2019 MHS Athletic Hall of Honor Inductees
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Class of 1988 - Thierry Chau - Student Athlete
Thierry was a 4 year letter winner for MHS who anchored some of Manatee’s best wrestling teams in the mid and late 80’s. A 3 time State Finalist and 2 time State Champion for Manatee with titles in 1986 and 1988. While at Manatee, Thierry had a winning percentage of over 90% and tallied a career record of 118-11, a record setting 59 match winning streak and was an impressive 101-4 mark in his final 3 years. Thierry worked equally hard outside the ring by taking honors classes and maintaining a solid academic record. The combination of his athletic and academic achievements at MHS earned him a full athletic scholarship to wrestle for the Wildcats in the Big Ten Conference.
While at Northwestern, Thierry made the varsity line-up as a true freshman and represented NU in the Big Ten Championship Tournament where Northwestern would eventually finish 8th at the NCAA’s tournament, followed by a record setting 4th place finish the following year. Thierry graduated from Northwestern in 1993 as an All-time Letter winner with a degree in Economics and is now the Director of World Wide Strategic Partners and Venues for Ruckus Networks.
Today, Thierry lives in Atlanta but is still very active with Manatee wrestling given his relationship with former teammate and now MHS head wrestling coach, Andy Gugliemini. On 1/13/2017, Thierry was recognized for his wrestling accomplishments and was also inducted into Manatee High’s Wrestling Ring of Honor. Thierry was nominated by David Ezell, Class of 1985, who has just moved to Clermont and was unable to join us. Joining Thierry this evening are his mother, Mrs. Kim Chau and his brother Dun Chau (MHS Class of 1984) and a large group of supporters from the MHS Wrestling Community.
Class of 1984 - Tracy Levon Sanders- Student Athlete
Tracy was quarterback and Co-Captain of the 1983 State Championship Football Team when MHS won their first “official” state championship title and the first state title by a Central Florida school since the Florida High School Activities Association began its state playoff system in 1963. Following a 14 – 0 season, controversy over a call early in the 4th quarter created a lot of noise in the stadium. After the head referee ruled it was still Manatee’s ball, and 2 plays later, Tracy scored the winning touchdown. South Floridians still claim Manatee stole the championship due to a “terrible call”. Manatee coach Joe Kinnan said “All I know is the whistle was blown by the referee, we kept the ball and scored and brought home the State Championship”. Tracy attended Florida State University, where he was a 4 year letterman on the football team. He played professionally with the Buffalo Bills and with the Tampa Bay Storm in the AFL. Tracy is currently an assistant coach at MHS and he and his wife Twanda , have two sons, Cornelius and Ace, who are also graduates of MHS. Tracy was nominated by MHS Football Coach, Josep Shahir who is with us tonight. Also, joining Tracy this evening are his wife, Twanda Sanders, son, Ace Sanders (MHS Class of 2010), in-laws, Kirkwood & Jacqueline Houston along with fans who watched him play.
Class of 1963 - Gary Dean Trapp – Student Athlete
Gary arrived in Bradenton in 1951 and after attending Ballard Elementary and Walker Jr. High, he became a part of MHS Class of 1963. While playing number one on the boys tennis team his sophomore year and basketball all three years, he switched to his first love – baseball – starting in his junior year. Gary became the ace pitcher on the 1962 Western Conference Championship baseball team and leading hitter and pitcher of 1963 Florida State championship team. He was also a key player on the 1962 American Legion State Championship team. Gary earned a baseball scholarship to Manatee Junior College and University of South Florida where he pitched the first shutout in school history.
After college, tennis again became his first sport and he was able to become the number one ranked tennis player in Florida in several of the adult age group categories. He was also able to obtain top 10 ranking in many age groups in the sport of racquetball.
Gary has managed his CPA practice in Bradenton for the last 40 years, has 3 children, seven grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Gary was nominated by his brother, Richard Trapp, Class of 1964 who is with us tonight. Also joining Gary this evening are his daughters, Melissa Stairs and Meredith Ferrera, his son-in-law, Derek Ferrera.
Class of 1957 - Bruton George Wallace – Student Athlete
After entering Manatee County High School as a Sophomore in the fall of 1954,George started practicing with Coach Wheeler Leeth’s football team playing both ways. With the 1955 season, Coach Leeth decided to add the “split T” formation to the ‘Canes playlist while keeping the standby Notre Dame Box. . This allowed a variety of plays, such as the QB option and George was chosen as the quarterback to implement them. With George calling the plays and a multi-talented team to run them, the result was an undefeated season of 9 wins, 1 tie and the 1955 Western Conference Championship. (The 1955 team was inducted into the HOH in 2017). In 1956 with George at QB, the ‘Canes enjoyed another undefeated season with 8 wins, 2 ties, Western Conference Co-Championship with Hillsborough High and George being chosen as All Western Conference Quarterback. After football season, George immediately joined the varsity basketball team where he played point guard and the team reached state finals in 1956-’57. After football he joined the varsity baseball team where he was All Conference Shortstop and Co-Captain in 1957. George earned 9 Varsity letters while at Manatee in Football, Basketball and Baseball which was the most of anyone in his class. After graduation, George joined the United States Navy where he proudly served as 2nd Class Petty Officer during his 4 year tour of duty on an aircraft carrier overseas.George retired as an electrician at Manatee County Lift Stations, has one son, 4 stepchildren and “a bunch of grandchildren”. George was nominated by Bill Howard (Class of 1957) who was his Co-Captain of the baseball team in 1957. Also joining us this evening is his son, Kenny Wallace along with friends and 1957 classmates.
