Proviso East Honors Superfan, Frank Grace
Proviso East High School will posthumously honor Pirates’ Superfan FRANK GRACE at the Crosstown Basketball Rivalry Game between Proviso East and Proviso West on Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 1 p.m. Mr. Grace was a fixture at the athletic events, school board meeting and served as President of the Proviso East Booster Club. It is an honor well-deserved and a long time coming.
Proviso East Band Wins Again at Rich C.
Pirates Drop Homecoming Game to Willowbrook, 35-14
Friday, October 3, 2014 – The Proviso East Varsity football team’s losing streak reached 5 games as the Pirates fell, 35-14, to Willowbrook H.S. in a rare Friday night home game. The Willowbrook Warriors spoiled Homecoming 2014, but the Pirates look to bounce back next week when they travel to face the Addison Trail Blazers on Friday, October 10, 2014 at 7pm.
Pirates Fall To Panthers In Crosstown Classic
Saturday, September 27, 2014 – The Proviso East Varsity football team dropped the 2014 Crosstown Classic to the rival Panthers of Proviso West, 28-14, in Hillside. The Pirates had several chances to draw closer but were unable to cash in. The Pirates fell to 1-4 and will host the Willowbrook Warriors Friday, October 3, 2014 at 6:30pm. Please come out and support YOUR team!!
Proviso East Induct Legends Into Sports Hall of Fame
Saturday, September 6, 2014 – Proviso East High School honored 24 of its past great athletes in two induction ceremonies for its Sports Hall of Fame at its first two home football games of the 2014 football season.
The first group was honored at a reception and induction ceremony at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 30, in the Proviso East Social Room, followed by a ceremony during halftime of the varsity football game versus Maine West High School. A second group had a similar reception and ceremony at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 6, also in the Proviso East Social Room, followed by a ceremony during halftime of the varsity football game versus York High School.
Mr. Tony Valente, principal at Proviso East, said that the 24 Hall of Fame inductees were selected by a committee of community members, former Proviso East athletes and coaches, and administrators. Each inductee had to be nominated by a member of the community or a committee member.
“We spent a year getting nominations,” Mr. Valente said. “Based on the overwhelming number of candidates, the committee decided on those who attended Proviso East from 1910 to 1980.
Pirate Legends Inducted August 30, 2014
D.B. “Doc” Appleton: He coached the Proviso Township High School baseball team to the state championship in 1944, 1953, and 1957.
James Brewer: A member of the 1969 Proviso East state basketball championship team, he had a nine-year professional playing career in the National Basketball Association (NBA), including being a member of the 1982 World Champion Los Angeles Lakers. Brewer played in the 1972 Summer Olympics that involved the United States’ controversial loss to the Soviet Union, before being drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round (2nd pick) of the 1973NBA Draft. In 2007, he was named one of the 100 Legends of the IHSA Boys Basketball Tournament.
Thomas Jefferson: A league champion in the high and low hurdles in 1955 and 1956, he went on to star on the Michigan State University track team before embarking on a 30-year career at General Motors.
Gene Mitz: He was the football team’s most valuable player in 1959 as he was named to the all-suburban team and was an all-state team honorable mention. After playing his college football at Drake University, he has gone on to a long career as a coach, including his current position as an assistant coach on the Benedictine University football team in Naperville.
Ray Nitschke: A 1954 Proviso Township High School graduate, Nitschke played his entire career as a middle linebacker for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League from 1958 to 1972. Selected, at age 20, in the third round of the 1958 NFL Draft (36th pick overall), Nitschke became a full-time starter in 1962 and anchored a disciplined defense that helped the Packers win five NFL titles and the first two Super Bowls. Although Nitschke was known for his hard hitting, he was a good all-around linebacker who also intercepted 25 passes over his career. He was named MVP of th 1962 NFL Championship Game, and received a 1963 Chevy Corvette as the prize. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1981.
