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updated: 10/29/2012 10:10 PM

Ryan Scholarship Fund banquet slated for Thursday

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  • Former Libertyville football head coach Randy Kuceyeski, here celebrating at playoff victory against Prospect, is headed for the Lake County High Schools Sports Hall of Fame.

      Former Libertyville football head coach Randy Kuceyeski, here celebrating at playoff victory against Prospect, is headed for the Lake County High Schools Sports Hall of Fame.
    Boby Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Daily Herald report

The College of Lake County Foundation's 24th Keith Ryan Scholarship Fund and Sports Banquet will be held Thursday at Midlane Golf Resort in Wadsworth.

The banquet will recognize 12 new inductees into the Lake County High Schools Sports Hall of Fame and three CLC scholarship recipients -- Elizabeth Gutierrez, Joshua May and Francisco Rivera.

The banquet is being held in memory of the late Keith Ryan, a popular sportscaster who spent nearly 25 years promoting local sports in Lake County. Proceeds from the event help fund three annual $1,000 scholarships for CLC students -- one for a student pursuing a career in print or broadcast communications and two for a sophomore male and female student athlete. Since the scholarship's inception, more than $60,000 has been raised for journalism students and student-athletes.

Scholarship winner Elizabeth Gutierrez attended Stevenson High School, where she participated in soccer for four years. She plays on the CLC soccer team and plans to be a special-education teacher or an aide at the elementary school level.

Joshua May graduated from Stevenson High School in 2009 and he is in his second year at CLC. He currently serving as co-editor-in-chief of CLC's student newspaper, The Chronicle. Last March, he won two awards at the Illinois Community College Journalism Association Conference, including a first place in news writing.

Francisco Rivera attended Zion-Benton Township High School, where he participated in soccer and wrestling for four years. He plays on the CLC soccer team and is majoring in physical education. After graduating from CLC, he plans to pursue a health and fitness career.

The Class of 2012 includes:

• Gary Bereiter (Zion-Benton)

A 1969 graduate of Zion-Benton Township High School, Gary played 4 years of high school baseball, basketball and football. In baseball, he was selected all-conference as a pitcher and first baseman in both his junior and senior seasons, and on the gridiron, he was named all-conference and all-county his senior year as a tight end and outside linebacker. He went on to play four years of baseball and football at Black Hills State College in South Dakota, earning 8 varsity letters. Gary was elected to Black Hills' Athletic Hall of Fame in the fall of 2007.

Professionally, Gary taught and coached at Zion-Benton Township H.S. for 33 years, retiring in 2007. He coached baseball for 32 of those years, serving as head baseball coach for 24 years. He won 368 games. He coached football for 31 years (11 years as head coach). For the past 3 years, Gary has served as assistant baseball coach for the College of Lake County.

• Dr. Brian Colbert (North Chicago and Zion-Benton)

Brian is a 1974 graduate of Zion-Benton Township H.S., where he was a 4-year varsity letter winner in basketball. In 1974, he led the county in scoring with a 28 points per game average, and he was named all-state and all-American. He received a Big 10 basketball scholarship to attend the University of Wisconsin, where he played 3 years for the Badgers. He graduated from Carthage College in 1981 and earned a master's degree from National Lewis University and doctoral degree in education from Edgewood College. He has spent 22 years in educational administration, serving for 17 years as a principal in the Racine Unified School District and 3 years as area superintendent for that same district. For the past 2 years, he has served as assistant principal/athletic director at North Chicago HS. Brian has also written a book entitled Effective Instructional Practices for African American Male Students.

In 1996, Brian was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame as a player, but he has also distinguished himself as a basketball coach. Prior to his tenure at North Chicago, he was the head boys varsity basketball coach at Waukegan High School, where his teams won 4 regional titles, 2 sectional championships and made 2 supersectional appearances.

• Eric Eckenstahler (Antioch)

A 1995 graduate of Antioch Community HS, Eric was a standout in both baseball and basketball. He was a two-time all-conference selection in baseball as a pitcher and three-time all-conference pick in basketball. On the diamond, he was the author of 2 no-hitters and 1 one-hitter his senior year, and on the hard court, he was a key member of the 1995 Sequoits' regional championship basketball team that upset top-seeded Mundelein.

Eric's next stop was Illinois State University, where he was a four-time letter winner for the Redbirds. Twice he was selected All-Missouri Valley Conference, and he set ISU records for shutouts and strike outs. He was drafted by the Houston Astros in 1995, the New York Yankees in 1998 and the Detroit Tigers in 1999. He pitched for the Tigers in 2002 and 2003, and also played in the Chicago Cubs' and Cincinnati Reds' organizations.

