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Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

Four teams, five individuals to be inducted into Hall of Fame/Honor Wall

Sunday, September 21, 2008

SIKESTON --The 2008 inductees to the Sikeston R-6 Honor Wall/Hall of Fame are some of the most talented, intelligent and athletic individuals and teams the district has ever seen.

Individuals scheduled to be inducted into the Honor Wall are Neal E. Boyd, Bill Priday, and Kendra Riddle, and those set for induction into the Hall of Fame are Steve Drake and Lontas McClinton.

Teams to be inducted into the Hall of Fame are the 1950-1951 baseball team, which took first place at the state competition; 1960-1961 baseball team, which placed third at the state competition; 1976-1977 football team, which had an undefeated regular season record of 10-0; and 2003-2004 cheerleading team, which took first at the state competition.

Honorees will be inducted during Friday night's Sikeston Bulldogs' football game against the Cape Central Tigers.

Since 1995, the Sikeston R-6 Honor Wall has recognized individuals for their service to the Sikeston public schools. The Hall of Fame recognizes athletes who have received state honors or beyond. For the Hall of Fame, Sikeston schools honor past graduates who have been out of school for five years which means 2003 graduates and before are eligible this year.

"Thank you for the honor," Boyd wrote Friday in an e-mail to the Standard Democrat.

Boyd, who is one of the top five remaining contestants of the NBC reality show, "America's Got Talent," is being recognized for his singing accomplishments.

A 1994 graduate of Sikeston High School, Boyd won the National Collegiate Artist Vocal Competition held by the Music Teachers National Association in 2000. It was a six-month competition with three rounds (state, divisional and national).

"I competed against college vocalists from across the country including schools like Indiana, Oberlin, Juilliard, Yale, Eastman, New England Conservatory and more," Boyd said in a written statement. "After the win, I was invited to sing at Carnegie Hall in 2001. This opportunity led to invitations to attend the before mentioned major schools, and I chose New England Conservatory."

From there, Boyd debuted as the slave York in the world premier of the opera, "Corps of Discovery," performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Two years ago Boyd was invited to sing for President Bush in St. Louis at a fundraiser for former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent.

"That was when I was given the nickname, 'The Voice of Missouri," said Boyd, who has degrees at Southeast Missouri State University and University of Missouri-Columbia.

Boyd, who will still be in Los Angeles for the "Talent" competition, said his mother and girlfriend plan to attend Friday's ceremony on his behalf.

From 1969 to May 1972, Priday worked as a teacher and head football and track coach for Sikeston R-6 School District. Then from June 1972 to July 1989, he was the assistant principal and principal at the Middle School, Junior High and High School.

"I was here for 20 years and had a good 20 years. I hope that in some way I was good for the school system," Priday said.

Priday said he enjoyed attending school activities and working with the students and staff.

"We had a great group of teachers and make the lasting friendships," Priday said.

In April, Priday completed nine years of service to the R-6 school board. As a school board member, he orchestrated the building of the new Math and Science Center at the high school.

"I just appreciate the fact Sikeston gave me the opportunity to move here, and I had the opportunity to move back to Festus twice and elected to stay here because I liked it," Priday said.

A 1993 graduate of Sikeston high School, Drake was a three-year varsity letterman in both football and baseball.

According to the nomination letter, Drake's hard work and determination earned him conference, district and state recognition in both baseball and football.

As a catcher for the Bulldogs baseball team, he caught every inning of every game during his junior and senior years in high school. He also had a batting average of .435 his senior year.

Drake earned a scholarship to Shawnee Community College in Southern Illinois. During the fall season in 1993, Drake led the Shawnee Saints in batting with an average of .333 and had an on-base percentage of .593.

His last season in spring 1995 proved to be his best. Drake batted .26, had 39 RBIs, led the team in home runs with eight and was named to the All-Region 24 Team. He also earned All-American status for the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II All-American Team.

"I think it's a good honor, and I'm proud to be from Sikeston," said Drake who works as a physical education teacher for the R-6 District.

McClinton was a member of the first team all-state in basketball, and Riddle was an International Science Fair participant in 2001 and 2002. No further information about these individuals was available as of press time.

A tail gate party will begin prior to the game at 6 p.m. at the Pavilion for present and past inductees and their families.