The La Vega ISD Hall of Fame inducted 11 individuals into its inaugural class during a Sept. 6 banquet at the Bellmead Civic Center.
Dave Campbell, a 1942 La Vega graduate, was the first inductee of the hall and served as the inspiration for creating the hall of fame.
He was joined by George Dixon, who also was the first recipient of the Dave Campbell Award for Excellence.
Other inductees were Amy Bajer Delk and Dr. LuAnn Ervin for academic achievement; Arthur Rhodes and Stacey Bowers-Smith for athletic achievement; Kevin Gill, Coach’s Award; and Lewis Breeland, Educator’s Award.
Inducted with the Friend of La Vega Award were Tom Stanton, Gary Young and Kenneth Young.
Campbell is the former longtime sports editor of the Waco Tribune-Herald, and founder of Texas Football magazine. Campbell was the driving force behind the Texas Sports Hall of Fame’s move to Waco. He has also served as president of the Football Writers Association of America and Southwest sectional representative for the Heisman Trophy voting committee.
After retiring from the Tribune-Herald in 1993, Campbell served as editor of the Baylor Bear Foundation’s Insider publication for 15 years.
He is married to his college sweetheart, Reba, and he enjoys spending time with his daughters and grandchildren.
Dixon is a beloved teacher and coach who provided 26 years of exemplary “formal” service to the La Vega community and continues to be a mentor and role model.
He was named as one of the top five multi-sport athletes during high school and also graduated as valedictorian in 1954. The Texas Girls Coaches Association honored Dixon in 1990 by selecting him for the Track Career Victory Award.
He coached state runner-up track and field teams and the 1966 state track and field champions. Dixon coached his boys basketball team to 33 victories in 1964, a school record, and also coached the state runner-up in 1966.
Dixon and his wife, Julia, have two daughters, two grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Breeland began teaching at La Vega High School in 1957 and devoted his entire 33-year teaching career to La Vega ISD. He was part of a two-teacher agriculture department, working with co-teacher James Elliott for over 20 years.
He served two years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was stationed in Japan. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 1957, he began teaching at La Vega.
Breeland has one son and one daughter-in-law (both La Vega graduates), four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Gill, a 1985 La Vega grad, led the Pirates boys basketball team to a 92-11 record and a state championship for the first time in the school’s history in 2000.
As a head coach at the high school and college level, Gill has an overall record of 592-146.
In 2002, he took over the MCC Highlanders basketball program and has won numerous conference titles. He collected his 500th win in 2016. He has been named conference Coach of the Year seven times at MCC.
Gill graduated from Paul Quinn College in 1990. In 1998, he earned his master’s degree from Prairie View A&M University. He and his wife, Suzette, a teacher and coach at La Vega High, are the parents of two daughters.
Dr. LuAnn Ervin
Ervin, a 1977 La Vega graduate, owns and runs Texas Animal Medical Center in Waco. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 1984 with a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.
Her community service includes the Humane Society and city animal welfare boards, and the La Vega Pirates Education Foundation Board, in addition to serving on her church council.
Amy Bajer Delk
Delk graduated as valedictorian of La Vega High School in 1996 and continued her education at Texas A&M University, where she earned a bachelor’s of science degree in biomedical engineering.
Since then, she has worked in the medical device industry. She is responsible for establishing global processes and systems to bring medical devices to the market around the world.
She is married to Michael Delk and together they have four sons.
Smith is in her 18th season as an assistant track and field coach at Baylor University working with the Bears’ jumpers, and she is also known as the most decorated women’s athlete in the program’s history.
During her collegiate days, the 1995 La Vega graduate became Baylor’s first female individual NCAA national champion when she won the 1999 outdoor triple jump with a leap of 45 feet, 10 inches.
She earned All-America honors nine times, including three on relays and six individually. Smith was Baylor’s first female athlete to become a member of a U.S. national team, and she was a member of the 1999 world championship team.
She is married to Rodney Smith, a former Baylor football and basketball player, and they have two children.
Rhodes had a 20-year career in Major League Baseball as a left-handed journeyman pitcher. He was taken in the second round of the MLB draft in 1998 by the Baltimore Orioles.
His best season was in 2001 with the Seattle Mariners, going 8-0 with a 1.72 ERA. He had two great seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, where he posted a 2.29 ERA and was selected to his first All-Star Game. As a reliever for the Cardinals in 2011, he made it to the World Series pitching against his former team that season, the Texas Rangers, and became an MLB champion.
Rhodes ranks among the major league leaders for most holds in a career . He announced his retirement in 2015.
Stanton’s executive career has spanned over 40 years, beginning with American Broadcasting Company subsidiary Word Inc., then as Baylor University’s athletic director, and currently as the executive director of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation since 2007.
In 1969, he joined the Baylor basketball team, leading the Bears to a conference championship. He graduated from Baylor in 1973 with majors in management, marketing, physical education and education. He holds a master’s degree in education.
His many contributions to La Vega ISD earned him the Friend of La Vega Award.
Gary, Kenneth Young
Gary Young and Kenneth Young are the backbone of their family’s business, TYMCO International Ltd. Today, more than 30 years after B.W. Young originated his revolutionary air sweeper, TYMCO is the No. 1 manufacturer of the sweeper in the world.
The Young brothers received the Friends of La Vega Award for their generous and continuing support of La Vega ISD.