Kirkwood School District Inducts Honorees into Athletic Hall of Fame
The Kirkwood School District (KSD) celebrated the work of athletes, coaches and community members both on and off the playing field, pool, mats and court February 8 and 9 during a full weekend of events to celebrate the KHS Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
Friday night, inductees were celebrated during a recognition ceremony in between the girls’ basketball game and before the start of the boys’ basketball game. During the ceremony, a video of historical photos of inductees played, and each inductee (or a representative on behalf of an inductee) was recognized.
On Saturday, the group reconvened in the David Holley Assembly Hall for the unveiling of the Hall of Fame plaques and a tour of campus. The group then walked over to the Walker Commons for a pre-event reception before entering the Keating Theatre for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Doug Vaughn (KHS ’74) emceed the ceremony. Each inductee was introduced, had the opportunity for an acceptance speech, and was then presented with a “Crystal K” award.
Over 400 people were in attendance as 15 athletes, members of 2 teams, 3 coaches and 1 community member was inducted.
The purpose of the Athletic Hall of Fame is to honor and recognize men and women athletes, coaches or community members who have made significant accomplishments in athletics or made significant contributions to KHS athletics. Nominations were accepted in three categories: KHS Alumni Athletes (including teams), Legendary Coaches and the Pioneer Award.
KHS Alumni Athletes
*Fred Kinyon, Class of 1918
Fred Kinyon is the first athlete to win a state championship for KHS. He secured two state championships as a track and field athlete. In 1917, Kinyon ran the 880 (half-mile) in 2:09.20 earning him a state championship. In 1918, he shaved a half-second off his time and won the 1918 state championship in the 880 with a time of 2:08.6.
*Carroll Maas, 1949
Carroll Mass was a two-sport athlete at KHS in both football and track. He did well for the football team and was elected to the All-District Team. He was a dominant figure in the Missouri track and field scene. Carroll won three State Championships during his time at KHS. Carroll began his string of state appearances in 1947 when he placed second in the shot put and fourth in the discus. Maas secured his first two State Championships a year later when he won the shot put with a 53' toss and the discus with a 153'2" toss. In 1949, he won his third and final State Championship with a 51'3" shot put toss as well as placing third in the discus with a 142'1" toss. This effort resulted in a KHS Team State Championship. Maas’ six medals won at the Missouri State High School Association (MSHSAA) State Track Meet are the second most earned by an athlete in KHS history. While at KHS, Maas was also a member of Hi-Y and Sergeant-at-Arms. Maas attended college at the University of Missouri and Washington University. He also served in the U.S. Army for two years. He had a 40+ year career in engineering. He is survived by his wife, Vera, and sons, Charlie and Joe.
Lynette (Martin) Chrenka, Class of 1963
An athlete through and through, Chrenka held varsity letters in basketball, volleyball, field hockey, and softball at KHS. However, Chrenka found her calling on the golf course. She was not only an exceptional golfer, competing with the best women golfers in Missouri, but helped further develop golf in the St. Louis area after her professional career. Chrenka’s athletic career after graduating from KHS continued at both Bradley University and the University of New Mexico where she graduated in 1967. While in college, Chrenka played golf for the University of New Mexico’s collegiate team. After her time at the University of New Mexico, Chrenka competed in 25 Missouri Women’s Golf Association Championship tournaments and 40 St. Louis Women’s District Invitational Championship tournaments. On a national level, she competed in five Ladies Professional Golf Association and two United States Golf Association Amateur tournaments. Chrenka also taught in the Kirkwood School District and the Parkway School District. While at Parkway, Chrenka established the “Chrenka Open” which provided over 700 rounds of golf to boys and girls. She was the inaugural coach of the Parkway West Girl’s Golf Team and mentored young golfers throughout the years - many of which played for the KHS Golf Team. Chrenka and her husband David, KHS Class of 1963, are the parents of Kelly and Matthew. They have six grandchildren, three of whom are currently students in KSD. Chrenka and her husband live in Ballwin, Missouri.
