1999 Springfield Sports Hall Inductees


A 1959 graduate of Feitshans High School. He was a member of Feitshans' first wrestling team as a junior and the school's first state meet qualifier. Gardner also played football, basketball and baseball at Feitshans. He was a three-year varsity starter in football as an offensive lineman/linebacker, twice was named to the All-City Team and was a two-time all-conference selection. His senior year he earned all-state honors and was named the Outstanding Defensive Player in the City. He was a baseball catcher for four years and also played one year of basketball. He attended Eastern Illinois University, where he played football for one season and was a four-year performer on the wrestling team at the 154, 167, 177 and heavyweight classes. He was the IIAC Conference champion at 167 pounds and placed sixth in the NAIA national meet at 167. Upon his graduation from EIU in 1964, Gardner became the wrestling coach at Feitshans until it closed and then at Southeast until his retirement in 1993. During his coaching career, his teams won 371 dual meets, 10 conference championships, nine regional championships and three sectional titles. He coached 58 state qualifiers, eight state place-winners, one state champion and three National High School place-winners. He was named to the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Hall of Fame in 1989 and was the state tournament Grand Marshal in 1993.


A 1958 graduate of Feitshans High School. Served as the first captain of the first wrestling team in school history. He also was a four-year member of the football team, three of them as a lineman on the varsity squad. As the team's senior captain in the fall of 1957, he was team MVP, co-captain, All-City, All-Conference and All-State honorable mention. He also spent two seasons on the baseball team and two seasons on the track team. After graduation, he moved on to Eastern Illinois, where he played football but earned the most success as a wrestler. He was team captain as both a junior and senor and a two-time NAIA All-American. As a junior he placed third at 167 pounds in the NAIA national meet and set an NAIA quick-fall record, 20 seconds. As a senior he was Eastern Illinois' first NAIA champion, winning the 177-pound title. He had a 50-18 career record with 25 pins and holds EIU records for most consecutive pins (6), quickest pin (20 seconds), most pins in a season (10) and most career pins. He served as a graduate assistant in wrestling at EIU in 1962-63, then spent 1963-65 as an assistant coach at West Leyden High School in Northlake before taking the head coaching position at Lanphier in 1965 until his retirement from teaching in 1994, when he became an assistant. Gardner-coached wrestling teams won five conference championships, six regional titles and one sectional crown, and he had 61 state qualifiers, 22 sectional champions, 12 state placers and one state champion. His teams also won 373 dual meets, and during the offseason he spent 15 years coaching the Lanphier-Southeast Wrestling Club with seven placers and two state champions. He's a member of the Eastern Illinois Hall of Fame and the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Hall of Fame.


A 1947 Springfield High School graduate. Kurrus placed second in the long jump at the state track meet in both 1946 and 1947. He was a four-year letter-winner in basketball, football and track. After graduation he enrolled at Princeton University where he played all three sports for four years. In football, he scored four touchdowns as a sophomore before moving to devensive end and special teams as a junior and senior. The Tigers put together a 28-game unbeaten streak during the late 1940s and early 1950s, including an undeafeated season in 1950. Kurrus had several All-East selections, and was an honorable mention All-American. He set a Princeton freshman single-game scoring record in basketball that was later broken by All-American Bill Bradley. His specialty in track was the long jump, where he was consistently in the 23-foot range. During his military career he was a member of the Fort Riley, Kansas, basketball team that won a post championship. He was inducted into the Missouri Athletic Club Hall of Fame after playing on MAC volleyball teams that toured the Midwest playing in tournaments. He played on a United States Volleyball Association team that placed second in the masters division at the national tournament, and Kurrus earned all-tournament honors, and he also was a member of the Senikor Olympics volleyball team that placed second nationally.


A 1957 Lanphier graduate. He was a three-time all-city baseball player and a three-time all-city and all-conference basketball player. He played on three Lanphier City Tournament champions, three regional championship teams and a sectional championship team as a junior. He played junior varsity basketball for two seasons and baseball for four seasons at Western Illinois, finishing his college career with a .365 batting average and a 25-7 pitching record with a 1.55 career ERA. He averaged 11 strikeouts and one walk per nine innings, was team captain for two years, team MVP in 1961, when he batted .394 with an 8-2 pitching record. He was a member of the All-American U.S. Amateur Baseball team as a pitcher in 1961 and NAIA All-America second-team pick at first base that year. He had a storied semi-pro career in the Springfield area from 1963-69, once winning 30 straight games for the Riverton Athletic Club as a pitcher over two seasons. Madison played slow-pitch softball for two season and once hit five consecutive home runs out of the Riverton A.C. field, which was 340 feet down the lines. He gave up slow-pitch softball because he was constantly being walked intentionally. He took up golf at age 32 and finished among the top 10 at the Men's city Tournament five times. He remains one of the city's top senior golfers.


Feitshans High School graduate (Class of 1936) who lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track in high school. He died in 1987. He was one of the top baseball catchers of his time along wih being a center on the basketball team and a halfback on the football team. He went on to play basketball for Sangamo Electric, Knights of Columbus and One Day cleaners in city leagues. Patrick coached One Day cleaners to state Amateur Athletic Union championships in the early 1950s. He also was a standout catcher for the Clover Farm basebal team that won the downstate amateur tournament and went on to the state tournament at Wrigley Field as well as the Fitzpatrick Lumberjacks. Patrick served in the United States Navy during World war II, and for a time he was based in Hawaii and was a catcher for the Crossroaders base team. Patrick was the catcher when Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander pitched for the Empire Hotel sponsored team in the early 1940s.


