The 11th and final Truman High School Hall of Fame Class was introduced Friday night by the Patriots activities director Eric Holm, who is retiring at the end of the school year.
"This is my 11th and final Hall of Fame Class and I have been so proud to be a small part of this process," said Holm, who took the class members on a tour of the school, then introduced them to a standing room only crowd in the gym between, the girls and boys varsity games against Lee's Summit.
"A lot of things have changed at the high school," said, as members of the Class of 2018 nodded in agreement. "We take a lot of pride in our high school and look forward to you seeing all the improvements."
Members of the Class of 2018 are:
• Derica Davidson, Class of 1999: Davidson earned six varsity letters in volleyball and basketball. She earned all-state in basketball and all conference and all district in volleyball. Set a single-season mark with 199 blocks and adde 195 kills. She played for the 2000 national championship basketball team at Johnson County Community College, averaging 19.2 points per game.
"I am so nervous, I don't even know if I can stand up straight and walk out on the court without a basketball or volleyball in my hands," Davidson quipped. "This is such a special night and I am so honored to share it with my family."
• Taryn Nash, Class of 2010: Nash, who was not able to attend, earned eight varsity letters in volleyball and soccer. She owns four career volleyball records and four season volleyball records. Nash helped lead the soccer and volleyball teams to multiple district titles. She was a two-time academic all-state recipient. Nash graduated in the top one percent of the Class of 2010.
• Paige Parker, Class of 2014: Parker is one of the most decorated players in the history of girls softball in the state of Missouri. She was a three-time Gatorade Player of the Year (2010, 2012 and 2013), four-time all-state, four-time first team all-conference and The Examiner's All-Area team.
She holds the school season and career records for wins, strikeouts, ERA and shutouts. As a hitter she has career record in hits, runs, doubles, home runs and RBIs. She was two-time academic all-state. At the University of Oklahoma, she was a four-time All-American, four-time Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, three-time academic All-American and Academic All-Big 12, received the Big 12 Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award and the 2017-18 Big 12 Female Sports Person of the Year. Most outstanding player in 2016 College Softball World Series and a 19-time Big 12 Pitcher of the Week.
"I live in Independence and have seen the changes to the outside of the school," said Parker, who gives softball lessons at The Dugout in Independence. "But it's so interesting to take the tour and see all the changes inside, too. It sure looks a lot different than it did when I was here. It's such an honor to come back and be a part of this Hall of Fame Class.
• Liz Riley, Class of 1975: Riley is considered instrumental in the acceptance of girls sports into the Independence School District. She was an outstanding athlete participating in all the outlets for girls at the time in basketball, volleyball, softball, tennis and bowling. Her speech, along with Alonda Mitchell of William Chrisman, to the Board of Education in 1974, is considered instrumental in the advent of girls athletics into the Independence School District. Her senior year, the first of girls’ sports, she participated in volleyball, basketball and softball.
"I'm excited about tonight, but I'm ready to head home to Mesa, Arizona," quipped Riley, who has been in Independence since last Thursday as weather forced postponement of the ceremony last week. "This is such a special honor. My roots are here in Independence and here at Truman.
Her brother Roger is a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
• Zach Watkins, Class of 2005: Watkins was an all-state linebacker and is the Patriots all-time leading tackler. Watkins earned eight varsity letters. He attended Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., and became one of the most decorated players in MIAA history. He was a four-year starter, three-year All-American, four-year all-region, three-time first-team all-conference. All-time leading tackler. In 2009 he was the MIAA Defensive Player of the Year, a three-time MIAA Scholar-Athlete, 2008 Academic All-American.
"This is great," said Watkins, the defensive coordinator at Washburn. "I'm here all the time recruiting, but I usually just go down to the coaches office. I can't wait to take the tour and see all the changes."
• 1981 Girls Basketball Team: The 1981 girls basketball team, coached by Pete Hile, record was 27-4 overall and 9-1 in league play and defeated Southwest High School from St. Louis 63-57 in the state championship game at the University of Missouri’s Hearnes Center.