JOLIET – The newest class of the Joliet Area Sports Hall of Fame recently was announced by the hall committee.
Two outstanding performers, Keith Healy and Scott Spiezio, will be inducted Friday into the 14th class of the Joliet Area Sports Hall of Fame at the Joliet Area Historical Museum. They will be joined by Pete Bercich, Samantha Findlay and Alando Tucker, who were voted in last summer but had their Hall of Fame ceremony moved to 2021 because of the pandemic.
Healy directed his Providence Catholic teams to six IHSA state wrestling titles – all in succession – over a 27-year span, while Morris product Scott Spiezio played on two teams that went on to win the World Series.
Scott Spiezio, a 1990 graduate of Morris Community High School, followed in his father Ed’s footsteps on all levels, including now joining him as a member of the Joliet Area Sports Hall of Fame. The pair also became the first father/son duo to win two World Series each, both doing so with the St. Louis Cardinals organization at least once. Ed Spiezio was part of the Cardinals’ 1964 and 1967 titles, while Scott Spiezio won his championships with the Los Angeles Angels in 2002 and the Cardinals in 2006. Over his 12 year-career, which included stops in Oakland and Seattle, Spiezio batted .255 with 996 hits, 119 home runs and 549 RBIs.
Healy’s Providence wrestling teams went to the state finals 14 times and came away with three runner-up finishes, four third-place titles and one fourth-place finish in addition to the six consecutive championships. The Celtics also won 17 regional titles and 14 sectional championships and made 14 Elite Eight appearances.
In all, the program had 558 victories under Healy’s watch, with 22 wrestlers winning individual state championships and 69 others becoming state finalists. The NHSACA National Wrestling Coach of the Year in 2017, Healy was an eight-time Chicago Catholic League Lawless Coach of the Year.
Bercich, an all-state linebacker at Providence Catholic, was selected in the seventh round of the 1994 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings and went on to play six seasons with the team, appearing in 57 games. He also was a part of Providence’s first football state championship team in 1987 as a sophomore. Two years later, he had 124 tackles, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries in gaining All-State accolades before signing a National Letter of Intent with University of Notre Dame. A member of the Chicago Catholic League, Providence and Chicago Sports Halls of Fame, Bercich has served as a color commentator for the Vikings on KFAN Radio in Minneapolis since 2007.
Findlay, a 2004 graduate of Lockport High School, provided one of the most dramatic moments in the history of NCAA softball when she delivered a three-run home run in the top of the 10th inning of the 2005 championship game to propel the University of Michigan to its first national title in the sport. A four-time All-Big Ten selection, Findlay closed out her collegiate career by earning All-America honors in 2008. She went on to play three seasons of professional softball for the Chicago Bandits and one year for the USSSA Pride, finishing her career with 31 home runs and 73 RBIs.
Tucker, who also hailed from Lockport and graduated two years before Findlay, holds the distinction of being the University of Wisconsin’s all-time leading scorer in basketball with 2,217 points. That earned him induction into the Badgers’ Hall of Fame in 2018. Tucker also was a two-time All-Big Ten first-team choice. A first-round selection and the 29th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns, Tucker went on to play three years in the NBA, followed by a seven-year run overseas.
Tickets for Friday’s event are available for $15 each on the museum website, www.jolietmuseum.org, and include admission to the ceremony and a light food bar. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the food and cash bar, with the induction ceremony to begin at 7 p.m.
Source: The Daily Chronicle