Hall of Fame to recognize next Elite 11 at Oct. 10 Football Luncheon


The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame will recognize its next Elite 11, a group of former high school, college and professional football players, during the upcoming Football Luncheon presented by the Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company, President and Executive Director Jerald Andrews announced Thursday.

The ceremony is scheduled at 11 a.m. on Monday, October 10 at the University Plaza Convention Center in downtown Springfield. The Hall of Fame is inducting former Missouri Tigers quarterback Corby Jones, longtime Seneca coach Tom Hodge, the Camdenton High School football program as well as Randy Ball, a Columbia Hickman and Truman State standout who was a successful college coach and is a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Elite 11 features Chuck Banta (Springfield Parkview/Mizzou), Ben Nichols (Springfield Glendale/Colorado/Atlanta Falcons/ Denver Broncos/Rhein Fire), Lee Coleman (Springfield Hillcrest/Missouri State/Evangel), Isaac Sooter (Sarcoxie/Evangel), Darrin Newbold (Aurora/Missouri State/New York Jets/Oklahoma Outlaws), Anthony Frazier (Springfield Greenwood/Mizzou), Robert Clardy (Marshfield/Southwest Baptist), Wes Kemp (St. Louis De Smet/Mizzou), Lance Crayton (Springfield Catholic/Missouri State), Steve Mayfield (Aurora), Landon Zerkel (Webb City/Missouri Southern) and Brandon Peck (Clinton/Central Missouri).

An individual ticket is $40. A table of eight sponsorship is $400 and includes an autographed print of the inductees and sponsorship recognition in the printed program. A head table ticket is $100. For tickets, call the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame at 417-889-3100.

Chuck Banta (Parkview/Mizzou): Banta was a standout for Parkview High School in the early 1970s. He scored six touchdowns in the 1970 season and eight TDs in 1971 when the team won eight games. Banta, named All-Ozarks by the News-Leader in 1971, went on to play for the Missouri Tigers. Primarily playing as a defensive back, he led Mizzou with four interceptions in 1976, the year the Tigers beat Southern Cal, Ohio State and Nebraska. As a senior, Banta was a preseason All-Big Eight Conference selection by the Associated Press and honorable mention All-Big Eight postseason. He went on to become President and CEO of Springfield-based Banta Foods for 31 years before retiring in 2008.

Ben Nichols (Glendale/Colorado/Atlanta Falcons/Denver Broncos/Rhein Fire): Nichols was a Blue Chips All-American and a two-time All-State offensive lineman for the Glendale Falcons, earning the Springfield Quarterback Club’s Lineman of the Year award in 1992. He also was All-Ozarks, all-district and all-conference. As a senior, he did not allow a quarterback sack, nor was ever flagged for a penalty, as Glendale finished 8-2 and won the Ozark Conference. Nichols then played for the Colorado Buffalos. He was a two-time letterman at CU, where he in 12 games his final two years, including nine in 1998 (425 plays) when the team beat Oregon in the Alamo Bowl. He missed the prior season due to a pituitary tumor. He went on to sign with the Atlanta Falcons and played for the Denver Broncos as well as in NFL Europe, winning a World Bowl ring with the Rhein Fire. He is now a certified personal trainer and body builder in Springfield.

 Lee Coleman (Hillcrest/Missouri State/Evangel): One of the best players the Hillcrest program has produced, Coleman proved to be a multi-talented asset as an All-American honorable mention and two-time All-State selection at running back, defensive back and punt returner. In 1997 alone, he earned the All-American honor and First Team All-State as a defensive back. Overall, Coleman also was a three-time All-Ozark Conference, two-time All-Ozarks by the News-Leader and three-time all-district selection. His 417 all-purpose yards against Columbia Rock Bridge in 1998 is still among the all-time state best, and he is the career leader in punt return touchdowns, with six. That season, Coleman was named the All-City MVP by the Springfield Quarterback Club, leading Hillcrest to a 9-1 record and scoring 23 touchdowns. His 46 career touchdowns were a city record but now rank fourth all-time and are second-most at Hillcrest, trailing only Dorial Green-Beckham. Coleman then played at Missouri State from 1999-2002, earning the Bears’ Scout Team Player of the Year award during his redshirt year and their 2002 Special Teams Player of the Year award. He finished his career at Evangel University.

