Fisher Hall of Fame: Newest class focuses on 1990s

The 1990s brought us grunge rock, “Toy Story,” Lou Henson’s retirement, the Macarena, Nintendo 64, Michael Jordan playing baseball and much more.

It also brought the athletic exploits of the 12 former Fisher High School athletes who will be inducted on Saturday to the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Rantoul Press Sports Editor Matt Daniels reached out to all 12 last week to find out what they’re up to now before their one night back in the spotlight arrives.

Trina May Burk — Class of 1990
She’s getting inducted  because ...
she was a steady influence on the volleyball court.

Burk earned three varsity letters playing volleyball for the Bunnies and was a first-team all-conference setter her senior year, along with serving as a co-captain and being named the team’s MVP. Her senior season saw her put 187 straight serves in play.

“Every volleyball game, I loved being out there,” Burk said.

In track and field, Burk set a school-record in the 300-meter hurdles during her sophomore season. She earned three varsity letters, and also competed in the sprint relays and high jump.

These days ... Burk, 40, is in her second year teaching sixth grade at Fisher Grade School. She and her husband, Steve, have three children — Bryce, 13, who is in eighth grade; Dalton, 11, who is in sixth grade; and Daneigh, 10, who is in fifth grade. All of Burk’s children attend Fisher Grade School. The family resides in Fisher.

Best part of being a Bunny was ... “Bunnies are remembered. We were known because it is so different. I enjoyed it. That was my biggest part of what I loved about school was being able to participate in sports.”

Scott May — Class of 1991
He’s getting inducted because ...
May was fast. Very fast. And he could shoot a 3-pointer with particular ease.

He placed sixth in the 200-meter dash at the Class A state meet in 1991, and also qualified for track’s state meet that season in the 100-meter dash, which came after he was a state qualifier in the 100, 200 and 400-meter dashes his junior season.

In basketball, May was the Bunnies’ MVP his senior year, where he also earned second-team all-conference accolades.

May received two football letters as a running back and safety, but the school did not have the sport his senior year.

He went on and ran track at Bradley University for two years before the school canceled the program.

These days ... May, 39, works at Plastipak in Champaign. He and his wife, Shelby, have two daughters, Taylor, 11, and Kailey, 8. The family resides in Fisher.

Best part of being a Bunny was ... “Our motto in high school was it’s better to be a Bunny than get beat by a Bunny. There was a lot of pride. It gives you the opportunities that bigger schools might not give you, and it’s like a family. A lot of guys that were inducted (last year) I played with, so this is nice.”

Christie McCleary Delaney — Class of 1992
She’s getting inducted because ...
Delaney excelled in three sports — volleyball, basketball and softball.

Delaney, as an outside hitter, earned first-team all-conference honors in volleyball while leading Fisher to its first sectional championship in 1991.

She was a second-team all-conference point guard her senior year in basketball, and had a .417 batting average as a shortstop in softball her senior year en route to unanimous first-team all-conference accolades. She later played volleyball at Parkland College.

These days ... Delaney, 38, lives in Fisher and works on the family farm. She and her husband, Leonard, have three children all in the Fisher school system — Courtney, 15, a sophomore at Fisher High School; Mackenzie, 13, who is in seventh grade at Fisher Grade School; and William, 11, who is in fifth grade at Fisher Grade School.

Best part of being a Bunny was ... “It has that hometown feeling. When you do well, the whole community stands behind you. We had several good years when I played, and everybody came, not just parents coming to watch you. The community came out and supported you and was a part of it. I think that’s a big deal.”

Tricia Cook Schwing — Class of 1992
She’s getting inducted because ...
she was a standout volleyball player for the Bunnies and a co-captain on the first two Fisher softball teams.

She helped Fisher win its first-ever sectional championship in volleyball in 1991, and was first-team all-conference in her junior and senior seasons.

She was named the volleyball squad’s MVP all four years and ended up coaching the Fisher High school volleyball program from 2001-03.

