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MSHOF announces honorees for Football Luncheon
MSHOF announces honorees for Football Luncheon
Aurora School District
Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Missouri Sports Hall of Fame to induct Chiefs' Ted McKnight, Adrian's George Bruto, referee Emry Dilday, MU fan Jerald Chaffin, Greenfield's 1977 State Championship Team & Aurora High School Football Program

Ozarks Coca-Cola/Or Pepper-sponsored Football Luncheon on Oct.16 also will honor Elite 11

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame soon will induct former Kansas City Chiefs running back Ted McKnight,Adrian High School coach George Bruto, referee Emry Dilday, Missouri Tigers fan Dr.Jerald Chaffin as well Greenfield High School's 1977 State Championship Team and the entire Aurora High SchoolFootball Program.

The inductees will highlight the Hall of Fame's Football luncheon  presented by the Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper

Bottling Company, set for 11 a.m. on October 16 at the University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center in Springfield.

The Hall of Fame also will recognize the Elite 11, which honors former high school and college standouts as well as those who have made positive contributions to the game of football in the Show-Me State.This year's Elite 11 are: Dr.Tony Berry (Stockton High School/Southwest Baptist University), Lanny Curnes (Reeds Spring High School/University of Central Missouri),Ore Dokes (Kickapoo High School/Northern lowa/CF'sl  Saskatchewan Roughriders),Tyler Evans (Strafford High School/University of Oklahoma), Chris Hanna (Springfield Catholic High School/Pittsburg State University),Beau Jackson (Branson High School/Missouri State University/Evangel University),PhilJohnson (Kickapoo High School/University of Missouri/Missouri State University/CFl's British Columbia lions),Jeff Montgomery (Park Hill High School/University of Missouri),Caleb Schaffitzel(Fair Grove High School/Missouri State University),Alan Spencer (Webb City High School/Pittsburg State/NFl's Vikings & lions) and Mike Wehner (lebanon High School/University of Miami).

A sponsorship table of eight is $400 and includes an autographed print and recognition in the printed program. A head table ticket is $100 and includes the same perks. An individual ticket is $40, or $50 at the door. Numerous other sponsorships also are available, including congratulatory ads in the printed program. Call 417-889-3100.

Ted McKnight- Kansas City Chiefs Running Back

McKnight not only had a nose for the football but eyes for the end zone in a fabulous Kansas City Chiefs career­ and proved that small-college football stars can play in the National Football league. He was a second-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders out of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, but the Raiders released him before the 1977 season. Turned out, the Chiefs quickly signed McKnight, who then enjoyed a six-year career in the NFL, playing for the Chiefs from 1977 to 1981and then one season with the Buffalo Bills. Known as "Touchdown Teddy," he was the Chiefs' leading rusher from 1978 to 1980, averaging 6.0 yards per carry in 1978. In fact, he finished his career with 528 carries for 2,344 yards and 22 touchdowns. Additionally, McKnight caught 99 passes for another 717 receiving yards. All this after he starred at Minnesota-Duluth, an NCAA Division II program where he led D-11 in rushing (1,482 yards) his senior season and set the school's single-game mark of 235 yards, as well as records for touchdowns in a single season (22) and single game (6). He is Vice President/Producer of CBIZ & Insurance Benefits in Kansas City.

George Bruto- Adrian High School Football Coach

Bruto spent 36 years as a teacher and coach at Adrian High School, including 28 seasons (1986 to 2013) as the head football coach. In that time, his teams were 238-77- a win total that was good for top 1S all-time among Missouri high school football coaches. His 2002 team won the Class 1state championship, and his 1987 team was a state runner-up. Overall, Adrian advanced to 10 state semifinals (1987,1993, 1994,199S,1998, 2000,2002, 200S), won 17 district championships and 13 conference championships. As an assistant, he was also part of two state semifinal teams, two district championships and a conference championship. Additionally, Brute wore other hats, as he coached the school's girls and boys basketball and track teams at various times. Over 4S sports seasons, he was 430-177 as a varsity coach and 147-SO as a junior high school coach, covering 49 seasons.

