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Joliet Area Sports Hall of Fame Announces 12th Class

The Joliet Area Sports Hall of Fame committee has announced its 2019 class, which
will be feted on Saturday, September 14 at the Joliet Area Historical Museum. Joining the previous 67 inductees in this year’s 12th class will be Jane Condon, Ron Coomer, Ned Grabavoy and E “Mack” McLaughlin.

Condon, one of the first female star athletes in the area, lettered in five sports at the former St. Francis Academy before going on to earn another 11 letters in four sports at then-Lewis College.

An inductee into each of those schools’ Halls of Fame, Condon led her prep basketball team to a perfect 27-0 record her first two seasons, while averaging 18.0 points per game. In track & field, she qualified for state in the discus competition. Condon was also a part of St. Francis’ inaugural softball and tennis teams, driving in 59 runs that first season in the former sport.

Coomer, the current radio analyst for the Chicago Cubs on WSCR 670 AM, turned in a nine-year major league career that saw him play for four teams – Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers – and produce a .274 career batting average with 827 hits, 92 home runs and 449 runs batted in as both a first and third baseman. The Lockport High School graduate was an All-Star with Minnesota in 1999 and went on to become the Twins’ television analyst after his playing career ended.

Grabavoy, a product of the Chicago Magic Soccer Club, played 13 seasons of professional soccer in the MLS donning five different jerseys with the majority of his time spent with Real Salt Lake. The 2000-01 Gatorade National High School Player of the Year, Grabavoy led Lincoln-Way High School to two straight IHSA state championship game appearances. He then went on to Indiana University, where he was the leading scorer for the Hoosiers’ 2003 national championship team, which earned him consensus first-team All-American honors.

McLaughlin served as the head wrestling coach at Joliet Central High School for 40 years, compiling a 507-192-9 record during that four-decade span. He also led the Steelmen to a dual- team title in 1985 as well as runnerup honors the following year. A 1991 inductee into the Illinois Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame, McLaughlin recently earned the Lifetime Service Award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame – Illinois Chapter. A product of Chicago Dunbar High School and North Central College, McLaughlin’s first taste of Joliet actually came as a runningback for the semi-professional Joliet Explorers football team.

Tickets to the hall of fame induction ceremony, which will begin at 6 pm at the Joliet Area Historical Museum, are available for $25 and can be purchased by going to the museum’s website at www.jolietmuseum.org.

For more information about the Joliet Area Sports Hall of Fame, please contact Greg Peerbolte at the Museum (815-723-5201) or Dave Laketa at University of St. Francis (815-740-3842).

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