Isaac Sooter (Sarcoxie/Evangel): A First Team All-State quarterback from Sarcoxie, Sooter is still ranked among the state’s best in single-game passing yards (420) and touchdowns in a game (6). He is twice listed in the records for most single-season passing yards (1999 and 2000) as well as average passing yards per game (272). Additionally, Sooter’s senior season of 2000 led to great honors on first-team lists of the All-Mid-Lakes Conference, district and Joplin Globe All-Area. Sarcoxie was 7-2 his senior year and ranked in the top 10 all year. Overall, Sooter threw for more than 6,000 yards and 65 touchdowns, including 2,475 yards and 29 TDs his senior year. He played four seasons and was a two-time letterman at Evangel University before a earning doctorate from Lindenwood University. Sooter is now the principal at Reeds Spring High School.

Darrin Newbold (Aurora/Missouri State/New York Jets/Oklahoma Outlaws): Newbold was a standout two-way player at Aurora High School before graduating in 1978. He was a four-year letterman as a linebacker and running back, earning all-conference and all-district honors. The team was 7-3 his senior year. Newbold was a three-year letterman for Missouri State (1980-1982) and was All-Mid-Continent Conference first team in 1982. His 12 passes broken up, a defensive stat, rank sixth in program history and his 25 passes broken up rank seventh. Additionally, Newbold’s 15 sacks in 1982 are tied for second-most in program history, and his 26 sacks are sixth-most career-wise. Newbold was a seventh-round draft pick (190th overall selection) of the New York Jets in 1983 and later signed with the Oklahoma Outlaws of the United States Football League. He is now a banker in Monett.

Anthony Frazier (Greenwood/Mizzou): Frazier led Greenwood to the Class 1 state championship in 1981, as the team beat Gallatin 14-0 in Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Frazier was named All-State in football and basketball. Coach Paul Mullins moved him from wide receiver to quarterback in 1981 because the team needed a new QB, and the team took off. Frazier was named the All-City Back by the Springfield Quarterback Club in 1981. He then played at Mizzou from 1982 to 1986, earning three letters. Frazier is now an attorney in Columbia and resides in Ashland.

Robert Clardy (Marshfield/Southwest Baptist): Clardy enjoyed a tremendous career at Marshfield High School while playing for coach Jack Randolph. Clardy finished with 3,378 yards rushing, breaking Jim Hartman’s career rushing record (2,999 yards) set from 1965 to 1967. Clardy also finished with 344 points scored, breaking Mitch Espy’s career scoring record (246) set from 1996 to 1999. The Blue Jays won two district and two Central Ozark Conference championships with Clardy at quarterback, with Marshfield finishing the 2002 season at 6-4 overall and 4-0 in the Class 3 Central Ozark Conference race. In his senior year, his 130 points scored broke Espy’s school record (128) and earned Clardy an All-State selection. He averaged 129 yards per game and 7.4 yards per carry. He also scored 18 rushing touchdowns, returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and scored on a 65-yard interception return. He also passed for three TDs and a pair of conversions, hitting on 24 of 72 passes for 433 yards. Clardy went on to play quarterback for Southwest Baptist before graduating in 2008. He led the Bearcats in total passing and offensive yards for three consecutive seasons and led the team in rushing and scoring for two. Clardy ranks in the top three for total offensive yards and pass completion percentage and holds the school’s career record for pass completion percentage. Clardy finished his career ranked seventh all-time in the MIAA in total offense. He is now the head coach at Southwest Baptist University.

