SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) For the last 8 years, the best athletes and coaches in Vermont's illustrious sports history have been honored with induction into the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame. The Hall recognizes people from all areas of the state in any kind of sport you can think of, and on Saturday, they welcomed 13 new members at the Delta Marriott in South Burlington.
This year's list includes a legendary driver in Beaver Dragon, Olympic and World Cup skiers like Ann Battelle and Tiger Shaw, college national champions like University of Nebraska football great Jeff Hughes, and the first men's Winter Olympic gold medalist from the state in Ross Powers. It's a great opportunity to honor some of the best sports figures Vermont has ever produced, and they were thrilled to be in the company of so many other great athletes and coaches.
"It's the biggest honor that I've ever achieved in my life," said Hughes. "It's something that you dream about. Nothing supersedes it."
"I'm overwhelmed," added Holly Reynolds, a nine-time Vermont Women's Amateur Golf Champion. "I can remember watching Tiger Shaw when I was maybe 8 years old and here he is, I'm right beside him. So it's a little overwhelming actually."
"It's cool, I'm a lover of all sports so to meet all these people and hear about their accomplishments and you know, be a part of the class with them is very special," said Powers, the 2002 Olympic Snowboard Halfpipe champion.
Here's a full list of the inductees:
Ann Battelle (Alpine Skiing, Williston) - Two-time Freestyle World Cup Champion
Bill Beaney (Ice Hockey, Cornwall) - Eight-time NCAA D3 Men's Hockey Champion Coach at Middlebury College
Mal Boright (Media/Promotion, Williston/Newport) - Founder of Vermont Sports Hall of Fame, Former President of Vermont Sports Media Association
Elizabeth Burnham (Softball/Baseball, Newbury) - Multi-sport star at both Owbow Union and Lyndon State, catcher for Colorado Silver Bullets Women's Professional Baseball team
Larry Damon (Nordic Skiing, Burlington/Stowe) - UVM's first NCAA Ski Champion, four-time Olympian
Harmon "Beaver" Dragon (Stock Car Racing, Milton) - More than 50 career professional wins on 14 different tracks including Milk Bowl and Governor's Cup
Jenny Everett (Field Hockey, Rutland) - Two-time NFHCA College All-American at Wake Forest
Layne Higgs (Basketball, Barre/St. Johnsbury) - All-Yankee Conference Selection at UVM, Three-time state champion coach at St. J
Jeff Hughes (Football, Burlington) - Two-time college football national champion punter at Nebraska
Ross Powers (Snowboarding, South Londonderry) - 2002 Olympic Champion in Men's Halfpipe, first Winter Olympics gold won by a male from Vermont
Holly Reynolds (Golf, Morrisville) - Nine-time Vermont Women's Amateur Champion
Gale "Tiger" Shaw (Alpine Skiing, Stowe) - NCAA Slalom Champion at Dartmouth, two-time Olympian
Rich Tarrant (Basketball, St. Mike's) - First team All-American selection at St. Mike's, helped Purple Knights to 1965 Division II Final Four