Leman family, Chaparrals among picks for Alaska High School Hall of Fame

Beth Bragg
Bob Hallinen

A father-daughter duo from Ninilchik, the coach of a world-class, fan-favorite dance team from Chugiak and pioneering coaches in volleyball and tennis are among 11 people who will be enshrined in the Alaska High School Hall of Fame this summer.

Basketball greats Dan Leman and daughter Whitney Leman, Anchorage coaches Virgil Hooe and Dave Reeves and the coach of the high-kicking Chugiak Chaparrals, Pauline Souter, will be honored along with six other inductees at a ceremony this summer.

The Lemans teamed up to win four straight Class 2A girls basketball championships in Ninilchik.

In 18 seasons as coach, Dan Leman posted a 373-36 record and led the Wolverines to a still-unprecedented five straight state championships. He guided them to two epic winning streaks, one 97 games long and the other 57 games long. His teams earned eight straight titles and placed third or better in 16 state tournaments.

Whitney Leman remains the greatest player in the history of Class 2A girls hoops, the first small-school player to earn three Player of the Year honors and the leader of four state championship teams. From her sophomore year to her senior year, she claimed MVP honors at every tournament Ninilchik played in.

Joining the Lemans are two Anchorage men who are synonymous with their respective sports.

Hooe led Service to a record nine state volleyball championships, steered West to one state title and, after retiring as a head coach and joining the South staff as an assistant, had a hand in five more state titles.

Perhaps more significantly, Hooe was a driving force behind Midnight Sun Volleyball, the club that has fed high school programs throughout the state while helping top players land college scholarships.

Reeves helped bring high school tennis to Anchorage and then built a dynasty at Dimond. Coaching in the days before there was a state tournament, he led the Lynx to 13 region titles and a 145-27 record in 18 seasons. He posted perfect season in three decades -- 1976, 1983, 1985 and 1991.

As an athlete at East High in the 1960s, Reeves played basketball for Chuck White, won two state pole vaulting championships and played second base on back-to-back state American Legion baseball championship teams.

Also earning induction was the woman behind the best halftime performances in Great Alaska Shootout history.

Souter founded the Chaparrals in 1983 and bowed out in 2007. During that span, the Chaparrals captured world championships in 1996 and 1994 and collected two world titles in 1987 while entertaining tens of thousands of people worldwide. The Chaparrals were fan favorites at both the Shootout and the Alaska State Fair.

Other members of the Hall of Fame's Class of 2014, and their accomplishments as reported by the Alaska School Activities Association, include:

• Archie Young, a basketball star at Wrangell. Young averaged 19 points and double-figure rebounds during his four-year career, with one of his greatest efforts coming in a 1991 Class 3A state tournament game in which he racked up 46 points and 18 rebounds.

A 6-foot-4 forward, he was a three-time All-State selection who went on to score more than 500 points in three seasons at UAF.

• Bruce Shearer, multi-sport coach at Kenai, Chugiak and East. Shearer claimed 10 state championships in three different sports but is best known as one of the state's gridiron greats. He reigned over a remarkable three-year run at East from 1985-87 during which the T-birds won three straight state championships and a record 29 straight games. Then he took Chugiak to the 1996 state title.

In 21 football seasons at Kenai, Chugiak and East, Shearer was 130-40-1, including a 76-26 run at Chugiak. He coached the Chugiak girls to the 1994 Class 4A state basketball title, and he helped Chugiak to five state championships in track and field, four of them on the girls side.

• Steve Simmons, Chugiak soccer player. One of the most accomplished soccer players in Alaska history, Simmons led the region in scoring as a sophomore and senior and powered Chugiak to three straight region titles. He was an NAIA All-America player for Concordia University and went on to a stellar coaching career. Since 2009, Simmons has been the head coach at Oregon State.

• Dick Barker, Bethel band leader. Barker came to Alaska in 1968 and after a brief stint in Tok, took over as the band teacher at Bethel. For more than 20 years, he helped produce all-state, all-region and all-America performers. He retired from Bethel in 1987 but continues to teach band -- at age 79, he works part-time at a private school in Washington.

• Donna Dooley, Dimond volleyball coach. In five years as head coach, Dooley led the Lynx to five straight state championship matches from 1977-82, winning three of them. After stepping down as head coach she continued as an assistant, and from 1995-2004 she worked as an assistant tennis coach and helped develop a district-wide JV tennis program.

• Don Kassube, Anchorage referee. Best known as a basketball referee, Kasube also officiated football, track and field and wrestling. He officiated more high school games than any other certified official in the state and worked 24 region and state tournaments. From 1977-88, he served as president of the Anchorage Basketball Officials Association.

Sponsored by ASAA, the Hall of Fame honors high-achieving students in arts and athletics as well as coaches, officials, administrators and major contributors. The Class of 2014 will be inducted at an Aug. 3 ceremony the Millennium Alaskan Hotel in Anchorage.

Reach Beth Bragg at bbragg@adn.com or 257-4335.