According to www.gocolonels.com, "Eligibility for Membership in the Missouri Military Academy (MMA) Athletic Hall of Fame is open to those individuals who have made significant contributions to the Missouri Military Academy athletic program, either through their participation in athletics or their association with MMA athletics as a coach, faculty member or for meritorious service."

There's no doubt teachers and coaches are a big part of the foundation from which boys become men with the Colonels. Merit is the giving that binds this whole process together, though, which is why it's the athletes themselves who've not only helped make this program everything it was, but also everything it'll ever be.

This includes Ed Lindenmeyer, who contributed to a pair of conference football championships during his time at MMA. The former Colonel, who played tackle on the offensive line, was born in 1901 and passed away in 1981, was also the first football All-American at the University of Missouri.

Having lived from 1905-1978, the class of 1924's Reb Russell was quite an accomplished individual on the gridiron, as well, claiming First Team All-American honors at Northwestern University. Prior to that he lettered in three different sports with the Colonels and after football he worked as an actor.

Guy Troy, on the other hand, was born in 1923, graduated in 1940 and competed in track and field while at MMA. From there he graduated from West Point and was the captain of the United States Modern Pentathalon squad at the 1952 Olympics.

As for the Hall of Famers for the Colonels that haven't come from an era gone by, Richard Twells was inducted in 2009 thanks, in part, to the 20 years he spent coaching wrestling. While that time period did garner a district title and 50 state qualifiers, Twells also spent 13 years coaching soccer and on 120 games and two district championships. Currently he teaches at MMA and lives in Mexico.

When asking for the names of the individuals on this list who were originally local before becoming a Colonel, Athletic Director Juan Garcia and Development Data Administrator Diane Henry were kind enough to mention Gregory K. Steinmetz, a Mexico native who currently lives in Centennial, Co.

The duo also spoke about Higginsville native Michael L. Misemer, who also lived in Grain Valley at one time. Unfortunately, what these two have in common is that they both played football and neither is listed on the Hall of Fame pages at www.gocolonels.com.