of 29 points came in the regional tournament that year against McHenry. Becker was selected as a guard on the All-Conference 1st Team, a member of the Chicago Tribune All-Star Basketball Team, and named on Coach Bill Chesbrough's second unit on the "All-Chesbrough" team. Dick was also the quarterback for Elgin's football team, threw 14 touchdown passes and received all-conference honorable mention. He attended Northwestern University and played basketball for two years.
Cindy Bryniarski – (Elgin High 1962) is nominated for golf. Bryniarski has won more than 25 club championships in Arizona, Colorado, and Illinois. She has set course records at four courses in Sun City West and another in Durango, CO. She has been the senior amateur champion in Colorado and Arizona. Cindy qualified for the round of 64 at the USGA Senior Amateur Championship from 2008-2010 and for the USGA Senior Amateur Championship in 2007-2010. She was a medalist in the 2007 Arizona qualifier and a co-medalist in 2008. In 2011, Bryniarski was co-medalist and runner-up in the Senior Division of Arizona Women's State Match Play and took 2nd place in the Arizona Senior Championship.
Jon Charneskey – Nominated for handball. Charneskey, a 1957 graduate of Elgin High, is the only Elginite to have earned the coveted rank of Grand Master from the United States Handball Association. While this rank is only achieved by winning a minimum of 10 national championships, Charneskey has won 13 such championships through 2009. He has claimed the top honor four times in 4-wall singles play, eight times in 3-wall outdoor competition, and once in 4-wall doubles. In addition, Jon won a World Singles handball championship in 1999 and has earned 22 state handball championships in different levels of play.
George Clark – (Elgin High 1960) is nominated for his achievements in basketball. Clark was the center for three years on outstanding Elgin High teams that won three conference titles, three regional and two sectional championships. He was an All-State selection by the Chicago Daily News and the Champaign News-Gazette and ranked high in many offensive categories at the end of his career including most field goals (career), points for career, and average points per game for season. George went on to play for three years with the Harlem Globetrotters, with whom he toured overseas and played throughout the United States.
David Cooklin – is nominated for his coaching career in baseball at Elgin High. During his 25 year career, his teams won 435 (most in the city of Elgin) and lost 339 for a winning percentage of .562. Cooklin coached Elgin to three Upstate 8 championships and three regional championships, with his 1995 team losing in the sectional finals. He coached four players that played professionally in the minor leagues.
Glenn Dallman – This Elgin High graduate is nominated for coaching. Dallman coached varsity wrestling for 20 seasons at Bryon and Stillman Valley high schools, amassing a 309-132-4 dual record. Glenn led three teams to the Elite Eight and placed 3rd in the state once. In addition, he coached 6 individual state champions, 20 individual place-winners and 42 individual state qualifiers. Dallman also wrestled on the 1961 Elgin High team which placed 6th in Illinois. He is a past inductee of the Illinois Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame and the Byron High School Hall of Fame.
Bethany Goldsmith – Nominated for baseball. Bethany graduated from Elgin High School in 1944. She played for three seasons in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (subject of the film A League of Their Own), one of only two Elginites to play in the league. Goldsmith pitched for the Kenosha Comets from 1948-1950. In 1948, she pitched in 31 games and 245 innings, had a record of 14 wins and 14 losses, and ERA of 1.62, and striking out 117 hitters. The following year, Bethany pitched in 29 games and 179 innings, with a record of 8 wins and 11 losses and an ERA of 3.16. In her final year (1950), she appeared in 27 games for 198 innings pitched, won 12 and lost 9, with an ERA of 3.68. Her career record in 87 games was 34 wins and 34 losses, with an ERA of 2.72. Goldsmith was also a member of an All-American girls team that toured Central America.
Richard Hersey – Nominated for football. Hersey rushed for a school record 1,386 yards and scored a record 18 touchdowns for Elgin in 1976 and was first-team All Upstate Eight Conference. He went on to star at De Anza Junior College in California, setting several school records. He was voted All State and was an All-American at De Anza, finishing as leading career rusher in the Golden Gate Conference with 2,636 yards. That eclipsed the previous record held by Pro Football Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson. Hersey lead the GGC in rushing in both 1977 and '78 and scored 13 touchdowns in each of those seasons. He rushed for 1,168 yards in '77 and 1,468 in '78. He went on to play at the University of Arizona, where he played in the 1980 Fiesta Bowl. As a junior in 1979, he rushed for 561 yards on 111 carries, a 5.1 yards per-game average. The third leading rusher on the team, he also scored four touchdowns and caught six passes for 38 yards. His senior season he rushed for 252 yards on 56 carries with five touchdowns. Four of the TDs came in a 63-35 win over Pacific, which tied an Arizona record for most rushing TDs in a game.