• Norm Erickson (Libertyville)

Norm graduated from Libertyville Township HS in 1945, where he starred in both basketball and football and was an eight-time varsity letter winner. He was a two-time all-conference selection in both sports, and in his senior year, he was honorable mention all-state in both sports, as well. In addition, was the captain of both the basketball and football teams and was the recipient of the Newsome Award as the best senior athlete at Libertyville in 1945. The Wildcats' football squad recorded a state record of 24 consecutive victories, until they lost the last game of the 1945 season to Lake Forest, 13-7.

Norm entered the service in his senior year and played on the Navy baseball teams at Norman, Okla., and Bremerton, Wash. Later, he lettered in basketball at Illinois Wesleyan University, helping the Titans win the College Conference of Illinois Championship in 1947-48. Professionally, Norm taught for 36 years in the Lake Forest Public School system, as a physical education instructor, and he coached all sports. His basketball teams amassed a record of 381-173, and they won the prestigious Lake Forest Academy Tournament 10 times.

Norm has spent 29 years as a counselor, director and owner of Camp Mishawaka, a private independent camp located on Lake Pokegama in Grand Rapids, Minn. • Andy Farrisey (Stevenson)

A 1977 graduate of Stevenson H.S., Andy was a three-year varsity letter winner in baseball, basketball and football and was three-sport varsity athlete his senior year, participating in basketball, football and track. From 1977-1981, he attended North Park University, where he was a member of the Vikings' two-time Division III national championship basketball teams (1979-1980). In 1981, he was hired out of North Park to be the defensive coordinator at Deerfield HS, where the Warriors football team went 12-1 and finished second in the state playoffs. Over the next nine seasons, as an assistant coach at Deerfield, the Warriors went 84-18 with 2 state runner-up finishes. Andy was then hired as a graduate assistant at the University of Notre Dame.

From 1996-2010, he was an assistant coach under Lake County High Schools Sports Hall of Fame coach Bill Mitz. During those 14 years, the Patriots went 116-41, with a state runner-up finish in 2003. Andy is currently an assistant coach and offensive coordinator under Mitz at Jacobs HS.

• John Graham (Mundelein)

John attended Parker HS in Chicago, where he lettered in swimming and basketball. From Parker, he went on to Wilson Junior College, where he played basketball for two years, culminating in an Illinois Junior College Conference Championship. From there, it was on to Northern Illinois State Teachers College (now NIU), where he played two years of basketball and 1 year of baseball. His years in college were interrupted by 2 years of serving in the U.S. Army, where he played on the post basketball team at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

In 1956, he began his teaching and coaching career at Rock Island Senior HS. In 1958, he came to Libertyville HS, serving 3 years as assistant baseball coach and head cross country coach, plus 1 year as athletic director. Then, in 1961, he transferred to Mundelein HS, where at various times and durations he served as an assistant coach in baseball, basketball and football and head coach in golf, tennis and girls basketball. He also served as department chairman in physical education, was intramural director, girls sports coordinator and, finally, spent 11 years as athletic director. John is a lifetime member of the Illinois High School Athletic Directors Association.

• Randy Kuceyeski (Libertyville)

"Coach Kuz" was a physical education teacher and football coach at Libertyville High School from 1978 until his retirement in June of 2012. He was the defensive coordinator for the Wildcats from 1978-1995 and the head football coach from 1996-2012, where he compiled a record of 133-58. In addition, he started ACE (Athletes Committed to Excellence), a drug- and alcohol-free group for all athletes at LHS.

After playing football at Alliance High School in Alliance, Ohio, Randy went on to letter three years at Northwestern University, where he also received his master's degree in education in 1977. In January of 1998, Randy was inducted to the Alliance High School athletic hall of fame. Coach Kuceyeski's 2003 football team finished second in the state and his 2004 squad won the Class 7A state championship. In the summer of 2009, Randy was presented the inaugural Randy Walker "Doing Great" award by the American Football Coaches Foundation and the Walker Family. He was also chosen in 2009 by the National Football League to represent the state of Illinois at the National Youth Summit in Canton, Ohio.

• Dr. Edward May (Warren)

Ed was born and raised in Waukegan and graduated from Waukegan Township HS in 1948. From 1951-1955, he had a four-year enlistment in the U.S. Air Force, where he served as a medic. He received a B.S. in Medicine from the University of Illinois in 1958 and then attended the University of Illinois College of Medicine, receiving a doctor of medicine degree in 1961. He did his internship at Resurrection Hospital in Chicago (1961-1962) and then opened his own general practice of medicine in Gurnee (1962-1964). From 1964-1967, Ed did his residency in radiology at Hines VA Hospital, and became board certified in 1968, qualified to practice nuclear medicine, ultrasound, radiation therapy and diagnostic radiology. From 1967-1971, he served as a practicing radiologist at Condell Memorial Hospital in Libertyville, and then from 1971-1993, he was chief radiologist at Condell, where he was also medical staff president in 1976 and 1977.