Al Nuness: A member of the 1963 and 1964 Proviso West Holiday Basketball Tournament Champion Proviso East teams, Al Nuness went to play basketball at the University of Minnesota. An All-Big Ten and team captain selection in the 1968-69 season, Nuness scored 740 points in just two years, averaging 15.4 points per game as a Gopher and was named team MVP in 1969. Nuness became a true coach on the floor for coaches John Kundla and Bill Fitch and shortly after his playing days ended, Nuness took his basketball knowledge to the sidelines where Fitch hired him as the Gophers’ first ever African-American assistant coach. Nuness spent two seasons on the Gopher sideline where he worked under Fitch, George Hanson and spent two months on Bill Musselman’s staff.He later worked as an executive serving as the Director of Ticket Sales with the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. Nuness is currently Vice-President of Sports Sales for Jostens where he heads its collegiate and professional sports relationships.
Ed O’Bradovich: After graduating from Proviso Township High School in 1958, O’Bradovich went on to star at the University of Illinois before having a successful career as a defensive end in the Canadian Football League and with the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. Ed “O.B.” O’Bradovich was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the seventh round (91st pick) of the 1962 NFL Draft and he spent his entire ten-year career with the Bears. Perhaps his most memorable moment came when he intercepted a short pass in the 1963 NFL Championship game and rumbled down the field on a key play for a Bears victory. O’Bradovich played himself in the television movie Brian’s Song, starring James Caan as Brian Piccolo, and Coach of the Year, starring Robert Conrad as former Chicago Bear player Jim Brandon. O’Bradovich can now be heard on WSCR-670 The Score following every Bear game.
Joe Ponsetto: A member of Suburban League champion teams from 1971 to 1974, Joe “The Godfather” Ponsetto led Proviso East to the 1974 IHSA Class AA state title and went on to star at DePaul, where scored over 1,200 career points. Joe was named to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1981 and DePaul’s Hall of Fame in 1990.
Glenn “Doc” Rivers: After starring in the late 1970s at Proviso East, where he was named a McDonald’s All-American, Rivers has had a long, successful playing and coaching career in the NBA. After his third season at Marquette University, Rivers was drafted in the second round (31st overall) of the 1983 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks. He graduated from Marquette while completing course work as an NBA player. He spent the next seven seasons as a starter in Atlanta, assisting star Dominique Wilkins as the team found great regular-season success. He averaged a double-double for the 1986–87 season with 12.8 points and 10.0 assists per game. Rivers later spent one year as a starter for the Los Angeles Clippers and two more for the New York Knicks, before finishing his career with the San Antonio Spurs from 1994 to 1996. After nine years as coach of the Boston Celtics (whom he coached to the NBA championship in 2008), he currently is the head coach and president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Bill Roetzheim: Roetzheim coached Proviso East to state gymnastics titles in 1958, 1962, and 1966. This followed a successful gymnastics career in his own right, including being a member of the U.S. Olympic team in 1948 and 1952, winning the all-around AAU gymnastics championship from 1949 to 1951, and earning a medal at the Pan-American Games in 1951. He was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1975.
Lee Stange: A member of both the state football and state baseball title teams at Proviso Township in 1953, he went to pitch in the major leagues from 1961 to 1970, including helping the Boston Red Sox win the American League pennant in 1967. He also coached in the major leagues for 12 years, and is currently the pitching coach at Florida Tech.
Rory Weber: A wrestler at Proviso Township High from 1954 to 1958, he went on to win Big Ten wrestling titles in 1960 and 1961 at Northwestern University, where he also was named an All-American.
Pirate Legends Inducted September 6, 2014
William Cartwright: As coach of the wrestling team from 1984 to 1994, he coached Proviso East to the state wrestling championship in 1986 and 1991. Cartwright was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2009. In nearly 40 years as a coach, Coach Cartwright has had over 400 wins, 75 state qualifiers, 31 placers, and six championships. He’s had 12 conference titles, 11 regional titles, and nine sectional titles. He was nominated six times and voted “Coach of the Year” for the state of Illinois in 1980, 1986 and 1991. Cartwright was also nominated for National Coach of the Year by the Illinois Coaches Association in 1992. He has received numerous awards from the community for his dedication to youth and to Proviso East High School. In 2009, Coach Cartwright received a National Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award. This award is given to persons who have displayed years of dedication to the development of leadership and citizenship in young people through the sport of wrestling.