Emry Dilday - Referee

Dilday retired in 2006 after 43 seasons of high school football officiating, including 36 years at the collegiate level. He attended Drury University and finished in 1964. His career as an official has encompassed more than 1, SOO football games as he worked primarily in five collegiate conferences and refereed for several dozen schools in southwest Missouri. His resume includes more than SO games in the MSHSAA football playoffs, including nine state championship games. Additionally, he has been a football rules interpreter  for MSHSAA since 1982 and, in 1999-2000, served as president of the Officials Association of the National Federation of High Schools Association. Dilday, who still serves on the NFHSA's national rules committee, has been executive director and game assignment manager for the Southwest Missouri Football Officials Association for 49 years and has continued to work as the girls track coach for Springfield Catholic High School. He has been inducted into the NFHSA Hall of Fame and was Fame and was the recipient of the Irvin Keller Award from MSHSAA in 2004. Dilday, now in his 38th year as a track & field and cross country official, is an inductee of the Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame.

Or. Jerald "Thumper" Chaffin- University of Missouri fan

Branson native Dr.Jerald Chaffin will be only the third fan ever inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, joining Springfield's Marty Prather (MSHOF 2003) and Washington's Squeaky Marquart (201S). Chaffin has attended 33S consecutive Missouri Tigers football home games at Faurot Field since Sept. 21,1963, when the Tigers suffered a 23-12 loss to Northwestern, then coached by future Notre Dame icon Ara Parseghian. By the late1960s,Dr. Chaffin had made it a point to be there every Saturday and, in fact, has purchased season tickets every year since 1979, sitting on the east side of the stadium near students and in the sunshine on those late autumn fall Saturdays. Among Chaffin's most cherished memories is the Oct. 11, 2003 game, a 41-24 Tigers victory against Nebraska- the program's first win against the Cornhuskers since 1978. The win kick-started 10 bowl seasons for Mizzou in the coach Gary Pinkel Era and was meaningful for Chaffin, who was there for the infamous 1990 Fifth Down Game against Colorado and the 1997 Flea-Kicker loss to Nebraska. Chaffin, a 1963 graduate of Branson High School who later earned his medical degree from the University of Missouri in 1977, also has attended numerous Mizzou road games- including the 1976 upset of Nebraska in lincoln.

Aurora High School Football Program

The Aurora Houn' Dawgs Football Program is among the state's best, with three state championship teams (196S,1969,1999) as well as 13 playoff berths, including a state semifinal berth in 201S. Along the way, Aurora won nine district championships (1980, 1981,1988,1990,1991,1992,1999,2002, 2003) and 10 conference championships (1960, 1962,1963,196S,1980,1981,1988,1992, 1999, 2000). The 196S team finished the season ranked No. 1in the state and featured All-State selections in Bruce Huey, Bob Journagen and Stan Rinker. The 1969 team was coached by "Hoss" McCallister and finished 11-1, winning the Class 2 state title in a 13-6 victory against Malden. Aurora's 1999 team won the Class 3 state championship under coach Pat Woods and finished 14-0, with its final victory being a 7-0 win against California. Since 19S3, Aurora has seen roughly SO players earn All-State honors.

Greenfield High School 1977 State Championship Football Team

The Greenfield High School football team of 1977 delivered a Class 1state championship to Dade County, finishing a perfect 12-0 after a 20-6 victory against King City in the final game. The team was coached by Jim Dykens, who was in his first season as a varsity coach after having spent several seasons coaching junior high athletics. Assistants were Mike Brown, Butch Vaughn and John Shipley. Two years earlier,Greenfield finished as a state runner-up, and then entered 1977 with only five seniors- David McNeel, Bill Andrews and Johnny Wooldridge were senior starters- and also had a talented junior class. Greenfield beat Marionville 7-0 in the quarterfinals and then knocked off Cass-Midway 14-12 in the semifinals. Earning All-State honors were McNeel (quarterback  & linebacker), Andrews at defensive back, guard Roger Grider, end James Reeves, defensive end Todd Decker and defensive lineman Steve Wynes.

ELITE 11

Dr. Tony Berry - Stockton High School/Southwest Baptist University: Berry was All-State- and AII-Ozarks by the News-Leader and All-Area by the Joplin Globe- in 1985 for Stockton High School, where he played for coach Steve Hancock (MSHOF 2009). He also earned all-conference and all-district  his junior and senior seasons as an offensive and defensive lineman. Berry then was one of the first players to ever compete for SBU, doing so from 1986 to 1990. His 292 career total tackles rank 101  in program history and his 165 assisted career tackles are sixth-most in program history. He earned NAIA All-District 16 as a sophomore defensive end and was a two-time  AII-MIAA linebacker, including his junior season when he was the team's second-leading tackler. Berry coached at Warsaw High School, first assisting coach Randy Morrow (MSHOF 2011) as Warsaw played in three state championship games (winning it all in 1993. Berry was then head coach for five years, winning three district titles and reaching the state semifinals in 2002. He later served as Branson High School's athletic director from 2007 to 2014 and has served as Assistant Superintendent of School of the Osage and then Superintendent of Bolivar in recent years.

