Evanston inducts seven into 2017 Hall of Fame Class


Uinta County School District No. 1 activities director Bubba O’Neill believes every person has had a Hall-Of-Famer in their lives at some point.

On Saturday, five individuals and two teams were inducted to the 2017 Evanston High School Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Historic Evanston Roundhouse.

“They have made (Evanston) a better place,” O’Neill said during his closing remarks. “When you become a Hall-Of-Famer, you’ve done something very special.”

Jason Crompton, Ken Demester, April Reynolds, Joshua Jon Schofield, Richard “Dick” Taggart, along with the 1919 state champion boys basketball team and the 1982 state runner-up girls basketball team, were named to the fifth Annual Class.

The first Evanston Hall of Fame Class was inducted in 2013.

“I hope all of you Hall-Of-Famers wake up (Sunday), look in the mirror, and recognize your greatness and your value to so many people,” O’Neill said. “I hope everyone here, leaves this place tonight, better for this experience.”

2017 EVANSTON HALL OF FAME
INDUCTEES

Jason Crompton 

Crompton was a 1995 graduate of Evanston High School, where he played football for two years, ran track and qualified for the state swim meet all four years. Crompton still holds the school record in the 500-yard freestyle and was a part of the 200-yard freestyle relay team that also still holds the school record. 

Crompton later became the head swimming coach at Evanston from 2002 to 2012. In 2007, he was named the South 4A Conference Co-Coach of the year, sharing the honor with Tom Hudson from Laramie.

Crompton, who passed away in 2016, was the definition of a true athlete. He ran his first triathlon when he was 11 and competed in over 50 of them throughout his life. During that span, he was named to the triathlete All-American list three times.

 “He is a legend in my mind and always will be,” said Brad Crompton, who inducted his brother into the Hall of Fame during Saturday’s ceremony.

Ken Demester

Demester began his coaching and teaching career in 1968 before moving to Evanston in 1989 to become the head basketball coach. 

Demester said he had a different approach for every team he coached, because each team was different in its own way. 

“You have to build a family in coaching,” Demester said. “I loved working with kids and I loved making them a team.”

More of a quiet type that rarely got animated, according to O’Neill, all of Demester’s teams had a reputation for playing the game the right way and with respect. This was regularly noted by officials and opposing teams.

For Demester, coaching wasn’t just about wins and losses.

“Sometimes you win more than you think,” he said.

April Reynolds

Reynolds was a 1982 graduate of Evanston High School, where she excelled as a three-sport athlete in basketball, volleyball and track and field. 

Reynolds was named All-State in volleyball for two seasons, but her real passion was basketball. She was a four-year starter at point guard for the Lady Red Devils and was a two-time all-state selection in basketball. Reynolds was also the first female athlete at Evanston to receive Honorable Mention All-American status.

Reynolds, who now serves as an elementary school principal in the Salt Lake City school district, still holds the school record for steals and assists at Evanston.

“She could handle the ball like no other. She could thread the ball through a needle,” Evanston Hall-of-Fame coach Wendy Schuler said. “I didn’t have to tell her what to do. She knew what to do.”

After graduation from high school, Reynolds earned a basketball scholarship to play at Central Wyoming College, where she served as a team captain of the 1983-1984 Region IX championship team.

That didn’t come as a surprise to Schuler.

“She was the ultimate team player,” Schuler said. “She did everything you asked of her.”

Joshua Jon Schofield

Evanston Hall of Fame coach Larry Wagstaff said Schofield wasn’t the fastest athlete he ever saw, but Schofield, a two-sport standout in wrestling and football, ran with conviction.

“He was a tremendous competitor,” Wagstaff said.

Schofield won the state wrestling title his junior and senior years, and took third as a sophomore. As a senior, he took fourth at the national championship in Pittsburgh, earning Schofield All-American status in wrestling.

In addition to his accomplishments on the mat, Schofield also excelled on the football field. During his senior year he was part of Evanston’s 1997 state championship team. He was named the Class 4A State Offensive Player of the year that season.

“He was a great leader and worked very hard for us,” Wagstaff said. 

Richard “Dick” Taggart 

Unlike the rest of the 2007 Hall-of-Fame induction class, Taggart made a name for himself in the business world. 

Now retired, the 1960 Evanston graduate credited his high school math teacher for the achievements he made during his professional career.

Dick Taggart’s sister, Beverly Taggart, accepted the honor for her brother, who was the senior class president. She said people said “Dick didn’t just pick up a hitch hiker. He picks them up and buys them a steak.”

1919 Evanston boys basketball team

The 1919 boys basketball team became the first team from Evanston to win a state championship in just the second year the tournament was established. 

The tournament consisted of 11 teams from across Wyoming, and Evanston won six-straight games on its way to the title while earning an undefeated season. 

The team included Frank Brown, Henry Meyers, Alfred Reeves, Lloyd Goodman, Bill McAllister, Frank Dean, Clarence Harris and Myril Reed. Also mentioned as members of the team were Tom Davies and Harry Linley.

Brown was arguably the most notable player of the team, earning First-Team All-State honors at center and later being recognized as an All-Time All-State basketball center. McAllister was named a Second-Team All-State forward. 

“He was so proud of that basketball team,” Brown’s daughter, Suzanne, said.

Evanston’s championship team was coached by then superintendent C.C. Voeller. The first known year for Evanston High School basketball was 1910. 

1982 Evanston girls basketball team

The 1982 Evanston girls basketball team was the first girls team in school history to play for a state championship.

The Lady Red Devils went undefeated in conference play and went on to win the regional championship with victories against Lovell and Star Valley to earn a trip to the state tournament.

At state, Evanston opened with a 44-29 win against Torrington before claiming a 57-54 win against Wheatland. In the title game, the Red Devils lost by one point after Douglas sank a free-throw in the final seconds to claim the championship. 

“They accomplished some really great things,” head coach Wendy Schuler said.

Team members were April Reynolds, Cathy Hodges, Joannie Jacobson, Annette Benn, Lanae Jaimez, Jeannie Jacobson, Cheryl Booth, Gina Madia, Nancy Matthews, Toni Lym, Brenda Williams, Karen Bowns, Kelly Bowns, Leslie Newsome, Marie Whiteman, Dana Smith and Cindy Colton. Tracy Burchell, Syd Myers aad Helen Montoya were the team managers. Hubie Benn, a 2013 Evanston Hall of Fame inductee, was the assistant coach.

Reynolds, Hodges and Joannie Jacobson were both named all-state and all-conference. Reynolds led Evanston in scoring and assists, while Benn paced the team in rebounds. Jaimez led the Lady Red Devils with 78-percent free-throw shooting, which is still a school record. Hodges l led the team in field-goal percentage (45 percent), blocked shots and steals.

“I’m so proud of what all of them have become,” Schuler said.

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