The Dayton ISD Sports Hall of Fame welcomed its new inductees in a special ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Performing Arts Center at Dayton High School. One by one, the new inductees were recognized for their athleticism, which brought fame and honor to Dayton High School sports.
This year, 14 athletes, two teams and two boosters were added to the Hall of Fame. Each of the inductees, or a family member representing a late inductee, was presented with a medal and a framed photo that will be placed on the walls in the Hall of Fame. Awards were presented by Superintendent Jessica Johnson, former Coach Bob Edwards and Suzanne Hicks, while their sports achievements were shared by emcee Larry Wadzeck.
The inductees honored are:
“Chester was an outstanding businessman and farmer, and constructed the first rice dryer in Dayton. He had a construction firm. He was an avid airplane pilot, but most of all, he was a dedicated community servant in Dayton, serving 25 years on the Dayton ISD School Board,” Wadzeck said. “In 1941, when Dayton ISD opened its newfangled football field on Houston St., it had a press box, so they needed an announcer. For the next 20 years, he was the announcer of the Dayton Bronco football games, watching his four sons play football and his daughter cheerlead and march in the band. He enjoyed the activities that went around high school football.”
After 20 years as announcer, he stepped aside but continued to support Dayton ISD athletics through his grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s games. Accepting the award on behalf of his late grandfather is Aaron Holbrook.
“There is a saying that it’s a great day to be a Bronco. We need to expand that a little and say it’s a great century to be a Bronco. Mrs. Reed will celebrate her 100th birthday in less than a month. A large part of those 100 years, she has cheered for the Dayton Broncos, starting back in the middle 1920s and the middle 1930s for her two brothers, one who played Bronco football on the first district championship in 1931, and the other one a captain of the 1935 Dayton Bronco team,” Wadzeck announced. “She continued this support as she got into high school and was a cheerleader. This was not where the football field is now. She cheered for her brothers. She continued her support of Dayton sports through her daughter’s school years and even later listened to Bronco games on the radio.”
Kenneth Ross Almond
Almond is a three-year letterman in football, first-team all-district running back his junior and senior years, district MVP his senior year and a three-year letterman in track. He was the district champion in the 100-yard dash and the 220-yard dash, and was a member of the district 440-yard relay team. He received a football scholarship and earned a degree at the University of Arkansas.
Fruge is a three-sport letterman in basketball, football and baseball. He was All-District quarterback twice, but it was in baseball where he was a four-year letterman, two-time All-District pitcher and two-time All-Area pitcher. In his senior year, he threw three no-hitter games. He was voted Outstanding Male Athlete his senior year. He earned a baseball scholarship and pitched for Lee College for two years, and then pitched at Texas Tech his junior and senior years. He earned an MBA finance and has spent a lot of his lifetime coaching other youth athletes.
Wadzeck said most Dayton Bronco football fans can remember exactly where they were the night that Cody Green kicked the game-winning field goal for sent the team to the State finals. In the State finals, he passed for 329 yards and six touchdowns, and still ties the state record for a playoff game by rushing for 94 yards.
“I guarantee it, Cody, 50-75 years from now, people will be saying, ‘My great-grandpa said that Cody Green was the greatest field goal kicker ever for the Dayton Broncos,'” Wadzeck said.
Green was a two-time All-District quarterback his sophomore year and passed for more than 2,000 years and made 19 touchdowns. An injury knocked him out of his junior year but he came back with a vengeance his senior year when he was named not only All-District but All-Area and Associated Press All-State Quarterback. He passed almost 5,000 yards and made 37 touchdowns, rushing for 25 more touchdowns that year.
Green received a scholarship for football at the University of Nebraska where he earned a spot on the 2010 Big 12 Commissioner’s Fall Academic Honor Roll and the 2010 Brook Berringer Citizenship Team.
Johnny Hanel Sr.
Hanel was an outstanding pitcher for the Dayton Broncos baseball team. He, along with his friends, pushed the administration of Dayton ISD to get baseball added to the sports offered at Dayton High School, said Wadzeck. In 1920, Broncos played baseball. Then in the late 20s, 30s and 40s, baseball was forgotten at Dayton ISD. Hanel and his friends badgered the school board enough so that baseball started back up in the spring of 1953.