Lanny Curnes- Reeds Spring High School/University of Central Missouri: Curnes earned First Team All-District and First Team All-Greene County League as a defensive back at Reeds Spring High School in 1980. That season, coach John Emmons led the Wolves to the Class 2 state semifinals, with the team finishing 8-3 after Curnes delivered an outstanding performance in the snow of a quarterfinal win against Appleton City. A year later, he was First Team All-District and First Team All-Conference as both a running back and linebacker. At Central Missouri, Curnes was a three-time AII-MIAA linebacker, earning first team honors in 1985 after receiving second-team honors in 1983 and 1984. He ranks third all-time on UCM's tackles chart with 314 career tackles and still holds the school record for tackles in a single season with 142 in 1985. Curnes, an inductee of the Reeds Springs High School and UCM Athletics Halls of Fame, is a wealth management advisor with MassMutual in Springfield.

Dre Dokes- Kickapoo High School/University of Northern lowa/CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders: Dokes was All­ State for Kickapoo in 2001and 2002. That was part of a career in which he rushed 443 times for 2,766 yards and scored 23 TDs, plus totaled 33 receptions for 517 yards and three TDs. Additionally, Dokes played on Kickapoo's 2003 boys basketball state championship team and set three school track records (100 meters,4x100 and 4x400 relays), earning state medals, too. A two-time All-American at Northern Iowa, Dokes in 2006 led the Football Championship Subdivision with seven interceptions, giving him 18 career INTs- third-most in program history and, at the time, second-most among then-active FCS players. His 261yards on interception returns also rank second in UNI history. He was a 2006 First Team All-American by Walter Camp, the Associated Press, AFCA,Sports Network and Football Gazette. Dokes was with Saskatchewan of the Canadian Football League for three seasons, and saw significant time in 2008. He is now an assistant at Kickapoo and runs God's Speed Fitness and Athletics.

Tyler Evans- Strafford High School/University of Oklahoma: Evans was a three-time, Class 2 All-State lineman for Strafford,including First Team All-State in 2007 and 2008. Defensively in 2008, he had 69 tackles, three  fumbles forced and one fumble recovered. He finished with 206 career tackles {32 for loss) and a school-record 23 sacks ­ all of which led to a No. 47 ranking among national linemen by Scout.com. At Oklahoma,Evans  played in 42 games between 2009 and 2014, earning 32 starts,and played in four bowl games - including the Fiesta Bowl in 2011. He was an All-Big 12 selection {2010 by the coaches, 2011by the Associated Press and coaches) and helped the Sooners win 2010 and 2012 conference titles. In a 2011game vs. Baylor, he graded out at 94 percent  on the 0-line. Evans, who endured nine surgeries on his right knee and tried out for the NFL' s Texans and Cowboys and in the CFL, is working for Farmers Insurance  in Marshfield and assisting the Strafford High School football team.

Chris Hanna- Springfield Catholic High School/Pittsburg State University: Hanna was one of the best football players  ever to come out of southwest Missouri. He was a two-time Class 1 All-State selection (in 1988 as a defensive tackle, 1989 as an offensive guard) and helped  Springfield Catholic High School reach the playoffs both seasons. He went  on to a tremendous career at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. Hanna was voted Pitt State's Most Outstanding Freshman in 1990 and was just getting warmed up. He then helped  the Gorillas win the 1991 NCAA Division II national championship and steered Pitt State back to the national championship game in 1992. By the time  he graduated, he had earned an NCAA D-11 All-America honor {1992) and four AII-MIAA selections.Hanna, who was team captain his senior years at Springfield Catholic and Pitt State, works with Primerica in Springfield and Freeman Hospital in Joplin.

Beau Jackson- Branson High School/Missouri State University/Evangel University:Jackson was a First Team All­ State selection as a running back for Branson High School in 1997, completing quite a career for the Pirates. He helped  Branson reach the state semifinals during his junior  and senior seasons, when the Pirates also won the Central Ozark Conference, district titles, sectionals and quarterfinals. Jackson finished with 3,814 career rushing yards and, as a senior, was the Tri-Lakes Offensive Player of the Year,First Team AII-COC, the COC Offensive Player of the Year and All-District. He also was a state qualifier in the 400 meters.Jackson went  on to play for Missouri State {1998-1999) and then for Evangel University {2002-2003) as a defensive safety. In 2003, he earned NAIA All-America honorable mention and was named Evangel's Defensive Player of the Year. These days, he works for White River Valley Electric Cooperative.

