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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

School will honor graduates

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Andrew Lawson
SIKESTON -- Three new names will join the list of those honored for contributions to the Sikeston R-6 School District.

Rice P. "Pete" Burns, Andrew Lawson and Jim Warf will be recognized during the Sikeston Public Schools Hall of Fame-Honor Wall induction ceremony slated to take place at the Sikeston-Kennett football game Friday.

Over the last 10 years, the Sikeston Public Schools Honor Wall has recognized individuals - usually a former teacher, administrator or school board member - for their service to the school district.

The SPS Hall of Fame, on the other hand, recognizes individuals and teams that have made outstanding and lasting contributions in the field of athletics or school activities. Sikeston High School students cannot be nominated until five years after their graduation.

Honorees receive a certificate of appreciation and special plaques are hung in the Sikeston Field House.

Jmi Warf
This year's Honor Wall recipient, Burns, was nominated by Roger Sherman, chairman of the Hall of Fame-Honor Wall committee.

Now in his 14th year as legal counsel for the school board, Burns was a founding member of the Bulldog Booster club and was instrumental in its formation, according to Sherman.

"He has served as secretary to the Board of Education for a number of years," Sherman said of Burns. "He also served on many advisory committees for our school system prior to being the legal counsel and secretary for the Board of Education."

Burns also served for over five years as a member of the State Board for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

A 1965 graduate of Sikeston High School, Burns graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 1969 and the University of Missouri's Kansas City School of Law in 1973.

After serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War era, Burns returned to his hometown.

A founding partner of the Burns and Taylor Attorneys at Law, he is a member of the Lion's Club, past member of the Jaycees and a former high school referee and coach for little league football and baseball.

"He's a good community citizen - very interested in the community and the school system," Sherman said. "Pete is very involved all around and I have a lot of respect for him."

Lawson, a 1998 graduate of Sikeston High, will join the Hall of Fame for his athletic contributions as a soccer player.

Lawson led Sikeston's soccer team through four seasons and set several school records: most career goals (44), most season goals (22), most game goals (four), and most career points (122).

Bill Lawson, his father and one of his coaches, said his son started playing soccer at age 4.

"I coached him three of his years in high school," Lawson said. "He was definitely a team player, he was not selfish with the ball. He had a pretty quick trigger, as far as goal scoring is concerned - if he saw an opportunity he would take it."

Named Most Valuable Player for both his junior and senior years, Lawson made second team All-Conference in 1995 and first team All-Conference in 1996 and 1997. He was the first Sikeston Bulldog soccer player to receive first team honors.

Lawson continued to excel in soccer in the American Midwest Conference after begin recruited by Hannibal LaGrange College where he still holds the school record for most career goals (40) and most career points (95). Having had the most season goals (14), he finished second in the conference.

He was named American Midwest Conference Player of the Week in 2001 and was named to the AMC's All-Conference team.

Lawson was also selected for the 2001 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Academic All-American Team - the second player from Hannibal LaGrange to ever receive this honor.

A 1970 graduate of Sikeston High, Warf's name will be added to the Hall of Fame for his success on the links.

Warf was the first freshman to play varsity golf for the Bulldogs and helped his team take first place in the 1967 district competition.

The team continued to win under Warf's leadership, capturing first place in 1968, second place in 1969, and first place in 1970.

In the summers of '67 and '68 he won the Missouri State High School Junior Tournaments.

A state qualifier in '67, '68 and '69, Warf received second-place honors his senior year.

Landing a full golf scholarship for Mississippi State University, Warf was the winning medalist in the 1971 SEC Championship in Callaway Gardens, Ga.

In addition to these three individuals, three cheerleader squads will also be honored in the Hall of Fame: the Sikeston Senior High Cheerleaders of 1997

-98, 1998-99 and 1999-2000.

"It was a group of exceptional young ladies," said Wanda Throop who coached the squads along with Judy Burge and Tricia Keefer. "They competed very well. Their stunting ability, their cheer technique, jumps, tumbling, were exceptional. They worked very hard as a team."

Throop noted that they competed against much larger schools from the St. Louis and Kansas City areas. "Even though we were a smaller school, they did exceptionally well," she said.

As one of the people responsible for establishing the Hall of Fame-Honor Wall for Sikeston schools, Sherman said he is pleased with the results over the last decade.

"It has touched some people very deeply," he said. "People who do good things need recognition, I think."