These days ... Schwing, 38, is a teacher’s assistant at Fisher Grade School.

“I love it because I’m on my kids’ schedule,” she said.

She has two currently at Fisher High School — Cameron, 16, who is a junior, and Emilee, 14, who is a freshman — and has been married to her husband, Phillip, for 19 years. The family resides in rural Mahomet.

Best part of being a Bunny was ... “Fisher is a great school with lots of opportunities for students and athletes. Being a Bunny is something to be proud of. You get support not only from the whole school, teammates, classmates and faculty, but also the entire community. It is so encouraging for student-athletes.”

Scott DeGraff — Class of 1995
He’s getting inducted because ...
DeGraff qualified for the Class A state track and field meet twice in the high jump (where his personal record was 6 feet, 4 inches) and once in the 300-meter hurdles.

He was also a football captain for two years, playing running back and linebacker. Went on to earn five letters as part of the Illinois Wesleyan University football and track and field teams.

These days ... DeGraff, 35, is a head athletic trainer and assistant athletic director at Lake Forest Academy in the northern suburbs of Chicago. He and his wife, Kara, have one son, Owen, who will celebrate his fifth birthday on Sunday. The family resides in Lake Forest.

Best part of being a Bunny was ... “Just being a Bunny. It was a great school and great community. I still look in the Rantoul Press (online) every single week to see how the Bunnies are doing. You have to have pride in being a Bunny because we’re so unique, and I carry that with me everywhere. I find it interesting that I left the Bunnies, and the school I work in now has (the colors of) orange and black, and our mascot is the Caxys, so I feel naturally at home here.”

Michael Hofferth — Class of 1996
He’s getting inducted because ..
. he could put a basketball in the hoop with ease.

Hofferth was a four-year varsity contributor for the Bunnies’ boys basketball team, and a three-time first-team all-conference selection. He eclipsed the 1,000-point club his junior season, and averaged 24.6 points his senior year.

These days ... Hofferth, 35, resides in Agoura Hills, Calif., where he has owned his own multimedia company — Kombine Media — for the past six years.

He also works as a supervising producer on FOX’s “The X Factor.” He has also worked as a production manager on “American Idol” for three years.

He attended Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., after he graduated from Fisher, and started his work in Hollywood by appearing as an extra in a 2001 ABC TV movie called “When Billie beat Bobby,” about the famous 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

Hofferth is not married and does not have any children.

Best part of being a Bunny was ... “The whole small-town community feel. Growing up in a small town for me was key. I think your roots are good.”

Carol Hahnstadt Gamboa — Class of 1997
She’s getting inducted because ..
. she was a standout volleyball, basketball and softball player.

In her spare time in the spring, she ran track as well. She earned all-conference honors her senior year in volleyball and basketball, which precluded a four-year volleyball career at Taylor University in Indiana, the same school Illinois men’s basketball head coach John Groce attended.

She also threw the javelin her senior year at Taylor, winning the Mid-Central Conference javelin championship.

These days ... Gamboa, 33, owns Posture Inc., in Chicago, where she trains professional athletes as an exercise therapist. Several of her clients are Chicago Bears players. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Anthony. The couple is expecting their first child, a baby girl, in late April.

Best part of being a Bunny was ... “It’s better to be a Bunny than be beaten by a Bunny. I felt that because we had a unique mascot, it was kind of fun to be somebody who was a little different. Also, being from a very, very small school and being successful was fun.”

Lindsay Wilson Gowin — Class of 1997
She’s getting inducted because ...
of her pitching prowess for Fisher’s softball team.

Gowin set school records for career wins (43), career no-hitters (4), season wins (19) and season strikeouts (167). She also played volleyball and basketball.

These days ... Gowin, 33, is an attorney who works for the city of Chicago.

She defends civil rights litigation against the Chicago Police Department, and has had that job for a year.

Prior to that, the 2004 Columbia University Law School graduate worked at a private practice in Chicago focusing on corporate litigation.

