Leusch, Schmit latest Daily Herald sports writers to be honored by IBCA
Two of the Daily Herald's all-time great high school sports writers are now Hall-of-Famers.
John Leusch, who left the paper full-time earlier this year but still contributes as a correspondent, and Kevin Schmit, for over 30 years a fixture in the prep sports department in DuPage County, are a part of the 2022 class of inductees to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
They join the legendary Bob Frisk (1990), current high school sports editor John Radtke (2003), former sports writer Marty Maciaszek (2012) and current correspondent Greg Swiderski (2020) as those from the Daily Herald who have been inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame.
"It's very humbling to join all the other media members. I just have to thank all my prep editors, and, of course, most importantly, hall of fame and legendary sports editor Bob Frisk, who made it all happen for me," said Leusch, a St. Viator High School and Loyola University graduate who carved his niche covering girls sports after joining the paper full time in 1984.
"I was just fortunate that Bob and the Daily Herald gave me the opportunity to cover the prep scene for 40-plus years, giving me the chance to write about all the great coaches and athletes who have graced the pages in this newspaper.
"And a special thanks to Des Plaines Journal sports editor Dion Martorano and former Daily Herald hall of fame sports writer Marty Maciaszek, who nominated me for this honor."
Schmit's ties to the suburbs are equally deep.
A 1987 Buffalo Grove graduate who was taught at BG by, among others, former coaches Brad Wendell and Tom Dineen, and a 1991 University of Missouri-Columbia Journalism School alum, Schmit also received his teaching certification (Secondary English and History) from North Central College.
He started freelancing for the Herald in the summer of 1990 and started freelancing prep sports in DuPage County in the fall of 1991. He began covering prep basketball in the 1991-92 season and was hired full time by the Herald in November 1997 when the paper expanded into the Tri-Cities. He transferred to DuPage in fall of 1999 and stayed there until shifting to news coverage in the Fox Valley in August 2020. He is now the Naperville beat writer.
"An incredible honor like this wasn't even a thought in my head when I started covering basketball 30 years ago," Schmit said. "I'm so grateful to everyone who made this journey possible."
The legacy Leusch and Schmit have forged in their prep sports coverage has transcended the paper's coverage of high schools that was created by Frisk, who worked for the Daily Herald for 50 years.
"It's been a privilege and an honor to work alongside John and Kevin for many years," said Radtke, a 24-year veteran of the paper. "They are consummate professionals who are respected by not only their peers but by coaches, student-athletes and readers throughout the suburbs and the state. They are more than deserving of this recognition."