By Jon Gremmels Herald Sports Editor
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — Gary Lueders couldn’t have imagined it turning out much better when he proposed that Clinton High School begin an athletics Hall of Fame.
The inaugural class of 14 was announced this morning, and the induction ceremony will be held Aug. 30, when the River Kings play their football home opener against Davenport North.
“What we got with this group was some of the real legends and some real contributors,” Lueders said Wednesday night. “I think this class is one we can be proud of. I think a lot more people deserve to go in, and I’m sure they will. I think it will be a special night for us in August.”
The first class includes eight former CHS athletes, four coaches and two others who made significant contributions to Clinton High athletics over the year.
The group of athletes ranges from the legendary Duke Slater of the early 1900s to Carl Nelson from the 1930s to Chuck Vogt, Ken Ploen, Gary Morris and Richard Farwell of the hall1950s to Dan Roushar of the 1970s and Dan Knight from the 1980s.
Coaches in the inaugural Hall class are Bill Holsclaw, Howard Judd, Bob Lueders and Max Lynn. The contributors are Bill Holmstrom and Hank Dihlman.
“We had over 75 nominations,” Lueders said. “It was quite a list for the committee to review. We put some restrictions on — we wanted athletes to be out of school at least 10 years — but we wanted to be sure to look at as many as we could.”
Lueders said there was no set number for the inaugural class.
“We started looking at all the names and had a pretty good group at 14,” he said. “We knew the first group would be large.”
It also is all male, and Lueders said the committee discussed that. It also decided the first class would include only individuals.
“There was quite a bit of conversation, but girls sports didn’t play a major role until the mid-1970s,” he said. Boys sports, on the other hand, date back more than 100 years at the school. “That’s just the way it played out. There are many worthy candidates, and I’m sure there will be a lot of females in when we’re all done with this.
“It is our intention to have people inducted each year, probably four or five the next few years. We also had four or five teams nominated, and I have no doubt some championship teams will go in.”
The nine-member selection committee, which Lueders chaired, included three women: Clinton High Principal Karinne Tharaldson Jones, CHS girls track coach June Wilden and former CHS track state champion Sheena James. Others on the committee were Mark Massey and Bill Misiewicz from Clinton High, community members Dan Mabee and Gary Determan, and Farwell, president of the Athletic Booster Club.
“When we started this thing, we wanted to take our time with it,” Lueders said. “It was a 16-month process.”
Now all that’s left is to have a ceremony befitting of the honor.
Lueders said letters were sent out Monday to the Hall of Fame members or their family members, although he is hoping community members might help the committee with a few contacts.
“We’re still trying to make contact with family members for Max Lynn, Howard Judd and Carl Nelson,” Lueders said. “We’d sure welcome help to make sure they’re part of the ceremony.”
The inaugural Hall of Fame class, and subsequent members, will be recognized with plaques in a trophy case in the lower lobby of the new addition to high school athletic facility. There also will be a link on the school web site, Lueders said.