HOT SPRINGS – Following many months of planning and organization, the Hot Springs Bison Athletics Hall of Fame has announced the members of the inaugural class of inductees, which include: athletes Chet Bruce, Gerald Collogan, Quinten Hofer and Paul Oberpriller; coach/administrators Dave Scott and Jim Tays, and the members of the 1974 state champion Hot Springs Bison Football Team.
The Hot Springs Bison Athletics Hall of Fame, which is a committee of the Hot Springs Bison Booster Club, began as an idea in the fall of 2015 amongst a handful of HSHS Alumni – most of whom graduated during the late 1970s.
One of the primary goals of the organization was to recognize and celebrate the athletic achievement of the some of the individuals whom have become synonymous with Bison Sports during the school’s long and storied 120 year history.
Nominations for the inaugural group of inductees were sought from the general public for the past several months. And then in May, the 11-member Hall of Fame committee voted which resulted in the aforementioned seven member class.
A Hall of Fame weekend is planned for Hot Springs this coming fall, Oct. 7-8, 2016 – which is also homecoming weekend when the Bison football team hosts Southern Hills rival Custer. A Hall of Fame social is planned for Friday night following the football game, with a formal banquet slated for Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Red Rock River Resort.
Following is a summary of the 2016 class of inductees:
Chet Bruce (Athlete)
Chet Bruce was a multi-sport athlete at Hot Springs High School in the mid-1920s. In 1926, he ran the 220-yeard dash in 21.2 seconds, which is not only a current school record but also a state record that will never be broken, as the event is no longer run as a SDHSAA event.
While his athletic accomplishments are certainly noteworthy, his family members who nominated him posthumously said it was not his achievements in sports that he was most proud. As grandson stated, “he was a very humble about those and quick to point out the advantages that he had back in the day (if cleats tied to the bottom of your feet were an advantage).”
Bruce went on to graduate from Black Hills Teachers College where he also played a number of sports, then on as an instructor in the CCC camp at Pactola. He was also a principal at Fairburn where he coached many of their sports teams, also coaching some in Pine Ridge. With the advent of WWII, he joined the military branch of the American Red Cross where he not only inspected prisoners of war camps, but worked to aid soldiers coming home. He continued this activity throughout the Korean War. After the war, he became the civilian director for disaster relief in the Pacific Northwest and was one of the first responders to the 1964 Alaskan earthquake.
A member of the HSHS Class of 1970, Gerald Collogan competed in both cross country and track for the Bison and was the 1969 South Dakota state champion in the two-mile and held the Hot Springs High School record in that event for 39 years. He was also a member of the school’s very first cross country team. Following high school, he ran for Black Hills State University and has the school’s third-fastest tim in the 10,000-meters. He was selected to the school’s “Who’s Who” and also inducted into the BHSU Hall of Fame in 2015 as a member of the 1973 Cross Country Team.
Following his competitive running career, Collogan moved back to Hot Springs and for many years has been involved with the track program, mostly behind the scenes – from cleaning leaves and debris from the fence lines to contributing a large amount of money to the all-weather track when it was first built. He was also a part of the volunteer group who prepped and did the cement work on the new track. Each fall, for the past eight years, he also purchases embroidered stocking caps to the new cross country runners.
Quinten Hofer (Athlete)
A member of the HSHS Class of 1978, Quinten Hofer excelled in many sports throughout the year including football, basketball, track and summer baseball. In football, he was a two-time All-Black Hills Conference player (1977, 1978) and also All-State his senior year (1978). In track, he was a state champion in the shot put and also held the state record in the shot put for 10 years. He is the current school record holder in the event.
Following high school, Hofer went on to earn a scholarship to play football for South Dakota State University, where he also competed in track and field (indoor/outdoor). He was later drafted in the Spring 1982 to play professional football for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.
Paul Oberpriller (Athlete)
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A member of the HSHS Class of 1977, Paul Oberpriller was a three-sport, multi-year letter winner in football, basketball and track. In football, he was a two-time All-Black Hills Conference player (1975, 1976) and a two-time All-State player (1975, 1976). He also held a number of the school’s football scoring records for nearly 30 years, from 1976 to 2003, including points in a season (161) and touchdowns in a season (26).
In track and field, he was a member of the state champion mile relay team in 1977, along with fellow teammates Doug Fluke, Dan Moller and Jon Schuchardt.
