Angee Henry – Bellevue West

2010 inducteeClass of 1993

Few people have ever run faster or jumped farther than Bellevue West’s Angee Henry. A winning sprinter on the international circuit and a successful distance runner in masters competition, Henry made her high school mark in the 200, 400 and long jump, sweeping all three all-class gold medals as a junior. A chance to repeat her senior year ended when she was injured the week before the state meet. However, she graduated with the state record in the 400 (55.36 seconds) to her credit.

She went on to set a national age-group record in the long jump and competed on the USA Junior World Team in 1995. At the University of Nebraska, she was a two-time NCAA long jump champion, a three-time Big 12 Conference champion and a 10-time All-American.

 

Lloyd Hahn – Falls City

HOFAthlete. In the annals of Nebraska athletic history, this 1920 graduate of Falls City High School ranks very high, for at one time during the 1920s he was America’s finest middle distance runners and one of the best in the world. Starting his track career in high school, it is interesting that he starred in shorter events, the 100-yard dash, the 220-yard dash and the quarter mile. He set records all over the place in those events. Then after high school, he pursued self-improvement on his own, especially in longer races, the middle distances. Success came quickly. He was a member of the 1924 and the 1928 US Olympic Teams and at one time held world records at 800 meters, 880 yards, 1000 yards, 1,000 meters, 1,500 meters, the three-fourths mile and the indoor mile while running for the Boston Athletic Association. He eventually returned to farming outside of Falls City, and became a good friend and coach to the great Gil Dobbs, another great runner from Falls City.

 

 

Jessica Haynes – Omaha Central

2011 InducteeClass of 1985
Athlete
A two-time all-state and three-time All-Metro player, Haynes helped Central to back-to-back basketball state championships in 1983 and 1984. In 1984, she averaged 16.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game and her rebound and coast-to-coast drive for a layup sealed the state championship. She averaged 22 points and nearly 12 rebounds per game as a senior when she was a Parade All-American. In track, she ran on three gold-medal relays helping Central to Class A titles in 1983 and 1984. She attended San Diego State University where she was a three-year starter and a two-time All-Big West Conference selection averaging 16 points and nearly 10 rebounds per game during her career.

Mel Harder – Omaha Tech

Athlete. A Nebraska native, born in Beemer, this noted baseball pitcher grew up in Omaha and attended Omaha Technical High School during the 1920s. He was a terror in baseball, basketball and football at Omaha Tech, but he always thought of himself as a baseball player. During  the late ’20s he signed with the Cleveland Indians and began making a name as a dependable pitcher. He won 223 games in the majors, including five 20-game seasons for the Indians. Of special interest is his great record in baseball’s All-Star games, pitching 13 perfect innings, no hits and no runs allowed. Beginning in 1955, young baseball players in the Omaha could play in the Mel Harder League, a fitting reminder of this fine athlete.

Nickname(s): Chief, Wimpy 1909-2002

All-Star in 1934-37
IP W-L ERA Career 3426 223-186 3.80       Wins-Losses Winning % Manager 0-1 .000

Only Bob Feller won more games for the Indians than Mel Harder, who spent 36 years with the club as a pitcher and coach. His 582 appearances and 186 losses set Cleveland records. Only Walter Johnson and Ted Lyons pitched more seasons with one club than Harder’s 20 with Cleveland. Harder pitched the first game ever in Cleveland Municipal Stadium, losing 1-0 to Philadelphia’s Lefty Grove on July 31, 1932.

Nearsighted, Harder wore thick glasses. Joe DiMaggio said that he gave him more trouble than just about any pitcher, wasting his fine curveball outside, then coming in tight with the fastball. Harder held DiMaggio to a .180 average against him lifetime, and struck him out three times in a 1940 game.

By today’s rules, Harder would have been the ERA leader in 1933, when he posted a 2.95 mark. But he was a .500 pitcher until 1934, when he went 20-12. He followed with a 22-11 season, but came down with bursitis in his shoulder and a sore elbow. He nevertheless won an average of 15 games a season from 1936 through 1940. He was released late in 1941, but was given another chance after having elbow surgery. Though he won 47 more games over the next six seasons, he did not regain his old form.

