It’s an event that celebrates the best of the best – the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.


Tascosa and Wayland Baptist wrestling coach Johnny Cobb, Hereford and Texas Tech hurdler James Mays, and Amarillo High volleyball coach Jan Barker are the newest members of the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame. The three were inducted Sunday during a ceremony at the Civic Center’s Grand Plaza.

After completing his wrestling career, Cobb helped found the Panhandle Amateur Wrestling Association. He also started the first kid’s wrestling program in the Texas Panhandle at the Maverick Boys Club in 1971. After coaching many years at Tascosa, Cobb became the first wrestling coach at Wayland Baptist University.

Mays was a state champion track athlete in high school at Hereford before becoming one of the nation’s best in the 800 meters at Texas Tech. He was a two-time Southwest Conference champion and Texas Tech’s first three-time All-American in the 800 and then competed for the U.S. national teams and in Europe.

Barker’s volleyball coaching career spanned 31 years and included 10 state championships at Amarillo High. Among the 10 titles was an incredible streak of 4in a row from 2006 to 2009.

Her career coaching record was 1,116 wins and just 175 losses. Barker’s teams made 14 state tournament appearances. She coached 16 All-Americans and had 34 players go on to compete at the NCAA Division I level.

Other Award Winners:

Dick Risenhoover Award

Parker Bridwell, Hereford High and Los Angeles Angels pitcher.

Dee Henry Memorial Award

Canyon High and Canyon Community (for Tatum Tough and Debbie Crenshaw support)

Big Play Award

Zach Garza, Dumas High, wrestling

Super Team

Canyon High girls basketball

Athletes of the year

Baseball — Heston Kjerstad, Randall High; Basketball — Angel Hayden, Canyon High; Cross Country — Wes McPhail, Tascosa; Football — Colton Moore, Bushland; Golf — Casey Weiss; Soccer — Jadon Lemons, Amarillo High; Softball — Kyra Lair, Canyon High; Tennis — Rajiv Saralaya, Amarillo High; Track — Butare Rugernerwa, Amarillo High; Volleyball — Lexus Cain, Stephen F. Austin; Wrestling — Zach Garza, Dumas.

Coaches of the year

Baseball — Matt Vanderburg, West Texas A&M: Basketball — Joe Lombard, Canyon High; Kevin Richardson, Canadian High; Rob Schmucker, Panhadle High; and Eric Schilling, Nazareth High; Cross Country — Mandy Makeever. Nazareth; Football — Colby Carthel, Friona and Texas A&M-Commerce; Golf — Barry Stevens, Happy High; Soccer — Chad Webb, West Texas A&M; Softball — Nicole Coffee, Canyon High; Tennis — Koby Otto, Amarillo High; Track — Darren Flowers, West Texas A&M; Volleyball — Troy Fry, Sanford-Fritch High; Wrestling — Clint Chamblin, Dumas High.

Special Achievement Awards

Butch Lauffer, West Texas A&M, soccer; David Quirino, Randall High, wrestling; Janet Becerill, Perryton, power lifter; Michael Stigler, Canyon High and University of Kansas, track; Sterling White and Mitchell Downing, Happy High, golf; David Parker.

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