State Stories

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2014 Boys Track & Field Honorary Referees: Dwayne Foote, Jerzy Marszalek & Paul Neakrase

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The IHSA will honor the following three individuals as the 2014 IHSA Boys Track & Field Honorary Referees at the Spring Spectacular on Saturday, May 31, 2014.

Dwayne Foote
Dwayne Foote began his track & field career at Libertyville High School in 1954, running varsity hurdles and on the 4x400 relay team for three years. He broke into coaching in 1967 as an assistant coach at North Chicago, where he ascended to the head coaching role in 1970. He remained at North Chicago until 1983, and during the course of his career coached 10 state champions and eight high school All-Americans, culminating in a third-place team finish at the IHSA Boys State Meet in 1982. In addition, the Illinois Track & Field Times publication named Dwayne the state’s Hurdle Coach of the Year in 1977.

Dwayne was first licensed as an IHSA Track & Field official in 1984 and remains active today on the high school scene and beyond. He has served as the assistant starter at the Pepsi International Meet and was also the Head Umpire at the Keebler International Prep Track & Field Invitational held in Chicago in the 1980’s and 1990’s. He has been assigned to work two NCAA Indoor National Championships meets thus far in his career.

Dwayne has been an integral part of the IHSA State Final crew for 31 years, including 27 years as a timer and four as an umpire, the position he will be working again this weekend.

Paul Neakrase
Paul Neakrase has worked the IHSA Spring Spectacular for over 30 years, where he has held a variety of positions. From coach to track official to field official to announcer to timer to marshal, Paul has done it all, and will be filling the role of High Jump Judge during the 2014 state meet.

Paul’s passion for track & field began in 1959 when he began participating in the sport at St. Rita High School in Chicago. He continued his track career at Bradley University, which led to a student-teaching opportunity at Peoria High School. In his time at Peoria High School, he learned from legendary coach Phil Salzer, who he cites as having a significant impact on his career. After graduating from Bradley, he became a teacher and assistant track coach at Washington High School, where he worked under head coach Bill Farrell, and then followed Farrell as the head coach until 1988.

As Paul left coaching for a position in the Peoria Diocese, he became involved in officiating to remain connected to the sport he loves. Paul and his wife Nancy reside in Washington and he thanks “all of my former athletes, my coaches, my staff and my colleagues for allowing me to retain my enthusiasm for this great sport.”

Jerzy Marszalek
A high school track & field athlete, Jerzy Marszalek reconnected with the sport he loves by becoming an official after attending Illinois State University. His first job after college was teaching at Tinley Park’s Central Middle School, where he also coached track & field. Shortly thereafter, Evergreen Park High School Principal Sam Good approached Jerzy about becoming an official. He was mentored by his high school coach, legendary Bloom coach and IHSA official Robert Rehberg, and quickly became a well respected official in the track and cross country communities.

Jerzy has officiated meets all across the state for nearly 40 years, spending the majority of his time working for schools in the SICA, South West Suburban and South Suburban Conferences. An active member of the ITCCOA, he has served as the Relay Clerk at the IHSA Boys Track & Field State Finals since 2005, while also working as the Assistant Starter at the Girls State Meet in 2007.

Jerzy remains involved in coaching as well, serving as a Tinley Park High School assistant for nearly a decade, while continuing to help mentor student-athletes at Central Middle School. He currently resides in Orland Park and his three sons who have all enjoyed track careers and continue to run as well.