Athletics Hall of Fame
Kathy Anderson is a 1976 graduate of Smith-Cotton High School. She played for Sharron Rustman on the first girls basketball team to ever take the floor at Smith-Cotton. She was also a member of the volleyball and track teams as well as being part of numerous clubs and organizations including Student Government and National Honor Society.
Upon graduation from Smith-Cotton, Kathy attended the University of Central Missouri. At UCM, she was a four year letter winner in basketball, lettered three years in softball, and also lettered one year in track and field. During her senior year at UCM, she was named an Academic All-American and in 1980 she was honored as UCM Outstanding Senior Female Student-Athlete and Outstanding Senior in Physical Education. She graduated from UCM cum laude in physical education and mathematics.
Perhaps her most outstanding accomplishment was being a member of the USA Women's National Basketball program for the three years leading to the 1980 Olympics which the USA boycotted. In 1977, Anderson served as captain of the USA Women's Junior Basketball team to Taiwan. In 1978 and 1979, she was a member of the USA Women's Senior Basketball teams that traveled to China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Russia. In 1979, Anderson also was selected as an alternate to Team USA for the Pan-American Games.
After graduating from UCM, Kathy became assistant basketball coach at Cal State-Fullerton. She worked in Fullerton for five seasons before moving on to be an assistant coach and then ultimately the Assistant Director of Basketball Operations at the University of Washington. She also worked at Washington as the Admissions and Eligibility Coordinator and Operations Coordinator for the Huskies Men's Basketball team. She spent time in the WNBA as an assistant coach for both the Seattle Storm and the Phoenix Mercury.
Kathy worked as Assistant Director for Compliance and Student Services at Northwest Missouri State University before coming back home to UCM where she presently serves as Senior Associate Athletic Director.
In addition to the Smith-Cotton Athletic Hall of Fame, she is a member of the UCM Athletic Hall of Fame and MIAA Hall of Fame. Her Jennies' number 32 basketball jersey has been retired and she has been named to the Jennies All-Decade Team for the 1970's.
Kim Anderson is a 1973 graduate of Smith-Cotton High School. He played basketball and baseball for four years and also participated in football and track. He was a member of many organizations including student government and National Honor Society. His senior year he led Smith-Cotton to a third place finish in the state basketball tournament. During his high school basketball career, he was voted to three all-conference teams, two all-district teams, and two all-state teams.
After graduating from Smith-Cotton, Kim attended the University of Missouri and played for four years under Coach Norm Stewart. He was an integral part of Coach Stewart's first Big 8 Conference Championship in 1976, then in 1977 went on to lead the league in scoring and was named the Big 8 Player of the Year. He was a two time Academic All-Big 8 selection and received Missouri Basketball's George Edwards Award three times for basketball excellence, academic ability, citizenship, and character. While at Mizzou, he scored 1,289 points and is one of the top twenty scorers in the history of Mizzou Basketball.
After his collegiate career, Kim was a second round selection of the Portland Trailblazers in the 1977 NBA Draft. He played for the Trailblazers during the 1978-1978 season and also played professionally in Italy and France for three seasons.
After his professional playing career was complete, Kim rejoined Coach Stewart at Mizzou as an assistant coach. During this time, he was part of two Big 8 regular season championships, a Big 8 Tournament title, six trips to the NCAA Division I Tournament, and an Elite Eight appearance in 1994.
In 2002, Kim became the head basketball coach at the University of Central Missouri. At UCM, he led the Mules to seven NCAA Division II appearances and to three Final Fours. In 2014, His Mules team won the NCAA Division II Championship. He is the all-time winningest coach in UCM basketball history and is in the top ten in career wins at the D-II level.
In addition to the Smith-Cotton Athletic Hall of Fame, he is a member of the University of Missouri Athletic Hall of Fame and the Missouri Basketball Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Mizzou Basketball All-Century Team.
On April 28, 2014, Kim Anderson became the 18th head coach in University of Missouri Men's Basketball history.
Libby Howard is a 1994 graduate of Smith-Cotton High School. While at Smith-Cotton, Libby participated in softball, basketball, and golf. She was an outstanding athlete in each sport but her legacy was made on the golf course. She was a four time all-state selection winning two individual state championships as a junior and senior. Libby was instrumental in leading the team to four straight team titles which had never been done in MSHSAA girl's golf history.
After graduating from Smith-Cotton, Libby attended the University of South Carolina on a golf scholarship. As a player for South Carolina, she helped the team qualify for four straight NCAA Golf Tournaments. She majored in business and was an Academic All-American. During the summer while in college, she participated in numerous U.S. Women's Amateur Championships, and Amateur Junior Golf Association events. Libby currently lives in Springfield, Missouri.
Norris Kelley is a 1956 graduate of Smith-Cotton High School. At Smith-Cotton, Norris was a standout athlete on both the football and track and field teams. Norris was a two time all-conference performer. As a senior, he was named the captain of the all-conference team, was a first team all-district selection, and a unanimous first team all-state selection. Perhaps most impressively, as a senior Norris was named to Scholastic Magazine's High School All-American Football Team and to the Wigwam National High School All-American Football Team. As a leader on the track and field team, Norris once held school records in both the shot put and discus. He was named an all-state performer in both events as a junior.