“Good thing they did because the Dayton Broncos were District and Bi-District champs in 1953 and 1954. Leading that team on the mound was Mr. John Hanel Sr. In that District champion season of 1953, Johnny had 11 wins and 3 losses, averaging 12 strikeouts a game. He improved on that his senior year in 1954, with 12 wins and two losses, and averaging 14 strikeouts a game,” said Wadzeck. “In one game that went 11 innings, Johnny pitched all 11 innings, striking down 22 batters in a 3-2 Dayton victory.”
At that time, the school district did not furnish uniforms for baseball players, so the team wore around three to four different types that year, according to Wadzeck.
“Johnny’s pitching ability led him to try out for St. Louis Cardinals where 85 pitchers were involved in that crowd. Johnny was in the top 10, which they cut down looking for 1 or 2. He is an outstanding individual. When we announce the inductees, I can’t tell you how many people come by who graduated around the time of Johnny and say he is the greatest pitcher they had seen,” Wadzeck said.
John David Holbrook
Holbrook was a two-time All-District running back for Dayton High School. As a junior, he was a member of the 1941 Dayton Broncos District and Area championship teams. As a senior, he excelled as running back, enough to earn a scholarship to play football at Southern Methodist University.
“His football career was looking promising when he got the call to report to World War II. He made it through the military, got out, but it wasn’t much longer that he was called back into service to fight in Korea. He served, but when he came back, he was pretty much a shell of the young man who was a two-time All-District running back and had a promising football career. Back then, they called it shell shock. Today they call it PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). We have organizations and services that help people who have been in war zones who come back to help them to adjust. Back then in the 1950s, not so much. You were on your own. He had a promising career cut short,” Wadzeck said.
Accepting the award for the late John David Holbrook was his brother, Buddy Holbrook.
“A large number of our inductees have said they coach early youth, high school and so forth. The next is the same way. She started her coaching career as a sophomore in high school, coaching in the Dayton youth league in basketball and continuing that coaching career through high school,” said Wadzeck. “What a wealth of achievements she has to draw on in her coaching career. In volleyball, she was a four-time All-District player. She was the District Co-MVP as a junior. She made All-Tournament teams. Unfortunately about halfway through her senior year, she tore her ACL. That was the season before Kourtney was injured and after Kourtney was injured.”
Kelsey also was an outstanding basketball player for the Broncos, All-District two times. In softball, she played her junior and senior years, earning All-District honors as a senior. She was voted Most Athletic her senior year. Instead of seeking to play college sports, she followed her lifelong dream of being a graduate of Texas A&M University. She returned to Dayton ISD after graduation and coached for the District for 10 years. She now enjoys coaching her young daughter.
“I didn’t get the chance to ask the next inductee if his parents had to add on multiple rooms on their house just to house the state championship medals that his family has earned over their high school careers. I counted like five to six state championships that he and his brothers and sisters received as track stars in high school. What an outstanding family they are,” Wadzeck said. “Cameron didn’t come to us until late but we are still claiming him.”
In high school, he was All-District running back and a state finalist for the state football team. As a sophomore, he placed third in the state for the 110-meter hurdles. As a junior, he placed second in the state in the 110-meter hurdles. He was a District champion, Regional champ and State champ in 110-meter hurdles. He also was outstanding in the 300-meter hurdles.
At the University of Houston, Lacour continued to distinguish himself in sports. According to the UH records, Lacour was the C-USA Champion in the 60-meter hurdles, setting a personal best in the event and bettered his time in the 60-meter hurdles every race throughout the year. He placed second to begin the year at the New Mexico Invitational, finished third at the Houston Invitational, took third at the Texas A&M Challenge, was a C-USA 110-meter hurdle runner-up, running his personal best time of 13.72. Lacour was a NCAA Regional Qualifier and finished 20th in West Region.
Reno started her love of sports at the age of 8, playing sports with the Dayton Youth Sports Association. She was a four-year starter for the Dayton Lady Broncos Volleyball Team, made first team All-District all four years of high school, was team captain her junior and senior years and was named Most Valuable Player for the Lamar University Tournament as a senior.
“The volleyball team made the playoffs all four years and were Area champs her sophomore year. When she graduated, she left behind a record in District for starting with 38 wins and two losses. She started in 105 games, records at the time of her graduation. When she got into high school, Dayton did not offer softball, but it was softball where she developed her love of sports. As a softball player her junior and senior years, she was a two-time First-Team All-District softball player. Kim earned a volleyball scholarship to play at San Jacinto College,” Wadzeck said. “Her head coach said that Kim was hands-down the best player she had ever coached in her life. The records that Kim set in high school may or may not be broken, but the standards she set as an athlete should be standards that every athlete imitates.”
