Rockford’s greatest athletes gather for a special night


The Rockford Public Schools have produced some fabulous athletes and sports teams. Some of them gathered on Saturday night on the east side of the city, for district 205’s annual “Champions Ball” and Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. It was all held at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center.
This year’s inductees are swimming greats Scott and Steve Kitzman of Jefferson High School, longtime girls basketball and softball coach Andie Goff, East graduate and former Rockford Peach Jean Cione, the 1964 undefeated West High School football team, East and Fighting Illini basketball standout Skip Thoren, and Auburn football, basketball, and track standout Bobby Anderson. Anderson also played football and basketball at Northwestern; he was the ultimate all-around athlete. So what was his favorite sport?

“Basketball, but I ended up really as a football player at Northwestern,” Anderson admitted. “I didn’t play much at Northwestern in basketball, but I was an All-American in football as a freshman.”

In regards to Thoren’s famous hookshot, he says he can still do it.
“Not as often, but I still get competitive,” Thoren said. “I still know, I can feel the excitement and I can feel my palms sweating.”

Thoren also had the chance to meet the current East player who recently broke his school scoring record, Chris Burnell.

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