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North County Hall of Fame inductees to be honored

The North County School District has a big evening this weekend with the North County Raiders Athletic Department Hall of Fame and the School District Hall of Fame inductees being honored at Winter Homecoming.

North County Athletic Director Chad Mills said they will have their Winter Homecoming Junior Varsity boys’ basketball game Friday against Potosi at 5 p.m. and then the Varsity game won’t start until 7:15 p.m.

“We will honor the hall of famers between the games and we will also have time to sneak in the homecoming festivities with coronation,” said Mills. “It will be a busy night and there will be a lot of things going on. I really anticipate that we will have a full house that night and the public is welcome to attend. There will be two basketball games, homecoming coronations ceremony, winners ceremony and of course our hall of fame induction ceremony.”

Mills said he thinks the hall of fame is something the district has been wanting to do for a long time. He stressed they really just want to honor the really great people who have gone through North County, Bonne Terre and Desloge.

“From not only the athletic department side, but also the school district side,” Mills said. “When the 50-year anniversary came about, it just seemed like a logical time to get this thing started. When you create something like this and get it started, we wonder when we will honor folks. We felt like our winter homecoming would be a good time as any to do it and it also gave us most of the year to plan it.”

Mills said they will induct approximately 25 people on the athletic side and an additional 20 on the school district side. He has been a part of putting together a hall of fame in the past and said he partnered up with the St. Francois Rotary Club which started a hall of fame over at Mineral Area College a few years back.

“It seems to be going well and folks over there seem to like it,” said Mills. “I really think our community in our area is going to like this as well. There has been so many good people who came through that need to be recognized.”

Mills said other schools have hall of fames as well and he felt it was time for North County to have one. He added he has the support from the administration and the school board.

“I think this is something we can all be proud of and on that evening we honor the hall of famers we will have the basketball game,” said Mills. “We will have nomination forms on our school webpage under the athletic department for both groups.”

North County Assistant Superintendent Katie Bockman said they are having all of the hall of famed inductees photos mounted, matted, framed and hung in the auditorium. Anyone can go in and view them, but it is also a protected area where students won’t be in and out of there bumping into them.

“It’s a more formal environment, well reserved, but easy to get to and we have 40 to 45 inductees for this initial class,” said Bockman. “On the athletic side we are including all of our state championship teams, state championship athletes from the past and those who made quite an impression in the sports world.”

Bockman said on the district side, they have 12 to 15 different individuals who attended North County and went on in their respective fields to make a difference. There are also some who didn’t go to North County, but worked there for many years and made an impression on people.

“With the inductees and their families we will have a large crowd,” Bockman said. “It’s also homecoming and they will have 50 years of Winter Homecoming queens who will be there. We will also host a reception for the inductees and their guests in the back gym during the varsity basketball game. It will be a meet and greet for everyone to celebrate.”

Bockman was amazed to see how people reacted when they found out when they were selected. She said some have been crying.

“It meant something to people who aren’t here every day and the response has been awesome,” said Bockman. “When Mills formed the committee we really found some great people in the community to do this. The first meeting they were all telling stories from their experiences and about people they know. They knew so many people who had gone on to do something great. It was really good to get those diverse opinions.”

Bockman explained the committee is made up of 10 people and they even as far to make sure they were from both Bonne Terre and Desloge. She said when all those people came together they had some really different opinions about things and really gave them some perspective.

“We have been benefitting from talking about this and I don’t think it will be something that’s fly-by-night, where you recognize 40 people and it never happens again,” said Bockman. “We want it to be sustainable and recognize every year and keep getting nominations in. I don’t want people to stop nominating.”

Bockman said every year they will induct two people in each category, the North County Raiders Athletic Department Hall of Fame and the North County R-1 School District Hall of Fame.

“We will accept nominations year-round, but the cutoff will be Aug. 1 every year,” said Bockman. “Any nominations that come in after that will be added to the following year’s pool. Also, once someone is nominated, they will stay in the pool of nominations every year after that if they aren’t selected to be inducted in that year.”

Bockman said each inductee will also have an opportunity to purchase a hall of fame ring at the inductee’s expense from Jostens.

Some of the criteria for a nomination include if the nominee has brought distinction to the North County School District, displayed outstanding character and leadership, demonstrated a high level of integrity and has made positive contributions to the support, popularity and/or community acceptance of the North County School District.

Nominations forms can be found on the district website under the athletic department and can be submitted to Chad Mills at cmills@ncsd.k12.mo.us or by mail at 7151 Raider Road, Bonne Terre, MO 63628. 

This year's candidates and escorts are, from left, seniors Ciera Halton and Cayson White, Jesse Hootselle and a stand-in for Hayden Sprenkel, Kassidy Fox and Nick Parker and Samantha Judge and Curtis Mecey. Juniors Abigail Gerron and Kolten Poorman, Bonnie Stevens and Cody Hubbard, sophomores Kayleigh Winch and Thatcher Karsch and freshmen Gianna Pettus and Karter Kekec.

This year’s candidates and escorts are, from left, seniors Ciera Halton and Cayson White, Jesse Hootselle and a stand-in for Hayden Sprenkel, Kassidy Fox and Nick Parker and Samantha Judge and Curtis Mecey. Juniors Abigail Gerron and Kolten Poorman, Bonnie Stevens and Cody Hubbard, sophomores Kayleigh Winch and Thatcher Karsch and freshmen Gianna Pettus and Karter Kekec.

North County Athletic Director Chad Mills has worked tirelessly helping to organize the North County Hall of Fame.

North County Athletic Director Chad Mills has worked tirelessly helping to organize the North County Hall of Fame.

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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