Four outstanding individuals comprise the seventh class of the Waxahachie High School Athletic Hall of Fame, announced WISD Athletic Director Greg Reed this week.
Mike York is the lone inductee into the Legends category, which is comprised of student-athletes or coaches who participated prior to 1968.
Frank A. (Tres) Blankenbeckler III is the newest member of the Modern category, while Chim Curry and Dr. Rick Reddington will be inducted into the Friend category.
The newest inductees will be honored at the seventh annual Induction ceremony and scholarship program at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25 at the Waxahachie ISD Fine Arts Center to kick off homecoming weekend.
Proceeds from last year’s event provided $250 in scholarship funds for each of three 2018 Waxahachie graduates — Caleb High, Jordan Jeffcoat, and Taylor Stoops.
Mike York, class of 1955, lettered in golf from 1952-55 and was named the Waxahachie High School "Outstanding Golfer" for three years running from 1953-55.
York earned district and regional medalist titles in 1953, ’54 and ’55. He was the state champion in 1955 with a two-round score of 141 to defeat future professional golfer, Jackie Cupit, and future Masters champion, Charles Coody, in the state final round.
He attended SMU on a golf scholarship from 1955-59 and lettered in golf from 1956-1959, often competing against future professional golf notables and champions Don Massengale and Charles Coody among others.
York participated in nine consecutive Texas State Junior Tournaments, with the first time being as a 12-year-old and the last time as a 20-year-old. He finished second twice — the last time in a play-off against future professional golfer Billy Martindale, who shot 65.
In his post-student-athlete days, York has claimed multiple Waxahachie Country Club champion titles and Ellis County champion titles. His love of golf continued for more than 65 years, competing as an amateur throughout Texas, the United States, Canada, Scotland and New Zealand. He even shot his age of 74 in 2012.
Frank A. (Tres) Blankenbeckler III, class of 1968, is described by his friend, Bart Underwood, as “a consummate basketball player and student of the game…a relentless, dedicated perfectionist in improving his technique and skills but also a very unselfish player placing team achievements over individual honors.”
Blankenbeckler was known as a “gym rat” for the many times his coach, J.W. Williams, had to tell him to leave the gym.
Tres’ leadership was recognized as early as his sophomore year when he was named second-team all-district in 1966. During his junior year on the 1967 state semifinalists Runnin' Indians team, he was selected to the all-district, Dallas All-Metro team and second-team all-state, as well as being named to the 3A all-tournament state team.
He also served as co-captain for the Runnin' Indians on the 1968 district championship team during his senior season. He was selected to the all-district, Dallas All-Metro and all-state teams that year, as well as played in the Texas High School Coaches Association North-South All-Star Game.
John McCutchen, who was a co-captain in 1968, stated, “I was honored to be co-captain (with Tres) on the 1967-68 Indian basketball team that won 28 games in a row. [...] At 6-foot-2, he jumped center for us. He was always the shortest of the two jumping but not one time did he lose a jump ball our entire senior year.”
Receiving over 50 full-ride scholarship offers to universities all over the country, Tres accepted an offer from the University of Texas at Austin, where he played for three years and lettered in both his freshman and junior years.
Off of the court, Tres was a straight-A student in high school, a member of the National Honor Society and received not one, but two degrees from the University of Texas at Austin — a bachelor's and master's in business before returning to the family business in July of 1974.
He now serves as president of Carlisle Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac, a Chevrolet dealership started in 1926 by his grandfather.
He has also served the community of Waxahachie, being active in the Rotary Club, as well as serving on the Baylor Hospital Board and the Waxahachie Foundation.
His company, Carlisle Chevrolet has been a supporter of youth baseball and the Navarro College Brilliance scholarship fundraiser.
The Friend to WHS Athletics category is defined as someone who has extraordinarily contributed to Waxahachie ISD athletes, especially for a sustained period of time. This year, that person is Chim Curry, whose legacy and nomination reads, “In the last 20 years if a person played baseball, Chim Curry was the reason. [Curry] is a longtime Waxahachie Youth Baseball board member and field manager for The Optimist Fields, an ambassador for youth baseball.”
In one of two Daily Light articles from Aug. 3, 2013, Curry is credited as “the engine” driving youth baseball at the Optimist, which includes the upkeep of five fields and often work behind the counter at the concession stand. The Daily Light article also notes Curry is an all too rare role model for kids, a man way too busy on all that needs to be done for the programming to continue to look for recognition.
The second Daily Light from the Aug. 3, 2013 edition also details the various behind-the-scenes work Curry does on a day-to-day basis, which includes filling water jugs, keeping the scoreboards and lights in working order. It also noted that even more impressive than the routine tasks completed by Curry are the life lessons he has helped teach over the years at The Optimist.
“Beyond how to hit, throw and catch…is discipline, dedication (not quitting), sacrifice, commitment, teamwork, patience, and humility,” the article adds.
Dr. Rick Redington, who came to Waxahachie in 1975 and joined the Family Practice Clinic with Dr. Nelson Jones and 2013 inductee Dr. Dave Williams, joins Curry in this year’s Friend category.
Redington not only joined the professional practice but assisted Dr. Williams in volunteering on the various playing fields and courts as Waxahachie athletics team physician, giving physicals to local athletes of all ages, walking the sidelines, working with coaches and trainers and tending to injured players. He took over the role as the primary team physician upon the retirement of Dr. Williams in 1999.
After Redington retired from general practice, colleagues Dr. William Major, Dr. Galen Kemp, and Dr. Ben Boone wrote, “Rick is one of the most common-sense family docs we have ever worked with. We will dearly miss his expertise and practicality but most all his steadfast, caring presence.”
This year’s induction ceremony will also include a reception featuring the works of longtime Waxahachie Daily Light photojournalist and Waxahachie High Class of 1976 member, Scott Dorsett.
Dorsett played tennis for the Indians but is most well known for years of providing a pictorial history of Waxahachie sports through his photography.
His photos will be made available for purchase during the reception with proceeds from the exhibit split between the WHS Ex-Students Athletic Hall of Fame scholarships and the reduction of medical debt incurred by the Dorsett family throughout Scott’s journey of recovery from a near-fatal accident.
Along with the induction ceremony and scholarship program events on Thursday evening, the inductees will also be honored during the pre-game festivities on Friday, Oct. 26 and at the WHS Ex-Students’ Association annual homecoming luncheon on Saturday, Oct. 27.
For more information on the WHS Athletic Hall of Fame, visit www.waxahachieexstudents.org or contact Polly Williams at 214-740-0122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.