Central High School is finally getting a Hall of Fame for the school's athletic program.
After years of floating the idea around, several people directly involved with the school decided now was the time to begin to officially recognize the achievements of past Falcon greats. The inaugural Hall of Fame class -- made up of 15 inductees -- will be honored this evening during Central's boys and girls basketball doubleheader with visiting Loudoun Valley.
"You see a hall of fame a lot of places -- high schools, colleges, pros, all that stuff," said Mike Yew, the chairman of the seven-person committee tasked with selecting those worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. "It's been something that we talked about in the past, and a year ago we really just took the bull by the horns and had our first meeting and said it was time to get it done."
Yew said the committee first met in December 2012 and began the process of compiling a list of names for future recognition. About 180 people were nominated by the committee, according to Yew, and there was a unanimous approval of the first 15 members of the Hall.
The inaugural Central Hall of Fame inductees are:
• David Brill
• Donnie Golladay
• Milt Coffman
• Tom Johnson
• Gary Stoneburner
• Don Shrum
• Jimmy Crisman
• Steve Jackson
• Sallyanne Irvin
• Vicki Lutz
• Kenny Lambiotte
• Johnnie Williams
• Carl Plum (coach)
• Pat Vaughan (coach)
• Harry Combs (contributor)
Yew said several factors were taken into consideration when selecting members for the Hall of Fame, and the committee even placed a small emphasis on athletic achievements that came beyond an inductee's high school career. But most of the emphasis was placed on the individual's contribution to Central High School and the surrounding community.
"Basically we looked back at all the aspects of everything that encompasses a high school athlete. We didn't limit it to one part," Yew said. "Obviously, being our athletic Hall of Fame, they had to have a strong athletic background, but we also looked at leadership and things like that as far as being a good student and being a good role model ... and a good citizen."
The committee also took into consideration the years in which each inductee attended high school when choosing members for the inaugural class. Central graduated its first class in 1960, which leaves 55 years of athletic achievement to be accounted for after the current school year ends.
Yew said the goal of the inaugural class -- as well as a few of the subsequent classes -- is to recognize those who attended during the school's first few decades of existence. Six of the inaugural members -- Brill, Golladay, Coffman, Johnson, Stoneburner and Shrum -- attended Central in the 1960s, while the remaining six athletes attended in the 1970s and 1980s.
"We just felt like it was really important to go back through our history and get caught up a little bit these first few years and then we will move forward after that," Yew said.
The Hall of Fame inductions are going to be a yearly event, and Yew said he expects the committee to induct another larger class of six to eight people next year before it starts to trim down the process to eventually include two to four inductions a year.
This evening's event will take place between the girls and boys basketball games, the former of which is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Each inductee will be awarded a plaque, and a copy of each plaque will be hung on the newly constructed Hall of Fame wall, which is located on the east wall of the school's gymnasium.
"This is something that we worked very hard on and that we're extremely excited about," Yew said. "We're very anxious for Saturday to get here."
Contact sports writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @BradFauberNVD