Honor Bound

Posted Wednesday, May. 01, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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More information To make an online nomination to Mansfield’s Hall of Honor, go to www.mansfieldisd.org, click on departments, choose Athletics and scroll down to Hall of Honor, or call the Mansfield ISD athletic office at (817) 276-5200 to get a nomination form. Deadline is May 31.

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The Mansfield school district boasts a rich athletic history -- and Athletic Director Debbie Weems is ready to record it.

Weems has formed a committee to create a Hall of Honor to recognize the best teams, players, coaches, fans and volunteers in the district’s history. The committee plans to induct the hall’s first class in August.

“I have been needing to do this for several years,” said Weems, who joined the district as Mansfield High girls basketball coach in 1987, became assistant athletic director in 1993 and athletic director in 1996. “There are some tremendous people in this community who have done some amazing things. It’s time that we recognize them for the long term.”

Last fall, Weems started putting together a group of community members to establish the criteria for the hall’s inductees.

Now they need your help figuring out which coaches, athletes, fans or teams should be inducted.

“I want everybody to know we’re doing this,” Weems said. “We don’t want to miss anybody. We’re going to rely on the Mansfield community and people who were here before us.”

So who are the best athletes in the school district’s history? And how will they decide? The committee has set up some criteria. Athletes have to have been out of school for at least 10 years, teams (like state champions) have to have a decade pass since they won their title, while all former coaches, fans or volunteers are eligible. Nominations can be made online or by contacting the district athletic department. Deadline for nominations is May 31. Inductees will be chosen and notified this summer, then honored during a formal banquet Aug. 10 at the Mansfield ISD Center for Performing Arts.

Nominees who are not chosen will be carried over to the next year’s ballot, said assistant athletic director Mark Walker.

But nominations -- and information about them -- are needed now, Walker said.

“One of the things when you nominate someone, we would like you to show clippings (of their accomplishments),” he said. “The biggest thing is to get the nominations filled out. Then the committee may need some more information.”

After the inductees are chosen, their photographs and a plaque describing their career will be put on display in the community room at Vernon Newsom Stadium. Weems said she would like to display memorabilia, but that since the community room is used by other groups it would not be able to be secured.

“We’re doing some work at R.L. Anderson Stadium, so there’s a potential for us to do something there,” Weems said.

As an employee of the Mansfield district for more than a quarter of a century, Weems knows a lot of the history.

“(Former Mansfield High girls basketball coach) Mary Jo Sheppard grabbed my heart,” Weems said. “I fell in love with this district listening to her stories.

“I realized how important it was,” she said. “When you’re a young coach, you think life didn’t happen until you came. History is important to the people.”

The Hall of Honor should be a place where all of that history is recorded and stored before it is lost, Weems said. The hall will be the first step, she said.

“It’s a start,” she said. “I think our first class will be an awesome class.”

Amanda Rogers, 817-473-4451 Twitter: @AmandaRogersNM

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