Norris Kelley's High School football career was noticed by college coaches around the country but Norris decided to stay close to home and play for Don Faurot and the Missouri Tigers. His collegiate career was cut short due to an injury but it provided him the opportunity to become a student-coach on Mizzou's staff. After graduation Norris held high school coaching jobs in both Missouri and Florida and coached football for a time at Missouri Southern State University. In 1972, Norris came back to Sedalia where he worked as a teacher and coach until he retired in 1996. Norris still lives in Sedalia to this day.
Charles Van Dyne
Charles Van Dyne graduated from Sedalia in 1919. Charles was a standout multiple sport athlete while in Sedalia but it is his post high school career that best documents his Hall of Fame status. Charles played football for three years at the University of Missouri. While at Missouri, he was regarded as one of the best players in the country by being honored on several All-Conference and All-American teams. In 1924, he was named to two separate All-American Teams chosen by coaching legends Knute Rockne and Amos Alonzo Stagg. In 1925 he accepted a contract to play in the National Football League with the then Buffalo Bisons. He played in the NFL for one year before retiring and returning to Sedalia.
Upon returning to Sedalia, Charles became a leader in the community through both his business and his philanthropic endeavors. He was the CEO for Adco Incorporated, served as president of the Sedalia Chamber of Commerce, was involved with a group that helped secure Whiteman Air Force Base to our area and was one of the men that helped build Jennie Jaynes Stadium. Charles Van Dyne Passed away in 1962. He is survived by a daughter, Charlotte Radke of Dallas and two sons; Van and Vic Van Dyne both of Sedalia.
Coach Ralph "Stub" Dow
It is no boast to say that Ralph "Stub" Dow is a Missouri high school football legend. Dow became an assistant coach and math teacher at Smith-Cotton High School in 1941; he took the reins as head football coach in 1945 and remained at the helm through the 1959 season. A pair of heart attacks forced him to the sideline, but his 80 career wins remains tops among Tigers football coaches.
Dow, S-C Class of 1929, finished his coaching career with a record of 80-48-6, including six Central Missouri Conference titles and finishing below second place only four times. His 1948 and 1949 squads each recorded 9-1 records, and his 1955 team went 8-1. According to a 1960 Kansas City Star report, Dow was a single-wing disciple who would switch to the T-formation depending on his players' abilities.
Norris Kelley, a 2013 S-C Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, was a three-year starter for Dow. He told the Sedalia Democrat that Dow "expected you to give 100 percent. If you were one of his guys, he gave you 100 percent and he expected you to do the same."
In a eulogy for Dow read on air in November 1962, KDRO News Director Frederick Bennett said: "When future Tiger coaches find the going tough, they will hear that tiny voice call the right play. Then, as the quarterback fades back and throws that long touchdown pass, as the stands go wild, you might hear that chuckle. Old Stub called the right one again."
The Smith-Cotton Lady Tigers basketball record book could be renamed "The Donease Smith Files." A three-year letter winner, Smith finished her career as the leading scorer and rebounder in school history, and holds more than a dozen other records. A member of S-C's Class of 1994, she was named First Team All-State in both her junior and senior years, was a member of the only 20-win girls basketball team in S-C history and maintained a grade-point average above 3.0, consistently landing her on the Honor Roll.
While her accolades at Smith-Cotton would make her more than worthy for hall of fame consideration, Smith went on to make a lasting impact in the world of women's basketball. After completing her college career at Southwest Missouri State, she has served as Director of Basketball Operations for the Kansas State University women's program, assistant coach of the Kansas City Legacy of the National Women's Basketball League, Director of Basketball Operations for the three-time WNBA champion Detroit Shock and Director of Basketball Operations for the University of Memphis women's program.
Her high school coach and current Sedalia 200 Superintendent Brad Pollitt said: "I believe that Donease is one of the top, if not the top, women ever to play basketball at Smith-Cotton High School. But more than that, she is a great person. Donease has high moral character and has made a career of guiding young people during important stages of their life. Donease has been a positive role model all through high school and during her career."
John "Bud" Thomas
Smith-Cotton High School did not sponsor a baseball team when John "Bud" Thomas was a student, but today he stands as the only S-C alumnus to play as a regular roster player in Major League Baseball. Upon his graduation in 1947, Thomas, who played shortstop, signed a contract with the St. Louis Browns. After minor league stints from 1947 to 1950 in Belleville, Ill.; Toledo, Ohio; Globe, Ariz.; and Marshall, Texas, he went to Dayton, Ohio, in 1951 to play Class A ball. During that '51 season, the Browns called him up to the big-league roster.
Thomas continued to play baseball, and in the offseason attend college, through the 1953 season, when he retired from the game. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Central Missouri State University, and after teaching at La Monte and Otterville he joined the Sedalia school system, teaching at the elementary level. Thomas would log 30 years in the district, serving as principal of Whittier Elementary, a counselor at Smith-Cotton High School and, in 1962, became the first principal of Heber Hunt Elementary School. He later would move to the central office as assistant superintendent, and retired from education in 1986.
