*This originally ran in the Wayne County Press a couple months back, but I wanted to run it here as well as I understand the scope of how the feedback machine works in the modern era. Still, buy a damn paper.
Talk Resurfaces Of FCHS Hall Of Fame: How I Would Do it
by Brian Turner
With the recent passing of basketball legend Jed Foster, talk has once again surfaced of finally pulling the trigger on a Fairfield Community High School Sports Hall of Fame. It seems to come up every couple of years before hitting the back burner.
It’s something I’ve been approached about both here and in previous lives at other schools. I’ve seen how several schools have done theirs, the good and the bad. It frequently spirals down into pettiness, despite the often-well-intentioned beginnings. Imagine All-Tournament team pettiness on steroids. It is something I have been hesitant to get behind in the past.
However, if it is going to happen, I have some ideas.
Obviously, you are going to need a committee to select the Hall inductees. That probably needs to be 7-10 people, ideally spread out in age. These tend to be people born and raised and still here, but that doesn’t have to be a requirement obviously.
Seeding The Hall
There is always the question of inclusion numbers and not “watering down” the honor. So, in year one, induct four honorees. Why four? Because this then becomes your Mt. Rushmore of FCHS. The First Class Athletes.
Each member of the committee can nominate an athlete, and the each one ranks them, 1 to 5 or so. Rank choice voting.
After the first year, and the Mt. Rushmore, I would add one new inductee each year for four more years. So, five years in, you have eight members of the Hall of Fame at FCHS.
After that, switch to every other year for four more years. Nine years in, you have 10 members. That’s a pretty solid start without just doing a mad flurry to start and then nothing.
And then you look at switching to one every five years.
This is a compromise to keep it going, keep it newsworthy and keep it prestigious all at the same time.
When do these inductions take place? The answer there is obvious. Homecoming week. You could argue a basketball-only player should be during the basketball season or such with any one-sport athlete, but to keep it consistent, stick to Homecoming week.
Maybe even turn it into a fundraiser banquet of some kind. Did someone say Matt Kinney pork chops?
Then there is the question of how to do displays for the honorees. The trophy cases at FCHS have already been packed, whittled down and packed again. Trophies, plaques and team pics everywhere. And a few jerseys for good measure.
Don’t add too much or it becomes clutter. Have a Hall of Fame plaque hanging in the lobby but leave the bulk of the information on the inductees for the digital displays. It is 2021, we can make that work. You don’t have to go full College Basketball Hall of Fame where they have dedicated computers to scroll through audio, video and info, but you can work it into the displays already in the gym and the front lobby. And maybe an iPad display locked to just looking up more Hall info if you want. Again, it is 2021, not 1973. I know that may shock some in Wayne County.
My Mt. Rushmore
Circling back around to that initial class. I have a pretty clear-cut top four that should be the first class. One of them was already mentioned: Jed Foster. Then I go Vince Fisher, Tyra Holt and Carol Kline. That is a tough group to top. Can you?