Courtesy Vermont Sports Hall of Fame
COLCHESTER –— Legends of the slopes, turf, links, ice, gridiron, race track, hardwood and diamonds make up the 13 newest members of the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame. The VSHOF Board of Directors announced its seventh class of inductees, its Class of ’19, at the Tarrant Center on the campus of Saint Michael’s College Wednesday afternoon.
The inductees include: World Cup champion and Olympic moguls skier Ann Battelle; state and NCAA hockey championship coach Bill Beaney; softball standout and pro baseball player Elizabeth Burnham; four-time Olympic Nordic skier Larry Damon; stock car driver Harmon ‘Beaver’ Dragon; field hockey star Jenny Everett; football and track star Jeff Hughes; basketball legends Layne Higgs and Rich Tarrant; Olympic Gold Medalist snowboarder Ross Powers; record-setting state amateur golfer Holly Reynolds; and Olympic alpine skier Tiger Shaw. The late Mal Boright, a legendary journalist and a founder of the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame, was selected by the hall’s board of directors as its David Hakins Inductee.
The seventh Hall of Fame Class will be formally inducted on April 13, 2019 at the 2019 Vermont Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Celebration to be held at Trader Duke’s Hotel in South Burlington. The presenting sponsor of the annual event is Casella Waste Systems.
Ticket information for the 2019 induction and dinner will be available soon on the VSHOF web site at vermontsportshall.com. Proceeds from the event go to Prevent Child Abuse Vermont, the designated charity of the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame. The first six dinners and events have raised close to $18,000 to PCAV.
This year’s class, representing nine of the state’s 14 counties, brings the seven-class membership in the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame to 87 since the first was inducted in 2012. It was chosen by the VSHOF board of directors, a statewide sports advisory panel and previous inductees. To view previous classes and for more information on the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame, log on to its official website, www.vermontsportshall.com. For more information on the VSHOF’s designated charity, Prevent Child Abuse Vermont, log on to www.pcav.org
Introducing the 2019 Vermont Sports Hall of Fame Inductees:
(complete bios available online at http://www.vermontsportshall.com/2019class.html)
Ann Battelle, Williston, moguls skiing: A multi-sport standout at Champlain Valley Union High and Middlebury College, Battelle went on to become a world class moguls skier winning two World Cup championships and a pair of U.S. national titles. She was a four-time U.S. Olympian with three top 10 finishes.
Bill Beaney, Cornwall, ice hockey: Beaney led Middlebury College to eight NCAA Division III men’s hockey championships, including five in a row. He won 516 games in his 28 years at Middlebury and 602 as a college coach. He began his coaching career at BFA-St. Albans, where he led the Bobwhites to three Division I state boy’s hockey titles.
Mal Boright, Williston/Newport: This year’s David Hakins Inductee for exceptional promotion and development of sports and athletics in Vermont, Boright was an award-winning journalist covering and promoting sports throughout the state for over five decades. Like Hakins, he was a founder of the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. He passed away at age 81 in 2016.
Elizabeth Burnham, Newbury, softball: The first softball player inducted into the VSHOF, Burnham earned 12 varsity letters at Oxbow Union High and attended UConn on a softball scholarship, where she was an all-region catcher. She later attended Lyndon State, setting records in soccer, basketball and softball. Burnham spent two years with the Silver Bullets women’s professional baseball team.
Larry Damon, Burlington/Stowe, Nordic skiing: A Burlington-native who was UVM’s first skiing NCAA champion, Damon went on to be one of the first four-time Olympians from the United States, competing in the 1956, 1960, 1964 and 1968 Winter Olympics. He also was UVM’s first NCAA individual ski champion capturing the Nordic title in 1955.
Harmon ‘Beaver’ Dragon, Milton, auto racing: Dragon joins his brother and racing rival, Bobby (Class of ’15), in the VSHOF as the first brothers to be inducted. He won more than 50 stock car races on 14 tracks. Among his more than two dozen titles were back-to-back NASCAR North Tour crowns. He also won championships at Catamount and Airborne raceways as well as the Milk Bowl at Thunder Road.
Jenny Everett, Rutland, field hockey: A field hockey All-American at Rutland High, Everett went on to Wake Forest of the ACC where she shattered scoring records and was a two-time All-American and Hall of Famer. Everett also competed in the U.S. national program, including the World Cup. Also at Rutland she was an excellent ice hockey player and multi-event state track champion.
Jeff Hughes, Burlington, football: One of the state’s top all-around high school athletes of the 60s, Hughes went from Burlington High to the University of Nebraska where he was a key member of the Cornhuskers back-to-back National Championships in 1970 and 1971 as the team’s punter and a backup tailback. A three-time all-state running back for the Seahorses, he forever holds the state high school record in the 100-yard dash (9.8 seconds).
Layne Higgs, St. Johnsbury/Barre, basketball: A standout athlete at Spaulding High and the University of Vermont in the 1960s, Higgs went on to a standout basketball coaching career at St. Johnsbury Academy for over 30 years winning three Division I boy’s state titles. All-state at Spaulding, he was an All-Yankee Conference hoop player at UVM.
Ross Powers, South Londonderry, snowboarding: The first Vermont male to win a Winter Olympics Gold medal, Powers was the first of many greats in the sport of snowboarding. A multi-time World Cup champion, he was the first American male to win an Olympic medal in snowboarding in 1998 and became one of the first to win Gold in 2002, capturing the half-pipe title at the Salt Lake City Olympics.
Holly Reynolds, Morrisville, golf: Reynolds was a four-time Vermont high school state champion and a four-year member of the University of Kansas golf team. She has won the Vermont Women’s Golf Association’s Vermont Amateur championships a record nine times. A former pro golfer, Reynolds remains one of the premier golfers in the state.
Gale ‘Tiger’ Shaw, Stowe, alpine skiing: From one of the top skiing families in the state, Shaw was standout alpine skier in college at Dartmouth and on the World Cup circuit. He skied in two Olympic games and finished his career with nine USA national championships. He is currently the CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
Rich Tarrant, Saint Michael’s College, basketball: One of the state’s most dynamic collegiate basketball players during his career at St. Michael’s College, Tarrant is the school’s first and only first-team All-American, earning AP honors in 1965. He graduated as the Purple Knights all-time leading scorer with 1,772 career points, and was selected by the Boston Celtics in the fourth round of the 1965 NBA Draft.
For more information log on to www.vermontsportshall.com