Longtime friend James Cooney said, "During his lifetime, (Thomas) has been a shining example of honesty, loyalty and humility, traits every young man should follow."
KELLI LOWMAN TOSTI
It’s hard to believe, but Kelli Lowman Tosti’s athletic achievements just might be surpassed by her career accomplishments.
Kelli, a member of the Class of 1987, was a four-year letter winner in track and basketball. As a junior, she finished third in discus at the 4A State Track Meet with a throw of 127 feet, six inches. Her senior year, she was second in the event, throwing 123 feet, one inch. Also during her senior year, she set the school discus record at 150 feet, 3 inches – a mark that still stands today.
Kelli also was active in amateur athletic competitions, taking first place in the 15-16 age group in two national competitions and was ranked as the No. 1 female 16-year-old discus thrower in the nation in 1986.
When her career as a Lady Tiger closed, Kelli moved on to Purdue University, where she set the freshman discus record and was named the university’s “Rookie of the Year” freshman track athlete. Her success would continue through her years at Purdue, as she served as a co-captain for the women’s track team and earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in 1989, 1990 and 1991. She graduated in ’91 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering.
Kelli currently is vice president of global manufacturing for Oakley Corporation, after serving as vice president of Operations for Stanley Black and Decker.
Sandra Parkhurst, who nominated Kelli for Hall of Fame induction, wrote: “Kelly has excelled athletically and professionally. She is a person of integrity, has much compassion for others and is a role model for many.”
Michael Bryson’s life on the pitch started early.
The 1980 Smith-Cotton graduate began playing soccer at age 6 in the Sedalia Khoury Soccer League. His skills blossomed over time, eventually earning him a spot on the Sunflower All-Conference soccer team his senior year, when he set the state single-season record for goals scored, with 42. The record has since been broken.
Mike, who also played baseball and basketball for S-C, received a soccer scholarship to Missouri Southern State College in Joplin. He was Rookie of the year in 1980 and made the All-Midwest team in 1983 and 1984. A two-time captain for the Lions, Mike was the team’s offensive MVP three times, tied the single game goal scoring record with 5 and still holds the season scoring record with 59 goals.
In 1984, he was selected as an NAIA All-American. He graduated from Missouri Southern State with a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing in 1985.
Mike lost his battle with cancer at age 46. His father, Roy, wrote that “as long as he was able, (Mike) remained active in sports both as a player and as a coach with his young sons, Evan and Tyler Bryson.”
VAN VAN DYNE
Van Van Dyne is not the first member of his family to earn Hall of Fame induction – and he is fine with that fact. Van’s father, Charles, was among the first set of inductees in 2012. Van had some big shoes to fill, and he filled them well.
Van, Class of 1956, was a four-year letterman in track, and a three-year letterman in both football and basketball. He set school and stadium records in the broad jump and the 120-yard high hurdles; his junior year, he was state runner-up in the hurdles event. In football he was an all-conference selection twice and made the all-district second team his senior year.
But Van excelled in basketball, setting the single-game scoring record with 45 points against Hickman High; the season scoring record, averaging 27 points per game; and the career scoring mark with 1.359 points. His senior year, he averaged 15.9 rebounds per game. He was an honorable mention All-State selection as a junior, and a unanimous All-State pick as a senior.
Van received both football and basketball scholarship to the University of Missouri, but he resigned them and transferred to Oklahoma. After sustaining an injury the spring before his eligibility started, he returned to Mizzou and lettered in golf two years. He continued playing competitive golf after graduation, becoming the Kansas City Golf Association match play champion four times and Player of the Year honors in 1973.
Van worked at Adco Incorporated from 1064 to 1971, when he was hired by the H.D. Lee company to launch a golf clothing division. In 1997, he returned to Sedalia as CEO of Adco. He continues to be active in the community serving on boards and providing leadership.
In Sedalia, the Dey family is synonymous with baseball and softball, and arguably the most decorated member of that clan is Ross Dey.
Ross, a member of Smith-Cotton’s Class of 1982, has already been inducted into the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Missouri Fast Pitch Softball Hall of Fame and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. He was a three-time baseball letter winner at S-C and went on to play baseball at State Fair Community College then Central Missouri State University, where he was a member of the 1985 MIAA conference championship team.
Ross transitioned to fast-pitch softball and earned a bronze medal in 1993 at the U.S. Olympic Festival in St. Louis and a gold medal in 2002 at the Pan Am Qualifier. From 1990 to 2002, he led a collection of teams to fast-pitch national championships as an infielder and a top-flight hitter and was a five-time All-American selection.
Ross earned a bachelor’s degree in science from CMSU and a master’s degree in education from William Woods University. He returned to his Sedalia roots and became a social studies teacher and head coach for the S-C baseball team. The Tigers won five conference championships with Ross at the helm, as well as district titles in 1999 and 2004. He also coached the Sedalia Travelers Legion ball team to the final four in 2009.
Sadly, Coach Dey succumbed to melanoma cancer in 2009; his legacy lives on though, as the field at Liberty Park Stadium was named Dey Field in honor of his family and its contributions to the Sedalia community.
