Kansas City Chief-turned-broadcaster Danan Hughes, Ozark Tiger and Miami Hurricane Rusty Medearis, longtime Cabool coach John Mark Hale and Waynesville radio’s Marv Luten are now inductees of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Joining the Class of 2022, too, are the Seneca High School Football Era of 1983-1996, and the Lighthouse Christian Chargers’ Five National Championship Teams.
CEO & Executive Director Byron Shive presided over the annual Football Luncheon presented by the Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company on Wednesday, as a crowd of nearly 700 turned out at the University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center in Springfield.
Additionally, SRC Holdings, Inc., Executive Vice President Gary Goetz was bestowed the President’s Award by Jerald Andrews, the Hall of Fame’s longtime CEO & Executive Director who handed over the reigns on August 1.
The Hall of Fame also recognized the Elite 11 Awards, which honor former high school, college and professional standouts who made positive impacts on the game.
“We are excited to welcome our football honorees into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame,” Shive said. “We also are particularly happy to honor Gary Goetz, who has thrown a ton of support behind the Hall of Fame, as well as the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper. It also was nice to honor deserving individuals in our Elite 11 class for all that they did for their schools and beyond.”
This year’s Elite 11 are: Dr. Bob Arnce (Carl Junction High School/William Jewell College), Joey Ballard (Missouri Southern State University), Jared Beshore (Lamar High School/Missouri State University), Brock Christopher (Kearney High School/University of Missouri), Nathan Dunn (Marshfield High School/Missouri State University/Southwest Baptist University), Dr. Jared Emery (Mountain Grove High School/Missouri State University), Craig Evans (Lebanon High School/University of Missouri), Jon Field (Kickapoo High School/University of Tulsa), T.W. Norman (Stockton High School/University of Illinois), Rick Scholten (Bolivar High School/Pittsburg State University/Southwest Baptist University), and Brandon Taylor (Greenfield High School/Southwest Baptist University).
Danan Hughes – Kansas City Chiefs
After playing football and baseball at the University of Iowa – and then playing baseball two years in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system – Hughes made his mark with the Kansas City Chiefs. His arrival came as the Chiefs were in the midst of their Golden Era of the 1990s, as Hughes played from 1993 to 1998 as a wide receiver and was voted a team captain in four of his six seasons. Overall, he played in 85 games in an era when the Chiefs were a combined 62-27 and won three AFC West Division championships. Hughes’ best seasons came in 1995 and 1996 when, respectively, he had 103 and 167 yards receiving. Since retiring, he has gone into broadcasting. He has been a part of the Big Ten Network’s & ESPN’s baseball and football coverage since 2008. He also has been a mainstay on the Chiefs’ local pregame and postgame shows since 2014. In 2020, he was promoted to an in-game analyst for the Chiefs Radio Network. A longtime mortgage banker, Hughes joined Central Bank of the Midwest in 2022 as a home mortgage lender.
Rusty Medearis – Ozark High School/University of Miami
Medearis starred for the Ozark Tigers in the 1980s, twice earning All-State honors at outside linebacker in addition to being the Central Ozark Conference’s MVP his junior and senior seasons. He also lettered twice in baseball, basketball and track & field. At the University of Miami, when the Hurricanes were among the powerhouses of college football, Medearis finished his career with 22 sacks, the seventh-best total in Miami history. He would have had more if not for a devastating knee injury in the third game of the 1992 season. Before then, Medearis had been an absolute menace. He had 5 ½ quarterback sacks in his first collegiate start against Texas Tech. A year later, among his highlights were two sacks of Houston All-American quarterback David Klinger, 2 ½ sacks against Penn State, two more against Florida State and then four against mighty Nebraska in the 1992 Orange Bowl victory that gave Miami a share of the national title. Overall, Medearis was a Freshman All-American in 1990 thanks to 10 ½ sacks and finished second in Outland Trophy voting behind teammate Russell Maryland. He was a second team All-American as a sophomore, and preseason All-American entering 1992.
John Mark Hale – Cabool High School
Hale is in his 49th year on the football coaching staff at Cabool High School, located off Highway 60 in a Texas County community of roughly 2,100 folks. Hale has served in numerous roles over the years, from defensive coordinator to offensive coordinator, as well as special teams, wide receivers and centers. Primarily, he has consistently worked with defensive backs and has been a part of 193 wins. He was the head coach in 1995 after a late-summer departure. Over the years, Cabool has won a couple of conference championships and six district titles. The 1987 team was the most successful in his tenure, as the Bulldogs reached the state quarterfinals and finished 10-2 after falling to eventual state champion Brentwood Academy of St. Louis. Hale also is the groundskeeper, and the school district named its football field in his honor in 2021. He has received an NFL Hall of Fame/Army Leadership Award and was a recipient of the Doug Potts Right Hand Man Award from the Missouri Football Coaches Association, which inducted him in 2020. He also handles laundry for the football and basketball teams and serves as the team bus driver. A 1969 graduate of Murray (Ky.) High School, Hale was all-conference as a football defensive back and all-district as a catcher. He graduated from Murray State University in 1974.
