Hall of Fame Inductee - Jerry Carnivale
Asked to be the first girls golf coach at Quincy High School in 1975, Jerry Carnivale discovered there was more than just mild interest in seeing the fledgling program get started. There was a wealth of talent, too. Carnivale, who taught at QHS for 12 years, morphed the talent into a state title contender in just one year, leading the Blue Devils to a seventh-place finish at the first-ever state tournament in 1975 and setting the stage for a magical run.
Quincy won three straight state titles from 1976-78 — the Blue Devils are one of four programs to capture at least three consecutive crowns with Wilmette Regina topping the list with five straight titles from 1986-90 — and saved its best for last. In 1978, the Blue Devils edged Palatine Fremd by 27 strokes by shooting a 714 — the lowest of Quincy’s three winning totals.
“I wish to thank all of the members of the committee for selecting me to be a member of the Quincy High School Sports Hall of Fame. It is indeed an honor.
“In 1975 I was summoned to Principal Richard Heitholt’s office at QHS. He asked if I would take the job of girls golf coach. Since QHS had never had a girls golf team, he didn’t think that there would be much interest. I agreed to take the job and called a meeting at his request. To my surprise, nine girls showed up.
“After asking some questions, I found that six of the girls had actually played golf on regulation golf courses throughout the city and three had only played at Howard Dewell’s famous Putt Putt golf course on 24th and Spring Street. After the meeting was over, Cindy Bowles and Bonnie Glasgow came to me with the overwhelming response that they really wanted to play golf and represent Quincy High School. “The next day, I reported back to Mr. Heitholt about the meeting. His response was to hold another meeting to see if the interest was still there. I held a second meeting and seven of the nine girls showed up. “With the girls’ continued interest, I called a practice to be held at Westview Golf Course. The same seven girls showed up. After that, I called around to several schools in the area to see if any would like to play a match. I was able to schedule five matches, and we won all five. Also, we won the district tournament and went on to the state tournament at the Illinois State University Golf Course. The team finished in seventh place and adopted my son, Tony, as their team mascot.
“In 1976, the team went 8-0 in individual matches. That year the girls’ parents, Ann Dennis, Nancy Perisho and I planned and hosted the first of three tournaments. We invited teams from Chicago, St. Louis and central Illinois and ended up with seven teams. This tournament featured a dinner on Sunday evening followed by 18 holes of golf on Monday. At the Sunday night dinner, D.A. Weibring made a surprise appearance and spoke to the group. We won our tournament and went on to win an invitational in Chicago at Flossmoor Country Club, the Champaign Tournament, the Western Big Six Tournament, and then proceeded to win our first state championship by 21 strokes. “In 1977, we finished 8-1 in individual matches. We won our own tournament, the Champaign tournament, the Western Big Six Tournament, the District Tournament, and our second state championship. At this tournament, the team was behind by 12 strokes after the first day but came back and won the tournament by eight strokes. “In 1978, the team was 6-0 in individual matches. We also won our own tournament (with D A. making an appearance again), won the Champaign tournament, the Western Big Six Golf Tournament, the district tournament, and our third straight state championship.
“Ironically, Cindy Bowles, who was most instrumental in the formulation of the girls’ team, never played on a championship team, as she graduated after the first season. The girls who were a part of our three state championships were Babs Brennan, Bonnie Glasgow, Lynne Hutter, Chris Maxwell, Mary Oakley, Allison Sellers, Wendy Sperr, Kathy Stevens, and Tammy Traeder. “Babs, Allison, and Kathy were on all three winning teams. Lynne, Mary and Tammy were on two winning teams, and Bonnie, Chris, and Wendy were on one winning team. Patricia Gibbs, Lori Klusmeyer, Ann McCleery, Lori Pruitt, and Kim Smith participated in individual matches but were not members of the title teams. All of the girls had a strong will to win and showed it through their hard work and dedication. “I wish to thank the girls, their parents, my family, and the community for their tremendous support during those four seasons. These years were an exciting and memorable time in my life.”
— Jerry Carnivale
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