Bangs inducts five into inaugural Hall of Honor

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Bangs school superintendent Dr. Josh Martin (at microphone) inducts the inaugural class of the Hall of Honor Thursday evening at Dragon Memorial Stadium. From left are Rick McClatchy and Holly Gieb, who were present on behalf of their late father, inductee Garner "Dooder" McClatchy; and inductees Eric Cole and his father, David Cole. Bangs athletic director Kyle Maxfield stands at the right.
Bangs athletic director Kyle Maxfield (left) and superintendent Dr. Josh Martin talk to the media Thursday evening at Dragon Memorial Stadium.

BANGS — The Bangs school districted inducted five former standout athletes — two of them posthumously — into the inaugural class of the Hall of Honor Thursday evening at Dragon Memorial Stadium.

Superintendent Dr. Josh Martin recently announced the Hall of Honor was being created to honor Dragons athletes from previous eras. Additional inductions will be held in future years.

The inductions were part of the Meet the Dragons annual event. The inductees — who included a father and son — were:

• James Segrest, class of 1954, who was unable to attend — track and field.

• Tommy Sikes, class of 1960 (posthumous) — football, basketball, track and field.

• Garner “Dooder” McClatchy (posthumous) class of 1950 — football,  track and field.

• Eric Cole, class of 1988 — football, track and field.

• David Cole, class of 1960 — football, track and field.

“It means something to live in Bangs,” Martin said. “We’re really trying to celebrate all of our accomplishments. Sometimes you think you’re at little ol' Bangs. You can go off to do great things. It’s exciting.

“This is just the start, man. We’re going to really get this thing fired up. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be fun.”

Martin said Dragons athletic director and head football coach Kyle Maxfield is “a special cat. He’s instrumental in what we do. When we came up with this plan, he ran with it and he wanted to go big.”

Before five were inducted, the father-and-son duo of David and Eric Cole, and Rick McClatchy — the son of “Dooder” McClatchy, who died in July — spoke with the media. Rick McClatchy’s sister, Holly Gieb, was also present on behalf of her late father.

David Cole 

Cole, who is retired from 3M, lives in Bangs. Cole recalled the 1960 era at Bangs High School.

“When I was throwing, we had an old Army barracks as our field house,” Cole said. “We had a 20-gallon hot water heater for everybody. So the first two or three got a warm shower, and the rest got cold unless you waited. The track was dirt. We had a shot put ring but we didn’t have a discus ring. We high jumped into sand.”

Cole said he was “real timid” as a freshman. “I didn’t come out for anything my freshman year,” Cole said. “Just before the district meet, they grabbed me because I was a freshman and said ‘throw that shot put pack to that senior.' I was throwing it as far as he was. They entered me in the district track meet and I got second as a freshman." 

Cole said “it was good” to watch his son, Eric, break the elder Cole’s records in the shot put and discus throws.

Eric Cole

The younger Cole lives in Flower Mound and works for BNSF Railroad.

“It’s really cool,” Cole said of being inducted with his father. “It’s quite an honor. It’s cool to be with dad on this.”

Cole laughed when asked if he’d felt pressured to follow in his father’s footsteps as a Dragon athlete.

“There was a lot of that,” Cole said. I remember back then, his pictures were in the trophy case in the hallway and his name was on the record board. Ever since I could remember, people would ask me when I was going to break his record.”

And as for breaking his old man’s record — “it was awesome,” Cole said. “It was a lifetime goal. It’s a great honor for both of us.”

When asked how he thinks competition in his era compares with modern times, Cole said, “everybody’s more equipped now. There’s a lot more technology for getting faster, stronger, better.

“You can go on YouTube and study technique, where you couldn’t do that before. You had to wing it or accidentally find a good coach. There were plenty of good coaches here growing up.”

Rick McClatchy 

McClatchy, who works for a nonprofit organization in San Antonio, grew emotional when asked his reaction to his late father’s induction.

“We’re very excited,” McClatchy said. “I wish dad could have been here. We lost him on July 5. He always was very interested in what was going on here at Bangs.

“As far as the sports, he would always follow the football teams. He would follow, of course, the track runners and things like that. He was always very interested in what was going on here at the school.

“He would come to the football games and watch. He would occasionally go to the track meets. A lot of times as he got older he would read it in the newspaper or something like that. At the end he wasn’t able to attend as much, but he did keep a real interest in the young men and women that were competing here at the school.”

McClatchy said he believed his grandfather had given his father the name Dooder.

“Few people new his real name,” McClatchy said. “It was Richard Garner. My grandad gave him the nickname Dooder.”

Dooder McClatchy had been a rancher in the Bangs area, his son said.

Maxfield comments

"Dr. Martin and I put our heads together,” Maxfield said of the Hall of Honor. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do as AD. I’ve been at districts where they had it in place.

“We put our heads together and just started brainstorming, and with Dr. Martin’s leadership, this is happening. I’m very proud. You have to know where you came from to get to where you’re going. It’s going to be annual thing that hopefully keeps going as long as Bangs ISD is here.” 

The plaques

Plaques honoring the five inductees will be mounted on the stone wall at the original entrance to Dragon Memorial Stadium.

The plaques will state:

James Segrest, a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, was known as the One Man Gang from Bangs when he single-handedly scored 34 points at the 1954 Class A track and field state meet to win the state championship for Bangs. Segrest ran on relay teams that set five world records from 1956-’58 at ACU. As a track coach, he led Monahans to a state title in 1966, and his teams at Odessa College won 11 National Junior College Athletic Association national championships in indoor and outdoor track. He was head coach for the U.S. team at the World University Games in Mexico City in 1979.

Tommy Sikes was a member of the 1959 Bi-District Champion football team and a member of the 1960 State Champion Track and Field Team. He was a four-year letterman in football, basketball and track. He earned three trips to the UIL State Track Meet in the mile run, repeating as state champion in that event his junior and senior years. Tommy attended Howard Payne University on a track scholarship, where he was captain of the team, Lone Star Conference champion in the mile run and was an NAIA All-American in cross country.

Garner McClatchy was a football and track letterman. He was a first team football all-district running back. In track, he competed in the 100-yard and 220-yard dashes, low hurdles, spring relay, long jump and pole vault. He qualified for the state meet all four years in several different events. He won second place at the state championship track meet in the 220-yard dash and still holds the record at Bangs High School. After graduation, he served a term in the U.S. Air Force and played on the football team at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado.

Eric Cole was a three-year letterman in football and a four-year letterman in track. He earned two trips to the State Track Meet where he achieved a second place finish and two fifth place finishes. Eric attended Angelo State University on a track scholarship where he is a member of the ASUHall of Honor. He was an eight-time Lone Star Conference champion, a seven-time NCAA All American and was NCAA Division II national champion in the discus n 1991 and at the hammer throw in 1993. He was inducted into the NCAA DII Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2008. Eric continues to compete as a USA Track and Field Masters athlete, being named USATF age group athlete of the year twice and currently holds four age group American records.

David Cole was a four-year letterman in track and a three-year letterman in football. He was a member of the 1959 Bi-District Champion football team and the 1960 track and field state champion team. David earned All District for football in  1959 and 1960. He earned three trips to the UIL State Track Meet. In 1958, he placed sixth in the high jump. In 1959 he was he state champion in the discus and placed second in the shot put. In 1960, he was the high point individual scoring 26 points by winning the high jump and placing second in the shot put and discus. His school records in the shot put and discus were held until 1987 when they were broken by his son Eric.