Attended Hay-Edwards, Dubois, Grant Middle School and Springfield High School. During a time when athletic activities for girls were limited on the high school level, she participated in field hockey, badminton, volleyball, basketball and track. She began playing softball in Khoury League as an 8-year-old, and it was in that sport that she achieved the greatest amount of success. She pitched collegiately at Eastern Illinois University and graduated in 1976. She was a member of EIU's 1974 team that finished fifth in the NCAA tournament, and in 1976 as a senior, she was 20-6, but the best was yet to come during the summers and after she graduated. During the summer of 1976, she was 31-6 for the Road Runner Rockettes with 10 of her 26 career perfect games, Her 1976, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986 and 1989 teams won state titles with her as the ace pitcher. She was an 11-time Anateur Softball Association all-state pick as a pitcher with more than 100 no-hitters. She was a member of the 1986 fifth-place Amateur Softball Association national tournament team. She pitched for the professional St. Louis Hummers in 1977. She has gone on to a successful career as a teacher and coach, and in August of 1998, she was inducted into the ASA Hall of Fame.



ONE DAY CLEANERS BASKETBALL TEAM from 1945-59, this amateur team dominated the local scene, winning at least 10 Muny League titles. In 1950 under the direction of coaches Stan Patrick and Larry Larison, One Day Cleaners won the Amateur Athletic Union sectional tournament in Chatham, the state tournament in St. Louis and advanced to the national tournament in Denver, were it went 1-2. In 1951, One Day Cleaners won the sectional tournament in Rockford, placed third at the state tournament in Chicago and went 0-2 at the AAU nationals in Denver. In 1951, One Day 's Butch Oldani was named MVP of the state tournament. Among the living members of the One Day Cleaners teams over those years are Walt David, Rudy Favero, Oldani, Ron Little, Auggie DiCenso, Tom England, Bill Saucier, Bernie Casey, Lloyd Atterberry, Jim Thornton, Ralph Kornfeld, Joe Knox, Ed Erickson, Roy Gillespie, Norm Keefner, Joe Rockford, Lou Oldani, LeRoy Pavlik and Tom Dilello.



Larry Harnly

Larry Harnly - A 1959 Feitshans High School graduate, attended MacMurray College for two years and graduated from Illinos in 1963. Started his newspaper career at The State Journal-Register in February of 1960 and served as staff correspondent at the U of I during the 1962 and 1963 school years. He became a full-time staff member at The State Journal-Register in July of 1963, was sports editor for 23 years and retired in 1998. Harnly covered two NCAA Final Fours, including one in Louisville when Lew Alcindor led UCLA to the championship. He covered the St. Louis Cardinals in six World Series starting in 1964 and 20 years of spring training. Harnly received six Copley Ring of Truth awards for column writing, local sports stories and spot news. He received two United Press International writing awards, the National Softball Association Media Award, the Illinois High School Association Distinguished Service Award, a writing award from The Associated Press and was named to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1996.


Rich Lamsargis - Lanphier High School graduate who has devoted more than half of his life to working with young men in the Springfield Junior Football League. Lamsargis began coaching in the JFL in 1970 as an assistant with the Southwest Bears to Hall of Famer Bill Maslauski and Conk Buckley, two of the pioneers of the JFL. He eventually was elevated to head coach, and during his tenure the Bears won 126 of 162 games and 17 championships. In addition, Lamsargis coached Khoury League softball, and his teams won two league championships and the 1994 Bi-State title for its division. At Lanphier, Lamsargis took part in football, baseball and wrestling, and later on he pitched for the Springfield Steelmen slow-pitch softball team that was one of the best around and played cente for Canfield's in the Senior Flag Football League.


Vern Sinks - Mount Vernon High School graduate (Class of '43). He relocated to Springfield in 1954 after a stint in the United States Army. While in the military service, Sinks served in the European Theater, earning the European Theatre Ribbon with four Battle Stars. An employee of the United State Postal Service for 27 years, Sinks coached Cy Young Little League baseball for four years, coached in the Micky Mantle and Connie Mack leagues and served on both boards of directors. But his major contribution to the Springfield sports scene came in golf. In 1964 he organized the Bunn Park Men's Club with 200 members, and in 1965 he promoted and held the first Around the Town golf tournament, In 1967 he joined Dale Schofield as a partner in the Bunn Park Pro Shop through 1969, and in 1970 he was appointed by the Springfield Park District to manage Bergen Park Golf Course and the pro shop. He also started the Junior Golf Clinic with his son, Gary, and he started the Bergen Park Men's Club with over 100 members. He retired from Bergen on Dec, 31, 1986, but he remains active in an advisory capacity with local golfers including Jim Sutzer, Bill and Rick Ciotti, Bill Shafer and Gary Sinks.


Irv Smith

Irv Smith - Began coaching swimming at the YWCA in 1959, and over the next 13 years he compiled an 85-32 record coaching the girls swim team. In 1970, Smith helped establish the YWCA National Meet, and his team placed fifth, In 1971, the Springfield YWCA team was third in the national meet. He coached the YMCA swim team from 1972-87, and his team's won the YMCA district meet 10 times. From 1978-85 he coached swimming at Griffin High School., winning sectional titles in 1981, 1982 and 1983, and his 1982 team ended Springfield High's 21-year reign as city champion. He also coached state champion Rich Suhs, the first Springfield state swimming champion. He also coached club teams from Illini Country Club, Colony West and the Olympic Club. Twenty of his former swimmers went on to compete on the collegiate level. He also served as the head basketball at Iles School from 1963-73, compiling a 54-1 record.


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