Scott Hofstetter – (Larkin High 1978) performed on track teams that won two indoor and two outdoor championships at Larkin. Scott set school records in the high hurdles, low hurdles, and anchored the school record 4 x 400 relay team. Hofstetter won eight conference and county titles and competed in the state competition in five events over two years. He was the leading point scorer in Larkin High track history and received the Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year Award at Larkin in 1978.
Rick Hopkins – (Elgin High 1971) played center for the varsity basketball team during most of the 1969 - 1971 seasons under Coach Bill Chesbrough. During that time, Hopkins set the all-time scoring record at Elgin High with 1292 points (since broken), as well as numerous other scoring records. He scored 30 or more points seven times and 20 or more points 37 times, including a span of 25 consecutive games. Rick averaged 22.1 points per game as a junior and 25.4 per game his senior season. He was named All-Conference Honorable Mention as a junior and All-Conference 1st team his senior season. At Gavilan Community College (CA), Hopkins was named Most Valuable Player of the Coast Conference while scoring 22 points per game and averaging 11 rebounds. He then played one year at the University of Portland, scoring 10.1 points per game and 4.5 rebounds.
Steve James – Nominated as a friend of sports. The Elgin High School graduate and bowling journalist is an inductee of the hall of fames of the American Bowling Congress, the Illinois Bowling Association, the Elgin Bowling Association and the Greater Rockford Bowling Association. Inducted into the ABC Hall of Fame in 2005, he joined the ABC in 1970 and moved up through the ranks to eventually become the organization's public relations manager, supervising all phases of ABC communications. A former sports editor at The Courier News, James served as the ABC Hall of Fame executive director for 25 years (1977-2002) and played a key role in developing the non-professional and pioneer divisions of the Hall. He also served on the Hall of Fame boards for the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) and Professional Women's Bowlers Association (PWBA) and was asked to rewrite their constitutions, nominating and election procedures. James earned honorary membership from the PBA in 1972 and co-authored two editions of the book "Bowlers Guide."He also is a member of the Bowling Writers Association of America, previously serving as president.
Scott Johnson – Scott Johnson (Elgin High 1974), nominated as a friend of sports, is recognized as one of the most influential technological innovators among state high school associations in the country. Scott has worked for/with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) since 1994, first as a data processing manager and, presently, as an assistant executive director (since 2001). He built the IHSA website, served as editor of IHSA souvenir programs and other publications, has run the state chess tournament since 2002, and initiated IHSA’s ARCHIVES and SCOREZONE projects. Johnson serves as the IHSA representative on the Board of Directors of the Peoria Riverfront Museum and also currently serves on the National Federation of High School Technology Committee. His unofficial title is “IHSA HISTORIAN” and has co-authored the books, Once There Were Giants (Hebron 1952 state basketball champions) and 100 Years of Madness (the history of the IHSA basketball tournament). Locally, Scott compiled the Elgin High School Basketball Record Book that contains every game and most box scores in EHS basketball history through 1985 and has served as a reference for the ESHOF and local sportwriters for info on EHS players and teams. Johnson received the NFHS Citation Award from the National Federation of High School Associations in 2015, one of the most highly regarded achievements in high school athletics and the performing arts.
John Lohbauer – (Elgin High 1953) was a three sport letterman at Elgin High and is being nominated for football. In addition to being a varsity wrestler and baseball player for two years, Lohbauer was a three year varsity starter on the football team at offensive guard and defensive linebacker. He received numerous honors including Big Eight All-Conference at guard and Elgin High Athlete of the Year Award. In addition, John was named to Coach Emery Ebbert's All-Time Football Team and the Daily Courier News All-Time EHS Football Team (selected in 1969). Lohbauer played three seasons at Northwestern University as an offensive guard and defensive linebacker under Coach Ara Parseghian. He called defensive signals as a junior and senior, was an All-Big 10 Conference guard (1956), and a Football Magazine selection as one of the top linemen in the Midwest his senior season.
Lowell Miller – Nominated for ice speed skating, Lowell was a top speed skater when he moved to Elgin from Minnesota in the mid-1930s. After moving here, Miller competed in many meets including those held at the Lords Park lagoon. He won Tri-State championships while competing in Elgin in 1936, 1937, 1938 and 1940. As a senior at Elgin High, Lowell won the intermediate division of the National Outdoor Championship as well as the Great Lakes Tournament at Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, by taking 1st in the mile events, 2nd in the 3/4 mile, 1st in the 1/2 mile and 2nd in the 1/4 mile. He scored 100 points in these meets, 40 more than the nearest competitor. In 1938, as an 18-year-old amateur, he finished ninth in the 5000-meter qualifying races at the U.S. Olympic Trials at Lake Fowler in Oconomowoc. In 1939, Miller won the Minnesota State Championship and the North American Championship. In 1940, he won the Chicago Tribune Silver Skates race.
