DISD inducts sports standouts into Hall of Fame
For the second year, Dayton ISD has recognized legendary players that graced the halls of Colbert and Dayton High Schools. Each proving their prowess in one or as many as three sports and earning the right to move on to the next level with scholarship offers.
The district also recognized several boosters who were rabid fans of the Bronco teams and athletes that made Dayton a state-wide name, recognized for outstanding competition.
The 2018 induction ceremonies for the DISD Sports Hall of Fame inducted 10 outstanding athletes, four loyal boosters and one team at their most recent ceremony.
“The purpose of the Sports Hall of Fame is to recognize athletic achievement, recognize character, and remember role models for present and future athletes in DISD,” said SHOF president Larry Wadzek.
The charity organization is run by board members including Vice President Bob Edwards, Secretary Suzy Hicks, Treasurer Alan D. Conner, and members Dr. Jessica Johnson, Frosty Pruitt, Lester Ray Wisegerber, Dr. Robert Seaberg, Jeff Nations Mary Ellen Conner, and Wadzek.
“To the inductees, this is a small way for this community where you grew up and learned to play the sport or sports you excelled in to say a thank you, for not only the way you represented yourself and your family, but also the way you represented the community and school district,” Wadzek said.
Each inductee was presented a plaque and medallion for their recognition.
The DISD Sports Hall of Fame was opened last year and is currently housed in the classrooms from Nottingham that are adjacent to Bronco Stadium.
Following the ceremony, inductees were privy to a special reception at the school and a personal tour of the Hall of Fame where they were able to see for themselves where they will be immortalized.
The HOF not only has the enshrined plaques and photos of those inducted, but also takes a trip down memory lane with classic uniforms, jerseys, and letter jackets that have been donated displayed as well as the walls being lined with the photo plaques of the Bronco standouts that have already been inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame.
Ranging from virtually every sport offered at the school, plaques honor the best Dayton has had to offer over the previous decades.
The inductees are nominated by committee members, family members, and members of the community.
At the close of the ceremony, Wadzek asked for the community’s help.
“We’re not all-knowing, so if you know someone that we’ve overlooked who should be recognized for their accomplishments, please let me or one of the board members know,” he asked.
The Dayton ISD Sports Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 charity organization and they are appreciative of any donations including the purchase of bricks that are being laid just outside the Hall of Fame.
Here is the list of inductees as presented by DISD Sports Hall of Fame President Larry Wadzek.
JOHN PAUL OTT--athlete
The first inductee began his athletic career in Liberty as a freshman but moved to Dayton by the time he was in 10th grade which made him ineligible to play varsity sports that year. But he made up for that one year of not playing by having outstanding junior and senior years at DHS. John lettered in basketball, football, and track his junior and senior years. He was captain of the basketball and football teams his senior year. Also, in his senior year he was a state qualifier in track. John was a two-time All-District running back, teaming up with Glenn Pruitt. The newspapers dubbed them the “touchdown twins.” His senior year, he was chosen to play for the North/South football game where he led the South to a 26-0 victory. John received a full athletic scholarship to Rice University. The Korean War interfered with that and John served his country in the U. S. Air Force. John came back and got his degree in economics and worked for Houston Lighting and Power in corporate management. John still lives in Dayton where he continues to raise and race quarter horses, a life-long passion held in part by the mentoring he received from Anson Rigby.
Troy lettered in three sports at Dayton High School - basketball, football, and track. While he played two years of basketball, it was football and track where Troy really excelled earning All-District mention his junior year at quarterback and All-District his senior year as a running back. Those same two years he was also selected to the All-Area team. In track, his race was the 110 hurdles where he was district champion his senior year. He placed second at Region, then was just edged out of placing at the state meet in a photo finish. Troy earned a football scholarship to Lamar University where he was named conference Newcomer of the Year. He excelled as a starting running back through college in the Cardinal backfield. He lives in Dayton where he has a great sausage and spice business called Lord and Barrett Sausage and is a food caterer.
HENRY O. AGER III--athlete
There was an early indication that our next inductee was going to have a great athletic career at DHS when as a sophomore he made two clutch free throws in the last five seconds of the game to defeat Cleveland and clinch the first of three consecutive district championships in basketball for the Broncos. Henry lettered and excelled in four sports at DHS. He earned All-District honors in both basketball and baseball. In track, he was a member of the Regional-qualifying 440-yard relay team. In addition to these awards, Henry was co-captain of the district champion Bronco basketball team his senior year and was chosen baseball MVP his senior year. Henry continued his athletic career after high school playing baseball for Wharton Junior College. Henry graduated from the University of Texas School of Pharmacy with a degree in pharmacy and he owned his own business for 40 years in Livingston. Simultaneously, he was giving back to his community as one of the organizers of Livingston’s Youth Baseball Association, serving as its president for 25 years and serving on the Livingston ISD board of trustees for 41.5 years. He also gave back to his community through many other organizations.