She and her husband, Craig, have a son, Andrew, who is 1 year old. She and her family reside in Chicago.

Best part of being a Bunny was ... “The opportunity to participate in all the sports. As you can probably tell, there were no cuts. We were like, ‘Please, for the love of God, play! Even if you have to wear your track uniform into the outfield.’ I still run, and I credit athletics when you’re a youth to being physically fit and active throughout your life. That’s critical for everybody these days.”

Jon Kelly — Class of 1999
He’s getting inducted because ...
he established the barometer of a successful baseball player at Fisher.

The right-hander went 18-10 in his career at Fisher, a school record for wins that stood until 2012 graduate Taw Fredrickson broke the mark last spring.

He finished with a .385 career batting average. His junior year he hit .544 and went 8-0 on the mound with 103 strikeouts.

He also placed sixth in the Sangamon Valley Conference golf meet his senior year and earned two letters in football and basketball.

Went on and played two years of baseball at Lake Land College.

These days ... Kelly, 31, is in his ninth year as a math teacher at Fisher High School, where he also is the school’s baseball head coach and assists the girls basketball team and football team. He is single, has no children and lives in Fisher.

Best part of being a Bunny was ... “Probably the fact that we’re a small school and a lot of other schools have had to consolidate or co-op in a lot of sports, but I’m proud that our school continues to grow athletically and academically.”

Justin May — Class of 1999
He’s getting inducted because ...
he excelled in football, basketball and baseball.

A first-team all-conference running back and defensive back his senior year, he also averaged more than 20 points a game his junior and senior basketball seasons, and surpassed 1,000 points in his career.

In baseball, the shortstop/pitcher still holds the school record for home runs (17), RBI (73) and runs scored (71), and was named first-team all-conference in two of his seasons.

These days ... May, 31, works in the cash management department at Busey Bank in Champaign.

He and his wife, Katie, have one son, Landon, who is 2. The family resides in St. Joseph.

Best part of being a Bunny was ... “I always took pride in it. It’s unique. All the other schools around here are Rockets and Bulldogs. Being the only school around here with that nickname was really cool. We tried to rally around it.”

Chris Murray — Class of 1999
He’s getting inducted because ...
a two-time first-team all-conference baseball player, Murray is in the top five career baseball records at Fisher for home runs, doubles, runs scored and sacrifices.

A catcher and center fielder, he played two years of baseball at Lake Land College.

As part of the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley/Fisher wrestling team, Murray won a regional championship at 135 pounds his senior year. He also earned two varsity football letters and one varsity golf letter.

These days ... Murray, 32, works on the family farm in Dewey. He and his wife, Erika, have three daughters: Alexis, 7; Aubrie, 5; and Ava, 2.

Best part of being a Bunny was ... “I was a smaller kid, so I got a chance to have a good athletic career. I don’t know if I would have pursued all the sports if I was at a bigger school. I appreciated the chance to overcome some of people’s doubts.”

Valerie Hieser Rogers — Class of 1999
She’s getting inducted because ...
she qualified for state three times in the high jump, which included a third-place finish at the Class A state meet as a sophomore.

Still holds school record for high jump at 5 feet, 8 inches. She also earned second-team all-conference honors in volleyball and girls basketball as a senior.

These days ... Rogers, 31, works at Hieser Insurance in Fisher and also farms in the Fisher area.

She is married to Lucas Rogers. The couple — who live in rural Rantoul — have no children.

Best part of being a Bunny was ... “Nobody wanted to be beat by a Bunny. When we handed out defeats to some of those teams, they had to go home and tell their classmates the next day that they lost to the Bunnies, and I’m sure that was very humiliating. Fisher is a nice little town, and to have that mascot and have it be so unique and well-known ... it’s pretty neat.”


Rantoul Press embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. we reserve the right to remove any comment at its discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Warover74 wrote on March 04, 2016 at 1:03 am