Dan Ogle, the activities director at William Chrisman High School, feels a bit like a kid on Christmas morning.

Dan Ogle, the activities director at William Chrisman High School, feels a bit like a kid on Christmas morning.

“I have to admit it,” Ogle said earlier this week, “I’m pretty excited about our homecoming this Saturday. It’s going to be pretty special. It’s like seeing that big package under the tree and having to wait to open it.”

William Chrisman had put its annual Hall of Fame celebration on the shelf for a few years, but now the school with the richest history in Independence is going to present a special Hall of Fame class at 1 p.m. Saturday during halftime of its homecoming game against Nevada.

Chrisman was one of the first schools in the metro area to honor graduates who made significant contributions through their athletic endeavors. Chrisman inducted 59 members from 1989-2004.  

“No one really knows why the Hall of Fame took a little vacation,” Ogle said. “But when we decided to bring it back, we wanted to make it special. The past few months, I have been talking with the members of this year’s class and they are so special.

“It’s been one of the most enjoyable activities I have participated in at our high school and I know everyone who attends homecoming on Saturday is really going to enjoy it.”
Former President Harry Truman and Bess Truman will be honored with the Distinguished Service Award during the Hall of Fame Induction. Clifton Truman Daniel, their grandson, will be at the ceremony to accept the honor on their behalf.

Sports inductees are:

Robert and Roger Skinner, class of 1942. Brothers who were born hearing impaired, the Skinners excelled in athletics and academics at Chrisman and Tri-State College in Angola, Ind. Both taught math and data processing in special education programs at Cal State Northridge. Both are deceased.

Gary Bergen, class of 1951. Bergen was an all-conference basketball player as a junior and a senior and played basketball at the University of Utah. He was a No. 1 NBA draft pick of the New York Knicks. Bergen is deceased.

Mike Mattox, class of 1962. Mattox was a member of football and basketball teams at Chrisman and was the 1962 state champion in the discus. In 1961 and 1962 he medaled in the shot put. He qualified as a decathlete for the 1968 Olympic Games but was injured in preparation and forced to miss the games. He is currently a sporting goods and sports exercise equipment salesman.

Nancy (Davidson) Willoughby, class of 1982. Davidson was a three-time letter winner in volleyball, a member of two state-champion teams and all-conference, all-district and all-state her senior year. She played collegiate volleyball at Southwest Missouri State - now Missouri State University – and Ogle said she told him in a phone conversation, “She will not be late for the event because she does not want her former coach (Billie Wilson) to make her run laps.”

LaShena Graham, class of 1994. The incomparable Graham was a member of the 1993 Final Four team. She was all-conference, all-district and all-state. Graham is a member of the 2,000 point club and was All-Big 12 academic while playing at the University of Colorado.

Jillian (Ohrman) Bundy, class of 2003. A four-time letter winner in volleyball and track, she medaled in state in the pole vault. She was all-district four years, all-conference three years  and all-area two years in volleyball. She was a two-time All-American in volleyball at the University of Central Missouri earned MIAA all-academic honors two years.