On Oct. 12, Geneseo High School will honor three individual athletes and four teams as the first Geneseo Hall of Fame Class.
The Hall of Fame inductees will be introduced before the varsity football game with Streator. The following night, Oct. 13, the induction evening will begin at 4 p.m. with a tour of Geneseo High School, social hour in the library from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. a presentation will be held in the auditorium.
Don Hillmer, 1950 state champion in the high jump, became Geneseo's first-ever state champion with a leap of 5-11 1/4. He graduated from Geneseo that same year and earned a track scholarship to Michigan State University. He competed for the Spartans for four years, earning All-America honors in 1955, and finishing sixth in the high jump at the NCAA meet and the Olympic trials that same year. He graduated from Michigan State in 1957 with a degree in forestry/wood technology.
Sue Fortune, 1975 and 1976 discus state champion, was crowned a state champ within a year of girls' track becoming an official sport at GHS. She not only became Geneseo's first female state champ, but also its first two-time state champion. She still holds the school record in the discus with a toss of 132-8 3/4.
Fortune won her first state title in 1975 with a throw of 118, while in 1976 had a toss of 132-6. In 1975, Fortune won the district meet to advance to state with a throw of 124-1, while in 1976 she grabbed first at the conference meet at 130-6.
Marcie Claeys, 1991 state champion in the high jump, captured her title in Class AA with a leap of 5-7. That same year she was crowned conference champ with a jump of 5-6. She also took second at the sectional meet.
In 1992, Claeys took fifth at state with a jump of 5-4, and placed second at sectionals at 5-5. In 1990, Claeys, during her freshman year, placed seventh at the state finals as she cleared 5-3. She had the top finish at the sectional meet that year at 5-5. Claeys advanced to the state meet in 1993, but did not place. She took third at conference and fifth at sectionals that year.
The 1976 3A state champion football team completed a perfect 13-0 season after defeating Metamora for the state title by a score of 20-12.
On their way to the state title, Geneseo defeated Pleasant Valley, 42-0; North Scott, 13-6; Macomb, 35-32; Mendota, 34-8; Hall, 46-3; Rochelle, 21-0; Rock Falls, 33-0; Princeton, 28-0; and Kewanee, 35-22, all in the regular season to earn the conference crown.
In the playoffs, Geneseo took down New Lenox Providence, 34-6; Lisle Sr., 35-6; and Sycamore, 25-6.
Members of the 1976 squad included: David Johnson, Kevin Anderson, Randy Russell, Larry Boyles, Jon Peterson, Brian Wahlheim, Shawn Hart, Mark Garvin, Ken Garvin, Gary Ong, Mike Oliveira, Jeff DeNeve, Dave Anderson, David Miller, Greg Himmelman, Wayne Strader, Rusty Hull, Jeff Wachtel, Ed Ryan, Rick Rathjen, Dennis Brooks, Jack Gray, Jim Wethington, Jon Boyd, Mitch Stohl, Kevin Freeze, Mike Sigwalt, Brian Westemeyer, Carl White, Brad Luedtke, Jim Glazier, Chris Ford, Mike Ryan, Frank Gardner, Mike Wire, Dennis Robertson, Dave Anderson, Lance Hofer, Randy Farrell, Steve Blank, Gary Boblett and Wendell Strosahl.
Page 2 of 3 - The team was coached by head coach Bob Reade and assistants Larry Johnsen Sr. and Tom Schmulbach.
Geneseo's 1977 3A state champion team finished the year at 12-1 overall to take second in the conference. The Leafs defeated Metamora once again for the state title this time by a shutout, 34-0.
In the regular season, Geneseo beat Pleasant Valley, 28-0; North Scott, 28-0; Macomb, 9-0; Mendota, 30-6; Hall, 13-0; Rock Falls, 31-10; Princeton, 35-0; and Kewanee, 30-22. The squad's only loss came to Rochelle, 7-0.
On their way to the state title, the Leafs defeated Rochelle, 18-6; Kankakee McNamara, 55-8; and Geneva, 21-14 in the playoffs.
