Last Friday was a very busy night at North Callaway High School and it began with the JV boys basketball game.
What came next was the 2017-18 induction ceremony for the Thunderbird's Athletic Hall of Fame and this years group consisted of five individuals, including Alan Baumgartner from the class of '72. Also honored were William Butler and Kirk Lawson from the class of '76 and Tim Lubbers and Judy Vaughn from the class of '80.
According to the information assembled by Reid Randolph's Sport's and Entertainment Marketing Class, Baumgartner played football, basketball and ran track during his time at North Callaway. He then went on to become the Chairman of the Central Missouri Autism Board, a member of the Austism Advisory Committee for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Xhairman of the Region III Developmental Disabilities Council.
"Back then it was all fun. This feels great. I get to see a lot of people I haven't seen in years," said Baumgartner. "This is just a good time in my life, I guess, and a time to reflect back to when you were young. My family is here with me tonight, including two of my daughters, one of which is already an inductee and the other played sports here, as well, so it means a lot that they're with me here tonight. You look back and think about how this was a good time in your life and it's 40 years later."
Tim Lubbers also played football, basketball and ran track for the Thunderbirds and earned his varsity letter in all three sports for four years straight. From there he married fellow North Callaway grad Barbie Lubbers and they had bthree daughters, Kellie Smith, Jennifer Vollrath and Nicole Hunt, all of whom are also now Thunderbird alumni themselves.
"I really enjoyed playing football with my friends, especially my senior year. We had a good team and it was a lot of fun," said Lubbers. "I also had fun playing basketball. I'm glad they recognize athletes because I gave a lot to the school and they did a lot for me. I hope I set a standard for my daughters when they wrere at North Callaway, all of whom are with me tonight. It feels good to be able to share this honor with them. I'm also excited that my grandchildren are going to be able to witness this."
Even though she was unable to attend because she lives and works in Colorado now, Judy Vaughn played softball, basketball and ran track at North Callaway. Among the awards she won during that time include MVP, the Green Glove Award, Best Hitter and the Hustle award for softball, the Golden Shoes award and Oustanding Athlete of the Year for track and MVP and Best Free Throw award for basketball.
While Kirk Lawson had unfortunately passed away and was represented at the ceremony by his wife Connie from Auxvasse, as a Thunderbird he was a four year standout in football and track and field. Highlights from that time include winning a state championship in the 100 dash with a time of 10.3 and the 220 dash in 23.0 as a senior. He also won several conference and district titles during his career and is still the current school record holder in the 100 and 440 dash.
William Butler ran track and played basketball in his time as a Thunderbird. On the court he was a three-year starter who earned all-league accolades his junior and senior seasons. From there he went on to attend the University of Missouri and Western Bible College in order to become a pastor and was eventually became the moderatopr of the Mt. VCarmel Baptist District Association until his passing on Feb. 12, 2015.
"He was a character. He really was. He was comical, and of course, an athlete," said his wife Rhonda Butler. "We married in 1978 and by 1980 he had accepted his calling to the ministry, so that's how we spent the majority of our life. He loved the Lord. He loved his family. He loved North Callaway and being a Thunderbird. When we were dating I went to Fulton High School and he would pick me up everyday and take me home because he didn't want me walking. he was very much a gentleman."
One things that speaks to Butler's one-of-a-kind nature is the large family contingent that came out to recognize and homor his memory at this ceremony. One of them was his granddaughter, Arie Butler, who perhaps just came along to be with her grandmother at first, but definitely had warm memories of her grandfather to share.
"My favorite memory is going to church every Sunday and seeing him preaching. When I was little and I'd be doing something bad in the pew he would make a face at me. I miss his presence. I miss his presence. He was a very wise person. There were certain things that he said that I didn't listen to that I really wish that I had."