DTHS Inducts Three Into Athletic Hall of Fame 2024

Three new members were inducted into the Dwight Township High School Athletic Hall of Fame in a ceremony held Saturday, February 3, 2024 just prior to the Varsity basketball game vs. Streator Woodland. A reception in the DTHS cafeteria was also held before the game.
Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees were:
Lyle Hicks – DTHS Head Track Coach 1973 – 1998
Larry Lane – 1996 – to Current DTHS Head Track Coach
Robert “Tre” Trewartha – DTHS Alum, Class of 1978, Basketball and Track Athlete, and DTHS Basketball Coach
Photos courtesy of J7images

2024 AHOF Speech

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to an evening where history and legacy converge, where passion meets perseverance, and where every stride, sprint, and score is immortalized. Tonight, we gather in this celebration to honor the relentless spirit and remarkable achievements of three extraordinary coaches.  I’m Cathy Ferguson,  the Athletic Director here at Dwight Township High School and assisting me tonight is The Dwight Public Schools Superintendent,  Mr. Josh DeLong and the Dwight Township High School Principal, Mr. Andy Pittenger.  

The purpose of the Dwight Township High School Athletic Hall of Fame is to recognize the outstanding contributions in athletics among Dwight athletes, coaches, and supporters of Dwight Township High School.  A committee made up of Dwight alumni representing every decade, meets annually to review nominations and ultimately select the induction class.  At this time, would you please join me in thanking the committee for their time and efforts with this process with a round of applause.

During our program tonight, 3 individuals will enter the Athletic Hall of Fame for their accomplishments and contributions to DTHS.  Before we begin I would like to ask that if there are any current athletic hall of fame members in attendance tonight, if so, please stand for a round of applause.

Thank you!

This is not just an induction; it is a celebration of the human spirit, of the sweat and tears shed in the quest for victory, and of the lessons learned in the face of defeat.  Without further ado, let’s begin the induction ceremony. 

 

Lyle Hicks – DTHS Head Track Coach 1973 – 1998

Lyle Hicks

Our first inductee tonight is Coach  Lyle Hicks. Coach, can you step onto the court please?  Lyle was the Head Track Coach at DTHS from 1973 – 1998.  Coach Hicks was born and raised in Homer, Illinois.  He graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and then went on to the University of Illinois, where he received his Masters in Business.  He moved to Dwight in 1973, joining the faculty at Dwight High School teaching Business and Accounting Classes. In the 1973-74 season, Lyle became the head coach of the track program at DTHS, finishing with a 7-7 record, which happened to be the first NON-losing season in 3 years.  In Lyle’s 20 plus years of coaching at Dwight, Coach Hicks NEVER had a losing season.  More than 20 boys came out his first year coaching, and over 45 the following year.  Lyle started the DTHS Invitational Track meet, which is still hosted each year.  In 1975 he had 8 schools attend, and by 1977 there were 28.  In 1980, the track was converted to a 400 meter track and the boys won the I-8 on their home track.  This was the last time the conference was held on a cinder track.  Coach Hicks was not satisfied with only a boys program, and in 1976 implemented the DTHS girls track program.  That year he had 6 girls join, and 2 years later had 15 plus girls with a State Qualifier in 1980!  

In 1988 the old track became an all-weather track, as you see it today.  This came under the direction of Coach Hicks and community members, Jim Finley and Al Wells.  Many community members contributed funds or donated materials and time to make this possible.  Coach Hicks didn’t just stay in the track lane, as he also coached Boys Basketball from 1973-1980, as well as 2  years of football.  He also coached Cross Country for one year, having Beth Lasser as a runner who made the Kinney National Cross Country Meet.  

Coach Hick’s coaching achievements include State Qualifiers EVERY year from 1976-1998!  The athletes established school records in all events except the 120 high hurdles, 180 Low hurdles and the mile.  He coached the 2nd DTHS State Champion, Brad Verdun in 1980, as Brad won the Shot Put.  And then, he coached the 3rd State Champion in 1987 as Tom Wells won the 200m dash.  On the girls team, he coached Katy Koonz to back-to-back State Championships in long jump in 1990 and 1991.  She medaled as a sophomore also.  In 1996, the Girls 3200m Relay were also the State Champions.  And, in 1989, the girls team won their first Sectional for DTHS. 

The 1989 Boys 4×100 relay team lost only one race prior to their State final.

Coach Hicks was proud to be the I-8 Conference Champs in 1980.       

After moving from Dwight, Coach Hicks went on to become the Midwest Area Conference Coach of the year  in Women’s Basketball at Danville Area Community College in 2004, and also coached golf, until his recent retirement.   And now, it is my honor to induct Coach Lyle Hicks into the DTHS, 2024 Athletic Hall of Fame.  Congratulations Coach! 

Larry Lane – 1996 – to Current DTHS Head Track Coach

Larry Lane

Our next inductee is Coach Larry Lane.  Larry, please come join me.   Larry graduated from Effingham High School, and attended Northern Illinois University, graduating in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science in Education.  He moved to Dwight that year and joined the staff at Dwight Grade School to begin his long career teaching P.E.  (I just happened to be in 8th grade that year, and remember it well, and now our roles have flip-flopped a bit)   Larry began his coaching career at the High School level in 1996 as an assistant track coach, then taking over the head coaching position in 1998 and is still currently our Head Boys’ Track Coach.   The following are Larry’s word regarding his induction.  