Ripkowski had an outstanding career in high school sports. He was a two-year letterman in football, making All-District a couple of years as a quarterback and defensive back.
“To emphasize that they didn’t have anyone who could catch him, one game as quarterback, he rushed for 172 yards. He also made, as a senior, First-Team All-Area, First Team All-State defensive back. In baseball he was a four-year letterman. In the first three years, he was at third base and the last year as a pitcher and catcher where he made All-District team. He played basketball at Lamar University for two years. He earned the Army National Scholar-Athlete award and was a member of the Dayton Honor Society. He was the most intelligent player I’ve had in my years of coaching. That’s high praise from your coach,” Wadzeck said.
Oscar Lee Shaw
Shaw is a proud member of the Colbert Tiger football team.
“I don’t know of any school that is prouder of their athletics, academics, etc. Go to Annie Colbert Rosenwald School and look at the history of this high school. Oscar Lee, called Niko, was an important part of the Colbert Tigers tradition,” Wadzeck said.
Shaw was a 1964 graduate. He excelled in all athletics, especially football. He was a member of the 1962 Colbert Tigers State Finalist football team. In his senior year, Oscar scored 22 touchdowns, most of them being in excess of 30 yards.
Shaw was unable to make it to the induction ceremony. Accepting on his behalf is his daughter, Roshanda Shaw.
Wadzeck recalled an incident where Smesny and his family at a sports event at the University of Houston. He was about 7 to 8 years old. Smesny was asked what wanted to do when he grew up. He flexed up and said, “Bronco football.”
Smesny had an outstanding high school career in sports. He lettered in baseball, powerlifting and basketball, but it was football and track where he really excelled. In football, he was a three-time All-District defensive back, a three-time All-Region defensive back and is named to the All-State team as a defensive back. As a sophomore, he was Defensive Newcomer of the Year. As a senior, he was the defensive MVP of the District and captain of the State semi-finalist football team. He was a member of the track relay teams.
Smesny earned a football scholarship to McNeese University where he played defensive back for all four years. After college graduation, he came back home and now is a coach for Dayton ISD.
“His high school coach said this kid has a big heart, a great work ethic, positive attitude and was a gym rat. All of that paid off as Ronnie Tieman had an outstanding high school and college career. In high school, he was a three-year baseball letterman, two-time First-Team All-District, finished his senior year up with a .467 batting average between pitcher and second base. In basketball, he was a three-year letterman, two-time First-Team All-District,” said Wadzeck.
In college, Tieman played four years of basketball, one at the university of Texas in Dallas and three at the Southwestern Assembly of God University where he earned First-Team All-Conference and was named to the NCCAA First-Team All-American as a junior and senior where he averaged 19.2 points per game, six assists and three steals. In his senior year, he scored 10 three-pointers in a single game.
He also played soccer and golf at the collegiate level.
Welder was named twice to the All-District volleyball team. She was team captain her senior year and was selected to the Texas Coaches All-State Team and the Texas HS East All-star team. She participated in teams that won district championships. She was a National Honor Society student and honors graduate. In addition to sports, she excelled in UIL academics and served on the yearbook and newspaper.
“She is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University. She lived on the east coast for a while but there weren’t enough mosquitoes out there, so she has moved back to Dayton, and we are glad to have her back. She is an athlete who worked as hard as anybody, working long hours, not only for her individually but for her team,” Wadzeck said.
“Quinn had an outstanding high school career. He was a three-sport letterman in football where he is a two-time All-District quarterback and led the Broncos to a District title. He was All-District and captain of the football team his senior year. After college, he started his coaching career in Dayton. Thirty years later, he has hung up that whistle. That’s a lot of purple shirts in the closet. Quinn is leaving a big hole that will be hard to fill. He is outstanding, not only with coaching techniques but just coaching about life. He is one of those people. There are a lot who talk the talk, but not enough who walk the walk. Quinn walks the walk,” Wadzeck said.
1977-1978 volleyball team
“The Lady Broncos team that year was the District and Bi-District champions. In the third round, they faced the eventual state champion. It was two out of three back then. They played Kountze. Our girls won first, Kountze won second, and then won the third game and eventually became state champions,” Wadzeck said, adding that the players exemplified what it means to be a team.