Jim Tays (Coach/Administrator)
Prior to a 37-year career as a coach and administrator at Hot Springs School, Jim Tays had a stellar prep athletic career at Gettysburg High School where he was selected All-State in basketball and was a state champion high jumper (still holds Gettysburg High School Record at 6-foot, 3-inches from 1949). Following high school graduation, he attended the University of South Dakota where he played basketball and high jumped, setting the USD high jump record in 1954 at 6-4. Tays then served in the U.S. Army from 1954-56.
He came to Hot Springs in 1960 and served as a teacher, coach and administrator until his retirement in 1997. During his long and successful tenure at Hot Springs High School, Tays coached basketball for three years before becoming Athletic Director and Track Head Coach. His Bison track teams won the Black Hills Conference five times and also featured 18 individual state champions.
As Athletic Director, he was a part of the school’s advancement from three sports for boys to what is now seven activities for both boys and girls following Title 9 requirements. In 1973, Tays became a charter member of the South Dakota High School Activities Directors. Other honors and awards he has received include induction into Gettysburg Athletic Hall of Fame, University of South Dakota Hall of Fame, South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame, and Distinguished Service through the SDHSAA.
Dave Scott was a fixture at Hot Springs High School from 1971 until his death from cancer in December of 2005. During his 33-plus years at HSHS, Scott served as head coach of wrestling, cross country and track, amassing a combined 14 BHC championships, 23 region titles and five state championships. He was the NHSCA Region 6 Coach of the Year for Girls Track (1998); SDHSCA Coach of the Year in Girls Cross Country (1982-82), Boys Cross Country (1994-95), and Girls Track (1996-97); SDHSCA Region 8 Cross Country Coach of the Year (1990-91) and Track Coach of the Year (1998).
In addition to coaching, Scott also served as the school’s Athletic Director and, at times, single-handedly ran the Bison Booster Club prior to its recent re-organization as a local non-profit. He was also instrumental in getting Southern Hills Golf Course in the current rotation to host a Class “A” high school golf state tournament, after the course expansion to 18 holes in 2005. The first such event was held a year later in 2006, and continues to host them today. During a ceremony prior to his retirement, the school’s track was named in his honor and is now known as Dave Scott Track.
Some of this other professional high school athletic service includes: SDHSCA President (1984-85), SDHSCA Board of Directors (1979-1996), SDHSCA Track and Cross Country Advisory Committee (1988-96), SDWCA President (1976-77), Black Hills Conference Secretary/Treasurer (1975-96), SDHSCA Top-25 Selection Committee (1985-96).
1974 Hot Springs Bison
Led by then second-year head coach Larry Ireland, the 1974 Hot Springs Bison football team finished the season with an undefeated record of 9-0, and to this day, is the school’s only football team to earn a state championship following a vote of the South Dakota Sportswriters.
That year, the team also won a Black Hills Conference title and had several players named to the All-BHC team.
Three of the team’s victories that year were come-from-behind, including the last game of the season when they defeated the Bennett County Warriors on the road by a score of 16-4. That victory came after the Bison spotted the Warriors four points to start the game when Hot Springs’ long snapper put the ball over the punter’s head twice, each time for a safety. Prior to that game, Bennett County had won 34 games in a row.
According to some personal accounts of the game, there were over 2,000 people in attendance at that final game of the season which ultimately propelled the Bison gridders to the school’s first and only state football championship.
The 1974 Hot Springs Bison football team members included: Dale Cape, Don Olstad, Ken Peterson, Randy Hicks, Tim Hussey, Nate Romey, Robert McLean, Paul Moore, Preston Hofer, Rick Wass, Mike Hill, Greg Burg, Ed Broyles, Mike Frohman, Dan Olstad, Ed McClure, Mike Evans, Paul Oberpriller, Larry Baumberger, Tom Dyer, Carlos Cornay, Robert Krcil, Jef Field, Bryan Popescu, Dave Landers, Dean Cape, Calvin Dahl, Mark Schur, Jim Birdsall, Pat Homelvig, Randy Sieg, Jim Stevens, Bryan Hansen, Grant Rush, Roger LeBlanc, Tom McColley, John Lessard, Quentin Hofer, Dave Bruce, Jay Schuchardt, Richard Anderson, Jon Schuchardt and Pat Evans. Coaches: Larry Ireland, Steve Weisman, Brian Thies, Gary Glenn.