Marv Luten – Broadcaster
Few schools can boast of having a longtime football broadcaster, but Waynesville High School can certainly do just that. Luten was the Voice of the Waynesville Tigers from 1982 to 2022. His arrival coincided with the arrival of then-coach Rick Vernon (MSHOF 2017). He was on the call for Waynesville’s 2007 state championship, as well as its seven district titles, seven conference championships (five in the Mid-Missouri Conference, two in the Ozark Conference) and saw three players go on to the National Football League. Additionally, Luten worked basketball, baseball and softball radio broadcasts not only for Waynesville but also for other communities such as Crocker, Dixon, Iberia, Laquey, Licking, Newburg, Plato, Richland and Stoutland. Luten is a 1972 graduate of Roosevelt High School in St. Louis, where he played some sports but mostly worked to help support his widowed mother. He has been a longtime member of the Missouri Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association.
Seneca High School Football 1983-1996 Era
When folks talk about the most tradition-rich football programs in the state, the Seneca Indians are certainly in the conversation. Between 1983 and 1996, they were among the most dominant. Coached by Tom Hodge (MSHOF 2016), Seneca won two state titles, with the 1987 team beating Brentwood 20-13 and the 1995 team beating Herculaneum 35-14. Both of those state title teams finished 14-0. The success isn’t confined to those two teams, however. Seneca had state runner-up finishes in 1983 and 1986. Additionally, the Indians reached the state semifinals in 1991, as well as the state quarterfinals in 1989, 1993 and 1996. Overall, Seneca compiled a record of 145-35 during the era, which also included district championships in 1985 and 1990. It was also in that era when Seneca filled 31 slots on All-State lists.
Lighthouse Christian Chargers National Championship Football Teams
Based in Springfield, Lighthouse Christian Athletics has won five National Homeschool Football Championships, with the years covering 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2021. David Lohn coached the first two national title teams, while David Staley led the next two before former Kansas City Chiefs lineman Brett Williams (MSHOF Elite 11 2020) took over the Chargers for the 2021 season. The 2008 team beat North Georgia of Canton, Ga., 23-14 in the inaugural NHFA Championship and finished 7-2. The 2009 team finished 7-5 and beat North Georgia 34-22 in the finals. The 2013 team beat defending champion Central Virginia Disciples 19-12 and finished 11-2. The 2014 team finished 7-5 but was ranked No. 2 entering the tournament, then beat the Christ Prep Patriots of Kansas City 21-7. In 2021, the team beat Tomball Christian Warriors of Texas 27-24 and finished 9-2.
Gary Goetz – President’s Award
Gary Goetz, the Executive Vice President of Springfield-based SRC Holdings, will be honored with the President’s Award. It is bestowed on individuals who champion the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and sports in general across the Show-Me State, and Goetz certainly has made a positive impact. He has been involved with the PGA Korn Ferry Tour’s Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper for 25 years, as NewStream Enterprises – a part of SRC – joined in 1997 as an umbrella sponsor for the then-Nike Ozarks Open. SRC later sponsored the SRC Pro-Am beginning in 2003, and it has continued every year since. The company’s support of the tournament, managed by the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, has allowed the PCCC to gift nearly $18.4 million since its inception in 1990. Additionally, NewStream Enterprises has been a corporate sponsor of the Hall of Fame since 2002, and Goetz has served on the Hall of Fame’s Governing Board for nearly a dozen years. His support of numerous events, such as Celebrity Golf Classics, Enshrinements, luncheons and PCCC-related pro-ams has made a positive impact on both organizations. Goetz is a 1984 graduate of Lindbergh High School and a 1988 graduate of Drury University. He helped Lindbergh win a 1984 state tennis title by placing fourth in doubles, and then played four years on Drury’s tennis team. He has worked for SRC for 32 years, rising from a customer service representative in 1990 to Executive VP in 2016.
ELITE 11 AWARDS
Dr. Bob Arnce – Carl Junction High School/William Jewell College
Arnce was a two-way football standout for Carl Junction’s Bulldogs, earning All-State as a linebacker and as an offensive guard in 1984, a year after earning All-State as a linebacker. He helped the Bulldogs win three conference championships, two district titles and advance to the 1983 state semifinals, when Arnce played despite a broken wrist. He was recruited by the University of Oklahoma and numerous smaller schools. Additionally, he was a state wrestling runner-up in 1985 despite suffering a meniscal tear of his left knee mid-season. Ultimately, Arnce was a three-year football letterman for William Jewell College, where he was Defensive Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore, a Defensive team captain, all-conference in 1987 and an NAIA Academic All American as a senior. After graduation, he played one year of football at Oxford in England. He has been practicing emergency medicine for nearly 30 years and is currently an emergency room physician at Freeman Health System in Joplin and an Assistant Professor at the Kansas City University School of Medicine.