Kerry Hogan, Class of 1968
Kerry Hogan excelled in Missouri high school cross-country and track and field from 1966 to 1968 while also competing on a national scale. He was coached by Fred Lyon. He first reached the MSHSAA State Meet in 1966 where he placed eighth. The following year he placed third at the state meet in the one-mile run. In spring 1967, he finished third in the state one-mile run with a time of 4:19.8. Later that fall, Hogan raced his way to a first-place finish in the 1967 cross-country state meet with a time of 9:49:90. This time led the team to the state championship crown. Leading up to the state championship run, Hogan placed first in every regular season meet except one due to injury. As a team, the KHS cross-country team was ranked fourth nationally by Track and Field News. In the 1968 track season, Hogan ran his personal best two-mile run with a 9:10.1 time. He also secured his first state victory in the one-mile run. On a national scale, Hogan competed in the Golden West Invitational Track and Field Meet, the oldest prep invitational meet in the U.S. After graduating from KHS, Hogan went on to run for the University of Missouri-Columbia where he earned eight athletic letters during his time with the Tigers as a cross-country and track star. In 1970, he finished 27th overall in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) cross-country meet. The team finished sixth in the nation. Hogan served in the Army and ran for the U.S. Army Track Team. He and his wife, Penelope, are retired in Tripp, South Dakota where Hogan makes custom wooden chairs and maintains a farm.
Kirk Hogan, Class of 1968
An excellent track and cross-country runner, Kirk Hogan helped both teams make legendary runs in the late 1960s under the guidance of coach Fred Lyon. In 1967, Hogan helped the team race their way to a first-place finish in the MSHSAA Cross-Country State Championship. Leading up to the state championship run, Hogan placed second in almost every regular season meet. As a team, the KHS cross-country team was ranked fourth nationally by Track and Field News. During the 1968 track season, Hogan placed second in the indoor one-mile run at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The outdoor track season yielded even more success for Hogan as he won the two-mile run at the district meet with a personal best time of 9:13.5. At the MSHSAA state championship, he raced his way to first place in the two-mile event with a time of 9:30.3. On a national scale, Hogan competed in the Golden West Invitational Track and Field Meet, the oldest prep invitational meet in the U.S. After graduating from KHS, Hogan ran for the University of Missouri-Columbia where he earned athletic letters for four years. He and his wife, Sheri, reside in Arcadia, Louisiana and have two daughters: Grace and Katherine.
Steve Sumner, Class of 1968
Steve Sumner was a leader for both the KHS swimming team and golf team. Sumner swam under Coach Wilson Stocker and became a multiple winning MSHSAA State Champion in swimming. In 1967, Sumner secured first place at the State Meet as a member of the 200- yard relay team, and as an individual in the 100-yard freestyle. In 1968, Sumner swam to a first-place finish in both the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.40 and the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 50.60. Sumner’s performance at the 1968 State Championship meet is credited to the team finishing eighth at the state competition. After graduating from KHS, Sumner swam for the Tigers at the University of Missouri-Columbia. After graduating from college, Sumner began a career in the office equipment industry and is currently the Chairman and C.E.O. of Datamax, Inc. Sumner resides in Naples, Florida with his wife of 43 years, Donna. They have two children: Steven and Joanne, and a grandson.
Mike Wood, Class of 1972
Mike Wood played for the Pioneers’ Football, Basketball and Baseball Teams. Wood found success on the football field as a placekicker and punter and was selected to Second Team All-Metro. After graduating from KHS in 1972, Wood was recruited by Southeast Missouri State (SEMO) where he was a four-time letterman. During his time at SEMO, Wood set the NCAA career field goal record at 64 and was named the Most Valuable Player in the conference in 1976. He would later have his number retired in 2002 and was an inaugural member of the SEMO Hall of Fame. Wood was later selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1978 National Football League (NFL) Draft in the eighth round and had the longest punt in the NFL that year at 81 yards. He played for five different teams in his six-year career: the Vikings, Cardinals, Chargers, Colts and 49ers. His career stats total 3,019 yards punted, 156 points scored and a 51-yard field goal. Wood and his wife, Jamey, have one daughter, Jaime, and two grandsons. He lives in Pacific, Missouri.
