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First class set to be named this upcoming winter



MADRAS PIONEER PHOTO - Who will be part of the first class enshrined in the Madras Athletic Hall of Fame next February? That is anyone's guess at this point, but there are plenty of possible selections. Just a few that would warrant consideration include Jacoby Ellsbury, the multi sport standout who became a Major League star
Jacoby Ellsbury? Sure, no brainer.

But how about Dick Young, the 1921 graduate who was the dominant Central Oregon prep athlete of his day, led tiny and new Madras Union High School to the “big school” state basketball tournament in Corvallis in 1920, then became a star pitcher for Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State)?

From Dick Young in the 1920s to the recent plethora of collegiate-level players, Madras High School has produced many great athletes, several excellent coaches and many championship teams. Come next February, there will be a hall of fame in which to enshrine them.

The hall of fame project was kick-started by MHS athletic director/coach Evan Brown and former athletic director and coach, Margaret Sturza. The pair were riding in a car en route to the district track meet last spring. They discussed the idea of establishing a MHS hall of fame for athletics. They asked a handful of people to join a committee to discuss a hall formation, and issues surrounding it. Everyone agreed to participate and an initial meeting was held in June. A second meeting was held in July.

MADRAS PIONEER PHOTO - Desiree Gauthier won multiple state track titles in the 1970s.
“The hall of fame is something that was on my list of goals to accomplish in 2017,” said Brown. “I have seen so many other schools and their halls of fame and heard much about the positives it brings to the schools and communities. My feeling was that we were long overdue in honoring and documenting the contributions on and off the field of competition of past greats in Madras High School athletics.” 

In preparation for establishing a hall at MHS, Brown had discussion with the high school administration and made inquiries into other schools and their athletic halls last fall. He also attended a workshop on developing athletic halls of fame while at the state athletic directors’ conference in April.

“The car trip to district track meeting gave Margaret and I the chance to kick ideas and possible committee members around and get me motivated to make it happen.  Margaret is absolutely invaluable as a resource to me as an AD and in making this project a reality,” said Brown.

MADRAS PIONEER PHOTO - Ron Jones, a 1970 grad who led the Buffs to a state title, was an honorable mention All-American, and eventually a captain of the OSU Beavers
Each of the contacts asked to be part of the hall committee agreed to be on it. The committee includes MHS graduates from each decade from the 1950s into the 1980s, each participated in athletics in high school and remained active in or engaged with MHS sports, as fans at minimum.

Also included in the committee are two longtime coaches who have remained active in the MHS athletic department since retirement.

Using other Oregon high school halls as guidelines, the committee has formed bylaws and eligibility requirements for the MHS hall of fame.

Initial plans call for the hall’s first class to be inducted at a ceremony following a boys basketball game on Feb. 10. Plans at this point call for the inductees to be introduced at halftime, then honored with an event in the cafeteria after the game.

The hall will include individual athletes, stellar teams, coaches, administrators and potentially exemplary community members who have made major contributions to MHS athletics. At this point, only players that have earned all-league, all-state or have been a state champion will qualify for induction.

Post high school athletic achievement — like earning a college scholarship, participating in collegiate athletics or professional athletics — will also be considered.

The exact format of voting is yet to be determined, but the initial determination at the July meeting was that a potential inductee would need the support of a minimum of 75 percent of the committee’s vote, which would be six of the eight.

Plans are to have longtime district teacher and coach John Scheideman, an excellent woodworker, design and build the hall display case. The athletic hall of fame will take over the north wall of the lobby area into the high school gymnasium.

The committee has yet to determine the number of individuals, teams or coaches/administrators who will be inducted in the first class. According to the organization’s bylaws, there will not be a set number of inductees per year.

Nominations forms are available on the Madrasathletics.org website, which has recently been created. The committee will be accepting nominations through October.

An initial timeline calls for the committee to establish its first class in December, but not go public with the names of those honored until the Feb. 10 inductions. The weeks between establishing the class and Feb. 10 will be used to have the recognition and hall display materials created.

The MHS athletic hall of fame committee consists of Larry Fivecoat, Satch Miller, Gary Harris, Don Boyle, Fran Ahern and Tony Ahern (chairman); along with Sturza (secretary) and Dave Wiles.

Along with being MHS graduates, Miller and Fran Ahern are members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

COURTESY OF THE JEFFERSON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
 - Ole Johnson, left, who laid the foundation for MHS basketball success, and star player Bill Machamer, looking at camera, who would have a stellar career at Linfield.

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