By Paul Hines
MT. VERNON —
A total of nine inductees took their place in the Mt. Vernon Township High School Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday night at Changnon Gymnasium.
The list consisted of Randy Odle (Friend of MVTHS), Mike Bevis (athlete), Tim Holloway (athlete), Gary Jones (athlete), Eddie King (athlete), Steve Lively (athlete), Susie Woodward Maynard (athlete), the 1988-89 boys track team and the 1980-81 boys basketball team.
One by one each inductee was introduced with a video montage highlighting there career. Master of Ceremonies Rob Wielt read off notable accomplishments for each of the athletes and asked them to step forward, receive their plaque and address the audience. Eddie King was unable to attend, but Hall of Famer Max Hooper accepted the honor on his behalf and spoke to the crowd. He highlighted the humility and respect of the new class. King was a member of back-to-back state champion Rams basketball teams in 1949 and 1950. The 1950 squad never lost a game.
Randy Odle opened the speaking portion of the evening. He was inducted in the Friend category. Odle hasn't missed a boys basketball game since 1966, which was his freshman year of high school.
“It's been enjoyable and a good time.
The basketball season also coincides with his marriage anniversary.
“I don't know how many anniversaries I've missed because of basketball games,” Odle said.
Mike Bevis joked about being wary about the quality of his speech and the impact it might have on his Hall of Fame status. Bevis was one of a select few boys basketball players to start as a freshman. He finished his career as a top 20 career scorer for the Rams.
“I asked (MVTHS Athletic Director Doug Creel) no matter how bad the speech is you cannot revoke my induction, is that right?,” Bevis said. “He said that's never happened so that's a relief to me.”
Tim Holloway was the third inductee to take the podium. Holloway, the school's baseball coach, finished his career in the top five in scoring for the Rams basketball team. He also excelled on the baseball diamond. He said watching the Rams basketball team of 1986-87 fueled his Mt. Vernon sports fire as a child.
Gary Jones was another former boys basketball player to join the Hall. Jones finished his career surpassing the 1,000 career point mark.
Track and field athlete Steve Lively had the rare distinction of being the second member of his family to take his place among the Mt. Vernon sports elite. He joined his brother Eddie, whose football team was named to the Hall of Fame. Steve said he looked up to Eddie as he was going up.
“I always wanted to be as fast as he was,” Steve said.
Susie Woodward Maynard joined the Hall this year. Her career highlights included scoring a record 50 points against Okawville. Her Lady Rams teams were 76-19 overall during her playing years.
“This is an incredible honor,” Maynard said.
The 1988-89 boys track team sent 13 athletes to the state finals. One of those, Donte Moore, emerged as a state champion. He claimed the title in the 800 meters. Bruce Payne was the head coach of the group. Sonny Ellis, Ron DeForest and Nick Whiteside served as assistants.
The 1980-81 boys basketball team finished with a 24-5 record. The squad took second place at the Centralia Holiday Tournament and advanced to the sectional final where Effingham ended the Rams season for a second straight year. Keith Law coached the team.