Shane Cotner, Class of 1975
Coached by the legendary Denver Miller, Shane Cotner was a three-year varsity starter of the KHS Men’s Basketball Team that had a dominant run beginning in the early 1970s. With a career record of 70-12, Cotner ranks third all-time at KHS with 1,350 career points. Cotner also holds the Suburban South Conference scoring record with 23.8 points per game. In 1975, he was elected 1st Team All-State and awarded the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Scholar-Athlete. Cotner went on to attend Columbia University where he played basketball from 1976 to 1979. Cotner was elected co-captain of the team for the 1977-1978 season and earned Division I Academic All-America honors, the first member to achieve this in Columbia Men’s Basketball history. Columbia earned a 48-30 record and two-second place Ivy League finishes during Cotner’s three-year varsity career. After graduating from Columbia, Cotner earned his MBA at the University of Minnesota. Cotner has a 40-year career in the financial services industry. He later became the Rotary Club President for the Bloomfield Hills (2977) chapter. He and his wife, Patricia, have four daughters: Elizabeth, Rachel, Kate and Mary Claire.
Walter “Reco” Hawkins, Class of 1979
Walter “Reco” Hawkins was a great three-sport athlete at KHS as a member of the football, track and field, and basketball teams for the Pioneers. On the football team, he averaged 21 yards per catch, earning him a selection to the All-St. Louis Area Football Team, and All-District South Football Team. On the court, Hawkins was a leader on the teams that went back-to-back in the MSHSAA final four, finishing fourth in 1978 and third in 1979. He was selected to the All-Metro Basketball Team. On the track, Hawkins was a standout runner. In 1978, he raced placed third in state in the 330-yard hurdles and second as a member of the 880-yard relay team. In 1979, he finished eighth in state in the 440-yard sprint and fifth in the 330-yard hurdles as an individual and first as a member of the 880-yard relay team. Hawkins was also involved in several clubs at KHS including Student Council, A Cappella, Black Awareness and Committee of 12. Hawkins was chosen as Hatchet Hop Man in 1979. After graduating from KHS, Hawkins lettered for the Coffeyville Junior College Football team in 1980 and later transferred to the University of Missouri-Columbia. While playing for the Tigers, Hawkins lettered and played in several bowls including the Tangerine Bowl and the Holiday Bowl. After his time at Mizzou, Hawkins held various management positions in both retail and hospitality with companies such as Marriott Courtyard, Summerfield Suites and Mrs. Field’s. He’s currently a Freight Manager with Dollar Stores of America and lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Hawkins is the son of Lee Hawkins, Jr., and Jacqueline Brooks.
*Ken Flach, Class of 1981
Kenneth Flach is the most successful tennis player in KHS history. During his time at KHS, Flach was the runner up at the MSHSAA State Tennis Singles Championship his freshman year. He continued to hone his craft coached by Art Stout before being recruited by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). While at SIUE, Flach had a legendary championship run, winning the NCAA Division II Singles titles in 1981, 1982 and 1983. He was also a finalist in the 1983 Division I Doubles. Flach pursued tennis professionally and officially turned pro in 1983. Flach won 36 Doubles Championships in his career. He secured four Grand Slam championships; two at Wimbledon and two at the U.S. Open. He also won two Grand Slam Mixed doubles championships; one at Wimbledon and one at the French Open. In 1985, Flach was a member of the U.S. Team that won the World Team Cup in Germany. The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) ranked him number one in doubles in the world. In 1988, Flach won the men’s doubles Gold Medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, partnering with Robert Seguso. From 1985-1991, Flach competed annually in the U.S. Davis Cup and achieved an 11-2 record. Flach retired from professional tennis in 1996 and began coaching tennis at Vanderbilt University. He led the team to their first NCAA berth in 1999 and their first NCAA championship appearance in 2003. Flach passed away in March 2018. He is survived by four children: Dylan, Madison, Noah and Hannah Flach. Siblings are Laura Flach Burge, Rick Flach, Cindy Flach Miller and Doug Flach.
