GCHS Athletics Hall of Fame inducts 10 students, 2 coaches, 2 teams in special ceremony New Year’s Eve

It was a night to remember for 10 former Garden City High School standout student-athletes, 2 legendary coaches and 2 state championship teams.

New Year’s Eve, at The Golf Club at Southwind, those individuals, coaches and teams were inducted into the inaugural class of the Garden City High School Athletics Hall of Fame.

Founded in the fall of 2018, and working for more than a year, the induction ceremony took place in front of approximately 190 attendees as part of the 4th Annual Buffalo Ball, sponsored by the Living Legacy Fund, which raises scholarship monies for graduating GCHS seniors.

Emma Tull, a 2019 GCHS graduate, gave a moving testimony about what the scholarship had meant for her, and about her experiences during her four-year GCHS career. Now attending Kansas State University, Tull was a standout swimmer for the Lady Buffaloes team and participated in the state swim meet throughout her high school career.

The Hall of Fame inductees were chosen by a Committee of 9 members, six of whom are former GCHS student-athletes, and chairman Drew Thon, the current GCHS Athletics Director, and two at-large members.


The inductees, which includes their graduating year and sports) is comprised of Cindy Benitez, girls soccer (2009); Jon Bigler, wrestling (1980); Mike Bryan, football (1988); DeAnn Craft, girls basketball (1982); Katie Ford, softball (2007); Mike Johnson, football (1962); Jim Moore, football/basketball/baseball (1992); Stewart Nelson, boys basketball (1972); Brandy Perryman, boys basketball (1994); and Brian Post, boys swimming (1987.

The two coaches were Dave Meadows, football (1988-1999) and Wallace “Rocky” Welton, wrestling (1985-1999). Meadows coached the 1999 Buffaloes to a Class 6A state football championship, the school’s only one in the sport while Welton guided the Buffs to six state Class 6A titles in the 1990s (1990-91-92-93-98-99), including 11 individual state champions.

The 1966 boys basketball team claimed the school’s only state hoops title under Coach Curt Shipley, who had written a moving letter to the Committee talking about the 1966 squad. He was unable to attend due to health reasons.

All individual student-athletes attended, except Johnson, who passed away in 2003. Welton, who was unable to attend due to health reasons, was represented by his wife, Phyllis, and daughters.


On Tuesday morning, the inductees and family members attended an unveiling ceremony at the high school, where a Hall of Fame wall plaque was displayed on the west wall of The Garden. The 24-foot-by-4-foot panels displays individual plaques of the inductees with some of their accomplishments, a mural designed by a GCHS student, the criteria for election into the Hall, and a panel that chronologically lists all GCHS individual and team state champions since 1919.

The entire wall display was generously provided by funding from Keller-Leopold Insurance of Garden City. The Hall of Fame Committee and Garden City High School thanks Eric and Doug Keller, and Shawn Myers, for their support of GCHS athletics.


Following is a short bio on each inductee:


Category: Student-Athlete

Sport: Basketball


  • All-time Leading Scorer for GCHS, 1,010 points
  • Tied Single-Game Scoring Record, 38 points
  • 1st Career Assists: 240; Single Season, 97, 1992
  • 2nd All-Time Steals: 138
  • 1st 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: 42.5, 1991-92


Category: Student-Athlete

Sport: Basketball


  • 1972 State Tournament Most Valuable Player
  • 1972 State Tournament Runner-Up Team
  • 2 Career Scoring, 860 points
  • 1 Single Season Scoring, 516 points
  • 2 Career Rebounding, 427
  • Tied 1st Single-Game Scoring Record, 38 points
  • 1st Team All-State, All Classes, 1972


Category: Student-Athlete

Sports: Football/Basketball/Baseball


  • Tied 5th Sacks: 12
  • 9th Career Tackles: 217
  • 1st Career Rebounding: 462
  • 2nd Career Scoring: 783
  • 3rd Career Steals: 134
  • 4th Career Assists: 175
  • Top 11 GCHS Player/ Wichita Eagle for 20th Century
  • Single season/Career Home Run Leader in Baseball


