By Zach James Herald Assistant Sports Editor
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — Pride, humilty and tears were shared among the group of 14 who were inducted into the first Camanche High School Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday at Vista Grande.
It was a hard decision for the Camanche Hall of Fame committee, comprised of coaches and school administrators, to whittle down 110 nominations to the 14 honored Saturday.
"It was a lot of fun choosing the inaugural class," Camanche athletic director Todd Borrison said during the presentation. "There were some tough decisions, but this is a great group of men and women to go into the first class to represent our school."
The 2014 inductees into the Hall of Fame are Klaus Andresen; Dan Bolte; Joe Carstensen; Gary Cross; Audrey Everson; Gary Foster; Alysia (Gonzales) Hill; Sara (Meyermann) Jensen; Jane Montgomery; Mark Reese; Jason Siemon; Bernie Vogel; Barb (Willis) Randall and her big brother, Rick Willis.
Stories were shared throughout the night, including a couple of memorable ones from Cross.
Cross was always upset about facilities. Not the ones today, but the ones he had to work with as a coach.
In 1960, there was little to be had about a football field. No lights, no stands and a piece of land in not-so-great shape. But, things turned around a couple of years later.
"We had to play our games at 4 in the afternoon because we didn't have lights. By the end of the season, we had lights to play under," Cross recalled.
"We've had super support with our athletics from boosters," Cross said. "They had our backs."
Cross later brought up the story of the baseball program starting, and when they found a place to play, they ran into another roadblock.
"There was a tree in left field that was kind of hard to play around," Cross said. "The next morning, it was gone."
The women inducted had one person each and all loved dearly, and that was another inductee, Jane Montgomery. Montgomery returned the favor by expressing her gratitude.
"I could not be more proud of the four women going into the Hall of Fame tonight," Montgomery said toward the end of her speech. "I am as proud of your achievements like you were my own daughters."
One other highlight from the night came toward the end when a duo of siblings made their speeches.
Toward the end of Randall's speech, she was thanking all of the people who influenced her, as all the other honorees did. However, there was only one who had the opportunity to thank her big brother for his help, even when they were kids.
"What other 8-year-olds do you know would come home and teach his little sister everything he learned?" Randall said. "He was always patient with me, and willing to share everything so that I could be successful, and I couldn't be more appreciative of that," she said.
Her brother, Rick, was also appreciative of the honor.
"The biggest part of the honor is to be in the group of people that you have a chance to be associated with, because there's so many icons in Camanche's history, so I'm happy to share this opportunity with them."
Borrison closed by saying that the school isn't done bringing in new inductees.
"We want to bring in at least 10 into next year's class because there are so many who have made a great impact to not only our school but also our community," Borrison said.