Event Date & Time

Monday June 26th, 2017

Event Location

Peoria Civic Center
201 SW Jefferson Ave, Peoria, IL 61602
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About Best of Central Illinois Preps

Join the Peoria Journal Star as we celebrate and honor the accomplishments of the 2016-2017 high school student athletes at the inaugural Best of Central Illinois Preps awards banquet. The Best of Central Illinois Preps banquet is the Journal Star's way of saying thank you to the thousands of outstanding high school athletes, coaches, and fans who allow us to share their stories and passions. Sponsored by Citizens Equity First Credit Union (CEFCU) and Green Ford, the banquet honors all the Best of Central Illinois Preps honorees in each sport and recognizes the overall players of the year, including male and female athlete of the year.

We are proud to welcome former Chicago Bears cornerback Charles "Peanut" Tillman as our featured special guest.

Doors open at 6:00pm. Event starts at 6:30pm. General admission tickets may be purchased for $50. General admission ticket includes dinner, awards ceremony, and presentation by Charles Tillman. General admission seating is first come, first served in proximity to speaker.

Deadline to purchase tickets is Friday, June 16th unless event sells out prior to the deadline. If you have questions, please contact at 309.686.3182 or kmcmanis@pjstar.com.

Best of Central Illinois Preps is presented by the Journal Star and sponsored by Citizens Equity First Credit Union (CEFCU) and Green Ford.

Special Guest


Football Legend
Charles "Peanut" Tillman serves as an NFL analyst on FOX NFL KICKOFF, the Sunday morning NFL pregame show leading into FOX NFL SUNDAY on the FOX broadcast network. A standout defender and two-time Pro Bowl honoree who patrolled the secondary in the NFL for 13 seasons, Tillman works alongside host Charissa Thompson and analysts Colin Cowherd and Dave Wannstedt. He joined FOX Sports in 2016. Originally selected by the Chicago Bears in the second round (No. 35 overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft, Tillman announced his retirement after playing his final season in 2015 as a member of the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers. Prior to that season, he spent 12 years as one of the leaders and faces of the Bears organization, appearing in 156 games (152 starts) at cornerback and finishing as the franchise's all-time leader in passes defensed (133), forced fumbles (42) and interceptions returned for touchdowns (8). His 36 career interceptions in Chicago rank third all-time in team annals, and he is one of only two players (Brian Dawkins) in NFL history to have recorded at least 35 interceptions and 35 forced fumbles. Having mastered his patented "Peanut Punch," Tillman's knack for forcing fumbles was bulleted throughout offensive meeting rooms across the league, and his 44 career forced fumbles rank sixth all-time in NFL history and No. 1 among defensive backs. He enjoyed his finest season in 2012, when he started all 16 games, posting three interceptions (all three returned for touchdowns) and a career-high and NFL-leading 10 forced fumbles, the single-season NFL record for a defensive back. For his efforts, Tillman was selected to his second-consecutive Pro Bowl and received prestigious first-team All-Pro honors from the Associated Press. Held in high regard throughout his career for several different charitable endeavors off the playing field, including his Cornerstone Foundation and Charles' Locker, Tillman was named the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2013, an award that recognizes one player in the league for community service off the field, as well as on-field excellence. Tillman played football at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette from 1999-2002. During his four years, he was an All-Independent selection in 2000 and a two-time All-Sun Belt Conference choice, recording 284 career tackles, 12 interceptions, seven fumble recoveries and three blocked punts. In 2012, Tillman was inducted into Louisiana-Lafayette's Hall of Fame, and the university has retired his No. 5 jersey. Tillman also performed well in the classroom, earning his bachelor's degree in criminal justice in only three-and-a-half years.


At CEFCU, helping people is more than a nice idea -- it's the reason we're in business. CEFCU is a place where borrowers help savers and savers help borrowers. We were founded on the principle of people helping people and the belief that by doing so we can all improve our financial well-being. CEFCU has been putting members first since 1937, and have grown to more than $4.7 billion in assets. We serve more than 290,000 members throughout the country. You can rest assured that you are now part of one of the largest and strongest credit unions in the United States. Members continue to rate CEFCU's member service, rates and fees, and product offerings among the best in the nation. And, CEFCU consistently receives the highest ratings from independent financial analysts like Baurer. CEFCU's mission -- the one thing we are here to do more than anything else -- is to help members improve their financial lives. We do that by providing financial products, services, and advice that has members' best interests in mind. CEFCU is Federally Insured by the NCUA.

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