1990-1991 LADY TIGERS GOLF TEAM
It is fitting that the 1990-91 S-C Lady Tigers golf team is being inducted together, because through their playing days and especially their state championship season, these five athletes – Shannon Davis, Mendy Rinehart, Richelle Bond, Libby Howard and Michelle Rank – did a lot together.
Their coach, BJ Curry, said, “They were outstanding young ladies. They were always striving to achieve more. They accomplished a lot individually that year, but the team was the most important.”
The Lady Tigers won the MSHSAA State Golf Tournament that year with a record score of 697, being the first team in state history to break 700. They also were the first team to have all five members finish in the top 15 and earn All State recognition. Rinehart led the way, taking fourth place; Bond was ninth, Rank was 11th, Davis was 13th and Howard took 15th place.
After claiming the title, Davis told the Sedalia Democrat: “I knew we had the talent to win it, and we wanted it. I just felt down deep inside we would do it.”
Howard, who was inducted into the S-C Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013 for her individual accomplishments, went on to play collegiately at the University of South Carolina. Bond played at Arkansas State and Kansas State; and Rank and Rinehart were teammates at Missouri State. Davis graduated from the University of Missouri.
Driving the group to the highest levels was a shared desire to excel. Coach Curry said that about a month into the season, they asked if they could practice on weekends.
“They were willing to make sacrifices in order to accomplish what they wanted – to be the best,” Curry said.
For a generation of Houston Astros fans, baseball sounds best in Bill Brown's voice.
A 1965 graduate of Smith-Cotton High School, Brown called Astros games from 1987 until his retirement in 2016. He also was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004 and was named Texas Sportscaster of the Year for 2013. But before you play in the big leagues, you must work your way up from the minors.
Brown’s baseball career started with Whiffle Ball games at the corner of New England and 11th in Sedalia. At S-C his plate always was full with activities including yearbook, band, Student Council, National Honor Society and the Tiger Tales newspaper, along with serving as class president his junior and senior years. While still in high school, he worked at KDRO Radio before moving on to the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He worked as sports director for Sports Time Cable Network, then as senior producer and anchor for the Financial News Network’s SCORE program. From 1976-82, he was the television voice for the Cincinnati Reds. Brown’s skills are not limited to baseball, as he also called Xavier Musketeers and Cincinnati Bearcats college basketball games and Cincinnati Swords hockey.
Brown served in the Army during the Vietnam War and currently holds a seat on the Advisory Board for Houston Taping for the Blind, where he has been a volunteer for almost 20 years. He also has written three books: “My Baseball Journey, a Sportscaster’s Story,” co-authored by Tim Gregg; “Houston Astros: Deep in the Heart,” written with Mike Acosta; and “Breathing Orange Fire.”
Brown and his wife, Dianne, have a daughter, Allison, and three grandchildren.
In a Houston Chronicle commentary on Brown’s retirement, broadcast historian Curt Smith told writer David Barron: “Bill never tried to be the show. He knew what his role was.”
Smith-Cotton Athletic Hall of Fame member Norris Kelley puts former Tigers track and cross country coach Leonard Butler into a class with legends including Don Fourot, Frank Broyles and Dan Devine.
“There are three things these coaches had in common: complete honesty with you and themselves; a never-give-up attitude … and a belief that hard work is the only key to success,” Kelley wrote.
Butler taught for 31 years in Sedalia School District 200, after graduating from Sacred Heart in 1963 and earning his degree from Northeast Missouri State – now Truman State University – in 1967. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1969. In 1972 he earned his master’s degree in education at the University of Central Missouri and that same year was hired on to teach at Smith-Cotton High School.
Butler coached S-C cross country teams for 21 years and the Tigers track teams for 26 years. Under his guidance, S-C had 36 state track meet individual qualifiers and 12 state cross country meet individual qualifiers; he also coached five All-State cross country runners and 18 All-State track athletes. His teams won two conference championships, three district titles and one sectional crown.
Butler was the longest tenured coach at S-C coaching two sports and many of the school records set by athletes coached by Butler are standing today.
When he was sponsor of the high school’s Letter Man’s Club, Butler suggested the change from the “S” to the interlocking “S-C” that students wear on their jackets today.
Butler and his wife, Jackie, have two children, Brian and Jill.
JIM AND JOHN JOHNSON
Competing at a high level in three sports is rare, but even more remarkable is a set of twins who each excel in fall, winter and spring sports. Jim and John Johnson, members of the Class of 1965, were the black-and-gold standard during their days at Smith-Cotton. Earl Finley, who coached the Johnson brothers in basketball and baseball, said: “Our teams and I benefitted from their skill levels, dedication to excellence and leadership. … They are fine examples of the sportsmanship and excellence inherent in school athletics.”
Jim Johnson excelled on the playing field, then put that game knowledge and expertise to use on the sideline, becoming a top coach at the collegiate level.
He earned eight varsity letters during his Smith-Cotton days: four in baseball, and two each in football and basketball. He also was president of his class in 1963 and a four-year member of Student Council. Jim, a pitcher, was recruited to play baseball at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he earned his bachelor of science degree in education and was elected to Phi Epsilon Kappa, the national honor fraternity for his major. He would go on to add master’s and doctorate degrees in education, all from Mizzou.