Harder is the only pitcher to work 10 or more All-Star innings without allowing an earned run. Though overshadowed by Carl Hubbell, he won the 1934 All-Star Game, finishing it with five shutout innings. Using today’s standards, he would have been awarded saves in the 1935 and 1937 contests.

Harder became one of the first coaches to be exclusively a pitching coach, and lasted through 12 Cleveland managers. Under Harder, seven different Indians won 20 games, for a total of 17 times. Two others led the AL in wins with fewer than 20. He was credited with changing Bob Lemon from a poor-hitting infielder to a Hall of Fame pitcher. He left Cleveland in 1964, going on to coach for the Mets, Cubs, Reds, and Royals through 1969.

Bill Hawkins – Beatrice

2013 InducteeAthlete Class of 1952

Bill Hawkins lived the life of a schoolboy superstar, graduating from Beatrice High School with four-year school scoring records in football, basketball and track. A high school All-American in football, he averaged just under 10 yards per carry his senior year. All-conference in basketball, he averaged more than 17 points per game as a senior. And in the 1952 state track meet, he completed his “Athlete of the Year” season by putting on a one-man show winning all-class gold medals in both hurdles races, winning the Class A shot put, tying for first place in the high jump and finishing second in the long jump. The state selective pentathlon champion, he went on to letter three years in football and track for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

 

Bob Hohn – Beatrice

Athlete. This 1960 graduate of Beatrice High School earned all-state honors in football and basketball his junior and senior years plus winning four all-class gold medals in track and setting a state record in the 180 low hurdles. A member of the 1959 Class A state basketball championship team, he received further honors, being selected to the all-tourney team. His final high school honor was being selected as Athlete of the Year by both the Omaha World-Herald and the Lincoln Journal. He was chosen offensive player of the game in the 1960 Shrine Bowl after scoring three touchdowns for a total of 171 yards. He played football at UNL from 1962 to 1964 and was co-captain his senior year. Bob played on Bob Devaney’s first three bowl teams. He went on to play professional football and was starting left cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1965 to 1970.  In 2000, he was selected to Beatrice High School’s All Century Basketball Team.

Sunday May 12, 2002
Ex-player Bob Hohn fights ALS
By Michael Kelly , World-Herald Columnist

Bob Hohn remembers trying to tackle Jim Brown, the greatest running back of them all. His memory is helped by watching Jim Brown highlights on television – one as recently as two weeks ago.

Hohn, the 1960 Nebraska high school athlete of the year and a 1964 Husker football co-captain, played defensive back for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

On a first-and-10 play, he slammed into Brown two yards behind the line of scrimmage, hoping to throw him for a loss. When the play ended on the sideline, a dazed Hohn looked up and saw that he was two yards past one of the yard markers – and wondered how Brown could have dragged him four yards.

To his further surprise, he saw officials move the yard markers – it was a first down. Brown had gone more like 14 yards.

“It’s just embarrassing,” Hohn says all these years later, a hint of whimsy in his voice.

Through difficult days, Hohn tries to maintain a sense of humor. A guy who once was run over by a horse named Jim Brown is now fighting the disease that felled the “Iron Horse,” baseball great Lou Gehrig.

Hohn has ALS – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – a motor neuron disorder known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

If it’s ironic that even great athletes aren’t immune from a disease that robs its victims of muscle control, Bob Hohn says it’s terrible no matter whom it strikes – athlete or not.

He says matter-of-factly, not in self-pity: “You just sit there and watch yourself go away.”

But he’s not a recluse. Every week at Brewsky’s in Lincoln, he meets with friends for “Mondays with Bob,” a takeoff on the book “Tuesdays with Morrie.”

The number attending has ranged from seven to 27. Hohn has many friends from his days as an athlete and a businessman.

