The Mansfield ISD is ready to induct its second class into its Athletic Hall of Honor, a special tradition that was started last summer. The district established the Hall of Honor to recognize efforts and contributions of former student-athletes, coaches, athletic administrators, teams and distinguished volunteers who have brought honor and excellence to Mansfield ISD. Athletic Director Debbie Weems was instrumental in founding the hall and is just as proud of this year’s class as she was of the inaugural group.
“I’m very excited, it’s an awesome class,” she said. “The individuals that are selected, they are so deserving. There’s some that I know personally and some that I don’t know that I’ve gotten to learn about during the process, so it’s exciting.
“I’ve had a chance to speak with them all and just to hear their excitement about it and how appreciative they are about the award and being inducted, as an athletic director and seeing this all come to be gives me a great deal of satisfaction.”
The induction ceremony will take place Aug. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Center for Performing Arts. Tickets are $40 each and will be on sale through July 31. Tickets are available for purchase through the MISD athletic office, and Weems encourages anyone with an interest in Mansfield sports – past or present – to consider attending.
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“They’re going to see and hear from some people who have done some amazing things through athletics,” she said. “Not just what they did athletically, but what they have done with their lives since high school. If you’re a fan of athletics and Mansfield athletics, it will be a night you wouldn’t want to miss.”
In just its second year, Mansfield is hoping to grow the Hall of Honor into a crown jewel of the athletics program. Weems felt it was an important step to establish the hall.
“We get caught up in what’s happening today in so many things we do in life,” she said. “We don’t take the time sometimes to step back and recognize and revisit and acknowledge and celebrate our history and the people that made Mansfield what it is. Mansfield is rich in history athletically and the education part of Mansfield has always been so important to the community. I think it’s an opportunity to stop and bring back to light the great things and great people. Not only for the people but for the fans.”
Weems and her colleagues in the athletic department put a lot of work into last year’s banquet in hopes of making it special, and they concur that the hall got off to an even better beginning than they could have anticipated.
“I was overwhelmed with the turnout we had last year,” Weems said. “It’s hard when you start something for the first time, you have no idea how people are going to respond to it. But last year was unbelievable how many people were out. The room was packed. We anticipate the same [this year], if not more.”
And to label the event as simply a banquet might be selling it short, Weems pointed out.
“I’ve heard people tell me about last year and just how classy the event was,” she said. “We put a lot into it. It’s not just a banquet. It’s an important night for us. It might be the most important night for us athletically throughout the year.”
The 2014 Mansfield Athletic Hall of Honor induction class consists of:
Wayne Coble: A graduate of Mansfield high in 1953, Coble earned honors in football, basketball and track and field. He continues to serve the community through volunteer work.
Alexa Devin: A graduate of Mansfield High in 1992, Devin lettered in cross country, track and field, volleyball and basketball. She continued her athletic pursuits at Southern Methodist University and serves the community by helping young girls.
Jeromey Clary: A graduate of Mansfield High in 2002, he lettered in football before moving on to play at Kansas State University. He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 2006 draft and continues to play for the team.
Jeff Lindsey: A 2002 graduate of Mansfield High, he earned letters in cross country and track and field before moving on to the University of Oregon, where he became a top-ranked high jumper. He currently coaches and teaches.
George Averyt: Served as the tennis coach in Mansfield for 13 years from 1993 to 2006. He led teams to a number of program firsts. Characterized by his loyalty and inspiring personality, the MISD annual coaches golf tournament is named in his honor.
Steven Giles: Selected as the Distinguished Volunteer, Giles has worked long hours to help set up Mansfield’s booster clubs and done legal work to better the schools of the Mansfield community.
1957-1958 Tigerette basketball team: Its record of 29-5 made school history, along with their trip to the regional tournament in 1958. Coached by Kit Kittrell, this team consisted of many athletic and talented girls who played half court, six-player games, and were also great role models on the MHS campus.