Hundreds Attend Athletics Hall of Fame Museum Dedication, Induction Banquet
Posted on 04/14/2014
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New Hall of Fame members (on the left) Lanny White, John Holmes and Alicia Mills Polzin greet friends and well-wishers at the autograph table in the new Hall of Fame Museum, which opened on Saturday.
new scaleA contingent of past and present Pasadena ISD sports standouts “broke the tape” Saturday on a museum to preserve the legacy of district athletic achievements for future generations.

The Pasadena ISD’s Athletics Hall of Fame Museum opened to the public as part of the Hall of Fame’s Third Annual Induction Banquet at Phillips Field House.

About 100 invited guests witnessed the formal ribbon-cutting just before to the banquet. Hall of Fame members Amanda Buffalo Tucker and George Cheshire cut the ribbon at the west entrance to the new facility, which was included in a recent bond-funded expansion project at the field house.

As the ribbon fell, a squad of 10 runners from Pasadena ISD track teams – led by Pasadena High distance standout Emely Morgado – dashed through the entrance, officially opening the museum.

Nearly 400 attended the sold-out banquet that followed. Six new members were added to the Hall of Fame rolls during the induction ceremony. Attendees then streamed through the museum to view the display of 26 member plaques and look over hundreds of memorabilia items related to the district’s athletics heritage.

The event took place amid the sad news of the passing of one of the district’s greatest sports heroes. Hall of Famer Bill Henry, a member of Pasadena High’s state championship basketball team in 1946 and a major-league pitcher for 17 seasons, died the day before the banquet, which he had planned to attend. Henry was 86.

A moment of silence was held in his honor.

Inducted were Weldon “Stoney” Phillips, the Pasadena ISD’s first athletics director; Gene McCarley, a star basketball player at Pasadena High and Baylor in the 1950s; Lanny White, an all-state halfback at Pasadena High in the 1960s; Wes Hubert, a standout lineman for South Houston High and the Texas Longhorns in the 1970s; John Holmes, a prominent distance runner for South Houston in the 1980s; and Alicia Mills Polzin, a multi-sport standout at Dobie in the 1980s who went on to volleyball stardom at Long Beach State.

Phillips and McCarley were inducted posthumously. Family members accepted plaques and portraits on their behalf.

Former Houston Astros pitcher, broadcaster and field manager Larry Dierker served as guest emcee. Wearing his trademark Hawaiian shirt, Dierker regaled the audience with stories from his big-league career, at one point recalling the time when Dave Freisleben, the Hall of Fame pitcher from Sam Rayburn High, beat him with a complete-game shutout.

Freisleben was among seven previous inductees in the audience.

Also in attendance was former Channel 13 and ABC Sports broadcaster Dan Lovett, who served as guest emcee for the first induction banquet two years ago.

Faculty from all five Pasadena ISD high schools bought out tables, as did the staff of the district’s soon-to-open Career and Technical High School.

White gave a speech on behalf of the new inductees in which he recounted the path that each inductee took to athletics success. After the banquet, Dierker and the other new inductees signed autographs and posed for photos in the museum.

Morgado was one of two Pasadena ISD seniors awarded scholarships by the Hall of Fame committee. The other recipient, Jose Perales, a football letterman at Sam Rayburn, was also in attendance.

Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell addressed attendees at ribbon-cutting, as did Pasadena ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kirk Lewis.


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Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell addresses the crowd at the museum ribbon-cutting.

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Pasadena High distance runner Emely Morgado leads a parade of Pasadena ISD track athletes through the west entrance, officially opening the museum.

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Inductee Lanny White greats friends in Hall of Fame Museum.

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Just before the crowd hits, the museum's centerpiece plaque display awaits its first visitors.

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Hall of Famers Carl Choate (left) and Randall Kerbow (at right with his wife) look over the plaque display.

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(Left) A locker display featuring intermediate school sports items; (right) a South Houston High letter jacket, donated by Jay Hunt, Class of 1976, a teammate of inductee Wes Hubert.

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The Pasadena High Marine Corps JROTC presents the colors to kick off the banquet.

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Guest emcee Larry Dierker spins tales of his days in the big leagues.

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Inductee Alicia Mills Polzin, Dobie Class of 1989, with Hall of Fame President Terry Brotherton.

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Inductee John Holmes, South Houston Class of 1986.

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Inductee Wes Hubert, South Houston Class of 1976.

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Inductee Lanny White, Pasadena High Class of 1968.

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Family of the late Gene McCarley, Pasadena High Class of 1955. Grandchildren representing the family are Bryce McCarley, McKayla Gastian and Mason McCarley.

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Family of the late Weldon 'Stoney' Phillips, Pasadena High Class of 1933 and the Pasadena ISD's first director of athletics. Representing the family are Paige Becton (great granddaughter), Shauna Persohn Martinich and, Laura Persohn Truett (granddaughters), Nina Lee Phillips Persohn (daughter) and Noel Phillips Laake (granddaughter).

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Scholarship winner Jose Perales, Sam Rayburn High School.

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Scholarship winner Emely Morgado, Pasadena High School.

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Terry Brotherton formally announces the opening of the Hall of Fame Museum.

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Alicia Mills Polzin visits Larry Dierker's autograph table.

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Dierker signs an autograph for a banquet attendee.

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South Houston High grads Pam Wallace Jones. Herman Williams and Judy Williams pose next to some friendly colors.

2261Alicia Mills Polzin entertains some of her younger fans.