Phil Johnson- Kickapoo High School/University of Missouri/Missouri State/CFL's British Columbia Lions: Johnson earned USA Today All-American honorable mention,Class 5 First Team All-State honors  and the Springfield Quarterback Club' s All-City Back award for quarterbacking Kickapoo in its 11-1, 1998 season. At Mizzou, he was a three-year letterman {1990 to 1992), was voted  All-Big 8 Conference in 1991and finished his career there ranked fourth in career passing yards {3,600) and fifth in career total offense.In 1991, he led the Big 8 in passing yards, touchdowns and total offense before suffering a shoulder injury in the season finale. He also set Mizzou's  single­ season record for total offense and had the third-most passing yards for a single season. In 1992, Johnson was rated the No.16 college QB by The Sporting News and started Mizzou's first five games before experiencing recurring shoulder issues. At Missouri State, he led the 7-4 Bears in 1993 and was drafted by the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. Johnson, who graduated from Cornell Law School in 1999, is a partner Lathrop Gage LP in Kansas City.

 Jeff Montgomery- Park Hill High School/University of Missouri: Montgomery was a standout at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, earning all-conference honors  before graduating in 1984. He then went  on to play for the University of Missouri as a walk-on tight end,ultimately earning a varsity letter in 1988. He has been heavily involved with the football program ever since. From 1993 to 1996, he was a graduate assistant and worked as a director of football operations. For the past 20 years,Montgomery has been part  of the chain crew during home football games. Additionally, he is heavily involved in the MU Alumni Association, serving as a member  of its governing board, and leads activities in southwest Missouri. These days,Montgomery is a State Farm Insurance agent in Webb City. 

Caleb Schaffitzel- Fair Grove High School/Missouri State University: Schaffitzel broke state career records for touchdowns (141) and all-purpose yards (10,512) while accumulating 8,551career rushing yards and 119 rushing TDs at Fair Grove. He was a two-time All-State selection, starting 47 consecutive games, and finished with 432 career tackles in leading the Eagles to state semifinal and quarterfinal appearances. At Missouri State, Schaffitzel was a two-time, consensus All-American in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in 2013 and 2014. His senior year performance garnered recognition from the American Football Coaches Association in addition to the Associated Press, Walter Camp Football Foundation, College Sporting News and The Sports Network. He also was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award. Schaffitzel, the 2012 FCS National Defensive Back of the Year, finished his career with 385 tackles and 10 interceptions. He works for the Springfield Police Department.

Alan Spencer- Webb City High School/Pittsburg State University/NFL's  Vikings & Lions: Spencer is a member of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame's Board of Trustees. He graduated from Webb City in 1969 after earning all­ conference in football and winning a state long jump championship. At Pittsburg State, he was a four-sport athlete and a three-sport  letterman (football, basketball, track). In 1972, he was an NAIA football All-American and finished his career as Pitt State's all-time leading receiver (1,241yards on 62 catches). Spencer was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the 12th round but was waived after rookie camp. A year later, he played three games for the Detroit Lions. He then coached from 1975 to 2010, including in assistant roles at Neosho, Wake Forest University and for Rogers, Ark. He later was Monett's athletic director and head coach for nine years. Spencer also served as the head coach at Nevada, Central and Parkview high schools. In 2010, he was inducted into the Missouri Football Coaches Association and Pitt State Halls of Fame, and Webb City retired his No. 40 jersey. Spencer recently retired after serving as Purdy High School's athletic director.

 

Mike Wehner- Lebanon High School/University of Miami: Wehner was a two-time All-State offensive lineman for Lebanon's Yellowjackets in 1992 and 1993 and was named a Blue Chip All-American his senior year. In fact, his senior year saw Wehner become the fourth-rated offensive lineman in the country by Super Prep Magazine and the heavyweight state champion in Class 3 wrestling, where he finished unbeaten with a 35-0 record. With the Miami Hurricanes, Wehner was a four-year letterman from 1994 to 1997, started 29 games and helped the Hurricanes to three bowl games (1994 Fiesta Bowl,1995 Orange Bowl,1996 Carquest Bowl). Along the way, as a redshirt freshman he was on the scout team against Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Warren Sapp, and earned All-Big East honors his junior year (guard) as well as his senior season (center). He played one year of professional football, with the Mobile Admirals of the Regional Football League in 1999, helping Mobile win the league championship.These days, Wehner lives in Lebanon and works for Cabinet Concepts.

Contact: Kary Booher, Media Relations, 417-241-1551 or booher@mosportshalloffame.com