2007 Springfield Sports Hall Inductees

Paul Brennan
1947 Cathedral graduate, he was a three-year letter-winner in football as a running back and quarterback. He led the city in passing as a junior and senior, when he was honorable mention all-state and all-city. He played football at Quincy College and was a four-year varsity letter-winner in baseball as a pitcher. He later played amateur baseball in Springfield for Rossiter's Mutual of Omaha and Sangamo Electric. He played on the Sangamo Electric team that qualified for the National AAU tournament in Battle Creek, Mich.

John Hendricks
Graduate of Farmersville High School (1933), Springfield Junior College and Bradley University (1938). He was an outstanding baseball player who was named to the Bradley Athletic Hall of Fame in 1949. He played in the Three-I League and for the Fitzpatrick Lumberjacks. He was a teacher, athletic director and coach at Cathedral Boys High School in 1943-44 and 1944-45, and his 1944 basketball team won the city title and his 1945 baseball team won district and sectional titles.

Jennifer Wood Holliday
1993 Sacred Heart-Griffin High School graduate who earned all-state honors in high school. She received a full scholarship to play at the University of Florida, where she earned American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America honors in 1996. She also was NCAA All-Region/District first team in 1994, 1995 and 1996, AVCA District Four first-team in 1996 and the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year in 1996. She earned All-SEC honors in 1994, 1995 and 1996, was the SEC Player of the Week in 1995 and 1996, made the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 1995 and played in the Olympic Festival Invitational in 1994 and 1995. She played in two Final Four tournaments, in 1993 and 1996. She ranked in the top five in Florida volleyball history in kills (No. 2), aces and attacks (No. 3), digs (No. 5) and hitting percentage (No. 6).

Bob Kyes
Rochester High School graduate (1944) who competed in track, basketball and baseball. He gave up his senior year in high school to sign a professional contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, lasted two years in the minor leagues and joined the Navy from 1944-46. He attended Illinois and became a history teacher and baseball coach, first at Pleasant Hill (1952-58) and then at Feitshans/Southeast (1959-78). His overall record was 251-196, and his 1960 team won 23 straight before losing in the state tournament. Kyes coached the Springfield Caps of the Central Illinois Collegiate League to a 43-43 record in 1965-66, and among the players he coached were future major leagues Joe Niekro and Eddie Leon.

Armanda Sicilia
Better known as  "Shinsky,"  he became an orphan at the age of 11 and grew up in Springfield. He attended Cathedral High School for one year and then worked as a bellhop at the Empire Hotel while playing basketball with the Empires and baseball for the Fitzpatrick Lumberjacks. He was a two-time Golden Gloves competitor and won 132 amateur bouts before turning pro in 1932. He was the AAU 118-pound champion when he was 19. He met competitors in the bantamweight, featherweight and lightweight divisions. He boxed in Madison Square Garden for the first time in 1937. Shinsky toured the world as a bantamweight and featherweight on the same ticket as Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis and Max Baer, fought in just about every one of the then-48 states as well as Canada and South America and toured army bases in Algiers during World War II. He won his first 18 professional fights and won 136 of the more than 300 pro fights he was in during an 11-year career. One report says he fought almost 100 fights in one year. He retired in 1943 and worked at Pillsbury Mills for 30 years. He died July 24, 1984, at the age of 71.

John Sowinski
Chicago St. Patrick High School graduate and ex-Marine who coached football at Springfield High School from 1962-78, compiling a 76-70-7 record with nine winning seasons before there were playoffs. His best team was the 1967 squad that was 7-1-1, and he's second to Bill Roellig in coaching victories in SHS history. He is a member of the Illinois Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He came out of retirement in 1987 to coach linemen at Sacred Heart-Griffin and he remains on the staff as an assistant, and he has played a major role in the Cyclones winning back-to-back Class 5A state titles.



Capped a 38-12 season by beating Henry Ford 12-11 in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II World Series title game to become the school's first national championship team. Coached by Hall of Famer Claude Kracik, were making there second straight World Series appearance, and they went 4-1 in the tournament. The team was loaded with local players, including Mike Angeli, Bill Amntonacci, Mike Bice, Phil Bigard, Ryan Crawford, Andy Danner, Kris Detmers, Justin Goodwin, Brian Graham, Sean Moser, Ron Packingham, Pat Riordan, Jeff Schomhe, Greg Seiders, Kevin Therien, Jeremy Walk, Matt Welch and Kyle Zellers.



Fred Hickman

Fred Hickman - 1974 Southeast graduate who became a television news reporter for WICS-Channel 20 after graduating from high school. He then became a national sports anchor at CNN and ESPN and is currently employed by ESPN as a SportsCenter host and as the host of the NBA pregame show.

Brad Stearns
Brad Stearns -  A native of California, Stearns, came to Springfield in 1968 and began umpiring on the high school level in 1973. He has umpired at various levels of amateur baseball for about 50 years and has also officiated high school football and basketball, although he gave up basketball about 10 years ago after undergoing knee surgery. He has worked almost 20 Class AA sectionals and almost 10 Class A sectional. He was an umpire in the Palomino World Series in California and worked junior college games.


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