Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame Inductees
Ennio Arboit - Was a standout college athlete for the University of Notre Dame and coached
football at Spalding from 1938 to 1945 and 1947 to 1950 after a stint at St. Ambrose University in Davenoprt, IA. His teams
went 69-23-8 in his 11 seasons.
Merv Haycock - Coached Spalding Football for 14 seasons, from 1962
to 1976. His teams had a record of 95-34-6 and five Conference titles. He was also the Athletics Director for Spalding, and
was one of the many people behind the creation of the IHSA Football State Playoffs. He also coached at Bergan from 1979 to
Bob Flanagan ('46) - A three-sport star at Spalding who went on to earn Little All-American
recognition in football at Bradley University and at St. Ambrose College. He also played basketball and baseball for Spalding.
Bobby Judd ('50) - A three-sport athlete who stood out in football, playing for Xavier
University, the U.S. Army team and the Ottawa Rough Riders in Canada. He was a starting guard for the 1950 Spalding basketball
team that went to the state tournament. In 1949, he was voted the All-Illinois MVP in football.
Tony Lawless ('24) - A standout athlete for Spalding who played on their 1924 state championship
team and would later coach in that tournament. After playing football and basketball at Loyola, Lawless coached many sports
at Oak Park Fenwick High School, back when it was an all-boys school. From 1929 to 1976, Lawless served as coach and Athletics
Director for Fenwick, which went 177-43-8 in football under his tenure. He coached five Catholic League football titles and
the 1935 Catholic State Basketball Championship. He also guided the Friars to the 1937 National Catholic Basketball Tournament.
Tony Van Dyke - Coached Spalding football in 1935 and coached at Peoria Junior High Schools
for 27 years.
Mike LaHood ('64) - Was a Mid-State 10 honorable mention football lineman his junior year
and was a first team all-conference choice the following year. He played with the University of Wyoming and played on their
1968 Sugar Bowl team. He later played with the Los Angeles Rams and St. Louis Cardinals of the NFL and the British Columbia
Lions of the CFL.
Don Mathews ('50) - A standout football and basketball player for Spalding. For the 1950
basketball team, he led the Mid-State 10 conference in scoring, was a second team all-stater, first team all-conference and
a few months before that a first team all-conference end in football. His high school coaching tenure lasted from 1959 to
1976 with Peoria Woodruff, Peoria Bergan, Spring Valley Hall, Brimfield and Peoria Heights.
Ron Maestri - Was an assistant coach at Spalding in the early to mid 1960's before taking
to Bradley University and New Orleans University.
Bill Dempsey ('43) - Was a standout player for the Peoria Caterpillar Disels AAU team and
a graduate of Spalding having not played basketball for the Irish. He was also a U.S. Olympic Basketball team alternate for
the 1952 games in Helsinki.
Harold Lintz - Played Baseball for Spalding Institute and coached various baseball leagues
in the Peoria area for over 50 years.
SPALDING INSTITUTE SPORTS TRIVIA
as noted in the dedication program of the Spalding Gymnasium, February 8,
1953: titled "Do you Remember:"
1. When Spalding had two box-ball bowling alleys up on the third floor of the Institute. This was
in the early 1900's.
2. When Spalding had the Century Club in the lower gym (Cracker Box), 40 laps made a mile, 100 miles
and you received your "S" monogram. This was back in 1910-1911.
3. When the Spalding Varsity gridiron team scrimmaged against Bradley Poly (Varsity), not the Academy,
and here is a little secret- used to come out on top.
4. When Dan Cleary, first sacker for the Purple 1908, was supposed to have hit a ball in the middle
of the Illinois River at the Water Works Diamond.
5. When Spalding used to play members of the Little 19 Conference including teams such as Lincoln
College, Eureka, and others, also more than holding their own.
6. When the Irish surprised St. Viator College on their home floor taking the verdict by the high
score of 16 to 12. This was back in 1911-1912.
7. When hand ball was quite a sport in the lower gym and a full schedule was played by an eight-team
8. When Spalding basketball team defeated the New York Nationals in the much disputed final score,
42 to 41. The Nationals were on par of today's Minneapolis Lakers
9. When Coach "Sport" McGrath's Irish won the National Catholic Championship in the '20's.
10. When Spalding played several ball games in the old YMCA in the 100 block of North Jefferson Street.
11. Who is the only Spalding athlete to be elected captain by his teammates for football, basketball,
and baseball in the same year? Bob Manning (1948-49)
From Martin T.Takeuchi (almost Class or '62):
"I attended to Spalding High from 1959 through 1961...coming to Spalding
after graduating from St. Mary's Cathedral School. I was supposed to graduate
with the Class of 1962, but unfortunately my family moved to California at
the end of the 1961 school year. Lots of good memories while I was there..the football and basketball games on Fridays
... going to Sandy's (was supposed to be a McDonalds but I guess the deal
fell through). Going to the "Center" after the football games..I was in the Choir and was supposed to be on the Summa Staff
(yearbook) in my senior year.
A couple of teachers I remember were Fr. Gillgallon (hope that's the
right spelling) in Choir...and the terror of biology...Br. Schoffman (also hope that's the right spelling}. I dreaded
his daily quizzes, but managed to scrape out a "B" in his class.
The choir put on a production of the musical "Showboat"with some of
the girls from the Academy of Our Lady across the street. It was in their theater if I remember right. I found out during
my search for Spalding on the internet, that there's a Spalding High School in England..but
it's an all girls school! Anyway..those are some memories I have of good old Spalding......"
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