Jim taught physical education and health in Columbia Public Schools, at Milton College and at Northwest Missouri State University. While coaching baseball at Milton, he was named NAIA Coach of the Year for District 14 in 1977. As head baseball coach at Northwest, his teams won MIAA conference titles in 1982 and ’83 and were invited to play in the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament three times. Jim was named MIAA Coach of the Year in 1982 and ’83. He retired from coaching in 1999 with a career record of 457-399. After retiring from Northwest in 2006, he moved to Texas and served as an associate and adjunct professor of Kinesiology and Heath from 2006 to 2014.
Jim and his wife, Diana – the 1963 S-C Homecoming queen – have three children and eight grandchildren. Throughout his career, Jim has been invited to speak at local, state and regional baseball clinics and Fellowship of Christian Athletes gatherings.
“The intent of my personal, family and professional life has been centered on my faith,” Jim wrote. “The direction and control of my life has been focused on the Lord’s will for me. My profession and service has been richly filled by his presence.”
John Johnson remains active in sports to this day. He may have switched from football to golf, but he still enjoys being active and competitive.
John was an eight-time letterman at Smith-Cotton, earning three each in baseball and basketball and another two in football. He was selected to the all-conference team as a quarterback both his junior and senior years, and was second team All-State his senior year. In baseball, he was the Tigers’ starting shortstop for three years and led the conference in home runs his junior and senior seasons.
John earned a football scholarship to Northwest Community College in Powell, Wyo., where he started at quarterback his first and only year at the school. He transferred to the University of Northern Colorado on scholarship where he played quarterback and was the team’s punter, ranking third in the nation in punting his junior year. John was selected to UNC’s 50-Year football team as a punter. He turned down offers to sign with the New York Jets and Denver Broncos as a punter.
He earned a bachelor of arts degree in education from Northern Colorado and a master’s degree in Athletic Administration from Central Missouri State University. He taught social studies, health and physical education at high schools in Butler and Sweet Springs, Mo., and Greeley, Colo. He also coached basketball, football, golf and baseball during these tenures, along with serving as athletic director at Sweet Springs. He also was an American Legion baseball coach, and his team won the Legion B Colorado state championship in 2003.
He retired from teaching in 2003 but continued to coach the Greeley High golf team, which won the Colorado 5A state championship in 2005.
John married his high school sweetheart, Gayleen Jaeger, in 1968 and they have two children, Kristin and Scott, five granddaughters and a great-grandson. Sadly, Gayleen passed away in November 2014. One of the biggest thrills in his lifetime was coaching his son in baseball and seeing him sign with the Florida Marlins as a pitcher in 1992.
John continues to play golf in two leagues and started a league for seniors. “The fairways are longer for me now,” he wrote.
BILL & ALMA DEY
It’s hard to imagine Smith-Cotton baseball, or baseball in Sedalia, without the influence of Alma and Bill Dey.
Bill graduated from Smith-Cotton in 1952, when the Tigers baseball team he played for became the first in school history to win the district tournament and advance to the state tourney. Bill also played American Legion baseball. After graduating, he served three years in the Navy then attended Central Missouri State College, now known as the University of Central Missouri, where he played baseball for four years. Bill played semi-pro baseball in Sedalia for 11 years, winning the state tournament in 1962 – a first for a Sedalia team. He was named to the all-state team five times in semi-pro baseball.
Bill, known as “Chief,” has coached Little League, Babe Ruth, Smith-Cotton, college and American Legion baseball. He coached the S-C team for 14 years – including two with his son, Ross, also a S-C Athletic Hall of Fame member – and American Legion baseball for 23 years, winning more than 600 games. He currently is general manager of Sedalia’s American Legion program. Bill says his real success in Smith-Cotton and American Legion baseball is the more than 100 players who received scholarships to play baseball in college.
Alma graduated from Cole Camp High School in 1959 and married Bill on June 2, 1963. They have two sons, Ross and Warren. As Bill and the boys began spending more time at the baseball field at Liberty Park, Alma volunteered to open a concession stand for Smith-Cotton and American Legion games to keep the family closer together. She ordered inventory, staffed the stand and prepared food, including her famous homemade dill pickles.
“This was not an ordinary concession stand,” Bill said. “It was like a small café.”
Alma worked as an administrative assistant at State Fair Community College for 30 years. She also ran concessions for Roadrunners games and was inducted into the SFCC Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. She also served on the council and was treasurer at Christ and Trinity Lutheran Church and volunteer with Meals on Wheels. . Sadly, Alma passed away in July 2015.
Bill has been a board member for Sedalia School District 200, Sedalia Parks and Recreation, Meals on Wheels and American Legion baseball. He is a member of American Legion Post 642 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He has been active as a baseball player, coach and spectator at Liberty Park for the past 72 years.
The concession stand at Liberty Park Stadium is named Alma’s Kitchen in honor of Alma, and the field is named Dey Field in tribute to the family’s impact on baseball in Sedalia.
JENNIFER DRUM McCLAFLIN
Rising above the competition has been a way of life for Jennifer Drum McClaflin.
