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Prescott High School Hall of Fame to enshrine Class of 2015 on Friday

Jo. L. Keener/The Daily Courier, file<br>
Former Prescott High star baseball and basketball player Dillon Baird (2004-06), shown here during his playing days for the Badgers, will be inducted into the PHS Athletic Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015 on Friday, Aug. 28.

Jo. L. Keener/The Daily Courier, file<br> Former Prescott High star baseball and basketball player Dillon Baird (2004-06), shown here during his playing days for the Badgers, will be inducted into the PHS Athletic Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015 on Friday, Aug. 28.

The Prescott High Athletic Hall of Fame will induct the members of its 2015 class this Friday afternoon, Aug. 28, inside the school's multipurpose room, the Hall of Fame's committee announced this past week.

This latest class consists of three former athletes and one former team, which will also be honored during halftime of the Badgers' football squad's season opener versus Camelback that evening. Kickoff is 7 p.m. Friday at Bill Shepard Field in Prescott.

Former longtime Prescott High teacher and P.A. announcer Eddie Viliborghi inspired founding the PHS Athletic Hall of Fame, which started in 1977 and is considered the first of its kind in Arizona. Viliborghi remains a member of the HOF committee.

Each year the HOF committee selects individuals and/or teams that significantly impacted the Badgers' athletic programs.

Prescott High HOF Committee member Bill White said the 2015 inductees include basketball and baseball player Dillon Baird; girls' track and field athlete Kate Pierce; softball player Keli Stann; and the 2000 Class 4A state champion boys' track and field team.

What follows are descriptions for each of the inductees entering the Hall, whose past members' names and photos are on permanent display in a gallery at the main entrance of the PHS Dome gym. The HOF Committee provided most of this information.

• Dillon Baird, basketball and baseball (2004-06): Baird was the consummate two-sport star. He played basketball for former coach Rich Geske, leading the Badgers in scoring for two seasons. As a junior, Baird garnered honorable mention All-State accolades and was a first team all-area pick. As a senior, he paced Prescott in both points and rebounds en route to nabbing All-State and first team all-area honors.

In baseball, Baird led the Badgers in hitting, runs scored, RBIs and homers as a junior. He subsequently was named to the all-area first team.

During his senior season, Baird led Prescott in batting average, runs, hits, RBIs, doubles, homers, walks and on-base percentage. He also tied for the team lead in stolen bases and compiled a 7-3 record as a pitcher. Baird was later chosen all-area player of the year.

• Kate Pierce, track and field (1998-2001): Pierce, a four-year letter winner on the girls' track and field team, sparkled in the pole vault and triple jump. She finished third in the pole vault at the state meet as a junior, and took fourth in the event at state as a senior. Pierce still holds the PHS girls' program's record in the pole vault with a mark of 10 feet, 6 inches. She's also listed at No. 10 in the girls' program's record books in the triple jump with a leap of 31' 3".

• Keli Stann, softball (1995-98): Stann, one of the finest catchers in Badgers' softball history, caught two of the program's all-time best pitchers, Christy Jones and Kristen Hommel, in the mid- to late-1990s.

A four-year letter winner and a member of two region championship teams, Stann was a first team all-region pick as a senior. She also made the honorable mention all-region list twice.

• 2000 Class 4A State Champion Boys' Track and Field Team: Fifteen years ago, the Badgers stunned the 4A state tournament field, capturing the team trophy by a slim margin. And yet several of the squad's coaches and athletes did not learn that they had won the state title until the day after the meet.

Those Badgers who qualified for state, and the events in which they competed, in 2000 were:

• Ben Brimhall (triple jump, long jump).

• Matt Burton (4x800-meter relay, 4x400m relay, 400m, 800m).

• Ben Clark (1600m, 3200m).

• Cade Close (110m high hurdles, 300m intermediate hurdles).

• Josh Conner (shot put, discus).

• Ben Evenson and Sean Naus (pole vault).

• 4x400m relay team of Sky Asay-Davis, Clayton Bowen, Burton and Hank Link.

• 4x800m relay team of Asay-Davis, Burton, Matt Kehn and Tayler Nissen.

Coaches for the 2000 boys' team included Darryl Doss, Ed Lingelbach, Tom Lopeman, Guy Naus, Carolyn Peters, Ray Wherley and Bill White.

To report an item for the High School Notes column, send an email to dcook@prescottaz.com or call him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.

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