BEVERLY GOULDER MURPHY--athlete
Murphy had no choice about becoming an outstanding athlete because she comes from a family that has produced several great ball players and outstanding Bronco supporters. Beverly was a three-year letterman in both volleyball and track. She was captain of the volleyball team her junior and senior years while earning All-Zone and All-District honors both years. Her senior year, she was also selected to play in the Texas high school coaches’ Volleyball All-Star game. In track as a sophomore she was district champion in the shot and discus and placed third at the Regional meet. As a junior and senior, she placed first in district in the shot and discus and earned a spot at the state track meet her junior and senior year throwing the discus where as a senior, she placed third in state. At Sam Houston State University, Beverly played volleyball and was a shot, discus, and javelin thrower on the track team. After college, Beverly has had a very successful career in coaching at Goodrich, Livingston, and Klein ISDs. She has also continued playing and coaching elite volleyball club ball.
When we discuss football, we sometimes just want to talk about offense - running backs, quarterbacks, receivers but we have two inductees today that excelled on the other side of the ball - defense. Jeff Edwards was a force on the defensive line for the Broncos in the early 1980s. Jeff earned All-District and All-Zone honors on the defensive line. He went on to play football at Tarleton State University where he had an outstanding career starting on two top 10 ranked NAIA teams. He earned Second Team intercollegiate conference honors as a junior and First Team honors as a senior and was named to the NAIA Division II All-American team. His career saw him have 138 tackles in 35 games (30 behind the line of scrimmage). He caused seven fumbles and had an interception return for a TD. In one game his senior year, he had 11 tackles and six sacks (still a Tarleton record). Jeff remained close to the Dayton athletic teams, especially football after college - working the chains on the sideline (and an unofficial coach/referee). His sons Robert and Xavier were members of the Bronco State Finalist Team in 2008. Jeff works at South Coast Terminals.
MYRTLE DEVER FREEMAN
Freeman is another inductee who began their varsity athletic career as an 8th grader. Freeman was a starter on the Colbert Tiger women’s basketball team as an 8th grader. That 8th grade year was the only year she didn’t lead the Tigers in scoring. She led the team in scoring her freshman through her senior years while also serving as team captain for two of those years. It was outstanding Tiger teams she played for over her varsity career. She won (not coming in second) numerous tournaments and was a member of two Colbert teams that were undefeated. Unfortunately, there were no state-wide playoffs for women during that time. Myrtle was an outstanding player and leader for her Colbert Tiger teams and is an outstanding representative of Colbert high, her family, and community.
The 1931 Dayton Bronco football team was the first Dayton team to win a district championship. They went on to a Bi-District victory over Humble and a Regional championship over Crockett. Two rounds in the playoffs were as far as any school Dayton’s size could go at that time. Leading the Broncos was their 130-pound quarterback Harold Barclay. Harold was the team captain and was chosen First-Team All-District and First Team All-Region in 1931. And to top it off, the district coaches were unanimous in their selection of Harold as District MVP. The papers described Harold as a runner who ran with power and drive and as a leader who inspired the confidence and loyalty of his teammates. He worked for Humble/Exxon and after retiring, moved back to Dayton where he was an avid gardener and hunter. He loved Dayton and the people he grew up with.
Gaines was among two defensive inductees in the 2018 HOF class. He shined brightly his years as a Dayton Bronco. He was a force in the defensive secondary of the Broncos in the mid-1980s. His senior year he was First Team All-District, All-Region, and All-Greater Houston. He was known for his hard hits during the games and during practice, so much that even the coaches flinched when he walked by. He also added District Defensive MVP that year. He continued his football career at Stephen F. Austin University for the Lumberjacks where he played again in the defensive secondary and hit just as hard. He works for the Road and Bridge department in Montgomery County.
His brother Frederick Gaines accepted his honor.
