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 KHS Wall of Fame Missing the Best Athletes

Knightstown High School has a Wall of Fame, an impressive display featuring some of the greatest athletes ever to attend the high school. At last count there were 34 former sports stars featured on the Wall, as well as five teams.

The Wall is a favorite attraction for many alumni when they visit the school during return trips to Knightstown to see family or attend reunions organized by their respective classes.

Several alumni visited the high school after the recent KHS alumni banquet. A couple of them were rather surprised at what they saw and brought that to my attention. Monday, I inspected the Wall and walked away surprised myself.

I left wondering why we would have a Wall of Fame if it doesn’t include the best teams and athletes. There’s no doubt in my mind, it doesn’t.

I realize you can’t have every great athlete that ever attended the school on the Wall because, frankly, you don’t have enough space. It appears to me that garnering mention on an All-State team will probably get you a spot on the Wall, based on who is there right now.

It might also help that your accomplishments occurred within the past 15 years, since 24 of the 34 athletes commemorated have graduated since 1994.

I could put up some pretty good arguments on behalf of a lot of people who aren’t on the Wall, such as Dave McCorkle, Dick Leakey, Mike Wade, Sam Chase, Danny Vaughn, Aaron Brown, Wayne and Joe Allen, Tim Gann, Diana Trautmann - the list could easily get pretty long. Again, the Wall just isn’t big enough for everyone deserving.

However, the Wall at KHS could use a few additions that would lend it some much-needed credibility because, frankly, the best teams and the best athletes simply aren’t there.

That might be because the people who make the decision simply don’t know who these athletes and teams were. I’ll be happy to tell those people right now.

 

The biggest slight has been the inexplicable omission of the two greatest male and female athletes KHS has ever seen. Those omissions have caught the attention of more than a few people.

I’m talking about Art Rose and Teresa Phelps.

How can you have a Wall of Fame without them?

 

Don Willard coached football for 39 years at KHS and has said Art Rose was the best football player he ever had. Rose was on the Associated Press (AP) offensive All-State team (before class football) as a halfback (over 3,000 yards rushing in two seasons), and on the defensive All-State team as a defensive back, the only player in the state named to BOTH teams that season. He returned kick-offs and punts, was the team’s kicker and punter, and was named all-conference at all four positions. Those were his football accomplishments.

Again, before class basketball, Rose was two-time New Castle Courier-Times Player of the Year, averaging more than 24 points per game in both his junior and senior years. As a sophomore, Rose scored 39 points in a sectional win over New Castle. He was named “Mini Mr. Basketball” by Hoosier Basketball Magazine as the best player in the state less than six feet tall. He was named AP, UPI and Blooming Herald-Telephone All-State.

In baseball, Rose was AP All-State and pitched and hit the Knightstown Panthers to the 1979 sectional title. He was selected in the major league baseball draft, opting to play college basketball in North Carolina instead. His career was ended by a near-fatal automobile accident after his freshman year.

There has never been a better all-around athlete walk the halls of KHS.

 

Again, before class basketball, Teresa Phelps was the Most Valuable Player on the most successful girls basketball team in the history of the Knightstown program. The Lady Panthers won both the sectional and regional, losing to Indianapolis North Central in the semistate at Hinkle Fieldhouse. In two regional games, Phelps scored 39 points and had 25 rebounds. Her senior season she averaged 22.8 points, 13.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.5 steals while playing the center position at an undersized 5’8”. She was double- and triple-teamed nearly every game.

Phelps was AP and UPI All-State, Courier-Times Player of the Year and Bloomington Herald-Telephone Regional Player of The Year. She was named to the All-Conference, All-Sectional, All-Regional and All-Semistate teams. Phelps was invited to the tryouts for the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star games- one of just 35 players in the entire state to receive an invitation, and was chosen as an alternate. She was on the cover of Hoosier Basketball Magazine.

Phelps won track sectionals in the high jump, long jump and as a member of two relay teams. Phelps also was All-Conference and All-Sectional in volleyball, and also named her team’s Most Valuable Player in all three of her sports.

There has never been a better female athlete in the history of Knightstown High School.

Those former athletes are two pretty good arguments for someone updating the Wall of Fame at the high school.

Without Rose and Phelps, the Wall is just a pretender.

Here’s to hoping someone does something about that.

 

The 1958 and 1987 boys and the 1980 girls basketball teams that won sectional titles apparently didn’t merit a spot on the Wall, even though their titles came before the class basketball era. However, in a class basketball environment, those teams would have won a lot more than a sectional. What they did win meant much more to their fans and community than youngsters today could ever fathom.

Was there a rally of 5,000-plus people on the Town Square after the 2006 boys’ sectional title? In terms of sheer impact on the community, the greatest accomplishments on the hardwood in KHS history occurred in 1958, 1980 and 1987.

The 1980 girls team won the only basketball sectional title in school history, and then went on to win the regional as well. They advanced to the “Sweet 16” in the state tournament in the era before class sports.

Also missing from the wall is the 1967 regional champion baseball team. That team won both the sectional and regional and was comprised of the best pitching staff in school history (Gary Roberts, John Lansinger, Mike Wyatt, Wayne Allen, etc.)

Those four teams should be on the Wall.

 

2005 State Regional Champion Boys Basketball Team

2005 State Runners-up Class A Football Team

2003, 2004, 2005 State Champion Cheerleaders

 

Joe Haase, 2008 (and 2007) Class 2A Baseball All-State

Brandon Grubbs, 2006 Class A Football All-State

Dusty Magee, 2005 Class 2A All-State Basketball, Top 40 Invitee

Ross Cosat, 2005 Golf All-State (placed 5th)

Mike Guin, 2005 Class A Football All-State

Eric Freeman, 2005 Class A Football All-State, Baseball Hon. Mention All-State

Matt Cox, 2005 Class A Football All-State

Greg Freeman, 2004 All-State, North-South Basketball Game Player

Crystal Hayes, 2003 State Qualifier, Beam

Nate Rausch, 2003 State Qualifier, Discus

Jesse Hayes, 2003 Class A Football All-State

Jill Johnson, 2000 All-State Cheerleader

Gerrett Guillaume, 1999 Class A Football All-State

Nick Rausch, 1998 Class A Football All-State

Ian Hayes, 1998 Class A Football All-State

Kyle Rhodes, 1997 Class A Football All-State

Joe Kwisz, 1997 Class A Football All-State

Craig Richey, 1997 Class A Football All-State

Drew Crawford, 1997 Class A Football All-State

Jason Maynard, 1995 Wrestling State Qualifier

Norman Buchanan, 1994 Class A Football All-State

Chris Rhodes, 1994 Class A Football All-State

Andy Dudley, 1994 Class A Football All-State

Aaron Willard, 1994 (and 1993) Class A Football All-State

(ERA BEFORE CLASS SPORTS)

Corey Norod, 1993 Track 800-meter State Qualifier

Matt Roberts, 1992 All-State, North-South All-Star Game

Terri Lee, 1989 Softball All-State.

Shannon Glascock, 1988, 1989, 1990 Track State Qualifier.

Jennifer Wilfong, 1982 Girls Basketball All-Star, Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary Team.

Darrin Hopping, 1982 AP Football All-State.

Mark Lawrence, 1981 Football, AP, UPI All-State

Doug Johnson, 1975 Wrestling State Finalist (3rd place, 126 lbs.)

Bob Galyen, 1972 State Qualifier, High Jump

Tim Kilmer, 1969 State Wrestling Finalist (2nd place, 103 lbs.)

 

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