BOURBON — The Triton High School Athletic Department has now created the Triton Athletic Hall of Fame.
What began as a vision by Triton Athletic Director Mason McIntyre will come to fruition during the Hall of Fame weekend February 18 and 19.
“Being a Trojan myself, I know and understand the importance of recognizing the many athletes who have paved the way for our department,” McIntyre stated. “It is because of these great coaches, athletes and contributors that the Triton Athletic Department has been so successful over the years. It is time to give credit where credit is due.”
Since the school’s inception in the 1963-1964 school year, many athletes have worn the blue and gold, and while all the athletes have played a role in Triton’s success, the Hall of Fame will recognize those Trojans who set themselves apart on the playing fields and the courts of Triton High School and beyond. These athletes won acclaim for running the fastest, jumping the highest, winning championships, and otherwise distinguishing themselves in high school, college, and at professional levels. To honor these high school sports legends, the Triton Athletic Department will annually induct new members into the ranks of the Triton Athletic Hall of Fame.
The hall of fame will induct candidates in the following categories: Athlete, Coach, Alumni, and Contributor. To be eligible to be inducted as an athlete, the candidate must be a graduate of Triton High School and must have participated in interscholastic athletics while at Triton. The Selection Committee will be looking for those athletes who set themselves apart by receiving, among other things, conference and state-wide recognition. In order to be eligible to be inducted as a coach, one must have coached at Triton High School for at least five years and must be inactive at the time of the induction. An alumnus is a Triton graduate who has made it a purpose to be involved with athletics beyond high school (officiating, broadcasting, college coaching, etc.). A contributor is someone who has given of themselves for the betterment of the Triton Athletic Department.
“The inaugural class of 2011 will include four athletes, one coach, and one contributor,” McIntyre explained. “Although there were many deserving student athletes, contributors, and coaches to choose from, I feel that the Triton Community can be very proud of this inaugural class of the Triton Athletic Hall of Fame. All inductees excelled in their sport and in the classroom. The work ethic developed by their participation in sports continued after graduation where they all have had successful careers and conducted themselves with great integrity.”
The first athlete who will be inducted is 1966 graduate John Yantis. He participated in cross country, basketball, track, baseball and golf during his career at Triton. Yantis was a member of the 1964-65 semistate basketball team and also held records in the 220, 440 and 880 in track. He currently resides in Indianapolis.
The next two athletes are 1972 graduates Rich Rhodes and Dan Sharpe. Rhodes participated in cross country, football, basketball, track and golf. He was best known for his basketball skills and went on to play basketball at Eastern Illinois and was later drafted by the Chicago Bulls. He currently resides in both Elkhart, and Scottsdale, Arizona.
Dan Sharpe participated in football, basketball, baseball and track. He placed fifth in the long jump at the 1971 IHSAA State Track and Field finals. It was at this event that Sharpe set the school long jump record, which still holds today at 22’1”. He currently resides in Tucson, Arizona.
Rounding out the athletes who will be inducted into the class of 2011 is Lorea Feldman. She participated in volleyball, basketball and track. She was a member of the 1984 Indiana All-Star team and went on to be the four time MVP in women’s basketball at Michigan. She was recently inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in New Castle and currently resides in the San Francisco area.
The first coach to be inducted is Ron Smith. Smith coached cross country for 21 years and boys golf for 28 years. He also kept statistics for the football team and kept the book for the boys basketball team for many years. Smith served the Triton School Corporation as a math teacher for 29 years before retiring. He currently resides in Plymouth.
The first contributor inducted will be The Bourbon Foundry and the John Westafer and Dusty Westafer families. The Bourbon Foundry and the Westafer family were proud supporters of the Triton Athletic Department and are proud supporters of Triton athletics. They showed their support by purchasing advertisements and team meals for Triton student athletes.
“We are so proud to have partnered with the Bourbon Foundry and the Westafer family,” McIntyre said.
The Hall of Fame weekend will kick off with recognition of these inductees at the Triton vs. Tippecanoe Valley boys’ basketball game February 18. The inductees will be recognized at halftime of the varsity contest. The tip-off for the JV game that evening is scheduled for 6:15 p.m.
The festivities will continue during the Induction Banquet February 19. The evening will begin at 6 p.m. at the Matchett Square Senior Center in Bourbon, and McIntyre will serve as the banquet’s emcee for the evening.
Tickets are $20 per person for the banquet can be purchased in the Triton High School athletic office beginning January 17. The Hall of Fame will have a limited number of tickets.
“At this time we have received a confirmation from all inductees,” McIntyre said. “We look forward to honoring them during the Hall of Fame weekend and look forward to recognizing Triton athletic legends for years to come.”
The Triton Athletic Department Hall of Fame Selection Committee is made up of Larry Lemler, representing Bourbon, Dave Shively, representing Etna Green, Ken Blackford, representing Tippecanoe, and Duane Walters and Hal Kuntz, both at-large committee members. “Without the help of these people this great event would not be possible,” McIntyre said.