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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Highlands Putting Together Hall of Fame

FTM file. 
It has been talked about for many years.

But the Highlands High School Hall of Fame has come to fruition this year. The inductees will be announced this spring and the first ceremony will take place at a home football game on a Friday night and a banquet will be held the following Saturday.

There are many people deserving to be in the hall of fame with a state-record 23 state football championships and nine in girls cross country. But people have to have graduated from Highlands 20 years ago so this ballot will start with the Highlands Class of 1995 and older. Coaches can also be considered if they have been retired at least five years ago. Highlands Director of Athletics Dale Mueller also said teams will be recognized.

That will leave out players like current Highlands girls basketball Head Coach Jaime Walz-Richey for the first go-around. She graduated in 1996 after scoring a state record 4,948 points in her storied career that included three 9th Region championships and a 1994 state runner-up finish.

But Richey has been inducted into numerous halls of fame and could get in next year. Others like former Highlands soccer standouts Alicia Browning, Megan Leahy and Sydney Hiance as well as former Highlands quarterback Patrick Towles and former basketball standout Ross Neltner will have to wait a while.

"We feel it means more to a person to make the hall of fame when they are 38 instead of 28," Mueller said. "They are farther along in their family life and career. We also think we have a lot of people in the history of Highlands who deserve to get in and 20 years gives them a better opportunity of selection."

Former athletes and coaches from all sports can be considered for the hall of fame. The only exception is bowling because it started less than 20 years ago.

A five-person panel that has not been picked yet will decide which five people earn the induction. Time constraints is the big reason for limiting the inductions to five people per year.

"We want each person who is selected to feel honored," Mueller said. "If we have a banquet with five inductees and they are introduced and then they have some things that could take 20-30 minutes each. With five inductees, that is already making for a long banquet. We felt that including more than five per year would make it less special for each inductee."

The deadline for nominations is March 15. Nominations are available here at

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