Mon. Jun 1st, 2020

the Torch

The student voice of Wichita High School South

South Athletics Hall of Fame

9 min read

1968 South High Baseball Team

Recently at South, there were new inductions into the Sports Hall of Fame the inductees consisted of the 1968 South High baseball team, Lisa Adams, Sam & Marlene Campbell, Elmer Carpenter, Tony Dykstra, Laura (McNaught) Gale, Tim Millsap, Kari (Nett) Bitner, Bill Oswald, Lawrence Pete, and Mike Schmidt. The aforementioned inductees were involved in activities ranging from gymnastics, soccer, swimming, and other sports.

The first inductees were the entire 1968 South High baseball team. The team had beat Southeast High and Bishop Carol at state after tying with them for the GWAL title. Pitcher Scott Miller was acknowledged for achieving a state record of 105 strikeouts during the season. The team consisted of Ron Bonebrake, Tony Carr, Randy Cunningham, Ron Friedman, Chris Huges, Cliff Jones, Terry Latta, Scott Miller, Don Minge, John Mitchell, Harry Page, Charles Pike, Rusty Sims, Barry Tinius, and Jeff White. The team was coached by Bill Oswalt and Merlin Luthi, with Dave Christian serving as the team’s manager.

Lisa Adams

After the baseball team comes Lisa Adams. Adams was the gymnastics coach for South from 1979-1995. She graduated from Wichita State with a major in MA Counseling and was also part of the college’s gymnastics team. Whilst her time at South, the gymnastics team accumulated many awards for their performances. The team won Gymnastics City League Champions 11 times, Gymnastics Regional Champions 8 times, and Gymnastic State Champions in 1988. Adams won State Gymnastics Coach of the Year back-to-back in 1989 & 1990 and won All-American Gymnastics Coach of the Year in 1990.

(Left to right) Marlene & Sam Campbell

After Lisa Adams comes Sam & Marlene Campbell. The Campbells were cheer sponsors and arranged volunteers for the concession stands as part of their jobs as Special Committees Director. Sam was the Booster Club President for more than 11 years and was a member of the Carpenter Stadium Naming Committee. He also served as the out-of-town bus driver for the cheer team. Marlene was a cheer sponsor for more than 20 years.

Elmer Carpenter

Ever wonder how the Carpenter Stadium got its name? Well, it was named after none other than South’s first athletics director, Elmer Carpenter. Carpenter was a track and football star in his youth. He attended college at Independence Jr College and Emporia State University. Carpenter served in the Navy Air Force for four and a half years. After his return, he started the Kansas Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (KIAAA). He then became South’s first athletic director, as mentioned previously. He also helped develop the first national athletic directors group by the name of National Council of Secondary School Athletic Directors.

Tony Dykstra pinning an opponent

Up next is Tony Dykstra, who was inducted for his performance on the wrestling team. He attended South from  1985-1988. Dykstra was a three-time state champion in 1986, 1987, and 1988.

Laura (McNaught) Gale

Up next is Laura Gale (formerly Laura McNaught). She attended South from 1989-1993. During her time at South, she played on the girls soccer and volleyball teams. She was also an editor for The Torch and The Sceptre (South’s newspaper and yearbook, respectively). She was also in all-city soccer and a four year letterman for soccer and volleyball. She is a three-time AAU national champion and two-time All-American.

Next in the new inductees is Tim Millsap. Millsap graduated from South in 1984. He was a four year letterman in soccer and was First-team All City in soccer as a junior and senior. He received a scholarship with Newman University to play soccer but was then enlisted in the army in 1985. Millsap was killed during service on April 25, 2005 and South’s soccer field was promptly renamed after him in his honor.

Kari (Nett) Bitner

After Millsap comes Kari Bitner (formerly Kari Nett). Bitner attended South from 1975-1978. During her time at South, she was part of the gymnastics team. She placed 16 times in individual events at state gymnastics, received numerous city and regional awards, and was a member of three state title winning gymnastics teams.

Bill Oswalt

Up next is Bill Oswalt. Oswalt was a coach at South from 1962-1999. He was the boys gymnastics coach from 1962-1968, assistant football coach from 1962-1999, head baseball coach from 1964-1991, and the official basketball score book from 1980-2005. He was awards City League Coach of the Year for boys gymnastics in 1966, 1967, and 1968. He was awarded City League Coach of the Year for baseball eight times. He was awarded State Coach of the Year for baseball in 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1985, 1987, and 1990. The 1980 South baseball team was ranked 2nd nationally and he had teams rank top 20 nationally four other times.

Lawrence Pete in his Lions uniform

After Oswalt comes Lawrence Pete. Pete attended South from 1981-1984. During his time at South, he participated in football, track, and weight lifting. He was awarded Honorable Mention All-City, 2nd Team All-City, and was given a full athletic scholarship to the University of Nebraska. After his time at South, he was drafted in the NFL for the Detroit Lions and played five seasons.

Mike Schmidt

Finally, the last inductee is Mike Schmidt. He attended South from 1969-1972. During his time at South, he was part of the swimming and tennis teams. He was a swim team letterman for three years and a state champion for the 50 & 100 freestyle in 1970. He was also the class salutatorian and the swim team captain in his senior year.

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June 2020
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