Joey Ballard – Muskogee (Okla.) High School/Missouri Southern State University
Ballard was a two-sport athlete (football, baseball) at Missouri Southern State University, which eventually inducted him into its Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017. He was the only athlete in the history of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association to earn league Freshman of the Year in two sports (1998 football, 1999 baseball). Overall, he was a seven-time All-MIAA selection – three in football and four in baseball. In football, he set the career record for most passes caught by a running back (72), most receiving yards by a running back in a single season (377, 1998) and in a career (772). He also held the school career record for punt returns (75) and most punt return yardage (699). He also is 10th in single-season scoring in program history (72 points, 1998). In baseball, he ranked in the top 10 of seven different career categories – notably fourth in runs scored (204), fifth in steals (62) and triples (12) and sixth in hits (226). A graduate of Muskogee High School in Oklahoma, Ballard now is an assistant football coach for Joplin High School.
Jared Beshore – Lamar High School/Missouri State University
Beshore helped Lamar become a powerhouse in football, as he helped the Tigers win three consecutive Class 2 state championships in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Lamar was 41-4 in his final three seasons, with Beshore becoming a four-time All-State selection. He rushed for 4,920 yards in his career and scored 88 touchdowns, and also had 23 career interceptions. He also was a three-sport letterman and helped the Lamar boys track team win the 2013 and 2014 state titles as an All-State sprinter. At Missouri State, Beshore totaled 240 tackles, 16 pass break-ups and seven interceptions, all in 44 games. He was an assistant coach at Branson High School and has been Lamar’s head coach since 2020. He guided the Tigers to the state title in his first season and a state runner-up finish in 2021.
Brock Christopher – Kearney High School/University of Missouri
An accomplished three-sport star at Kearney High School, Christopher was a standout linebacker and tailback. He rated as the No. 31 inside linebacker prospect in the nation according to Rivals.com, and the same group ranked him as the No. 7 overall prospect in the state of Missouri. SuperPrep had him as the No. 55 prospect at any position in the Midlands region. He led Kearney in tackles all four years, as he registered career totals of 467 tackles, 51 tackles for loss and three interceptions. Along the way, Kearney won back-to-back Class 4 state football titles (2002 and 2003). He was a three-time First Team All-State selection at linebacker (2002-2004). As a junior, he ran three times for 50 yards in the 2003 title game, and added a game-high 10 tackles (including one for loss), as Kearney completed a 13-0 season. He had 84 tackles as a senior, including 11 tackles for loss and three interceptions. At Mizzou, he played in 52 games over four seasons, and was a three-year starter who had 307 tackles, including 20 tackles for loss. He is now national sales manager for MAG Trucks in Columbia.
Nathan Dunn – Marshfield High School/Missouri State University/Southwest Baptist University
Dunn has long been considered one of Marshfield’s top athletes over the past 30 years. He was a running back and outside linebacker on the Blue Jays football teams of 1997, 1998 and 1999, playing in the same backfield as Mitch Espy (Elite 11 2017). Dunn broke the Marshfield rushing record, which was 30 years old at the time, and also broke the single-season touchdown record. He finished his last game with five touchdowns against West Plains, and those included four on offense and one on defense. Along the way, he helped lead the team to its best record in 21 years, when in 1998 the Jays finished 7-3. That was part of back-to-back winning seasons and kick-started a solid run of success over the next several years. Dunn also was First Team All-State in baseball his junior and senior years, ranks third all-time in Missouri high schools with 32 home runs, or four shy of Joe Crede (MSHOF 2013). He later played baseball at Missouri State and then football and baseball at Southwest Baptist University. Dunn now owns Dunn Mowing & Landscaping.
Dr. Jared Emery – Mountain Grove High School/Missouri State University
At Mountain Grove, Emery was a First Team Class 3 All-State selection as a defensive back, but also was the quarterback. He passed for 1,907 yards and 25 touchdowns, and had 2,518 total yards of offense in his career. He also earned All-District, All-Ozarks and all-conference and finished with 119 total tackles. The team finished 10-3 in 2004, sharing the league championship and winning its third consecutive district title. He also kicked and punted, earning All-State honors as a kicker as a junior. Overall, Emery earned 12 total letters in football, basketball, golf and track. At Missouri State, he played four seasons and was a two-year letterman. In 2009, he was third on the team in receptions with 24 and won the Arthur Briggs Award for Outstanding Student Athlete. Emery is an emergency room physician for 360 Degree Medicine in Lebanon and coaches Missouri State’s beach volleyball team.
