Three county legends to enter Hall of Fame

Three Elkhart County legends are among eight new members for the St. Joe Valley Chapter of the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.

Jimtown’s Marcus Carpenter, Concord’s Dwayne O’Conner and Elkhart Memorial’s Joe Schoen will be among the inductees on June 7 at St. Hedwig Memorial Hall in South Bend.

The trio will be joined by Penn tight end Billy Seymour, South Bend Central grad Joe Boland, South Bend Washington’s William Givens, longtime coach Ross Perri and former South Bend Tribune sports editor Bill Bilinski.

Carpenter earned 12 varsity letters at Jimtown, competing in football, basketball and track. He rushed for 3,652 yards and 71 touchdowns, leading the Jimmiest to the 1991 Class 1A state title. He was a three-time All-State selection.

He was a three-time All-State selection and a 1995 Mr. Football finalist. He went on to play on four bowl teams at the University of Wisconsin, including back-to-back Rose Bowls. As a fullback, he was a blocker for Badgers’ Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne.

O’Conner was a three-year letterman at Concord, catching 96 passes in his career and scoring 21 touchdowns as a tight end. He was a two-time All-State selection and played in the 1986 North/South All-Star game.

He went to Purdue and was a four-year letterwinner for the Boilermakers and played in the 1990 Senior Bowl.

Schoen was a four-year player at Memorial and DePauw University. He’s currently the General Manager of the New York Giants in the NFL.

Seymour played on a pair pf state championship teams at Penn (1995-’96) and earned All-Conference, All-Area, USA Today All-American Honorable Mention and the IFCA Top 50 All-State.

While at the University of Michigan, he was a member of the 1997 Wolverines’ National Championship team. He was a two-year starter for Michigan and later signed a free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers.

Boland played guard for Knute Rockne’s 1924 team at Notre Dame and blocked for the legendary ‘Four Horseman.’ He also coached at Notre Dame for head coach Elmer Layden and also at Purdue.

Givens was an All-Conference, All-State and All-American at Washington and played for the 1973 state title team. He went on to play at the University of Oklahoma under Barry Switzer and played for the Sooners 1975 National Championship team.

Perry coached in the area for 34 years with stops at Penn, Mishawaka, Marian, Bremen, John Glenn, South Bend Riley and finally at Mishawaka. He helped coach seven regular season unbeaten teams.

In addition to working for 38 years at the South Bend Tribune, Bilinksi also was a sportswriter and editor at papers in LaPorte and Plymouth.

The induction ceremony will begin with a cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m. at St. Hedwig, with dinner at 6:30. You may purchase tickets at Concord or Jimtown high schools, or by going online at, under News and Events, Region 2. Tickets are $30 and will not be sold at the door.

For more information, contact Tim Dawson at