By: Gabe Mattick and Riley Lumpkin
On Saturday, October 7th, 2017, Highland Park Senior High inducted the following individuals, and teams, into the Athletic Hall of Fame: John Heller, Louise Kramer, Charles Portis, Gary Podas, the 1999 Basketball Team, and the 1977 Volleyball Team. All of the inductees that were inducted into the Highland Park Athletic Hall Of Fame had notable accomplishments in their sports, while also helping the school thrive.
We attended the luncheon on Saturday morning, and listened to the various inductees and what they had to say. The first inductee was John Heller. He served as Head Football Coach from 1985-2000 and as the Athletic Director from 1995-2009. He did not say much about his accomplishments as the Highland Park football coach, but focused more on his amazing achievements as the Athletic Director. In an approximately 15 minute speech, he gave the audience a great story of how he was able, with the help of many parents, students, and teachers, to add on a field house to the school, and help install brand new lights onto the football field.
The next inductee was Charles Portis, and the 1999 Boys Basketball Team. Charles Portis was a school counselor and coached boys basketball from 1989-2010. He helped lead the 1999 Boys Basketball Team to a great season and a state title.
Next up, was Louise Kramer and the 1977 Girls Volleyball Team. No one from the 1977 team was able to attend the luncheon, and neither was Ms. Kramer, but we did get to hear a few words of their accomplishments, including a quote from Ms. Kathleen Kramer (who is not related the coach of the 1977 Volleyball Team) “The team that year went 6-0 in conference and went on later that year to win the state tournament with coach Louise Kramer.” Kramer coached from 1972-1978.
The final inductee was Gary Podas, who is the current golf coach at Highland Park Senior High. He has been the coach of the boys golf team since 1979, and has lead numerous boys golf teams to conference titles and state. He is the longest serving coach in the SPPS district.