During her days at Smith-Cotton, she won the girls state high jump competition twice, in 1999 and 2000; her 5-foot-9-inch leap in 2000 was the Missouri state record until it was broken in 2017. She also was a two-time NCAA Division II indoor national champion in the event in 2004 and 2006 when she competed for the University of Central Missouri.
A member of S-C’s Class of 2001, Drum McClaflin excelled in both athletics and academics, graduating in the Top 10 in her class and earning a Bright Flight Scholarship. She also was a member of the S-C Math Club and a national qualifier in DECA. She finished second at the state meet in the high jump in 1998 and 2001, and still holds the S-C school record in the event. Her athletic achievements were not limited to track, as she earned All-Conference recognition in softball and All-Conference and All-District honors in basketball, too.
While at UCM, Drum McClaflin was a six-time Division II All-American in high jump and was a member of numerous All-MIAA conference championship teams. She received the Senior Athlete Award in 2006 and graduated with bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and Spanish, then earned a master’s degree in teaching and an education specialist degree in secondary administration.
Drum McClaflin now lives in Rolla with her husband, Eric, and their sons Aiden, Alex, Alcide and Ian. She works as a special education process coordinator for the St. James R-1 School District and enjoys quilting, soap making and spending time with her family.
All Bruce Kerr needed was a chance, and when opportunity presented itself he took full advantage.
During junior high track practices Kerr, who was then a sprinter, would try to run over the hurdles. His coach, Larry Anderson, would always direct Kerr back to his sprint work. When a hurdler was unable to compete at one meet, Anderson allowed Kerr to fill in and Kerr won the race. Today, Kerr still holds the Smith-Cotton High record in the boys 110 high hurdles.
A member of S-C’s Class of 1977, Kerr started running track while attending Lincoln Hubbard Elementary School. He also took part in Junior Olympics competitions. He ran track all four years at Smith-Cotton, participating not only in hurdle events but also long jump, triple jump and the 100-yard dash. His senior year at the state track meet, he placed fourth in the 110 high hurdles after hitting the first hurdle.
Kerr credits his S-C track coaches – Floyd Williams, Leonard Butler and Norris Kelly – for his success. “Coach Kelly always encouraged me to do my best and always gave me a pat on the back and a big smile after each race,” Kerr said. “I don’t think I would have done as well without his support and encouragement.”
Kelly helped Kerr land an athletic scholarship to Northeast Missouri State University (now known as Truman State), where Kerr attended classes and ran track for two and a half years. He left college to pursue a career with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, retiring in 2013 after 34 years of service. In 1996, he received a Life Saving Award for his efforts on behalf of a man who he had stopped for speeding who was suffering a heart attack.
Music also has played a key role in Kerr’s life. He played trombone and bass guitar in S-C bands, earning an Outstanding Musicianship Award, and for the past 11 years has been the pianist for Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Warrensburg. He also has recorded many CDs and played for other recording artists.
Kerr has two daughters, Kayla and Tiara, and a grandson, King Johnson.
“I give God all the glory and praise for allowing me to accomplish all that I have to this point,” he said.
Whether in the classroom, on the wrestling mat or at the swimming pool, Joe Arbisi was always a teacher at heart.
A graduate of Ruskin High School in Kansas City, Arbisi earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. His first job out of school was teaching social studies and coaching wrestling, football and track at Smith-Cotton High. An accomplished collegiate wrestler, Arbisi’s favorite sport to coach at that time was wrestling. A couple of years later, he moved back to Kansas City for a teaching position at Manual High, where he also coached the boys swimming team. A teachers strike prompted him to look elsewhere to provide for his family, and he accepted a job at Smithton High, where he stayed for three years.
Stops at State Fair Community College and Tipton High School followed before Sedalia 200 Athletic Director Tom Knight reached out to Arbisi in 1996 and asked him to come back to the district to teach health at Sedalia Middle School and coach the S-C Tigers boys and girls swimming teams. He would teach at SMS and coach Tigers swimmers for 12 years, until his untimely death in October 2008. During Arbisi’s dozen years as S-C swimming coach, many of his athletes would qualify for state competition and the girls team would win three consecutive West Central Conference championships; boys swimming was not a WCC sport until 2008.
Arbisi’s impact also was felt in the Sedalia community. He established Arbisi Aquatics Swim Lessons in 1973 and the Sedalia Bandits Swim Club in 1984. Hundreds upon hundreds of area youth learned how to swim from Joe Arbisi. The pool at Sedalia Middle School was renamed Joseph W. Arbisi Memorial Swimming Pool.
Arbisi and his wife of almost 36 years, Becky, had three children: Erik, Kim and Tony. Becky said Joe was a family man who loved life and was known for his great laugh and chatty nature. He always said his children (and later his grandchildren and godchildren) were his greatest treasures.
Arbisi’s coaching motto was, “There is no such thing as I can’t. There is only I can, I will and I have.” Throughout his career, he also coached baseball, soccer, basketball and softball. An Eagle Scout, he taught swimming lessons for local Boy Scouts and participated in other scouting activities with Erik.
