It’s Hall of Fame month for several area schools, who’ve invited back all-star alums for homecoming induction ceremonies. Among those adding four new members: the Tuscola High School Hall of Fame, whose ceremony is set for Saturday at Ironhorse Golf Club.
To be honored:
Greg Hastings and Steve Hilgendorf
GREG HASTINGS (’72) &STEVE HILGENDORF (’73)
You’ve likely seen their work in the sports section of this newspaper, dating back decades. Every fall Friday, starting in the ’70s, the Tuscola superfans have kept stats for Warriors football games, the same ones you see on Saturdays in The News-Gazette.
Tuscola Athletic Director Ryan Hornaday figures they’ve put in 12,000 volunteer hours over the years, with neither rain nor snow nor overtime keeping them from delivering.
Hastings comes from a newspaper family — he went to work for his parents at the Tuscola Review as a printer in 1973 and stuck around until 2004, when his folks sold the paper.
The 1995-96 Ambuc of the Year groomed the Little League diamonds in town, coached biddy basketball and daughter Mindee‘s traveling softball team and served countless Tuscola businesses through Hastings Printing.
Both Hall of Famers also keep Tuscola basketball stats, giving Hilgendorf a front-row seat for one of his two favorite sports moments — son Jacob scoring his 1,000th point. (The other: watching son Joel play in the Class 1A football finals).
You name it, Hilgendorf’s done it for his hometown — 20-year volunteer firefighter, 30-plus-year chair of the city planning commission, Ambucs past president, chamber board member, part-owner of F.H. Jones Lumber, Tuscola Township supervisor since 1989 — and that’s just the short list.
Dr. Richard Burns
DR. RICHARD BURNS (’69)
He got his work ethic from mowing yards, detassling corn, doing odd jobs on farms and making pizzas at Monical’s. He learned the value of exercise from his favorite faculty member, Bob Trimble, who taught weightlifting at Tuscola back then. And he found his career calling from the chiropractors in his family tree — a grandfather and uncle.
The Illinois Prairie State Chiropractic Association’s two-time Chiropractor of the Year spent 40 years on the faculty of his alma mater, Iowa’s Palmer College of Chiropractic, and to this day, still sees patients five times a week.
BRIAN HARRIS (’83)
The UI grad, whose family ran Lloyd Oil and Auto Parts, cites the “excellent education” he received— at South Ward and North Ward elementary, East Prairie Middle School and Tuscola High — as the foundation for all that came after it, including superintendent of schools stints in the Wheaton Warrenville and Barrington districts.
Now living in St. Charles, the former American Association of School Administrators board member serves as a senior consultant at Hazard, Young and Attea, leading projects for K-12 school districts both regionally and nationally.