3 from area get hall call

Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Alaska School Activities Association recently announced the third class of the Alaska High School Hall of Fame. Nine individuals, including three with local ties, will be inducted into the hall of fame during a 5:30 p.m. ceremony on April 20 at the Marriott Downtown Hotel.

ASAA established the hall of fame in 2006 as part of its 50th anniversary celebration.

Included amongst the nine inductees are former Nikiski athlete Ann Berdahl, former Soldotna High School football coach Bob Boudreaux and former Homer High School coach Alice Witte.

Also being inducted is former Kake boys and girls basketball coach Dwayne Davies, former Monroe Catholic student athlete and current Wasilla girls basketball coach Jeannie Hebert-Truax, former Juneau-Douglas football coach Reilly Richey, former Chugiak High School wrestler Gary Steeby, former North Pole wrestling and football coach John Tobin and former Lathrop High School cross-country and downhill skiing, cross country running and basketball coach James Whisenhant.

Berdahl, a 1997 graduate of Nikiski, earned five team championships and six individual championships, leading the Bulldogs to Class 3A state titles in basketball, volleyball and cross country running, while also winning individual crowns in cross country running and track and field. She also was named the Alaska Gatorade Track Athlete of the Year during her junior campaign and the Alaska Female Athlete of the Year during her junior and senior seasons.

Berdahl graduated from Oral Roberts University in 2002 with a bachelors degree in science. While attending school, she ran cross country as well as indoor and outdoor track. She is currently working with the Department of Defense as a middle school health and physical education teacher in Spangdahlem, Germany.

Boudreaux became one of the most recognizable coaches in Alaska from the mid-1970s until the 1990s. Having already coached at Service and Kenai, he took over the reigns at Soldotna in 1979. During his 17 years at the helm, the Stars qualified for the ASAA state tournament five straight years from 1990-94, finishing second in 1990 and 1992, in helping him become the third winningest coach in Alaska football history.

His record stands at 105-69-1 over 22 seasons, including 15 consecutive years at .500 or better. Boudreaux, who received numerous coach of the year honors, retired from teaching in 2000 and split his time between Plainview, Texas, and Woodstock, Ga., before moving back to Alaska.

Prior to Title IX, Witte was a pioneer in women's athletics, moving to Alaska in 1975 to teach at Kenny Lake Elementary School. From 1975-94, she coached ice hockey, basketball, softball, baseball, track and field, cross country running and gymnastics.

Her Homer High School volleyball team won the state title in 1990 and in 1992, she was named Alaska Volleyball Coach of the Year after her team competed in the state championship game.

Aside from coaching, she earned most valuable player honors on the 1978 All-Alaska Women's Basketball team before playing basketball in the 1980 Arctic Winter Games. She also served as mayor of Kachemak from 1978 to 80.

Following her death from breast cancer in 1994, the Mariners dedicated their gymnasium after her in recognition of her time coaching volleyball until 1993. The "Play Like Crazy" volleyball scholarship was created in honor of Witte and her personal motto.

The public is invited to the dinner ceremony, with tickets costing $50 per plate or $350 for a table of eight. Tickets are available until April 11 by calling the ASAA at 563-3723.

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