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9/13/2013 10:46:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
LHS Sports Hall of Fame inductee
Just being an Indian was special for Johnson
LAWRENCEVILLE - Larry Johnson says football was his favorite sport, but when asked what he liked best about high school athletics in Lawrenceville, he replies, "Everything about being an Indian."

Johnson, a 1967 Lawrenceville graduate, stood out in football, wrestling and baseball while in high school. On Sept. 21, he'll be inducted into the Lawrenceville High School Sports Hall of Fame in a ceremony in the Lawrenceville High School gym.

In the fall, Johnson took the field for LHS coach Paul Restivo, and won three letters. He was an All-North Egypt Conference choice, and averaged 10 tackles per game from his linebacker spot as a senior while intercepting five passes. He also played in the offensive line.

Johnson took up wrestling as a freshman and went on to win four letters for coach Bob Strange. He moved to the baseball diamond in the spring, and was the catcher for coach Ron Felling's teams.

"Lawrenceville was a delightful place to grow up as a child," said Johnson, who moved south from Newton when he was in first or second grade. "I have great memories in all ways. I only lived in Lawrenceville full-time for about 10 or 11 years, but when I think of those 10 or 11 years it seems like it was the biggest part of my life."

Johnson went on to realize great success after high school. Now 64, he's a dermatologist in St. Charles, a western suburb of Chicago.

"We were given the tools to achieve success, athletically and academically," he said. "I had great backing from my parents, family, friends and mentors. Unlike some kids who have a hard time in life and have to overcome a multitude of problems, for me it was smooth as silk."

He stresses that all of his athletic success can be attributed to the influence of Restivo, Strange, Felling and others.

"Every single one of my coaches was a fine man," Johnson said. "I looked up to them ad believed in them and what they were trying to accomplish on the field to make us good athletes and winners. It was easy to follow their lead."

The Hall of Fame ceremony will commence at 6 p.m., Sept. 21, with a social hour. The program will follow at 7 p.m.

A golf outing, to raise funds for the organization, will take place at Lawrence County Country Club earlier in the day.


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