Michelle (Couture) Session, Class of 1990
Michelle (Couture) Session was a swimming phenom for KHS. In 1989, she broke both the Missouri State and the KHS record in the 200 IM with a time of 209.71. She also broke the KHS records in the 100 breast and the 100 butterfly. In the same year, she placed first at the MSHSAA State Swim Meet in both the 200 IM and 100 breast. She was awarded the Outstanding Swimmer Award at state that year and also earned All-State and All-American recognition. Session competed in the 1988 Olympic Trials. In 1990, Session broke her own state record for the 200 IM with a 209.47 time. She earned first place at state once again for the 200 IM and the 100 breast. She also earned All-State, All-American and Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet awards. She still holds the record for the 100 breast at KHS. As both an outstanding athlete and student, Session was heavily recruited by colleges. She received a full athletic scholarship from Colorado State University (CSU). The CSU Swimming & Diving Team experienced much success with Session as a competitive swimmer for the team. During her time at CSU, the team placed second in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Swimming & Diving Championship in 1991, first in 1992 and second again in 1993. Individually, Session placed second in the 100 Breast and 200 IM while finishing third in the 200 breast. She is recognized as one of the All-Time Top Performers by the WAC. After her time at CSU, Session attended Maryville University where she earned a bachelor of science in nursing and graduated with honors. She then spent 11 years as an orthopedic nurse. Session and her husband Tony have a son, Thomas and a daughter, Haley and currently live in Oakville, Missouri.
Kent Layman, Class of 1995
A four-sport athlete, Kent Layman played baseball, basketball, football and ran track during his time at KHS. On the football team, Layman joined the varsity football team as a freshman and earned Third Team AllConference as a running back his junior year. He was also selected to the All-Metro Team as a defensive back. Due to an injury, Layman missed most of his senior season. On the track team, Layman ran for the Pioneers in the MSHSAA state track meet. He finished third in the 100m, and was a member of the 4x100 relay team that finished second in state. Outside of sports, Layman was also involved in many clubs and activities at KHS including A Cappella, Pep Club, Judo Club, Student Council, Spanish Club and the National Council of Youth Leadership. His academic achievements earned him Gold K, High Honor Roll, and National Honor Society. Layman was nominated at Hatchet Man his senior year. After graduating from KHS, Laymen continued his football career at the University of Missouri-Columbia where he was a multi-year starter. In 1997, he was chosen to the Second Team All-Big XII Wide Receiver and was the season leader for the NCAA in receiving yards per reception with 25.4 yards per reception. Layman wrapped up a successful collegiate career in 1999. He ended his career tenth on the All-Time Mizzou Receiving list with 20.9 yards per catch and 14.2 yards per rush. His effort earned him the Don Faurot Most Inspirational Player Award. Layman and his wife, Lissy, reside in Kirkwood and have a son, Carter, and a daughter, Reese.
Alvin Morrow, Class of 1997
Alvin Morrow made an impression for the Pioneers as an outstanding baseball, football and basketball player. His accomplishments in baseball and football earned him high recognition in both sports and highly coveted college prospect. On the field, Morrow was a tight end and receiver for the football team. His blocking and receiving for the Pioneers earned his selection to the 1996 Parade All-American High School Football Team and MSHSAA All-State team. On the diamond, Morrow batted .540 for the Pioneers, hit 13 homers, and drove in 40 runs in only 23 games. He was selected as the Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year and MSHSAA All-State team. Balls hit by Morrow were tracked to have traveled over 450 feet. While at KHS, coaches and teachers were impressed with his hustle on the field and focus in the classroom. These character traits earned him the KHS Humanitarian Award and the Quiet Leadership Award. This multisport star was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the second round of the 1997 Major League Baseball (MLB) June Amateur Draft. He went on to play professionally for the Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays as well as the National Football League for the Cleveland Browns. After his time on the field, Morrow was a scout for the Toronto Blue Jays. Morrow and his wife Meka, have three children Ayden, Alivia, and Aliyah. They reside in Gilbert, Arizona.