Joel Moore – (Larkin High 1990) pitched for the Larkin varsity for two seasons. During those two seasons, Moore started 18 games with 13 complete games. He had 11 victories, 113 strikeouts in 117 2/3 innings pitched, and an earned run average of 1.75. Joel was a Upstate 8 All-Conference and Daily Courier News All-Area 1st Team selection both years. In two years on the Elgin Community College baseball team, he had a 17 - 7 won/lost record with 119 strikeouts, while batting .338 (second year - .432) with seven home runs and 72 runs batted in. He was named to the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Second Team as a pitcher in 1991 and named to the Skyway Conference First Team as a pitcher/1st baseman in 1992. The following year, Moore was 8 - 4 at Bradley University with 89 strikeouts in 87 innings and was named Bradley University Most Outstanding Athlete Award. He was a 3rd round draft pick by the Colorado Rockies in 1993 and proceeded to earn the "Most Improved Player Award" in the Rockies Instructional League that year. Joel led the AA Eastern League with 14 wins in 1995. He appeared in 130 professional games between Rookie League and AAA levels for the Colorado organization with a career record of 45 - 43, a 4.28 earned run average and 690.1 innings pitched.
Jason Richardson (Larkin High 1999) – is nominated for baseball. Jason was a two year all-conference selection at shortstop. In his senior year, he was an Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association All-State selection after setting the IHSA state record with 73 runs batted in (now ranks 4th) and hitting 14 home runs, including four grand slams (2nd in IHSA ranking). Richardson is also tied for first in the state with four home runs in a game and ranks second with five consecutive home runs. Additional honors his senior year included Daily Herald All-Area, Daily Herald Player of the Month, Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Month. Jason continued his baseball career at Elgin Community College where he was named All-Conference both years, batting .393 with 21 doubles, seven home runs and 41 runs batted in as a freshman and .367 with 17 doubles, four home runs, and 50 runs batted in his sophomore year. He received All-Region honors as well his second year.
Eric Sauceda – Nominated for basketball. A graduate of St. Edward High School (1991), Eric set a single game scoring record of 43 points, a single season record of 716 points, and varsity scoring record with 1866 points. His three year varsity career scoring average was 21.3 points per game. In addition, he was Illinois #1 three-point scorer for Class "A" in 1990-91. Eric was named All-State in Class "A" by the Sun-Times in 1990, on the Illinois Coaches Class "A" All-Star Team in 1991, was named Suburban Catholic League All-Conference in 1989, 1990, 1991, and was the Northwest Daily Herald Class "A" Player of the Year in 1991. Eric was elected to the St. Edward Hall of Fame in 1998.
Terry Schabert – Nominated for his baseball coaching at Larkin High, served 22 years as head coach at LHS. During that time, Terry was the first baseball coach in Elgin history to record 400 wins. With a winning percentage of .598, Schabert led Larkin to five conference championships (including three consecutively), four regional titles, a sectional championship and appearance in the Elite 8 in 1991. In addition, he coached high school football in different capacities, including assistant varsity, for 33 years.
Bob Sisler – A 1969 graduate of Elgin High, is nominated for coaching. Bob served as head wrestling coach at Arapahoe High School in Littleton, Colorado, for 32 years. During that time, his teams won over 300 dual meets, with 102 wrestlers being state qualifiers. He has coached 32 state placers, three state runner ups, and two state champions. As girls' head track and field coach for 24 years, Bob had 38 athletes finish in the top six places, with three individual state champions, along with a state record setting state champion relay team. In six years as a boys' and girls' pole vaulting coach, seven boys and 10 girls qualified for state competition, four of whom finished in 2nd place and two being state champions. Sisler has also served as a varsity assistant football coach for 32 years. He has been inducted into the Arapahoe Coaches Hall of Fame. In addition, Bob has earned a United States Wrestling Federation Bronze Level Coaching endorsement, as well as a Silver Level endorsement.
Clint Sjurset – Clint is nominated for horseshoe pitching. In the 1970's and 80's, Sjurset dominated horseshoes in league play and tournaments locally and throughout the state. He won over 40 Class A championships in his career. Among those, Clint won at least 10 Northern Illinois Horseshoe League championships and at least three tournaments. In addition, he was 3rd in the 1973 Illinois State Championships. In competition at the Illinois State Fair, Sjurset was the 1979 Class B state champ, the 1980 Class A state champ, and finished in second place in Class A in 1981 and 1983. Additional A championships included tournaments at Big Rock, Joliet, Morris, Aurora, and Galesburg in Illinois. In Wisconsin, he won numerous firsts and seconds at Goldendale, Germantown, Gem Suburban, Eagle, and Janesville. In 2006, Sjurset was nominated for the Illinois Horseshoe Pitchers Hall of Fame.
