The La Vega ISD Hall of Fame will launch next month with a trio of Central Texas sports icons joining the initial class.
The school announced the start of the new tradition on Friday and the 11 inductees, which include Texas Football founder and longtime Trib sports editor Dave Campbell, major leaguer Arthur Rhodes and track and field national champion Stacey Bowers-Smith.
The induction ceremony is slated for Sept. 6 at La Vega's Willie Williams Stadium prior to kickoff of the La Vega vs. Argyle football game.
Campbell, a 1942 La Vega graduate, was the Tribune-Herald’s sports editor for 40 years. Along the way, he created Texas Football in 1960 and the magazine has become the signal for the state’s football fans that the gridiron season is coming soon. Campbell was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
Along with inducting Campbell into the La Vega ISD Hall of Fame, the school is starting the Dave Campbell Award for Excellence. The first recipient will be former educator and community leader George Dixon.
Bowers-Smith and Rhodes will be inducted as Athletic Achievement award winners.
Bowers-Smith, the Super Centex Female Athlete of the Year as a senior in 1995, became Baylor’s first woman to win an NCAA track and field national championship when she claimed the triple jump title in 1999 with a distance of 45 feet, 10 inches. She followed that up by winning the triple jump at the U.S. Championships later in 1999 with a mark of 45-2.5.
Rhodes, a 1988 La Vega graduate, was a member of the 2011 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals and a National League All Star with the Cincinnati Reds in 2010. He played 20 MLB seasons, compiling 87 wins and 33 saves. Rhodes struck out 1,152 batters to just 516 walks.
Former La Vega boys’ basketball coach Kevin Gill, who led the Pirates to the 2000 3A state title, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame and receive the Coach’s Award.
The rest of the La Vega ISD inaugural Hall of Fame class includes Lewis Breeland (Educator’s Award), Dr. LuAnn Ervin and Amy Bajer Delk (Academic Achievement), and Tom Stanton, Kenneth Young and Gary Young will receive Friend of La Vega awards.