GODFREY — A noteworthy night is coming for the newest inductees of the Alton Athletics Hall of Fame.
Nine individuals and one team will be enshrined on Wednesday, Nov. 26, at Alton High. The ceremony will start at 6:30 p.m. in the AHS Commons for the newest group. It’s the fourth year for the annual Fame festivities.
Those enshrined will be honored during halftime of the Alton-Jacksonville game that’s scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. that night.
“This outstanding class represents the deep tradition and history that is Alton High athletics,” committee chairman Joe Hook said. “We would also like to invite past Hall of Fame inductees to attend this year’s ceremony.”
Call Hook at (618) 474-6961 for details. The new Famers are: Brad Baker, Camie and Carrie Bechtold, Bobby Everage, Wade Lowe, Floyd C. Raglin, William “Red” Schmitt, Rob Simpson, Gene Velloff and the 1984 boys’ soccer team.
Baker, a 1979 graduate, was a three-year varsity letterman, two-year captain and the career scoring leader. He accounted for 56 goals and 45 assists. Baker, the AHS Student of the Year in 1979 and class valedictorian, also was a first-team, all-Southwestern Conference baseball player as an outfielder. He attended Cornell University on a soccer scholarship.
Camie Bechtold participated in five varsity sports, earning 10 letters at AHS. She excelled in golf, tennis, soccer, basketball and volleyball. Bechtold received All-State honors in soccer, scoring 104 goals in her career. She also qualified for state in tennis. She starred in soccer at Quincy University and is a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Hall of Fame. Bechtold is associate AD at Montana State.
Carrie Bechtold competed in five varsity sports and received 11 letters for the Redbirds. She was an All-State soccer selection and a member of the 1,000-point club for AHS basketball. Bechtold snared all-conference honors in both sports. She also was a standout player in tennis, volleyball and golf, qualifying for state in tennis. She was a top soccer player at Quincy and joins twin Camie in the university’s Hall of Fame.
Everage, a three-sport letterwinner at AHS, was a key player for the 1970 AHS football team that went 10-0. He accumulated 1,785 yards that season, including 382 in one game. Everage rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 1970 and 1971 and was the Alton Knights of Columbus Quarterback Club’s Player of the Year both times. Everage enjoyed a stellar collegiate career at Coffeyville, Kan., Community College and Southeast Missouri State.
He has been a coach in the Alton School District since 1985 and formerly was head women’s basketball coach at Lewis and Clark Community College.
Lowe graduated from AHS in 2007 and is considered one of the finest wrestlers in school history. A three-year team captain, Lowe registered 164 career victories. He was 44-1 as a junior and 46-2 his senior season.
He won four regional championships, three sectional crowns and was a four-time IHSA finals qualifier. Lowe finished third in 2007 and fifth in 2005. He then went on to wrestle at McKendree University in Lebanon and claimed the NAIA championship at 133 pounds in 2011.
Raglin made his mark in both football and track with the Redbirds. The 1960 AHS grad qualified for state track in both 1959 and 1960. In football, the talented running back was a two-year letterwinner and rushed for 820 yards in six games during the 1959 season.
During the 1958-59 seasons, Raglin earned multiple honors for his football exploits, including the Elks Club Football MVP in 1959. The two-time all-SWC selection went on to collegiate success at Central Missouri State in Warrensburg.
Schmitt, a member of the class of 1940, is a legendary figure in prep wrestling. He’s best known for coaching Granite City from 1951-85 and was honored as Illinois Coach of the Year in 1976 and the top national one in 1977. He’s a member of the Illinois Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Granite City Sports Hall of Fame and the St. Louis Athletic Association Hall of Fame.
He coached at Western Military Academy in Alton from 1947-49. Schmitt’s overall record, covering nearly four decades, was 602-84-5. At AHS, he earned four varsity letters in wrestling and was team captain in 1939-40. The Godfrey resident also was instrumental in reviving the Alton mat program, which was discontinued at one point.
Simpson, who graduated in 2002, was one of the finest tennis players in school history. He was a four-year letterman and three-year team captain, logging a 70-2 record in regular-season singles matches.
A four-year state qualifier, Simpson finished fifth at state in the 2002 finals. He was a four-time sectional champ and a member of two sectional championship teams. Simpson went on to collegiate success at Xavier University in Cincinnati. Overall, he was 84-21 at Xavier and a part of 75 doubles victories. Simpson was chosen the Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year in 2003.
Velloff made his mark as one of the finest basketball players in AHS annals. The 1956 grad, a three-sport standout for the Redbirds, was a member of the 1954-55 basketball squad that qualified for the Sweet 16.
He also was the leading scorer for the 1956 team that went 23-6. Velloff scored 1,177 points at AHS and was a two-time All-SWC selection. He also received All-State honors in 1955-56.
Following his high school career, Velloff went on to play at Doane College in Crete, Neb., where he averaged 36.5 points in 1960, tops in the nation. He averaged 29 ppg. the next season and was eventually inducted into the Doane College Hall of Fame.
The 1984 soccer team posted a 15-6-1 record, won the Southwestern Conference title and recorded regional and sectional championships. The squad, which reached the Elite Eight, is the only soccer squad in school history to advance to the IHSA finals.
Joey Bowen, Pat Hoag and Larry Stutz were the team captains. Larry Montgomery was the head coach and John Duggan served as the assistant coach. Brad Baker, Joe Herzon, Kris Grabner, Scott Gibbons, Jim Johnson, Mark Cowgill, Margy Durham, Craig Lombardi, Mark Dunbar, Rance Long, Jill Harris, David Condrey, Joel Thiel, Dave Middleton, Andy Scanlan, John Sloan, Troy Campbell, Andy Abromovich, Brian Sisk, Rusty Coumard, Chris Milford and Brian Eickoff also were team members.