Geneseo's 1977 state championship team consisted of: Kevin Anderson, Lance Hofer, Dave Johnson, Russ Miller, Dennis Robertson, Larry Boyles, Randy Russell, Jeff Lindell, Norman Singbush, Dan Carton, Ken Peal, Jeff Chadd, Mark Garvin, Bruce Borkgren, Derrick Skiles, Randy Farrell, Jeff DeNeve, Dave Anderson, Kurt Farber, Greg Himmelman, Dan Hull, Jeff Wachtel, Don Palaski, Curt Wigant, Gary Boblett, Steve Blank, Marty Himmelman, Jim Wethington, Jon Boyd, Mark Young, Wendell Strosahl, Nick Panicucci, Mike Sigwalt, Chris Stohl, Greg Heaton, Jerry Hartsock, Carl White, Tim Ottis, Scot Specht, Jim Glazier, Pete Carlson, Chris Ford, Mike Ryan, Ernie Rossow, Kurt Wirth, Rod Pullman, Lyle Neuleib and Kim Hemmingson.
The team was coached by Reade, Johnsen Sr. and Schmulbach.
In 1978, Geneseo captured the school's third-straight 3A title with a 14-7 win over Kankakee McNamara. Geneseo finished the season a perfect 13-0 and were crowned conference champs.
During the regular season, Geneseo earned wins over Canton, 21-0; North Scott, 37-6; Alleman, 50-0; Mendota, 54-0; Hall, 27-0; Rochelle, 7-0; Rock Falls, 40-0; Princeton, 35-21; and Kewanee, 47-0.
In the playoffs, Geneseo defeated Rockton Hononegah, 20-0; Elmhurst Im. Conception, 21-16 and Sycamore, 25-8.
The 1978 team included: Lance Hofer, Jay Penney, Ron Farrell, Dennis Robertson, Brad Fleming, Randy Russell, Mike Courter, Norm Singbush, Dan Carton, Rod Pullman, Jeff Chadd, Kevin Morris, Bruce Borkgren, Derrick Skiles, Randy Farrell, Darron Callow, Kevin DeBlieck, Kurt Farber, Scott Rink, Dan Hull, Dennis Bloomberg, Pete Carlson, Joe Panicucci, Jay Zanton, Gary Boblett, Pat Morrissey, Mitch Fickling, Marty Himmelman, Jeff Renihan, Andy Carlson, Don Palaski, Mike Lodico, Kim Hemmingson, Nick Panicucci, Steve Blank, Jeff Peacock, Bruce Westemeyer, Chris Stohl, Scott Rice, Scott Specht, Chris Ford, Dave Paxson, Ernie Rossow and Kurt Wirth.
They were coached by Reade, Johnsen Sr. and Schmulbach.
Geneseo returned to state- title glory in 1982 when the Leafs won the 4A state championship, 44-36 over Springfield Griffin. That year Geneseo finished at 12-1 and placed second in the conference.
On the road to the state title, Geneseo defeated Canton, 39-21; Alleman, 16-0; Princeton, 39-0; Ottawa, 20-6; Streator, 30-14; LaSalle, 30-0; Dixon, 30-7; and Kewanee, 48-0. The squad's only loss came to Sterling, 16-12.
Page 3 of 3 - In the playoffs, Geneseo survived in overtime to beat Rockton Hononegah, 14-8; Peoria Spalding, 26-3 and Lombard Montini, 46-15.
Team members of the 1982 squad included: Chet Carey, Wayne Anderson, Bruce Lohman, Fred Little, Barry Jacocks, Randy Clary, Roy Luedtke, Gary Fortune, Tony Finley, Chris Holmstrom, Dave Lowe, Jack Fields, Bill Zanton, Lane Schurr, Ron Tracey, Trent Foltz, Brad Heriford, Trino Gomez, Marty Anderson, Loren Rathjen, Craig Castelein, Jim VanVooren, Kurt Lassman, Doug Himmelman, Jace Sundeen, Brent Westemeyer, Scott Pittenger, Todd Hartman, Brian Ludwig, Scott Lloyd, Pat McSparin, Pat Stohl, Tom Smith, Travis Mackey, Scott McCoy, Kelly Scott, Chuck Girten, Darren Harris, Brad Stohl, Jim Thomas, Pat Mitchell, Mark Griffin, Eric Johnson, Todd VanHyfte, Todd Johnson, Tim Kincaid, Brad Rogers, Kent Edwards, and Tony Bultinck.
They were coached by: Larry Johnsen Sr., Vic Boblett and Dan Rogers.