Durio was a three-sport letterman at Dayton High School, excelling in track, basketball and football. But it was in football where he made a name for himself. He was chosen District Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore. He followed that with First Team All-District running back his junior and senior years. Ivory’s senior year saw him not only earn All-District honors, but also All-Region and All-State recognition. He was the District MVP totaling way over 2,000 all-purpose yards while scoring 26 TDs. These numbers earned him a football scholarship to UT El Paso when in 1993, his senior year, he led the Western Athletic Conference in rushing yards per attempt and was also named for the second time to the conference All-Academic First Team. He is currently employed by South Coast Terminals.
Eggleston was a three-sport All-District performer at DHS and that is All-District his junior and senior years in baseball, basketball, and football. In football he was also a two-time All-Greater Houston selection as well as two-time All-Region and named to some All-State teams his senior year. He received a football scholarship to Sam Houston State University where he was a four-year letterman. He earned First Team All Gulf Star Conference as a sophomore. He was First Team All-Southland Conference his junior and senior years and was named to the AP All-American team as a junior and senior. He was considered the best collegiate tight end in Texas his junior and senior years. He was elected to the SHSU Athletic Hall of Honor in 1999. His prowess on the gridiron paled in comparison to his friendliness and kindness as a human being his friends said.
Andy and Kathy, his children accepted his plaque in his memory.
Bronco Booster Brooks says she was born with a megaphone in her hands. She was a cheerleader in high school and college and, she continued that cheerleading from the stands supporting her husband Willie as he coached at schools across the state. But when they moved to Dayton, she became loyal to the purple and white and loudly supported the Broncos in all sports. She carries a pom-pom that belonged to her granddaughter, a DHS cheerleader, to all games. She has retired after 54 years as an educator, and even though health concerns limit the games she and Willie can attend, she still loyally supports the Broncos as a member of the Bronco Booster Club attending as many games as they can.
In the 1960s - 1970s McGinty Drug Store was the Facebook of its time. It’s where you went to find the latest news, information, and gossip. Hewitt worked there during this time and she emphasized the most important information to the customers and it was her love and devotion to the Dayton Broncos. If anyone dared to say negative things about them, whether it was a McGinty’s, on the street, or in the stands at a game, Marguerite would get in their personal space quickly and let them know in no uncertain terms what she thought of their opinion. I’ve had a number of people tell me if there was 10,000 people in the stands, you could still hear Marguerite. Whether it was her sons Tinker or Ray playing or any other Bronco player, they always had a loyal and vocal supporter in Marguerite Hewitt.
Her son accepts her award on her behalf.
I met our next inductee about 45 years ago when we moved next door to him. He wanted to know right away why I didn’t wear purple, especially on game day, so I went and bought a purple t-shirt. He told me, “That’s good, but I haven’t seen you at any games - that shirt means nothing if you don’t show up.” He emphasized that with tough enough language so that I haven’t missed many Bronco games since then (I have a closet full of purple shirts too). Earnie is a fervent supporter of the Dayton Broncos. He might get upset with them, but YOU better not or you’ll hear from him quickly. It doesn’t matter whether he is in a crowd of opposing fans or Bronco fans, don’t talk bad about our kids or coaches. Earnie also had a keen eye for bad referees. In fact, just about every coaching staff has given him the name of Bronco Earnie - a title that fits perfectly.
Our next booster is a lifetime resident of Dayton and was fiercely loyal to Colbert High and Dayton High. A 1949 graduate and Valedictorian of Colbert High school, she played basketball at both Colbert and Prairie View. She returned to Dayton where she coached and taught at Colbert High, eventually going to Cleveland where she taught for 30 years before coming back and finishing her career at Richter Elementary. As a teacher and later in retirement, she was an avid fan of the Colbert Tigers and Dayton Broncos. That included all sports and sitting out in all kinds of weather. She always took great pride in talking about the Colbert athletes she went to school with or coached and she really loved cheering on her own children and grandchildren in all the sports in which they competed. You didn’t have to visit with her long to realize that she considered all the athletes at Colbert and Dayton High School her kids. She is also a member of the Dayton ISD Wall of Fame.
Her daughter accepted her award on her behalf.
1958 MILE RELAY TEAM--team
The Dayton High School 1958 Mile Relay team had the fastest mile in the state in all categories up until getting beat out by a step by Wharton at the state meet. They were the undefeated district and regional champions. Buddy Holbrook, Bryan Sterling, Leard Connor, and Roy Alford Seaburg used to drive around the state looking for track meets where they could be pushed. On one occasion they ended up in Commerce, Texas at the East Texas Relays. They took the Dayton ISD drivers-ed car to make the trip. Their coach, Smitty, and the team drove with six packed in that car up to the races. They were an outstanding team and we honor them today.