John Leusch

Staff Writer
  • Phone(847) 427-4448
  • Emailjleusch@dailyherald.com
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John Leusch is the senior prep writer on the Daily Herald staff.

After working in the Arlington Park public relations department while in college and serving one summer as an agent for a jockey at the racetrack, Leusch began at the Daily Herald in the fall of 1980 as a sports agate clerk and one year later began covering high school sports.

He was hired full-time in 1984 as the prep sports writer for Lake County when the Daily Herald expanded to that region. He has been the Daily Herald's main Cook County girls prep writer since 1988 and one of the senior high school writers in the state.

In 2003, he received an Illinois Girls Coaches Association Appreciation Award and in 2009 was chosen as "Newsperson of the Year" by the Illinois Coaches Association for girls softball.

Leusch has also covered Arlington Park racetrack for the Daily Herald since 1990, and he has covered every Arlington Million since then. He has been appeared on ABC 7's Sunday morning show to discuss racetrack issues and Arlington Park. He also has appeared as a guest on many of the track's in-house programs and for "Breakfast at Arlington."

Leusch also has been the ghost writer for weekly columns by Kentucky Derby winning trainer Carl Nafzger and Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day.

A native of Mount Prospect, where he still resides, Leusch graduated from Loyola University with a degree in communications. He attended St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights, where he wrote for the school newspaper and served as the football team's manager for four years, earning a "Manager of the Year" award his senior year.

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Rugby championships at Melas Park

Jul 05 2016 | 4:44 pm - The Arlington Stallions youth rugby club will be hosting the 2016 Illinois Olympic Rugby State Championships on July 9 at Melas Park in Mt. Prospect.

Maine West girls basketball coach Derril Kipp dies

Jul 05 2016 | 10:39 pm - Heavy hearts prevailed throughout the Illinois high school girls basketball world Tuesday with the passing of Derril Kipp, the fifth-winningest girls basketball coach in state history who helped bring Maine West High School a state title.

Supporters rally behind Maine West basketball legend Derril Kipp

Jun 29 2016 | 5:50 pm - Tributes are pouring in from coaches, players, friends and fans on behalf of Maine West girls basketball coach Derril Kipp, 71, who is battling pancreatic cancer. Kipp is the fifth-winningest coach in Illinois girls basketball history, but his...

Western Illinois pays tribute to program’s top baseball achievers

Jun 24 2016 | 1:51 pm - In cooperation with the current Western Illinois baseball coach Ryan Brownlee, former Leatherneck and Libertyville resident Connie Kowal has organized the last three baseball alumni weekend tributes for the team. The tributes began in 2014 with the...

Longshot wins second annual Mike Spellman Memorial Stakes at Arlington

Jun 18 2016 | 7:19 pm - Stormin Elle prevailed in the $53,800 second annual Mike Spellman Memorial Stakes on Saturday afternoon at Arlington International Racecourse. The six-year-old mare is trained by Wayne Catalano, who the late Mike Spellman often wrote about as the...

Mike Spellman Memorial Stakes race returns to Arlington

Jun 16 2016 | 2:17 pm - Family and friends of late Daily Herald sports writer Mike Spellman will gather at Arlington International Racecourse on Saturday for the second running of the Mike Spellman Memorial Stakes. Track officials named the race in honor of...

Filly running at Arlington on Saturday will have plenty of fans

Jun 15 2016 | 11:00 pm - One particular horse running at Arlington International Racecourse on Friday certainly won’t be lacking fan support. A filly in the fourth race named Miss Swift Kitty will be represented more than 70 owners who signed up for the first...

Softball: Neuman’s pitching prowess powers East

Jun 13 2016 | 11:27 pm - Out of necessity, Conant’s Sara Neuman switched sides and pitched for the Mid-Suburban East senior all-stars in Monday’s softball game at Barrington’s Fields of Dreams. That paid off for the East, which claimed a 2-1 decision...

Northwest female athlete of the year: Julia Wacker

Jun 11 2016 | 10:38 pm - Fremd senior basketball and softball standout Julia Wacker is the Daily Herald’s Northwest female athlete of the year.

Softball: Northwest all-area team

Jun 11 2016 | 10:13 pm - Introducing the Daily Herald’s Northwest all-area team, featuring players from the Mid-Suburban League plus St. Viator, Maine West and Leyden.

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