USD 489 approves bowling teams, will form Athletics Hall of Fame


At Monday’s USD 489 school board meeting, the board unanimously approved the creation of a Hays High Bowling Team and a Unified Bowling Team.

“Unified Bowling, for definition, is taking students with disabilities and combining them with students without disabilities and making one team,” Superintendent Ron Wilson said. 

According to Athletic Director Lance Krannawitter, Unified Bowling is part of a larger Unified Sports initiative. 

“Sports is a great way of bringing those kids together,” Krannawitter said. “Unified Bowling is something that KSHAA  sanctioned as a high school event with its own championship.”

Unified Bowling is a separate season from the regular KSHAA Bowling season. Unified Bowling season runs from September through November. The regular bowling season begins in January.

Over 90 Kansas schools currently have a bowling team and 70 percent of those who participate do not compete in other sports. Hays High is the only school in the Western Athletic Conference without a bowling team. 

The creation of a bowling team would also put Hays High in contention for the WAC Champions Cup. The cup is awarded to the school that earns the most points in all boys’ and girls’ sports.

“Since we don’t have bowling, that puts us at a disadvantage in being able to collect points against other teams,” Krannawitter said. 

Hays High will also form an Athletics Hall of Fame this fall.

“The Hays High Athletics Hall of Fame will be established to honor former Hays High athletes, teams, coaches and administrators and contributors who have made an extraordinary contribution to Indian athletics,” Hall of Fame committee member Kirk Maska said. 

The idea for the Hall of Fame started with a committee of Hays High alums from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s. A nomination process has been established along with criteria for the nomination process which includes being a graduate of Hays High School. Nominees become eligible 10 years after their graduation class. 

When nominating players,  athletic letters, all-league, all-state, league player of the year, McDonald’s All-American and similar awards will be taken into consideration. 

Coaches must be inactive for at least five years before nomination. There are no time limits for administrators and contributors. 

This year, the committee nominated members, but going forward, a nomination form will be available online and anyone can create a nomination. 

The inaugural class will be the athletes of the 1944 State Championship Boys Basketball Team, 1953 undefeated Football Team, 1954 undefeated Football Team, 1989 Girls State Champion Track Team, Willard Schmidt Class of 1946, Dale Alexander Class of 1959, Gene Rider Class of 1964, Carmen Ginter Class of 1978, Marla Powell and Terrie Sargent Class of 1981, Tamara Munsch Class of 2000, Jeff Bieker Class of 2001, Marcus Watts Class of 2002.

Two coaches will be inducted in the inaugural class: Jim Maska and Bob Kuhn along with Athletic Director Mike Karl. 

“It’s a pretty big class and the next year or two we’ll probably do a bit of catching up and then after that the class sizes will drop into the five to eight range,” Maska said.

Once the new high school is built, a touch-screen kiosk will be placed in the commons area with information about those in the Hall of Fame.

A banquet to honor the inductees will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 13 at the Hilton Garden Inn. Tickets can be purchased online for $40. Four hundred fifty tickets are available. 

The next board meeting will be July 18.

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