In nominating Arbisi, S-C Swimming and Diving coaches Jerry Tankersley and Michelle Steger said, “God and his family were the most important things in Joe’s life, but his students and athletes came in a close second. He cared deeply for his students and athletes and tried to make a positive difference in their lives.”
The Dey Family is synonymous with athletic excellence in Sedalia, and Warren Dey is no exception to that rule. With his induction, he joins his brother, Ross, and parents Bill and Alma Dey in the Smith-Cotton Athletic Hall of Fame.
Dey, a member of Smith-Cotton High School’s Class of 1986, was a dominant force for the Tigers baseball and boys soccer teams. He lettered in baseball all four years of high school. Playing primarily second base and third base, he logged just one error over his four years and finished with a batting average over .400. In soccer, he was a First Team All-State selection in 1984 and 1985, earning All-District recognition in ’83, ’84 and ’85. He finished his S-C career with 68 goals and 33 assists, and was a member of the first Tigers team to advance to the Final Four in 1984, a feat the team would repeat the next season.
After graduating, he moved on to Florissant Valley Community College, where he continued to be a two-sport athlete. In baseball, he led Region 16 in batting average in 1987 and ’88; he also was named to the All-Region and All-Midwest teams both years. On the soccer pitch, he scored 31 goals and had 28 assists, which made him the Archers’ all-time leading scorer at the time. He was First Team All-Region 16 and First Team All-Midwest, and honorable mention All-American in 1986, and First Team All-Region 16, First Team All-Midwest and First Team All-American 1987. The next stop was the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Dey would continue to excel in both sports. In baseball, he was First Team All-Region and First Team All-Conference in 1989, posting a .376 batting average with no strikeouts in more than 150 plate appearances. Dey also was First Team All-Region and All-Conference in soccer in 1989.
Among his other accomplishments, Dey was a member of the 1990 Class “A” Men’s Fast Pitch Softball national championship team, and 2011 Coach of the Year in the Midwest Youth Soccer Association. He has two daughters, Taylor and Bailey, and has taught in Jefferson City Public Schools for 26 years, also serving as an assistant soccer coach and head coach for baseball.
In her own words, Emily Webster likes adversity and the opportunity to rise to challenges.
Three weeks before competing for what would be her fourth consecutive (2012-15) women’s collegiate wrestling national title, Webster sustained a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in her dominant knee. However, Webster would not be denied her shot at history. She competed and won, finishing her four-year career at Oklahoma City University with a perfect 118-0 record.
Webster, a member of Smith-Cotton’s Class of 2011, attended high school in Cameron, Mo., her freshman and sophomore years, going 15-13 her freshman year and 7-5 her sophomore year wrestling boys in every match. The daughter of Phil and Ann Webster, Emily moved to Sedalia for her junior year and posted a 22-18 record; as senior, she was 30-8. Webster was a two-time state qualifier and, over her four years of high school, earned four letters in wrestling, two in cross country and softball, and one in soccer.
While her undefeated record at Oklahoma City University is certainly impressive, so is Webster’s 3.95 grade-point average earned while majoring in Environmental Science. She also received the school’s Jim Wade Award as the Stars’ female student-athlete of the year in 2014-15. She was named the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Missouri Chapter’s person of the year for 2015 and earned the 2015 WCWA Championships Outstanding Wrestler award in 2015. Webster’s singlet is on display in the women’s exhibit inside the Nationals Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla. She also was a member of the U.S. National Team in 2013.
Webster is a two-time Folkstyle national champion and three-time Fargo (freestyle) national champion, as well as claiming junior and cadet Pan-Am championships.
Webster and her husband, Kevin Tew, currently live in New Mexico where she works at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Matthew R. Stevens, women’s wrestling head coach at Oklahoma City University, said: “Emily was an athlete you don’t get to work with very often. Her drive and determination were so focused that nothing could stop her in life. She was always dedicated to everything she touched.”
ROBERT "B.J." CURRY
B.J. Curry’s name is synonymous with golf in Sedalia, having played and coached the game at the highest levels.
A member of Smith-Cotton High’s Class of 1977, Curry played varsity golf three years, beginning his sophomore year. He went on to play at Central Missouri State, now known as the University of Central Missouri, from 1977 to 1981, playing in the NCAA Division II National Golf Championship in 1979, 1980 and 1981. Curry was a member of the PGA Tour from 1983 to 1985, and playing on the Missouri State team in the USGA State Team Championship in 2005 and 2007; he also played in the USGA Mid-Am Championship in 2005.
Curry won the Phil Cotton Memorial Tournament in 1989, 1990 and 1996; he also won the Missouri Stroke Play Championship in 2004, The Missouri Mid-Am Championship in 2006 and the Missouri Senior Amateur Championship in 2010.
Starting in 1990, Curry coached S-C’s boys and girls golf teams for 24 years. His Lady Tigers teams won the MSHSAA State Team Championships from 1990 to 1993, and finished third in 1994 and ’95. With his guidance, Libby Howard was the individual state champion in 1992 and 1993. Curry’s teams won 12 conference titles and six district championships. He also had 21 individual medalists at the MSHSAA Sate Championships.
