Friends of Basketball


Claus and Berneda Smith

Year Inducted: 1988

Category: Friends of Basketball

Schools / Organizations: (Peoria) Manual High School

Biography: The Peoria Manual basketball team has many loyal followers and rightly so. Heading the list are Don and Harriet Clauson, Norm and Nancy Post, and Claus and Berneda Smith. “Crazies” they were called by the Peoria Journal Star in 1987. The avid fans agree Manual Coach, Dick Van Scyoc and his staff are responsible for their enthusiasm and exuberance. The smiths have followed the Manual program for 40 years, the Posts 15, and the Clausons 27. Nancy Post has been the team’s unofficial nurse at games. Harriet Clauson is a Manual teacher and with husband Don provided transportation for the Rams’ cheerleaders to tournaments. Claus Smith started following the Rams as a freshman there and after marrying Berneda brought her into the fold. Active in Manual Booster Clubs and Parents Clubs, the “Crazies” have given untold hours soliciting funds and backing for Manual teams. All heartily agree, “There’s nothing like watching and cheering a Manual basketball team for an evening’s entertainment.”  Claus Smith died on April 12, 2009 at the age of 79.  Berneda died on May 19, 2019 at the age of 84.