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.
“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: