Missouri Sports Hall of Fame announces Outdoor Sports Luncheon March 15, 2022

From Press Release

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame will celebrate its third annual Outdoor Sports Luncheon presented by Reliable Toyota on Tuesday, March 15. The ceremony is at 11 a.m. at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield.

CEO & Executive Director Jerald Andrews on Wednesday announced the upcoming honorees, and among them will be include the first horse ever to be inducted. Snap Krackle Pop has twice earned Superhorse status at the American Quarter Horse Association Championships.

The horse will make an appearance on a day when the Hall of Fame also will induct fishing’s Lynn Reeves, shooting’s Chris Stark, outdoor journalist Ken White, golfer Mark McBride, cyclist Brad Huff, skeet shooting’s Judy Warden Brown and the Potosi High School Boys Cross Country Program. Additionally, the Hall of Fame will honor PGA Korn Ferry Tour Rules Official Rico Pierson with the President’s Award and bestow the Summit Award on Marty Willadsen, the Executive Vice President of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

A sponsorship table of eight is $400 and includes recognition at the table and in the printed program, as well as an event poster autographed by individual honorees. A head table ticket is $100 and includes the same perks. An individual ticket is $50 in advance, or $60 at the door. Numerous sponsorships are available, including congratulatory ads. Any support is appreciated, considering the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. Call 417-889-3100 for tickets and sponsorships.

Lynn Reeves – Fishing

Lynn Reeves purchased Lew’s, a fishing rod and reel company, in 2009 from Casey Childre of Foley, Alabama and successfully grew the brand. A graduate of Parkview High School who studied at Missouri State University, Reeves previously worked for Bass Pro Shops for 27 years beginning in 1980. There, he was the Divisional Merchandise Manager for Fishing, Marine and Water Sports. After purchasing Lew’s, he brought on several former Bass Pro workers and opened at a facility on East Bennett before moving to east of Highway 65 in northeast Springfield. It now runs out of a warehouse in Republic. The initial goal was to offer a selection of both the rod and reel categories under the Speed Spool, Speed Spin and Speed Stick names. It has since expanded and, in 2016, Lew’s was a finalist for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Award. A year later, Reeves transitioned from CEO to Chairman. The company has since been purchased by Peak Rock Capital. 

Chris Stark – Shooting

Chris Stark was a competitive shooter from 1962 to 1999 with an air rifle, smallbore rifle (22LR), service pistol and high power rifle. He shot on the Oklahoma and Missouri State Teams and was All-Big Eight Conference with the University of Kansas rifle team. He also shot on Missouri’s 102nd ARCOM, Fifth Army, All Army, and All Army International teams. Stark earned the U.S. Army Distinguished Rifleman and Pistol Shooter badges and the prestigious President’s Hundred Tab 15 times. Those are the highest awards for marksmanship in the U.S. military. He also won three air rifle, one smallbore rifle and 15 Missouri State High Power Rifle championships, as well as two Arizona championships and one each in, Texas and Ohio. Additionally, he was on five International World Champion teams and won seven individual International championships. His resume includes four team and two national individual championships, and two All Army individual championships. Stark also won two interservice individual championships and six individual and five team U.S. Marine Corps Championships. Stark is the
co-founder of Honor Flight of the Ozarks and serves as its Board President.

Ken White – Outdoor Journalist

Once the personal photographer of President Harry S. Truman, Ken White has been a longtime outdoors columnist for six southwest Missouri newspapers and continues to hunt and fish. He certainly has the background, having won 17 major fishing tournaments. A 1947 graduate of Carrollton High School, White won the World Series of Fishing in 1963, a three-day event at Bull Shoals Lake, Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo. He also won the Missouri State Championships in 1967, 1968 and 1970, and won the U.S. Open championships those same years. Additionally, he hunted in Missouri’s first spring turkey season in 1960, when only 14 Ozarks counties were open for three days, and has hunted every spring since. White’s outdoor columns first appeared in the Independence Examiner and ran for years in that newspaper. He eventually moved to Stockton and was hired to write weekly outdoor columns for newspapers in Springfield, Branson, Nevada, Stockton, Kimberling City, Humansville, Osceola, Appleton City, Windsor, Cole Camp, Lincoln and many more. Overall, White brought the outdoors to life through wonderful and enjoyable stories that even non-outdoors folks enjoyed, and he earned more than a dozen Missouri Press Association awards for photography. He also has appeared in Sports Illustrated three times.

Mark McBride – Lebanon High School/University of Missouri

Mark McBride was among the state’s top golfers in the late 1990s and early 2000s. A Lebanon native, he is one of only seven golfers to win consecutive Missouri Amateurs, with McBride turning the trick in 2000 and 2001. That marked the first time the tournament had a repeat winner since 1971, when Tom Watson scored his second career repeat in tournament history. McBride also was named the Missouri Golf Association’s Player of the Year in 2000 and 2001. He lost in a  playoff at the 2001 MGA Stroke Play Championship, but won the event outright a year later. However, he won it a year later. He also was invited to play in the Sunnehanna Amateur twice and reached the Round of 16 in the Western Amateur. At Lebanon High School, he won numerous tournaments and was a four-time state qualifier. At the University of Missouri, McBride was a 2001 NCAA Regional qualifier, where he finished 15th. He also was an All-Big 12 Conference selection in 2002. His career included winning the 2000 Colbert Intercollegiate, and the 2001 Purina Classic. These days, McBride lives in Lee’s Summit and is a State Farm Insurance agent in Belton.

Brad Huff – Cyclist

A 1997 graduate of Fair Grove High School, Brad Huff enjoyed a tremendous career in professional cycling from 2006 to 2018. He raced for three teams: TIAA-Cref/Slipstream Sports, Jelly Belly Pro Cycling and Rally Pro Cycling. Overall, he was a nine-time U.S. national champion on the road and track. Starting with a win at the 2004 U.S. Track National Championships in what’s called The Madison, his success continued as U.S. Elite Criterium and Pursuit champion in 2005. He also was a two-time USPRO Criterium champion (2006, 2016), earned a 2007 UCI Track World Championships bronze medal in Palma de Mallorca, Spain and won two gold medals at the 2007 Track Pan Am Championships in Carabobo, Venezuela. He also was a 2008 Olympic Long List team member, won multiple UCI road stages around the globe and earned countless U.S. Criterium wins throughout his professional career. Huff got his start on a mountain bike in the late 1990s and trained diligently for 10 years to become a professional road cyclist in 2006.

Snap Krackle Pop – American Quarter Horse Superhorse

For the first time in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame’s 28-year history, a horse will be inducted. However, the animal is not just an ordinary horse. Under the training of Kendra Weis and Blake Wies at Twin Acres Ranch in Moberly, Snap Krackle Pop won two Superhorse championships at the American Quarter Horse Association World Championships in Oklahoma City in 2015 and 2016. To earn Superhorse status, Snap Krackle Pop had to win the most points in four categories. Notably, the consecutive championships marked the first time in 15 years for a back-to-back Superhorse winner at the show and the first time a mare had accomplished the feat. It also was the first time a Superhorse won in the junior division one year and won in the senior division the next year. That was quite a feat, considering a mare moves up to the senior division, which is for 6-year-olds and older. The division is much more competitive, considering it has more entries with more experienced horses. Called “Brandi” and now 12 years old, Snap Krackle Pop is owned by Twylla and Ed Brown. The mare’s first foal was Snap it Send it, which in 2021 earned Superhorse status, and that’s the first time in the history of the sport that a Superhorse’s foal became a Superhorse.

Judy Warden Brown – Skeet Shooting

A 1967 graduate of Villa Duchesne High School in St. Louis, Judy Warden Brown was one of the world’s best skeet shooters. Overall, she won 13 world championships between 1965 and 1968 and also was a four-time All-American. Brown won every Missouri State Skeet Championship in every gauge and discipline. That included 12-gauge, 20-gauge, 28-gauge and .410 gauge. Among her most memorable performances was hitting 249 out of 250 targets – a record that still stands. She also was perfect on 100 shots with the 20-gauge, 100 on the 24-gauge and 97 of 100 on the .410 in competition. Additionally, Brown was honored with the John E. Wray Award from the Baseball Writers Association of American-St. Louis chapter in 1967. That award is bestowed on success for sports outside of baseball and was named in honor of the former St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports editor. Brown also was given the Key to the City and named to the Women of Achievement honors, as well as named Missouri’s Most Outstanding Skeet Shooter. Since the early 1970s, she has been a real estate agent in Chesterfield, where she has coached Keller Williams agents and now coaches agents across the country through Forward Coaching.

Potosi High School Boys Cross Country Program

The Potosi High School Boys Cross Country Program has been among the most successful in the Show-Me State, having earned nine top four finishes at the Class 3 state meet since 1999. That includes Potosi winning seven state championships, which cover the years 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2013. The 2004 team was a state runner-up, and the 2008 team placed third. The 2006 team still holds the state record for the lowest boys team score (16), and that team earned the right to compete at the Nike National Cross Country Meet, where it placed eighth. Overseeing the success was coach Steve Davis, who is now at Mineral Area Community College. Additionally, the program has accounted for six individual state champions: Walker Eye (1999), Kyle Davis (2003), Josh Mathis (2005), Josh Thebeau (2006) and Jacob Swearingen (2007, 2008).

Rich “Rico” Pierson – President’s Award

Rico Pierson has been a longtime friend of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and will be bestowed the President’s Award, presented to an individual who champions the Hall of Fame and sports in the state. Pierson has been the Advance Tournament Official for years for the PGA’s Korn Ferry Tour’s Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper, which is managed by the Hall of Fame staff. A Texas native, he has worked for the PGA TOUR since 1991 and specifically as a tournament official since 1999 for the Korn Ferry Tour. In his role for the PCCC, Pierson arrives two weeks ahead of the tournament and readies Highland Springs Country Club, reviewing tee locations and hole locations. Just a few of his duties as an official includes marking the course and working with the staff of the PCCC to ensure that skyboxes, tents and other parts of the tournament’s fan experience doesn’t interfere with play during championship weekend. Pierson actually has another notable tie to the PCCC, as he caddied twice in the early 1990s.

Marty Willadsen – Summit Award

Now in his 18th year with the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame – and set to retire at the end of March – Marty Willadsen will receive the Summit Award. It is bestowed on those whose tireless work inspires and fuels the success of both the Hall of Fame and the PGA Korn Ferry Tour’s Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper. A 1975 graduate of Lebanon High School and a 1979 graduate of Missouri Valley College, Willadsen has been the Hall of Fame’s Executive Vice President since 2015. He joined the staff in 2004 as Associate Director of Sponsor Development. In September 2006, he was promoted to Director of Operations. Two years later, he was named Vice President/Operations and Administration. In that capacity, he has overseen the operations, administration and accounting for the Hall of Fame. Mainly, his laser focus on small details has ensured that every facet of an event – whether it’s the Hall of Fame or the PCCC – is carried out in order to put both organizations in position for success. Known as an outdoorsman, two of his ideas have been significant, as the Hall of Fame’s Sporting Clays Classic and Bass Fishing Classic have generated numerous sponsorships. Plus, his camaraderie with sponsors, honorees and volunteers has been invaluable. Previously, Willadsen was a school teacher and baseball coach at Lebanon High School and then Pleasant Hope High School before working in the steel industry in Springfield.

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