Wes Kemp (St. Louis De Smet/Mizzou): Kemp was a highly touted athlete who, as a senior at De Smet, ranked as the No. 3 overall player in any position in the state of Missouri, as well as the nation’s No. 33 wide receiver by Scout magazine. He was a three-time First Team All-State selection, helped De Smet to the Class 6 state championship in 2005, and hauled in 127 career catches – 25 for touchdowns – and 2,632 yards receiving. That included 1,082 yards as a sophomore (a 27.1 yards-per-catch average), and a state quarterfinal appearance in 2007. At Mizzou, Kemp was a three-year starter – he started 33 games overall – and was part of four bowl games, including the 2011 Independence Bowl victory against North Carolina. Overall, he hauled in 92 passes for 1,207 yards and 11 TDs in his Mizzou career. Kemp earned a business degree in 3 ½ years and lives in Kansas City.

Lance Crayton (Springfield Catholic/Missouri State): Crayton was a two-time All-State quarterback who led the Springfield Catholic Fightin’ Irish to a 29-5 record in his final three seasons, with two teams seeing their seasons end in the playoffs to the eventual state champions. Crayton enjoyed a big senior season in 1988, when he was selected First Team Class 1 All-State, all-conference and all-district. That season, the Irish finished 11-1 for coach Fred Redd, with Crayton also earning First Team All-Ozarks by the News-Leader, the Sports Journal/Pepsi Cola Prep Football Player of the Year and the All-City MVP as voted on by the Springfield Quarterback Club. In one memorable game against Pea Ridge, Arkansas, he combined for six touchdowns (3 passes, 3 rushing) and, defensively, had four interceptions. As a junior, he was All-State, all-conference and all-district in a 10-1 season. Crayton accounted for all six TDs in a playoff loss to eventual state champion Seneca that year. He had built toward his outstanding career at Springfield Catholic with a fine sophomore season, leading coach Steve Spencer’s team to an 8-3 record and earning all-conference and all-district. He went on to play one season at Missouri State.

Steve Mayfield (Aurora): A 1983 graduate of Aurora High School, Mayfield was the varsity quarterback in 26 games, earning All-State, all-conference and all-district during his junior and senior seasons. He led coach Harv Welch’s squad to the Class 3 state semifinals and a 10-2 record during his junior season, when Mayfield threw 22 touchdown passes. He was 122 of 223 passing with 1,659 yards that season. As a senior, he led Aurora back to the state playoffs (8-3 record) by rushing for six touchdowns throwing 17 TDs, connecting on 106 of 233 attempts for 1,447 yards. Mayfield, who also was all-district as a place-kicker as a senior, went on to play golf at then-Southwest Missouri State. His two sons, Logan and Garrett, played college football, and Mayfield currently holds the title of Vice President, Mortgage Loan Officer for Springfield First Community Bank.

Landon Zerkel (Webb City/Missouri Southern): Zerkel is a 2008 Webb City High School graduate, who as a junior, helped the Cardinals win the 2006 state championship. He played wide receiver and free safety, earning All-State, all-conference and all-district honors in his junior and senior seasons. In basketball, he earned four letters and started three seasons. He also was an NCAA Division II All-American football player at Missouri Southern, where Zerkel earned All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association honors.

Brandon Peck (Clinton/Central Missouri): Peck is a 1991 Clinton High School graduate who, as senior running back, was named All-State after rushing for 2,227 yards on a team that reached the Class 3 state semifinals. Peck also was a big part of Clinton’s undefeated regular-season team (10-0) as a junior. He was all-district and all-conference in his final two years of high school, winning a state wrestling championship. He went on to the University of Central Missouri, where he was a two-year letterman as a redshirt freshman and redshirt sophomore. In those years, he handled punt returns and was a cornerback as well as the special teams captain his second year. In the season-opener of his redshirt sophomore year, he had two interceptions to earn Player of the Week honors in the MidAmerica Intercollegiate Athletics Association. He had three interceptions in the first three games that season before a knee injury ended his college career.