Jeff Bonato was the the voice of prep sports in Lake County during a 30+ year career as a sportswriter that began at the Daily Courier-News in Elgin in 1976 and continued at the Lake County News-Sun from 1983 to 2016.
Jeff was honored with the IHSA Distinguished Media Service Award on Friday, December 2, 2022, at the famed Dog Pound gymnasium at Waukegan High School's east campus in front of his family, friends, colleagues, and past coaches and athletes he covered.
Unfortuantely, due to audio issues, video of Jeff's introduction and acceptance speech are not avaialble, however, the video below captured a special moment that occured during the junior varsity game. Waukegan High School boys basketball coach Ron Ashlaw shared with the Bonato family that the WHS boys basketball program is dedicating the media area of their lockerroom, where they display current and past stories on WHS basketball, to Jeff's son Bryan Bonato, who followed in his fathers footsteps as an area prep sportswriter prior to his passing at the age of 43 in June, 2022. The team plans to upgrade the area and provide a permanent dedication to Bryan in the near future.