Inducted 2008. Standout in Soccer, Tennis. Went on to Success in Both Sports at Western Illinois University.
Excelling at two sports at the high school level is a difficult feat, but to excel at two sports at the collegiate level is exceptional. John Ridder was one of those rare athletes.
Ridder, a 1977 graduate, placed in the top 20 of the state tennis tournament as a sophomore and was the district doubles champion. He eventually finished with a 50-5 record in singles and a 55-10 record in doubles, and he was named a high school All-American. Ridder also won two varsity letters as a soccer player. He was co-captain of the team as a senior and set a single-season scoring record at that time with 19 goals and five assists. He was named the Raiders’ most valuable offensive player.
At Western Illinois University, Ridder totaled 13 goals and 10 assists during his four-year career in soccer. He had 5 goals and 3 assists on WIU’s winningest soccer team to date when he was a senior in 1981, and he was a member of two Leathernecks teams that qualified for the NCAA Division II national tournament. On the tennis court, Ridder finished with a career singles record of 57-29 and a doubles record of 49-28. He was the Mid-Continent Conference doubles champion in 1979 and placed second in singles and second in doubles in the conference as a senior in 1981.
When Ridder graduated, he was only the second athlete in the past 10 years at Western Illinois University to have lettered four times each in two sports.
Ridder lives in Quincy with his wife, Kathy. He is the father of three children — Bobby, Katie and John Jr. He owns JR Flooring.
Before I can accept this honor, I must thank God for the health and ability he gave me to participate in athletics; my parents, Paul and Betty Ridder, for the love and support they gave me in every aspect of my life; and my brother and sister, who were there for me to offer advice and encouragement. Also, thanks to the schools and coaches who believed in me and gave me the opportunity to play. At QND, I thank soccer coaches Bill Starkey and Al Knepler and tennis coach Ron Peter. At Western Illinois, I thank soccer coach John MacKenzie and tennis coach Dan Perone. They all helped motivate me to give 100 percent of myself to the school, teams and sports. During my time at QND, I set goals to achieve throughout my athletic career. I based these goals on past performances of both teams and individuals I looked up to and admired. Although we didn’t have the Hall of Fame then, many of the athletes I admired have since been inducted. To have my name associated with these and other distinguished athletes is an honor. Thank you for this recognition.