I am honored to be inducted into the DTHS Athletic Hall of Fame. Thank you to the HOF committee and the people behind my nomination. This award means much more to me since I am going into the Hall with Lyle Hicks and Bob Trewartha.  Lyle was the head coach when I joined the staff in 1996 and was a fine mentor for me. I am grateful for his guidance in those early seasons. I had the pleasure of coaching Tre’s daughter Chloe, and then his son Quinn, while they attended DTHS. These men are deserving because of their many contributions to the Trojan student-athletes and for being great role models for the students. Tre’s legacy continues today as his daughter- in- law, Allie is a current DTHS track coach. My favorite achievement for this old coach would be the large number of former athletes who became fine coaches in their own right as many were on staff at their alma mater.

Any accomplishments in my career would not have happened without the help of many wonderful people. The one person that traveled with me in this adventure is my awesome wife, Sandy. She continues to be the ‘real’ coach in our family. Following me for nearly 30 seasons has not been easy for her. However, Sandy allowed me to stay in the program and enjoy my time with great coaches and determined athletes. My most repeated words to her are ‘YES DEAR’.

 My mother, Madge, taught me to treat everyone with love and care. Lyle, my father, never met a stranger which is a motto I still follow today. (on a side note…anyone who knows Larry, knows how much he likes to talk)

My brothers, Lenny and Steve, made sure I stayed humble and grounded in this life. I owe my family much of this credit for giving me a strong foundation to build on.

 I want to thank the many administrators who gave me the opportunity to have this important coaching position which never felt like a job

 The parents of the athletes in our program supported everyone on the team and were always willing to help the team. Thank you all so much.

 One of my many blessings has been working with all the knowledgeable and caring DTHS coaches on staff since 1996. You are all a large part of our Trojan success in my career. Also, this old coach enjoyed the camaraderie of the many wonderful and successful fellow coaches I met along the way. Thanks for all you taught me and all the fun we had together as coaches.  

 When asked to list and describe any team accomplishments while at DTHS, Larry stated:  The success of the girls and the boys wearing Trojan green is immense with the guidance of our fine and dedicated coaches. Our squads earned many Conference champions and All Conference performers in 3 different conferences. Moving into sectional competition, great performances were also produced over the many seasons. The best example of such dedication is the 4-year reign of the Lady Trojans as they were sectional champs from 2000 to 2003. We had many state qualifiers over time and had Dwight athletes competing nearly every year at the state meet. The Lady Trojans have medaled in 5 relay races and brought home 26 individual medals. The boy’s teams scored in 5 relay events and had 12 individual placers.  Team wise, the 2007 girls finished third with 40 points and were only 1 point out of 2nd,  and 7 points from being the champions. The girls earned 1st place STATE medals in 4 events which were the 1996 4×800, the 2007 4×200, the 2007 4×400, and the 2003 3200m run. Twice the boys were on top the podium at ‘Big Blue’ on the EIU campus. One was a 2006 4×400 relay race and second was a win in the 2016 800m run. With both genders combined, our athletes placed in the top 3, 15 times. Because of the huge success of these awesome competitors, many enjoyed the opportunity to continue their track and field careers in college.

  Lastly, you student-athletes are the real reason for this honor. The dedication and effort you have displayed over all the seasons has made this coach a success. My years of interacting with such competitive student-athletes has kept me young at heart. Your performances in the classroom, practices, and meets brought you many honors and awards in high school. As you move on in your lives after graduation your continued success will be no surprise to me. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please let’s give a round of applause for 2024 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, Coach Larry Lane! 

Robert “Tre” Trewartha – DTHS Alum, Class of 1978, Basketball and Track Athlete, and DTHS Basketball Coach

Bob Trewartha Family

Our final inductee of the evening is Bob (Tre) Trewartha.  I’d like to ask his wife, Tracy, and his children to come to the floor.  Tre, as we all knew him, was a DTHS, Class of 1978 Alum, Basketball and Track Athletes, and a DTHS  Boys’ Basketball Coach.  

Bob was a member of the class of 1978 where he starred on the 1977 and 1978 basketball teams. In 1978 Bob helped the Trojans to a 23-5 record which was good for third best in school history at the time and helped secure a Regional Championship in dramatic fashion against rival Gardner South Wilmington. Bob finished the 1978 season with 491 points, good for 17.5 points per game on 52% shooting, which earned him First Team Northeast Conference honors, All Suburban Second Team, and an All-State Honorable Mention.

For his career he would finish with 869 points and 453 rebounds in two varsity seasons. He would go on to play two seasons at Kankakee Community College. Bob was also a star on the Trojan track team for four years earning area honor roll in the 220-meter dash in 1977 and 1978. He was also part of the 440 Meter relay team which set a school record in 1977. Bob would return to DTHS in the late 90’s and go on to coach Trojan basketball as a Varsity Assistant and Junior Varsity Coach for the next 17 seasons. Coach Tre was part of 5 Regional Championships at Dwight in 2000, 2004, 2010, 2011, and 2015. Those who played for or coached with Coach Tre will always have great memories of his colorful coaching style and guidance of hundreds of players over the years. This included Saturday practices playing dodgeball with basketballs and always having a box of candy or bag of popcorn near the bench when he was around. Even after retirement, Coach Tre was the team’s number one scout for many years come tournament time! Bob would have been most proud to join his daughter, Chloe; a 2018 inductee in the DTHS Hall of Fame.  So Tracy, please accept this plaque in Tre’s honor, as he is inducted into the DTHS Athletic Hall of Fame.   

That concludes tonight’s induction ceremony.  Thank you all for being here tonight to celebrate the accomplishments of these outstanding athletes.  So, let us stand together and applaud the newest members of the Dwight Township High School Athletic Hall of Fame, for they are not just athletes and coaches—they are the builders of inspiration, the champions of dreams, and the true guardians of our sports heritage.  Thank you for being here with us today.  

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