A former member of the MSHSAA Golf Advisory Board, Curry was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2019 as part of the Smith-Cotton Girls Golf Program. Curry’s family includes his wife, Stacy, daughters Abby and Bailey and son-in-law Josh.
Fellow Smith-Cotton Athletic Hall of Fame member Van Van Dyne said, “B.J. is a man of impeccable honor, integrity and moral character. His record as golf coach at Smith-Cotton has no equivalent.”
DR. EARL FINLEY
Dr. Earl Finley’s impact on Sedalia’s students was experienced on the playing fields and in the classroom.
Dr. Finley came to Smith-Cotton High as a teacher and coach in 1959, coaching football, basketball and baseball. He found his greatest success in baseball, leading the Tigers to Central Missouri Conference titles five times and taking second place in the state tournament in 1965. Fellow S-C Athletic Hall of Fame member John Johnson said, “Coach Finley is the most powerful head coach to ever walk the halls of S-C. I coached 40 years at the high school level and the only reason I did was to be just like Coach Finley.”
After teaching and coaching, Dr. Finley became an administrator, serving as S-C’s principal for eight years. One of his proudest moments during that tenure was in 1973 when the Tigers basketball team finished third in the state tournament and won the sportsmanship award. Next was a three-year stint as an assistant superintendent for Sedalia School District 200.
Dr. Finley moved on to the Knob Noster School District, where as superintendent he was instrumental in adding the first high school computer lab in central Missouri. In 1988, he joined the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as director of School Services and was on the development committee for the Missouri School Improvement Program. When he retired in 1995, Dr. Finley was serving as assistant commissioner for Curriculum and Instruction.
In 2002, Dr. Finley was named a “Pioneer in Education” by DESE in recognition of his distinguished career and contributions to public education. He took pride in giving all students the opportunities and assistance they needed to be successful, and as a principal was an advocate for all students.
Running has remained in Steve Stonecipher-Fisher’s blood years after he won a state championship as a Smith-Cotton Tiger.
Fisher, a 1975 S-C graduate, won the two-mile run at the 1975 state outdoor track meet in a then-record 9:16.4. He also was a member of the Tigers’ 4x800 relay team that placed sixth at state that year and still holds the school record in that event. Earlier that school year, he was third at the state cross country meet and in the two-mile run at the state indoor track meet. During his junior year, he was second in the outdoor two-mile run. Over his S-C career, he earned 11 varsity letters and seven state track finals medals.
At the University of Missouri, he set the school record in the 10,000-meter run, a time that stood up for more than 23 years. He still holds the thee-mile indoor record at Mizzou and was a member of the school’s last conference championship team, the 1979 Big Eight indoor champions.
He took up marathons, running in 31 events and posting five times of 2:18.01 or better. He was 37th overall and the fifth best U.S. naturalized finisher in the 1983 Boston Marathon. He participated in the 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials, finishing 40th out of 186 competitors. He has won the St. Louis marathon twice, the Heart of America marathon in Columbia three times and the Sedalia Marathon twice.
Fisher opened a triathlon store called Tryathletics in 1986 in Columbia and has been a race director for hundreds of events throughout mid-Missouri, including the Show-Me State Games triathlon and duathlon for more than 30 years. He has been the president of the Columbia Track Club and West Side Kiwanis, as well as the Mayor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Health.
He and his wife, Kim, have a son, Ryan, a daughter-in-law, Kim, and a grandson, Benjamin. Fisher qualified for the Boston Marathon after a 36-year hiatus and leveraged the opportunity to raise funds for Central Missouri Food Bank’s Summer Lunch in the Park program and the Columbia Track Club’s youth program.
WESLEY SCOTT SWAIN
Scott Swain was a dual threat during his Smith-Cotton career, excelling in both soccer and tennis.
A member of S-C’s Class of 1988, Swain was a five-time letter winner, three times in soccer and twice in tennis. All three years that he played varsity soccer, the Tigers advanced to the Final 8 in the state. Swain earned All-District honors three times, Second Team All-State twice and First Team All-State his senior year, when he also was the first S-C player selected to the All-Midwest team. Over his S-C varsity career, he scored 59 goals.
In tennis, Swain was a member of the only S-C team to go undefeated in the regular season, with the Tigers closing the 1988 season as state runners-up. Swain was 19-1 in singles that season and 24-4 in doubles with his partner, Rob Monsees. That doubles team finished third in the state.
After his S-C graduation, Swain continued his soccer career at Florrisant Valley Community College, where he was a Region 16 All-Midwest selection in both 1988 and ’89, a National Soccer Coaches Athletic Association All-American in 1989 and MVP of the NJCAA National Tournament, which Florrisant Valley won in 1989. He still holds the FVCC record for career goals scored with 35. Swain moved on to Southwest Missouri State University, earning two letters in soccer and graduating with a degree in political science.
Swain worked in Washington for two years for senators John Ashcroft and Kit Bond before moving back to Missouri, establishing a governmental affairs agency in Jefferson City. He lives in Columbia with his wife, Julie, and children John, Michael, Jake and Mary Cate.
Swain proudly credits all of his accolades to hard work, as well as significant support from his coaches, teammates and family.