Two teams and seven individuals will be inducted into the La Salle-Peru High School Hall of Honor in the Class of 2023. The ceremony will take place in the second semester of this school year.
The inductees, which were approved at Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting, are Gerald “Chips” Giovanine, Joe Marini, Joe Rutgens, Ron Sharpe, John Skibinski and Joe Skibinski, George and Henrietta Herbolsheimer, Raeann Huhn, the 2011 softball team and the 1975 football team.
The 2011 softball team went 25-7 and placed second in the Class 3A state tournament under first-year head coach Mike Schmidt. It was the first girls team in school history to reach a state championship game. Team members were T.J. Chapman, Nina Vezzetti, Lindsay Lippert, Kelsey Turczyn, Shannon Kasap, Jessica Kaszynski, Ashlee Heider, Abby Turczyn, Erica Lawless, Carly Spelich, Nina Bacidore, Brianna Zeman, Brittany Zawacki, Ally Smith, Mickey Fassino, April Kutz, Taylor Schmidt, Jennie Laio, Ellen Jozwiak, Caitlyn Pode, Abigail Shields and Haley Wren. Randy Gunia, Abby Trig and Randy Huebbe were the assistant coaches.
The 1975 football team went 10-2 and reached the Class 4A quarterfinals under coach Joe Marini. Team members were Tony Condie, Randy Yepsen, Greg Hansen, Mike Doerr, Darren Konczak, Jeff Wright, Greg Sampo, Greg Kelish, Steve Seck, Loren Walter, Rocky McKnight, Mike Goletz, Kevin Barry, Mike Pinn, Dan Basil, Gary Grosenbach, Dan Johnson, Scott Piecha, Jeff Lesczynski, Dave Margis, Jim Muylle, Bob Ochse, Brent Gandolfi, Rick Rynkewicz, Tim Slover, Bill Pearson, Andy Rios, Keith Harvey, Steve Kowalczyk, Tom Small, Paul Innis, Rob Urbanski, Mark Weiden, Ed Merriman, Marty Reardon, Ray Ferrari, Rick Haas, Ron Marini, Ken Gapinski, Brian Spelich, Greg Sarver, Bruce Padilla, Sam Mertes, Mike Roth, Randy Peterson, Bill Manley, Jim Bray, Dennis Lipka, John Cullinan, Leo Brown, Jeff Senica, Otis Dungan, Dennis Basil, Al Funfsinn, Paul Weiden, Dave Sell and Carl Sieber. Managers were Fran Barry and Dean Benassi. Assistant coaches were Jerry Panizzi, Bruce Bauer and Ray Wirtz.
Giovanine led the Cavaliers to a 304-126 record, nine regional titles and one sectional championship in 12 seasons. Giovanine, who also coached at Bureau Township and Buda Western, finished his career with a 674-266 record.
Marini (Class of 1955) coached L-P football in the 1970s until the mid 1980s, guiding the Cavaliers to three consecutive state runner-up finishes from 1977-79. He coached five teams that advanced to the quarterfinals or deeper.
Rutgens (Class of 1957) played football at the University of Illinois before being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by Washington. He was an All-American at Illinois in 1960 and was named one of the top 10 defensive linemen in Memorial Stadium history in 2008. In the NFL, Rutgens was named to two pro bowls in his nine-year career.
John Skibinski (Class of 1973) played football at Purdue University before being drafted by the Chicago Bears in the sixth round of the 1978 NFL Draft. He played for the Bears from 1978-81 and later played in the USFL in 1983-84.
Joe Skibinski was a history teacher and coach at L-P following a football career at Purdue and in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers.
George Herbolsheimer (Class of 1929) was co-founder of Herbolsheimer, Lannon, Henson, Duncan and Reagan law firm where he practiced for 57 years. He was an attorney for L-P High School and IVCC for many years. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II. Henrietta Herbolsheimer (Class of 1931) became Chief of the Maternal and Child Hygiene Division of the Illinois State Department of Health, helping establish licensing standards for Illinois hospitals and nursing homes.
Huhn (Class of 1978) is the principal at Wheaton St. Francis where she helped the Catholic school be named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2023. It is the U.S. Department of Education’s highest honor based on superior academic achievement and the implementation of a highly successful multi-faceted school culture.
Sharpe (Class of 1983) is the first actor to have played both male leads of “Marius” and “Jean Valjean” in “Les Miserables” on Broadway. Other Broadway credits include the original productions of “The Scarlet Pimpernel” (Lord Hal), “The Civil War” (Private Conrad Bock) and with Sir Tim Rice and Alan Menken in Disney’s “King David.” He was also featured in a production of “Sweeney Todd” at Live at Lincoln Center, starring Emma Thompson, which was filmed and won a Creative Arts Emmy Award. He currently performs with the Sharpe Family Singers, who were recently featured on “America’s Got Talent.”