BOURBON – The Triton Athletic Hall of Fame inducted another class on Saturday at the fourth annual Hall of Fame induction banquet.
The Hall of Fame recognized a contributor, coach, and three student athletes. Making up this year’s outstanding class were contributor Joe White, coach Charlie Smith and former athletes Ryan Meister, Curt Anders and Jeff Brunk.
The five inductees were honored during the Hall of Fame weekend. The festivities began with recognition at the Triton Boys Varsity Basketball game against Knox on Friday, February 28th. The inductees were then honored at a dinner ceremony at the Back Forty in Bourbon on March 1st.
Triton High School Athletic Director, Mason McIntyre, developed the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.
“I believe it’s important to know and understand our rich athletic tradition,” McIntyre said. “Since the schools inception during the 1963-64 school year, many athletes have worn the blue and gold. But these athletes, coaches, and contributors that were recognized set themselves apart by running the fastest, winning championships, and otherwise distinguishing themselves in high school and college athletics.”
The inductees were chosen by a selection committee of five members who include Larry Lemler from the Town of Bourbon, Dave Shively from the Town of Etna Green, Ken Blackford from the Town of Tippecanoe, and members at-large Duane Walters and Hal Kuntz.
Triton High School graduate Joe White was the first to be inducted into the Class of 2014 as a contributor. Joe has been a member of the Triton football chain crew for 30 plus years. His dedication and commitment to the Triton Athletic Department is to be commended.
Coach Charlie Smith was inducted as the fourth Triton Athletic Hall of Fame Coach.
“I have to thank my mother, who is resting in God’s Kingdom,” Coach Smith said. “I coached a total of 121 games in my career as a head football coach and my mother attended all 121 games to watch me coach.”
Coach Smith coached the Trojan football team for four seasons and posted a 27-9-1 record. He also won three TRC championships. He went on to coach nine seasons at Tippecanoe Valley High School, winning a state championship in 1979.
Ryan Meister was the first student athlete who was inducted into the Class of 2014. Meister participated in football, basketball, and track at Triton. He went on to play basketball at Bethel College where he scored over 1,000 points.
When asked about what he missed most about high school sports Meister said, “I can’t say that I miss anything because I never really left. I have enjoyed watching my own kids play sports at Triton and because of them, I have been a part of Triton sports for over 35 years.”
The next athlete inducted was 1984 graduate Curt Anders.
Anders participated in football, tennis, basketball and track at Triton High School. He once held the basketball career scoring and assist record simultaneously and still holds three records in track: High Jump – 6’8”, Long Jump – 22’1”, and the 110m hurdles with a time of 14.9 seconds. Anders went on to play basketball at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California where he played in two NAIA National Tournaments.
“A lot of people thought I should have pursued track in college,” Anders recalled. “But I really had a love for basketball.”
The last induction of the evening was Jeff Brunk.
A 1977 graduate of Triton High School, Brunk played football, basketball, baseball, and track at Triton. He is probably best known for his skills on the football field earning All-State Honorable Mention two times, once as a quarterback and once as a linebacker. Brunk went on to play two years of football at Ball State University and was a member of the 1978 MAC championship team.
Brunk thanked Triton Athletic Hall of Fame Coach Ron Smith for creating a love for mathematics.
“There were lots of teachers throughout my high school career that contributed many things to my life,” Brunk said. “But Mr. Smith changed a young man’s outlook on mathematics. That change in attitude led me to my chosen career, a career that has provided many things for my family and me over the years.”
The induction banquet was full of laughter, tears, stories, and highlights from the many accomplishments, contributions and lives that have been touched by these inductees. “Although I am saddened to see the evening come to an end, I’m excited about tomorrow and what the future holds for the Triton Athletic Hall of Fame,” McIntyre said.
Plans for the 2015 Hall of Fame weekend have already begun.
The selection committee and the Triton Athletic Department look forward to recognizing a new class of individuals who have set themselves apart on the courts and the fields of Triton High school and beyond.