Class of 1932 - Mildred Bernice Emmelhainz “Miss E” – Contributor
October 30, 1915 - November 16, 1982
Mildred Emmelhainz graduated from Manatee County High School in 1932 at the age of 16 where she had quickly gained attention as an outstanding athlete and captain of the girl’s basketball team in addition to her academic abilities. She enrolled at Florida State College for Women (now FSU) and graduated in 1936 at the age of 20. Miss E served in the WAVES during WWII and retired from the U.S. Naval Reserve, holding the rank of Lieutenant Commander. She was drill instructor for Reserve Officer Candidates training at Bainbridge MD Naval Training Center where during WWII, over 86,000 WAVES were trained and she personally trained 2,300 of them. She came to Manatee County High School in the mid 40’s with a BS in Physical Education and with all her military experience, it was logical that she would think in terms of a drill team for girls, which could offer a much-needed structured activity. Their first appearance was in the fall of 1947 during half time at Hawkins Stadium where 44 girls wore red, white and blue uniforms and saddle oxfords. The new drill team was very popular and soon expanded to 65 members when they started specializing in precision marching and maneuvers. Mildred soon became known to the students and then general public as Miss E. Over the years the events became quite intricate, involving precision gun drills as well as the marching and dancing. In 1961 the Drill Team was named the Sugar Canes and at that time it was reported that others expressed amazement that an “obscure high school in Florida” could stake such a Ziegfield Follies-type production with the final chorus line of MHS Sugar Canes lined up from one goal line to the other, where their kicks could put the Radio City Rockettes to shame. Miss E directed the drill teams at MHS for 21 years, until she retired from the position in 1968 and also served as Dean of Girls for many of those years, retiring from MHS in 1971. Her disciplined approach to drill team routines and serving as Dean made her beloved....and feared! Miss E was nominated for this prestigious honor by Larry Gordon, MHS Class of 1963. Larry & Sally Gordon traveled from KS to be here with us this evening and 31 former Drill Team members are with us in honor of Miss E. Linda Boone will be accepting the award on behalf of Miss E and it will be placed in a trophy case at Manatee High School.
1975/1976 Boy’s Varsity Basketball Team coached by Pat Healy
They called them the “Storm of the South” as the mighty Canes created a whirlwind that blew them into State competition with 32 wins and no losses going all the way to the final four. Coach Pat Healy’s basketball team’s magic was worthy of fanfare and the fans didn’t disappoint. Coach Healy was quoted as saying “we knew we were going to be good - we didn’t know we would be that good”.
Prior to taking the head coaching job with the Canes, Healy won three district titles in 4 seasons with Palmetto but after moving to Manatee he saw the talent that could become a dominate team and the 1975/76 team was the culmination. There were only 4 public high schools in Manatee County at the time, yet each featured a strong team. They used Reggie Buchanan at the point with wings Mark Buhr and Tim App. Paul Green and Mike Balkman played the post. Manatee’s 30 piece pep band helped with the excitement in the gym and the Canes games were broadcast on the radio by a past MHS basketball broadcaster who was Tampa Bay Bucs and FSU Seminoles radio voice, Gene Deckerhoff who announced the teams games on WTRL. Reggie Buchanan, who is deceased, was the Suncoast’s player of the year that season, Healy was the Coach of the Year and selected to coach the All-Star game in Gainesville with Buchanan playing in the game. Eddie Shannon who is a 2016 Athletic Hall of Honor inductee sends his congratulations and wanted to be with us this evening but his health would not permit.
The team was nominated by Phil Wagoner, Class of 1976, who was a member of the team and traveled her from Duluth, Ga. for this event. Members of the team joining us tonight are Paul Green, Gary Foster, Thomas Johnson, Ken Burke, Phil Wagoner, Coach Pat Healy, Gene “Swamper” Albritton who helped coach the team, families of team members, cheerleaders who helped cheer them to victory and fans who were there to witness the magic.
1975/76 Boy’s Basketball Team Players:
Class of 1976 - Mark Alan Buhr; Paul Forrest Green; Reginald James Buchanan; Michael Lee Speas; Thomas Keith Johnson; Timothy C. App
Class of 1977 - Terry Anthony Burns; Gary T. Foster; Kenneth James Burke; Patrick H. Mullon; Donald Phillip Wagoner; Michael Anthony Balkman; Michael Steven Flanagan; Tony R. Thomas
Those inducted into MHS Athletic Hall of Honor are chosen from nominations. Names of those nominated will be considered each year for five years if not chosen the year they are nominated.