Mary Reeves, Class of 1999
Mary Reeves’ exceptional running ability helped bring a great deal of success to both the cross-country and the track and field teams during her time as a Pioneer. As a team, the Cross-Country Team earned third place at the MSHSAA state competition in 1996, state champs in 1997, and second place in 1998. As an individual, Reeves finished tenth at state in 1998 and was selected to the All-Metro Girls Cross-Country Team. During her time on the track team, Reeves secured spots on the State podium as a member of the 4x800. In 1996, the reply team finished seventh. In 1997 the team finished fifth. In 1998, the relay team finished third. In 1999, Reeves helped the 4x800 meter team to a State Championship. Reeves individual accomplishments include winning sixth place at state in the 800 meters in 1998. In 1999, Reeves raced her way to a state championship in the 1600 meters, and fourth in the 800 meters. Reeves went on to run at Butler University on scholarship where she set a school record in the indoor mile in 2000 with a 4:54 time. That same year she was awarded the Outstanding Performer Award in Women’s Indoor Track and Field at the Midwestern Collegiate Conference. After graduating from Butler, Reeves went on to begin her career as an English Second Language teacher and social worker. She lives with her husband, Aaron, and their son, Lewin, in Denver, Colorado.
Shania (Hurst) McLennan, Class of 2007
As a four-year letterman for the Women’s Varsity Basketball Team, Shania McLennan dominated in all aspects of the game during her time at KHS. In her senior year, McLennan averaged 22.4 points, 5.8 assists and 7.4 rebounds per game. She was awarded all-conference honors during her career as well. After graduating from KHS in 2007, McLennan went on to play basketball for Arkansas State University where she continued to dominate and break records. While averaging 11 points and 5 rebounds per game, McLennan is the only player in the history of the school to log over 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 250 assists, 200 steals, 100 three-pointers and 50 blocks in a career. For single-game records, she is tied for the highest 3-point field goal percentage at 1.000 (4-4) and recorded the second-most steals in a game in school history with eight. McLennan also led Arkansas State in scoring during the 2010-11 season with 378 total points and led the team in total assists with 90 during the 2009-10 season. In terms of Arkansas State all-time numbers, she ranks 9th in assists (287), 5th in steals (222) and 13th in all-time scoring (1,262). After her time at Arkansas State University, McLennan became an administrator for a local temp agency in Jonesboro, Arkansas while simultaneously working as a real estate investor and agent. She is married to Jahbari McLennan.
1961 Baseball Team
With 10 lettermen returning for the season, the 1961 KHS Baseball Team sought to continue upon the success of the prior season, optimistic at their chances at a state title. By the end of the 1961 season, the Pioneers had achieved their goal, securing the first State Championship for the baseball team and the fourth in KHS history. The team was coached by the legendary Denver Miller. The entire list of members from the 1961 Baseball team are as follows: Ray Bahr, Bill Belko, Art Birdwell, Steve Brandsford, Jim Edens, Phil Landes, Steve Miller, Jim Nickel, Bob Reed, Ken Saladin, Roger Schmidt, Fred Scott, Mike Strode, Jim Waller, *Ronald E, Willis, and *John Wolf.
1947 Wrestling Team
After finishing third in 1946, the 1947 Wrestling Team brought the first MSHSAA Team State Championship to KHS. During that season, the team achieved a 10-1 record in dual meets. Bob Day, Roy Hunter, Archie Edwards and Don Kostedt were all individual State Champions that year. Werner Spalinger and Russell Zimmerman both placed second and Bill Debol placed third in his weight class. The team later went on to place second in state in both 1948 and 1949. Fletcher Walther led the squad as head coach. The members from the 1947 Wrestling Team are: Ted Berger, Skip Crawford, *Charles H. Dart, Robert F. Day, Bill Debol, Archie Edwards, Rich Gabriel, Roy Hunter, *Tom Kerr, Preston Koprivica, Dan Kostedt, Gil Loeser, Ronnie Meyers, Erwin H. Mild, Jr. Robert J. Mild, Art Price, John Rogers, *Henry Ruppert, Jr., *Robert Ruppert, Lee Sappington, George Seaver, *Werner Spalinger, George Thompson, William E. Whipple, and Russell Zimmerman.