Martin Skok, Sr. - Nominated as Friend of Sports. Skok was the owner-developer of the “ELGIN PISTON PIN SPECIAL” race car that raced at the Indianapolis 500 in 1926-1928, 1936-1941, 1946, and 1953, finishing as high as fourth place on three occasions. In 1953, the car was driven by Jim Rathmann in La Carrera Panamericana (The Pan American), a nine stage, five day race that traversed Mexico (widely considered the most dangerous event of its day). As the owner of Elgin Industries, Skok was a constant developer, fabricator, and rebuilder of new and improved engine parts, which greatly advanced the car engines used in all of the major races, especially the piston pin. This innovation was critical to the success of many drivers, such as ESHOF inductee Ken Barnhart. Because of his innovating, Skok became a known leader in the racing community. In 1933, AAA Indy race teams accepted the invitation to come to the Elgin Road Race (part of Chicago’s World Fair), which was scheduled as the only road race in the United States. After the funds for the cash prize disappeared, Skok financed the event. In the early 1950’s. Skok partnered with Dick Doan Chevrolet to build and promote a stock car in a variety of races. This led to a business relationship with Andy Granatelli, who was to become one of the best known engine builders, team owners and promoters in racing
Mark Stettner – (Elgin High 1974) is nominated for football. Mark was an All-Conference running back his senior season as well as All-State special mention. He led Upstate 8 rushers with a 6.8 yard per carry average and in scoring with 51 points. Other post season honors include the Coke/Chicago Tribune Golden Helmet Award, being named as a Chicago Tribune All-Star, and as a Prep All-American. As a running back at Eastern Illinois University, Mark was the team's leading rusher in his freshman and sophomore seasons. He set school records with 604 carries (now 8th), 2638 rushing yards (now 10th), and the single game record of 44 carries in 1977, which stood for 16 years. Stettner was nominated as a Division II All-American running back in 1977.
James Stinson –
Coaching/Friend of Sports
Randy Swinford – Nominated for coaching. Swinford, a 1972 graduate of Elgin High, has served on the coaching staff at Princeton (IL) since 1976. As head wrestling coach from 1983-2008, Randy has 333 dual meet wins. During that time, he had 30 individual N.C.I.C. Conference champions. In addition, 52 of his wrestlers qualified for the state, 22 being medalists, including seven 2nd place and six state champions. Swinford was inducted into the Illinois Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame in 2007 and has served as regional representative of the IHSA wrestling advisory committee four different times. He also served as a football coach for 19 years, six of them as head coach. During his tenure as head coach, Princeton High (12-2) took 2nd place in the IHSA Class 3A state playoffs in 1989. The football team (9-3) made it to the IHSA Class 3A quarterfinals in 1993. That season, Swinford served as an assistant coach for the Shriner's Illinois High School football game.
Tom Tennant – (Elgin High) played baseball for Elgin High and Northern Illinois University before embarking on a 11 year professional baseball career, mostly as a first baseman. Tom began with the Green Bay Colts in the Wisconsin State League (1906), leading the league with 141 hits while batting .313. He then played for the Decatur Commodores in the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa (3-I) League for two years, hitting .310 and leading the league in hits (164) in 1908. Playing for the San Francisco Seals in the Pacific Coast League, Tennant led the league in hits (231) in 1910. He broke into the major leagues in 1912 with the St. Louis Browns for the month of April. Playing in two games, he went 0 for 2 with one run scored. The St. Louis newspaper wrote that Tennant came just one year late to land the regular job. He finished the year with the Sioux City Packers in the Western League (.312) then batted .299 and led the league in doubles (47) playing for the Sacramento Sacts in the AA Pacific Coast League. Tennant finished his career in 1916 with Memphis and Mobile.
Fred Versluys – (Larkin High Class of 1989) has been nominated and approved for basketball. As a junior, he averaged 15.5 ppg and led the Upstate Eight Conference in rebounding with 12 per game. In his senior season, Fred averaged 18 ppg and again led the conference in rebounding. Fred was All-Conference and Most Valuable Player at Larkin both years, while being named All-Area 2nd Team as a junior and All-Area 1st Team his senior season. He played varsity basketball four years at Judson College, where he led the conference in rebounding his freshman year and was NAIA 1st Team. His top scoring average was 13.9 ppg in his junior year. Versluys also played four years of baseball at Judson and was named most valuable player on offense and to the NIIC All-Conference Team his senior year.