Category: Student-Athlete

Sport: Basketball


  • 2nd Career Scoring Leader: 943 Points
  • 1st Career Free Throw Percentage: 76.3
  • 1982 Wichita Eagle-Beacon 1st Team All-State
  • 1980-1981-1982 Garden City Telegram All-Area Top 5
  • 1982 Topeka Capital-Journal All-State


Category: Student-Athlete

Sport: Football


  • 1st Team All-State Running Back
  • Played on Undefeated 9-0 1961 team
  • Top 11 GCHS Player/ Wichita Eagle for 20th Century
  • College played at University of Kansas
  • NFL Defensive Back for Dallas Cowboys (1966-1969 seasons)


Category: Student-Athlete

Sport: Football


  • GCHS Athlete of the Year, 1988
  • USA Today All-American High School, 1988
  • Top 11 GCHS Player/ Wichita Eagle for 20th Century
  • 1st Team All-NJCAA at Garden City C.C.
  • College Played Offensive Guard at the University of Wisconsin, 1991-92


Category: Student-Athlete

Sport: Girls Soccer


  • All-Western Athletic Conference, 2007-2008-2009
  • All-Area Garden City Telegram, 2006-2007-2008-2009
  • All-State Class 6A, 2006-2007-2008-2009
  • Career Scoring Leader: 157 Goals
  • Single-Season Scoring Leader: 40 Goals
  • Semifinalist, Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year, 2009


Category: Student-Athlete

Sport: Softball


  • Career Wins/Strikeouts/ERA: 55/678/1.28
  • Pitched 3 No-Hitters, 2007
  • All-Western Athletic Conference, 2004-2005-2006-2007
  • Western Athletic Conference Softball Player of the Year, 2007
  • Garden City Telegram All-Area, 2004-2005-2006-2007
  • Hutchinson News Pitcher of the Year, 2007
  • Kansas Softball Coaches Association All-State, 2005-2006-2007


Category: Student-Athlete

Sport: Swimming


  • Class 6A 100-Yard Backstroke Champion, 1985-1986-1987
  • Class 6A 200-Yard Individual Medley Champion, 1985-1986-1987
  • Class 6A State Record, 200-Yard Individual Medley, 1987
  • Member, Class 6A 4×100-yard medley relay state championship team, 1987
  • Tied for 1st All-Time Individual State Championships, 6
  • 1987 GCHS Swim Team Placed 2nd in Class 6A


Category: Student-Athlete

Sport: Wrestling


  • Class 6A State Champion, 98-pounds, 1978
  • Class 6A State Champion, 105-pounds, 1979
  • Class 6A State, 3rd Place, 112-pounds, 1980
  • Garden City Telegram All-Area Team, 1978-1979-1980
  • 1st Two-Time State Champion in School History
  • 1st Four-Time State Qualifier in School History


Category: Coach

Sport: Football

1988 to 1999

  • 87 Wins, 34 losses (.719 %)
  • 1st All-Time Wins/Garden City High School
  • Head Coach, 1999 Class 6A State Championship Team
  • Coached 1990-1991-1998 Class 6A State Runner-Up Teams
  • 12 Seasons With Winning Record (No losing seasons)
  • School Record 10 Wins Twice
  • 1992 Kansas Shrine Bowl West Head Coach


Category: Coach

Sport: Wrestling

1985 to 1999

  • Coached six Class 6A State Championship Teams (1990-91-92-93-98-99)
  • Career Dual Record: 200-50-4
  • Coached 11 Individual GCHS State Champions
  • Coached 18 Individual GCHS State Runners-Up
  • Member, Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame, 2005

1999 Football

Category: Team

  • Head Coach: Dave Meadows
  • Class 6A State Champions
  • Season Record: Won 9, Lost 3
  • State Championship Game: Garden City 14, Olathe South 7

1966 Boys Basketball

Category: Team

  • Head Coach: Curtis Shipley
  • Class AA State Champions, 1966
  • Season Record: Won 21, Lost 4 (Most wins in a season by a GCHS Boys Team)
  • State Championship Game: Garden City 62, Pittsburg 48
  • Defeated the Nos. 1, 4 and 2-seeded teams en route to the championship


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