Peoria Journal Star bowling writer Johnny Campos moves on


For the past few years, I have struggled with my exit strategy from the Journal Star. I knew this was going to happen, but I was hoping to stay a little longer so I could continue writing about bowling.

I have been fortunate enough to be the bowling writer for the newspaper for the past 21 years, while being a temporary employee at the Journal Star for almost 25 years. This is my last column.

When I joined the staff in September 1997, I had no idea I was going to be working for the newspaper for so long. I was just looking for something to do in my spare time at Caterpillar.

The late Bill Liesse, Kirk Wessler’s associate editor at the time, saw fit to hire me, on the recommendation of Jane Miller and the late Wayne “Doc” Ragusa.

They were all part of an exceptional sports team, which included Bob Leavitt, Nick Vlahos, the late Gary Childs, Dave Eminian, Dave Reynolds, Jane Miller and “Doc”, among others. We’ve also had some really good part-time writers over the years.

High School Bowling: The safe, low-risk sport doesn’t play in Peoria. Why?

I remember that one of the questions I was asked during my job interview was, “Which teams are present at the Mid-State 6 and Mid-Illini conferences?” I had no idea. I was taking a lot of trips for my job at Cat at the time, and hadn’t followed the local sports scene while on the road.

Boy made this change in a hurry!

I hadn’t worked in a newspaper since 1983, but I had to brush my teeth …

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