Ed was privileged to serve as a volunteer team physician for Warren Township H.S. from 1962-2008, and in 1984, he was recognized for his outstanding service to the Blue Devils' athletic program by receiving the Outstanding Team Physician Award from the Illinois State Medical Society and the IHSA.

• Quiande Moore (Zion-Benton)

A 1998 graduate of Zion-Benton Township HS, Quiande excelled on the basketball court and won four state championships in track and field. An all-conference basketball player, he reached the Final 4 in the state Slam Dunk contest in 1997, and then, in 1998, led the Zee-Bees to their first boys basketball sectional title. One of the greatest leapers in state history, Quiande won the state high jump championship in both 1997 and 1998, and also in 1998, added the long jump and triple jump titles to his accomplishments, becoming the first athlete in IHSA history to win the high jump, long jump and triple jump in the same state meet.

• Joel Peebles (Grayslake)

Joel graduated from Fond du Lac (Wis.) H.S. in 1973, where he participated in cross country and track and field. In his senior year, he was the conference champion in the 800. From 1973-1977, he attended the University of Wisconsin -- Whitewater, where he received 8 letters in cross country and track. He served as team captain of both the cross country and track teams in his junior and senior years and was named an Academic all-American in track.

Joel began his teaching and coaching career at Grayslake in 1978. He taught social studies for 25 years, and for the last 10 years, he has served as a dean of students. He was both the boys and girls head cross country coach from 1978-2008, winning boys conference championships in 1994 and 1995 and a regional championship in 2005 and girls conference titles in 1994 and 1996. On the boys' side, he has coached over 40 all-conference runners, 1 regional individual champion and 1 state individual qualifier. On the girls' side, over 35 runners have earned all-conference laurels, 1 was a state qualifier and 1 earned all-state recognition.

Joel was the boys head track and field coach from 1981-2001, winning conference championships in 1995, 1996 and 1997. He has coached over 25 state qualifiers and 2 individuals have earned all-state honors. From 1994-2001, he served as head girls track and field coach, winning conference titles in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997, and over 15 girls were state qualifiers. Joel coached the College of Lake County men's and women's cross country Teams in 1986. The women's team qualified for the NJCAA nationals, and Joel was named the NJCAA coach of the year for Region 10. In 2002, he was nominated for and received the Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year Award.

• Don Swanson (Northern Officials Association)

Don, a 1972 graduate of Mundelein HS, lettered in football as a quarterback and baseball as an outfielder. He attended Illinois State University and played football his freshman year as a defensive back.

He joined the IHSA in 1978 as an official in basketball and football, adding baseball in 1995. For the past 22 years, Don has worked IHSA postseason basketball tournaments, and for the past 12 years, he has worked postseason baseball tournaments, culminating in calling the 4A state championship game in 2011. In football, Don has worked numerous IHSA postseason playoff games, plus he has officiated at the community college and NCAAA Division III level, including playoff games. In 2001, he was hired as an official by the Big Ten Conference and has worked as a side judge, averaging about 10 games a season. In addition, he has been assigned 5 bowl games by the NCAA at the Division I level: the 2002 Peach Bowl, the 2007 Texas Bowl, the 2008 Liberty Bowl, the 2019 Pinstripe Bowl and the 2011 Independence Bowl. Don has been a member of the NOA since 1978, serving 4 years as football president, 4 years as basketball president and 4 years as general chairman. He has been honored to receive several prestigious awards, including the George Young Award (1994), basketball official of the year (2001), football official of the year (2003) and Fox Valley Blues umpire of the year (2011).

• Kevin Walter (Libertyville)

A 1999 graduate of Libertyville HS, Kevin played varsity football for 3 years, and in his senior season, he had 48 receptions for 801 yards and 6 touchdowns. That earned him both all-conference and all-state recognition. His next stop was Eastern Michigan University, where he set school records with 211 receptions, 2,838 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns and won All-MAC honors in 2003.

Kevin was drafted in Round 7 of the 2003 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He played for the Cincinnati Bengals from 2003--2005 and has been with the Houston Texans since 2006. This season, he has caught 19 balls for 279 yards (14.7 yards per reception) and 2 touchdowns.

• The event begins at 6 p.m. with a reception, followed by dinner and the program at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person or $360 for a table of eight and are available by calling the Foundation at (847) 543-2646.

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