The latest class to be inducted into the Naperville North Athletic Hall of Fame includes a man who began his career before there was a Naperville North.
Bill Petersen started out in 1966 at Naperville Community High School, now Naperville Central. A math teacher and assistant boys basketball coach, he transferred to Naperville North in 1974 three years before it would house its first graduating class.
Taking over as Huskies sophomore boys basketball coach, Petersen maintained that position until he retired in 2003. He continues in the program as Naperville North's official scorer and added football statistics as well, with stats partner Howard Phelan.
We heartily agree with the reason he's stayed in the game this long after his retirement.
"High school athletics to me is the ultimate. It's the purest thing," Petersen said.
He'll be among six people inducted in a ceremony this Friday evening in the Naperville North library, and recognized that night during halftime of the Huskies' boys basketball game against Waubonsie Valley.
Petersen's career spans those of all his fellow inductees -- Marty Bee (the state-champion girls cross country coach also was inducted into Naperville Central's Hall in 2016 as former athletic director), Mark Grady (Class of 1987), Kim Malmquist (1996), Lizzie Bazzetta (2005) and Jordan Tassio (2008).
One of Petersen's contemporaries, Neil McCauley, will serve as Hall of Fame presenter for both Petersen and Bee.
Asked if he recalled Grady, a three-sport athlete named the school's outstanding senior student in 1987, Petersen said: "I sure do, because he played for me and was a great athlete and a real gentleman."
Petersen, a North Central College graduate, remembered being tickled that Huskies football star Tassio was going to play for the Cardinals. He noted that volleyballer Bazzetta was "quite an athlete, like her sister." Kathleen Bazzetta was inducted in 2012, making the Bazzettas the first sister duo in the Naperville North hall.
He called Malmquist, a track and cross country athlete awarded as a U.S. Marine Corps Distinguished Student-Athlete as a senior, "really a great person."
They all are, to Petersen.
"I just feel honored to go into this because I've known some of these people very closely," he said. "I'm not sure I deserve that, but I feel really honored to go in there with them, and I wish them all the best."
Anyone who saw the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-0 loss to the Detroit Redwings on Sunday might as well have stopped watching after the national anthem. For Hawks fans that was the highlight.
It was the highlight not only for Jim Cornelison's rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" but because of the three servicemen recognized on the ice alongside him.
Specifically for this column's purpose, U.S. Navy veteran, Gunner's Mate 3rd Class John Parpet, recipient of two Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam.
If the name sounds familiar it's because Parpet is the brother of Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Famer Paul Parpet Sr., who coaches Lisle and was formerly the head man at Addison Trail.
John Parpet worked for two decades as defensive line and strength coach with his brother at Addison Trail. When Paul initially retired, John Parpet worked with his successor at Addison Trail -- also his nephew -- Paul Parpet Jr., before joining his own son, also John, at Plano.
Like passing ships
In North Central College's 102-50 men's basketball victory over Finlandia University (Michigan) on Tuesday, Neuqua Valley graduate Connor Raridon dished out 9 assists to move into second place in college history in that category with 250.
The player Raridon passed to move into second was his brother, Derek Raridon, who amassed 248 assists between 2009-13. They both are the sons of Cardinals coach Todd Raridon.
Connor Raridon, a redshirt sophomore who averages a program-record 5 assists a game, needs only 24 assists to surpass the 273 that Naperville Central graduate Adam Teising distributed from 2002-06.
Last October, Waubonsie Valley graduate Ryan McDonough won a gold medal in singles, a silver medal in doubles and a sportsmanship award at the Special Olympics North America National Tennis Championship in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
The hope was McDonough would receive a bid to The Xperience Tennis Invitational, held Jan. 11-13 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Only the top 32 players in the country receive such a bid, as he did in 2016 when he earned a silver medal in his classification.
The hope became reality, and on Sunday McDonough returned to Aurora with a gold medal after winning his division in singles, a higher classification than he competed in during the 2016 matches.
There are no rankings in Special Olympics, but after it all shook out in Charlottesville the 20-year-old McDonough's performance would make him the 13th best singles player in the nation.
The well-rounded McDonough has a job at a GameStop, is in the District 204 STEPS transition program, takes classes in computer programming and video game design at the College of DuPage, and speaks to groups as a participant in the Special Olympics Global Messenger leadership program.
Cream of the crop
On Jan. 10 the Illinois High School Association named its officials of the year in 20 sports, based on character, skill and levels worked in the IHSA state series.
Congratulations to Carol Stream's Frank Navakowski in boys gymnastics and Naperville's David Perillo in boys volleyball. They'll be honored with their brethren at the 2018 Officials Conference in July in East Peoria.
The Silver connection
Lewis University hosts a women's and men's basketball doubleheader against William Jewell on Saturday, and during halftime of both games those selected to Lewis' respective 2000s All-Decade teams will be recognized.
Included among the female Flyers will be former Hinsdale Central hot shot Kelly Dianis, a 2010 graduate who is third in program history with 212 3-point baskets and 20th in scoring.
The great Stephan Bolt, out of Downers Grove North and now the Trojans' girls basketball coach, will join the men's all-2000s team. Bolt holds the Flyers record with 9.6 rebounds a game and is 25th in program scoring.