The 2013 class of Barton Community College Hall of Fame inductees were welcomed into the fold during a ceremony at Kirkman Activity Center on Saturday afternoon.
Steve Johnson, a former Barton baseball player and assistant coach, and Larry Schugart, a founding member and former president of the Cougar Booster Club, accepted the honor. Kurt Budke, a former Barton basketball player, was enshrined posthumously.
Johnson pitched for Barton from 1988-90. He is currently in his third season as head baseball coach at Fort Hays State University.
“It was an unbelievable experience,” Johnson said of his time at Barton. “It was one of the greatest times of my life. Making that decision when you’re 18 to choose a college, there’s a gamble involved. It turned out that I couldn’t have made a better choice.
“To have the two coaches that I had here, Curtis Hammeke, who was the assistant coach and Coach (Mike) Warren, the decision to come here to play baseball for two years led to a lifetime in the sport.”
In a fall night in 1969, seven men met at the office of Schugart to discuss athletics at the newly-formed Barton County Community College.
The seven men — Archie Lindholm, Bob Reiter, Jerry Skeels, Dave Harvey, Bud Bollman, Orville Huss and Schugart — became the founding members of the Cougar Booster Club, an organization that is still running strong 43 years later.
Schugart said he knew that the organization would take off.
“I really did,” said Schugart, who took over as president of the club in the second year after Lindholm. “We had a great first year. We had a great first few months, and by the time that I was president for a full year, we were really thumping.”
Schugart has also contributed donations toward renovations for Kirkman Activity Center, which will begin this spring.
Budke played at Barton from 1979-81, and while earning a Master of Science degree from Washburn University, after winding up his playing career with the Ichabods, he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the men’s basketball team there.
Budke began his head coaching career as the women’s coach of Kansas City Kansas Community College. He went on to coach at Allen County, Louisiana Tech University and Oklahoma State University.
Killed in a plane crash on Nov. 17, 2011, Budke’s wife, Kelley, accepted the honor on his behalf.
“It was definitely an honor,” Shelley Budke said. “His time here at Barton County was something that he had very fond memories of. When (Barton athletic director) Trevor (Rolfs) called, I knew I had to come because I knew it was something important.
“For his mom and dad (John and Margie) to be here, it was an honor.”