Bobby Hohn of Beatrice High, where he won 11 varsity letters, had a storied athletic career. His low-hurdles record stood for 16 years. He was a three-time state gold medalist in track.

At Nebraska, his 53-yard interception return helped beat Kansas. He played five years in the National Football League.

He’s enjoyed a career as a mortgage banker. He and his wife, Sandy, have two grown children and three grandchildren.

The Hohns’ lives changed in May 1999, when he was diagnosed with ALS.

“The first symptoms were that my legs kind of tingled,” he said. “Then I started getting cramps, and grew weaker and weaker.”

Says Sandy: “The disease is horrible, much worse than anyone can imagine. I have seen my husband, a wonderful athlete and proud person, reduced to indignity and humiliation beyond description.”

On June 17, the ALS Association is sponsoring its first Bob Hohn Celebrity Golf Tournament as a fund-raiser for research. Hohn’s former Husker teammate Frank Solich and his wife, Pam, are co-chairmen.

Among those scheduled to attend the event at Quarry Oaks, near Mahoney State Park, are Tom Osborne, Eric Crouch, Scott Frost and Tommie Frazier. Openings are still available at (402) 991-8788.

Bob Hohn says he never questioned why he was blessed with athletic ability, and he’s never questioned why he was stricken with ALS. He says he thinks a cure will come some day.

His body weakened, he is using his strength of character and mind to tackle a deadly disease.

Dennis Harrison – Ralston

 

ATHLETE 

Dennis Harrison competed at the top of a very elite group of gymnasts, winning two state high school all-around championships and a total of nine state gold medals. For the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Harrison was an 11-time All-American and the 1994 NCAA all-around champion. A five-time Big Eight champion, Harrison and the Huskers qualified for the NCAAs all four seasons, earning runner-up finishes in 1992 and 1993 before winning the national title in 1994. He set the Husker record in the floor exercise (9.90) and his career-best all-around score of 58.50 ranked second. He competed for the U.S. National Team 10 times, winning the all-around bronze medal at the 1993 World University Games.

 

 

 

Harold ‘Swede’ Hawkins – Oakland

Coach. Swede coached golf for a total of 23 years at Oakland-Craig and more than half of that time he had state championship teams. He picked up a total of 13 state trophies with 11 in a row in Class C. That feat established not only a state record but set a national record as well. The trophy cases had to be bulging because this did not take into account the numerous district and conference titles his teams picked up during this time.

His personal honors include being named Region 6 National Coach of the Year in 1987 and 1991 plus Nebraska Coaches Association Golf Coach of the Year in 1986,1987, and 1989. The Nebraska School Activities Association awarded him a service award for golf in 1990 and the Distinguished Service Award in 1994. His winning record was recognized by the Hall of Fame as one the Great Moments in High School Sports.

 

Cedric Hunter – Omaha South

ATHLETE

Cedric Hunter dribbled through one of the greatest eras of basketball in Nebraska High School history. The Omaha South guard who lettered in all four years, averaged more than 23 points per game as a junior and then scored 27.3 points per game as a senior and was selected the captain of the Omaha World-Herald’s All-Nebraska squad. He went on to play at Kansas, starting eight games as a freshman and 107 in his four-year career. He finished with 1,022 points for the Jayhawks and set the school’s single-season record for assists. He went on to play for the Charlotte Hornets for three years before a long career in the CBA/WBL where he set career records for assists and steals.


 

Gene Harmon – Schuyler

Athlete. The 6-foot-7 forward from Schuyler starred with center Chuck Jura on the 1968 Class B state championship basketball team.  Referred to as the “Jolly Green Giants,” the Schuyler Warriors were considered by some to be the best Class B team of all time.  During his high school career, Gene was a noted rebounder and defensive player, while maintaining a scoring average of 24.3 points per game.  Gene scored 53 points against York in 1969 for a single-game school record.   Gene racked up a career total of 1,466 points.  He also played football and was a gold medal champion in the high hurdles. He played college basketball for Creighton University graduating with a business degree in 1975.