HOT SPRINGS – The Hot Springs Bison Athletics Hall of Fame will induct three individuals and one team as part of their Class for 2020.
The new members will officially be recognized in the fall of 2021 during the annual homecoming weekend as this year’s banquet was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They will be inducted with the 2021 class.
The three individuals for 2020 include Cheryl (Burg) Huddleston, 1971 graduate, as an athlete and coach; Kevin Couch, 1996, athlete; and Lisa (Collogan) Starr, 1999, athlete.
Also selected for the 2020 class is the 1917 Hot Springs state champion football team.
Burg-Huddleston competed in the only two organized girls sports available at that time, including basketball and track where she qualified for state twice in the long jump. She later went on to compete collegiately in basketball at a junior college in Missouri before eventually being a starter on the first women’s basketball team at Chadron State College.
Her biggest impact on the local sports scene was as a coach, which she did for more than 30 years including being the head gymnastics coach, and assistant basketball, track & field and assistant cross country. In 1997-98, she was the South Dakota Assistant Coach of the Year. Her grandfather, George Burg, Sr., was a member of the 1917 Hot Springs Bison football team which is also being inducted into the Hall of Fame 2020 class.
Couch won three individual state titles in cross country and track and field in the mid 1990s and also led the Bison boys to the state cross country title in 1994. In 1995 as a junior, he won Class A state track titles in the 1,600-meter run and the 3,200, and as a senior won the Class A state individual title in cross country, leading the team to a fourth-place finish.
On the basketball court, Couch was a starter and led the Bison to the district and Black Hills Conference titles in 1996 as a senior, and also received the Sue Ann Big Crow Award as a senior. He also earned a basketball scholarship at Central Community College in Columbus, Neb.
Collogan-Starr is one of the most highly decorated track and field stars in Hot Springs High School history, winning four Class A individual state track titles, including the 100-meter dash, the 200 and 400 in 1998 and the 100 again in 1999. She also was the anchor leg of two state relay title teams in 1996 and 1997, as well as an eight-time regional individual champion.
She was named a national All-American in 1998 and 1999. Her times in the 100, 200 and 400 are school records.
Collogan-Starr was also a cross country all-state performer in 1996, 1997 and 1998. She later became a nine-time All-American at Black Hills State University.
She is the second member of the Collogan family to be inducted into the Hot Springs High School Athletes Hall of Fame, as her father, Gerald, was inducted in the inaugural HOF class for track and cross country in 2016.
The Hot Springs High School 1917 football team won the state championship with a 5-1 record. Their only defeat was at the hands of Black Hills Teachers’ College at Spearfish, which was known then as Black Hills Normal School. One of the prominent wins that season was a 13-7 victory over a “scornful Rapid City team.”
The captain of the team Dewey Sewright who would go on to be a very prominent citizen of Hot Springs. Other members of the team included Clarence Bruce, Arthur Wright, Frank Thornton, Arthur Larive, Tommy Banks, George Burg, R. Calhoun, Maurice Breshnen, Phil Petty, Shafter Shobe, Bruce Englebert, George Gibson, Wayne Gamet, Stanley March, Earl Prunty.
The team was under the leadership of Coach Harry R. Woodward, who was hired in 1916 and would go on to make a lasting impact on the school system and see the football field eventually named after him.
The opportunity for the Bison to repeat as state champions in 1918 unfortunately never manifested due to the season being cut short by the Spanish flu pandemic, which had a similar impact on the country that the current COVID-19 pandemic is having as well. The 1918 influenza pandemic caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus lasted from Feb. 1918 to April 1920 and infected 500 million people – about a third of the world’s population at the time – in four successive waves.
According to one local history book, despite the shortened season, Hot Springs Bison claimed to still retain the championship for 1918 because they were the only school that played a high school game and won, defeating Edgemont 32-0 on Oct. 4, 1918. It was the only game they were able to play and that Coach Woodward was disappointed that the season’s game with Rapid City didn’t happen. It was written that following Hot Springs’ win over Rapid City the previous year, the losers “boasted of Hot Springs’ inability to play a new style of aerial football (passing). Little did they know that the Bison ball carriers could plunge through even the 11-man defensive Rapid City line!”
Football in the early years of the 20th century was primitive by today’s standards. What little padding the players wore was sewn into the uniforms. Helmets were made of leather and had no face masks. Footballs were nearly as round as a basketball and the drop kick was a common means of scoring field goals and extra points. In some of the early games when the team was short of players, the coach had to fill in, as did Coach Woodward on several occasions.