Your Sports Link 6-17
John Thompson brings you the latest in ABL play, as well as inductees for the 2013 ASAA High School Hall of Fame.
FOR IMMEDIAATE RELEASE – June 17, 2013
ASAA NAMES CLASS OF 2013
ALASKA HIGH SCHOOL HALL OF FAME
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Alaska School Activities Association announces the Class of 2013 Alaska High School Hall of Fame. Eight individuals will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony on August 4, 2013, at 5:00 PM, in the Redington Ballroom at the Millennium Alaskan Hotel in Anchorage. The public is invited to attend this ceremony.
The Hall of Fame was established to identify and honor, in a permanent manner, individuals who exhibited high ethical standards and integrity while achieving excellence in high school athletics and activities, as well as others who have distinguished themselves by virtue of exemplary contributions to the advancement of interscholastic athletics and activities in the State of Alaska.
Categories include student athletes and students who have participated in fine art and academic activities. Other categories include coaches, advisors/directors, administrators, officials/adjudicators and major contributors.
Edward Blahaus, Jr.
(Athlete – Soccer) Chugiak High School, Anchorage
Eddie Blahaus was a standout soccer player in the 1980’s. While attending Chugiak High School he earned varsity letters in soccer, basketball and football. Soccer was his first love and he was named to the All-Region Boys Soccer team from 1983-1985. Eddie’s understanding of the game and his ability to see the field and anticipate play were his trademarks. Eddie was also a student athlete excelling in academics that he carried forward to his four years at Seattle Pacific University. While at SPU he was a member of the NCAA D-II National Championship Team. Eddie graduated cum laude from SPU, and magna cum laude from California College of Podiatric Medicine. He currently is the Chief Podiatrist at the Seattle Sports Medicine Clinic in Washington.
(Athlete-Swimming) West Anchorage High School, Anchorage
Mia Costello was an outstanding student athlete. She began her swimming career as a result of scoliosis and eventually became the premier Alaskan Swimmer. During her career she set eight state records and became state champion in two events, the 100-meter breaststroke and 200-meter individual medley. Mia qualified for the U.S. National Team in swimming while still in high school. Mia was also a top student and attended Harvard University. She became the first Harvard women to qualify for NCAA D-I in swimming and swam in the finals for the 200-meter breaststroke and was honored with a spot in the Harvard Hall of Fame. Mia also became the first Alaskan to qualify for the Olympic Trials. Mia is currently a public asset serving in the Alaska House of Representatives. She is married to Andrew Billings and has two sons.
(Coach – Basketball) Wasilla High School, Wasilla
Roger Nelles, a basketball coach for over 42 years, is a familiar face around high school basketball courts. He has coached at Delta, Palmer High Schools, with the major part of his career at Wasilla High School. Roger knows that talent often wins games and many times the best coached team doesn’t always come out on top. Roger waited a long time to have his wish come true; in 2007 Wasilla High School won its first ever 4A boys basketball title. He has served as a mentor to many young coaches and helped build programs and traditions. He has a tireless work ethic, is a man of honor and integrity and has had profound impact on young people, his peers and his community. Roger retired from teaching in 1999 but continues to contribute to the basketball program through volunteer coaching at Palmer High School.
Catherine (Cathe’) Rhodes
(Coach – Track/Cheerleading) Wasilla and Colony High School. Wasilla
Cathe’ Rhodes has dedicated her career to teaching and coaching for over 30 years. She has made enormous contributions to Track & Field and Cheerleading. Her specialty was coaching hurdles, sprints and high jump. She was selected as Region III Girls Track & Field Coach of the year in 2000, 2002; and in 2003, Alaska Girls Track & Field coach of the year. She served as head referee at region championships and was the NFHS Section 8 Representative to the Track & Field Rules Committee. She has made large contributions to cheerleading as well. She served as Competition Director and as a certified judge and stunt trainer. She received the National Federation of State High Schools Associations Section 8 Spirit Contributor award. She has served as a trainer in both Track & Field and Cheerleading. Cathe’ is recognized for her expertise in the classroom, as well. She currently works as an Alaska Mentor Teacher and prepares teachers throughout Alaska. She also currently serves as Rules Interpreter for the ASAA State Track & Field Championships.
(Coach – Basketball) Lathrop High School, Fairbanks
Coach "T” arrived in Alaska when his father was stationed at Ladd Field. He quickly became a standout player at Fairbanks High School. After a short stint outside Alaska he returned to school at UAF to play basketball and later coached for the girls. While “Joey” received recognition as a player, it was his coaching that endeared him to many. Coach “T” was involved with the Lathrop High School basketball program for 17 years and touched many in the community with his dedication and caring for the young people. Under Coach “T” the Malamutes won a state championship in 1964 and runner up in 1966. Coach “T” built young men of character and emphasized becoming productive and contributing members of society. His legacy of service to young people will endure through the lives of the many people he touched in positive ways. Sadly, Joe passed away in September of 2012.
(Coach - Basketball) East and West Anchorage High Schools, Anchorage
Alaska High School Basketball is personified by Coach White. His passion and dedication is legendary. During his career he won 921 of 1149 games for a .802 winning percentage. He is among the top 10 U.S. basketball coaches in winning percentage. His career has spanned 41 years and touched hundreds of young men. He also won 18 state championships and was instrumental in showcasing Alaskan basketball players on the national scene leading to numerous athletic scholarships. Coach White’s demeanor on the court was sometimes unpredictable but those that know him recognize how deep his caring went for his players. Coach White’s influence has elevated the quality of the game of basketball and the level of coaching throughout the state. He was selected as Alaska State Coach of the year five times. Coach White is retired but can still be seen in the crowd cheering on young people.
(Administrator) Angoon and Juneau-Douglas High Schools, Juneau
Ron Gleason served for 24 years as an administrator in the State of Alaska. He was a principal at Chatham School District and Juneau Douglas High School. He exemplified in every way his belief that engaging students in their own education was primary. During his career he served as a teacher, coach, activities director and principal. Ron represented Region V as an ASAA board member providing an effective voice for small schools. He served as Region V president from 1987-1992. At the same time he also served on the ASAA Board of Directors from 1990-1996 and served as ASAA president from 1993-1996. During the 1990s athletics and activities were very political and much distrust between the regions was evident. Under Ron’s leadership major issues found resolution and set the stage for today’s more cooperative relationships. Ron had a fun sense of humor and a sparkle that thawed many a tense situation. He retired in 1999 but served for two years after that as the Director of the Alaska Association of Student Government. Currently he is the principal of Anglo-American School of St. Petersburg in Russia.
Steve is a power to be reckoned with. He is a true Alaska Native leader in so many ways. Steve coached basketball at Unalakleet High School for 14 years. During this time his teams won two state championships and one runner up. His teams were recognized for sportsmanship and hard play. Steve’s teams had a formidable reputation. After he retired from coaching he began to advocate for ASAA at regional and state levels. Steve has worked as a color commentator for championship basketball telecasts for 18 years. As he gains prominence in the Alaska Native Community, he continues to be an advocate for ASAA activities and the important role they play in the smaller communities. As a result of his efforts, many Native Corporations are valued sponsors for ASAA. No matter where or what Steve is doing, ASAA is not far from his thoughts.