Craig Evans – Lebanon High School/University of Missouri
The Lebanon Yellowjackets have historically produced quality players who have gone on to compete in college. Evans is among the lengthy list, as he earned All-State and All-Ozarks honors as a senior defensive lineman in 1978. That year, the Yellowjackets finished with a winning record, a remarkable achievement considering Evans helped end a 42-game losing streak the year before. Listed as a 6-foot-4, 225-pounder, he was a three-year starter as an offensive and defensive tackle. He then went on to play at the University of Missouri from 1979 to 1983, earning a varsity letter in 1981. He was on teams that played in the Hall of Fame Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn., and the Tangerine Bowl (now Citrus Bowl) in Orlando, Fla. In 2011, Lebanon High School retired his No. 74 jersey. An agriculture teacher at Lebanon High School, Evans has given back to the game by coaching youth football for several years.
Jon Field – Kickapoo High School/Tulsa University
A 1992 Kickapoo High School graduate, Field made a name for himself in football. Primarily a tight end and safety, he was a three-year starter and earned Class 5 All-State honors as a tight end in 1991, when he had six touchdown catches. That came a year after Field hauled in six touchdown passes, including a late TD in a win against Joplin. He went on to play at the University of Tulsa for two seasons before an Achilles tendon injury ended his career. Field’s time with the Golden Hurricane featured playing alongside teammates who went on to the National Football League – quarterback Gus Frerrotte, Chris Penn and Barry Minter. Field finished his bachelor’s degree at Baylor University in Waco, Texas and, these days, is a real estate developer in Springfield who also manages several rental properties.
T.W. Norman – Stockton High School/University of Illinois
Former Stockton coach Mike Smith, who went on to be Webb City’s defensive coordinator for years, once said Norman was “destined to play on Sundays.” Few who saw Norman would argue that point. He was a 6-foot-3, 230-pound linebacker who could max rep 425 pounds. In 1999 and 2000, he landed on the Class 2 All-State list and, in 2000, was a USA and Rivals.com All-American. In his final three seasons, Stockton was a combined 22-10, and he himself had 3,559 career rushing yards with 37 touchdowns and made 343 tackles. That included 1,445 yards rushing and 13 TDs his senior year. He also was First Team All-Ozarks, All-Area, All-District and All-Conference and MoSports.com’s Defensive Player of the Year. Norman was recruited by all Big 8 Conference and Big Ten Conference schools, as well as Notre Dame, UCLA, Florida and many Southeastern Conference and Pac 10 schools. Norman signed with the Illinois Fightin’ Illini but, unfortunately, suffered a broken foot in preseason practice, underwent surgery and never played. Fortunately, the university still honored his scholarship all four years. He has since given back as a minister in Illinois.
Rick Scholten – Bolivar High School/Pittsburg State University/Southwest Baptist University
Scholten helped the Bolivar Liberators reach the 1992 state championship game and the state semifinals a year later. A three-year starter and three-year letterman on both sides of the ball, he likely would have been an All-State selection in 1993 if not for suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Week 9. Still, he was a three-time All-Central Ozark Conference selection, including as a defensive end and tight end his final two seasons. A multi-sport athlete (basketball, baseball), Scholten led Bolivar in receiving those seasons. After redshirting at Pittsburg State, he started 36 of 41 games at Southwest Baptist University, earning four letters. He later went into coaching, serving as an SBU assistant and then a head coach at Greenfield, Marionville, Fair Grove and Aurora high schools. His 2005 and 2006 Marionville teams were state runners-up. Scholten also was a head coach for the 2007 Southwest Missouri Grin Iron Classic, president of the Southwest Missouri Football Coaches Association, the MSHSAA area representative (2007-2011) and served on the Missouri Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame committee from 2010-2015. He is currently state manager at American Fidelity Insurance.
Brandon Taylor – Greenfield High School/Southwest Baptist University
Taylor earned All-State in Class 1 as an offensive lineman for Greenfield High School, and helped the team to a 21-2 combined record his junior and senior seasons in 1999 and 2000. The Wildcats won the Mid-Lakes Conference and were District 3 champions both seasons, reaching the state quarterfinals in 1999 and the sectionals in 2000. He also was First Team on the Mid-Lakes, All-District, All-Southwest Missouri Football Coaches Association and All-Ozarks teams as a two-way lineman. He also was on The Joplin Globe’s All-Area team as an offensive lineman. Taylor later played at Southwest Baptist University, where he was a team captain in 2005 when he played defensive end. These days, Taylor is the Chief Financial Officer for Legacy Bank in Springfield. His awards include the 2017 Springfield Business Journal Top Local Financial Executive, 2016 Springfield Business Journal 40 Under 40 award and 2015 Missouri Bankers Association Young Bankers Leadership Award.