Frank Czapla served KHS as the soccer coach, football coach, and physical education teacher. Czapla is best recognized for his work as coaching the KHS Soccer Team from 1965-1997. Czapla himself was an athlete and accepted a football scholarship from the University of Missouri-Columbia and later transferred to Southeast Missouri State. After graduating from college, he was drafted in the National Football League by the Cleveland Browns. Upon joining KHS, Czapla made an immediate impression on students and contributed much to the soccer program by positively influencing the many students he taught and coached during his 32 years at KHS. In 1997, Czapla was voted as KHS Teacher of the Year. In 2003, and with some 75+ soccer alumni in attendance, the KHS soccer field was named in his honor. Czapla passed away in 2005. He and his wife, Jan, raised two children: Marc and Jill.
Fred Lyon coached both the Track and Cross-Country Teams in the 1960s. Under Coach Lyon’s leadership, the KHS Cross-County Team won three MSHSAA State championships. Very few coaches have produced as many championships and nationally-recognized athletes as Coach Lyon. He coached Athletic Hall of Fame members Arthur Miller, Kerry Hogan and Kirk Hogan at the Golden West Invitational Track and Field Meet, the oldest prep invitational meet in the United States. Under Coach Lyon’s leadership, KHS students earned eight individual State Track Championships, making Kirkwood a track and cross-country dynasty for nearly a decade. Many will remember Coach Lyon as one of the greatest track and cross-country coaches in KHS history. Coach Lyon passed away in 1990. He and his wife, Maxine, raised three children: John, Liz, and Lisa.
Coach Lyon made Kirkwood a Track & Cross-Country dynasty for nearly a decade. His accomplishments and contributions to KHS speak for themselves, with the members of the 1969 State Championship Cross Country team having already been enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Many will remember Coach Lyon as one of the greatest Track & Cross-Country coaches in KHS history.
Fletcher Walther coached the KHS Wrestling Team from 1934 to 1964. During his 30-year tenure with the Pioneers, Coach Walther coached the team to their first and only MSHSAA State Championship victory in 1947. Coach Walther’s teams always competed with the best teams in Missouri. Under his tutelage, the Pioneers finished fourth in 1942, 1950 and 1953. They finished third in 1946, 1951 and 1952. Coach Walther also took the team to second place finishes in 1945, 1948, 1949, 1955 and 1959. Outside of team performances, Walther coached 19 individual MSHSAA State Champion wrestlers and five two-time individual state champions. His 30-year legacy had an unparalleled impact on his athletes and the sport of wrestling at KHS.
Recipient of the Pioneer Award
Dr. Joe Ritchie
Dr. Joseph Ritchie moved to the St. Louis area in the summer of 1997. He was born and raised in Fairborn, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor’s degree at The Ohio State University and went on to medical school at The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, Ohio. His Orthopedic Surgery Residency was completed at the United States Air Force Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas. He went back to Ohio for a Sports Medicine Fellowship at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. After serving in the United States Air Force, Dr. Ritchie came to St. Louis. His expertise in sports medicine led to his being sought to care for numerous athletic organizations. Since being in St. Louis, he has served as Orthopedic Team Physician for St. Louis University, Webster University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He was asked to become involved with Kirkwood High School the year he arrived and has volunteered his services ever since. He has been inducted into the Missouri Athletic Hall of Fame. He has numerous professional affiliations including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons, Society of Air Force Clinical Surgeons, American College of Sports Medicine, and the Cleveland Clinic Sports Medicine Alumni Society. He and his wife Laurie are the proud parents of Eric and Jessica.
*Honorees who are being recognized posthumously.
This is the third class of inductees into the KHS Athletic Hall of Fame. The inaugural class was selected in 2009 and the second class was inducted in 2013. The fourth class of inductees in tentatively scheduled for 2024. To see a complete list of prior inductees, please visit khsalumni.org.