Greg Foster: A state track champion in the hurdles in 1975 and 1976, he went on to win NCAA titles in track in 1978 and 1979 at UCLA and later competed on the world stage. He won a silver medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, and won world titles in 1983, 1987, and 1991, including setting a world record in the 50-meter hurdles in 1985. He is the only person in the history of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics to win three consecutive 110 meter hurdling titles (1983, 1987, and 1991). He was the 1981 IAAF World Cup and the 1991 World Indoor hurdling champion. He broke the indoor world record for the 50 meter hurdles in 1985 (6.35 seconds) and tied that mark in 1987. He also broke the 60 meter hurdle indoor world record in 1987 with a time of 7.36. He was the American Record Holder in the 110 meter hurdles at 13.22 seconds while competing for UCLA, second at the time only to Cuba’s world record holder Alejandro Casanas.
Larry Howard: He won state titles in the hurdles in 1959 and 1960, and later won Big Ten indoor championships in the 70-meter high hurdles and 70-meter low hurdles in 1962 while attending the University of Wisconsin.
Fred Keyes: He was named to the all-suburban football team in 1953 and 1954 and the all-state football team in 1954. Mr. Keyes also served the Maywood Little League as umpire.
Jack Marino: A wrestling coach who had won a state title at 145 pounds in 1945, he coached Proviso to a state wrestling title in 1956 and 1957. He coached 23 wrestlers to gold medals in state competition during his career. In addition to being a very successful coach, Mr. Marino served as athletic trainer, Physical Education teacher and was an avid table tennis player.
Tom Millikin: He won 213 games during his 11-year tenure of coach of the Proviso East basketball team. In 1969, Coach Millikin led Proviso East to its first IHSA state title in 1969. After his career in coaching, Mr. Millikin became principal of Proviso East until his retirement. Mr. Millikin was the first to win an IHSA state title as a player and as coach.
Andy Puplis: He coached at Proviso East from 1940 to 1972 following an All-American playing career at the University of Notre Dame. He was inducted into the IHSA Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1981.
Terry Ryser: During a 20-year career coaching baseball at Proviso East, he led the Pirates to the state title in 1977. Mr. Ryser also coached wrestling, gymnastics and was a Physical Education teacher at Proviso East. Coach Ryser was known for maintaining one of the best infields, not only in the in the state of Illinois, but in the country.
Jerome Sally: A 1977 graduate of Proviso East, Sally played his college football at the University of Missouri where he was a standout defensive lineman who helped anchor Tiger defenses that keyed Mizzou to four consecutive bowl games from 1978-81, lettering three years (1979-81). During that time, MU had a combined record of 23-13, including two bowl game victories. Sally went on to a solid professional football career with the New York Giants (1982-86), as he had 7 1/2 QB sacks in 1985 and eventually won a Super Bowl ring as part of the 1987 World Championship team. He also played in the NFL for Indianapolis and Kansas City before his retirement in 1988. After retiring from professional football, Sally served as the defensive coordinator at Hickman High School from 1991-96, and also served as the school’s strength and fitness coach from 1991-2006. Sally served as a member of the MU Radio Network for Tiger Football beginning in 2001. Currently an assistant middle school principal in Columbia, Missouri, he also is a member of the Missouri Tigers broadcast team. He was named to the University of Missouri Hall of Fame in 2006.
Louis Slimmer: Coach of the Proviso wrestling team from 1936 to 1945, he coached the Pirates to state titles in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1944, and 1945.
Glenn Whittenberg: He won 309 games during his 14 years as coach of the Proviso East boys’ basketball team, winning the IHSA Class AA Championship in 1974 and finishing runner-up in 1981. Coach Whittenberg is a member of the Illinois Coaches’ Hall of Fame.
Michael Woodard: A member of the 1977 IHSA State Baseball Champions, Michael Woodard was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 1978 and played four seasons in the major leagues for the San Francisco Giants and Chicago White Sox. A memorable moment in his career was hitting a home run against the Chicago Cubs in Candlestick Park.
Nominations are now being accepted for future Hall of Fame classes, including student-athletes who attended Proviso East from 1980 to 2005. Nomination forms are available at the principal’s office at Proviso East or tweet your nominations on Twitter @ProvisoEPride with hashtag #PESportsHOF.