The ISU Bengal family brought home some familiar faces today as the sports hall of fame got just a little bit bigger.
5 former student athletes were recognized for their hard work on and off the field, or court, today as they were officially inducted into the sports hall of fame.
Director of Alumni Relations for Idaho State University KC Felt told us, “It’s one of my most favorite events that we do. To see these young men and women come back to their alma mater and reconnect and see friends that they haven’t seen in forever, and see how the campus has changed, and how it’s still very much the same, it’s just wonderful.”
The chance to visit their old stomping grounds is a fun experience for the inductees, but they first had to get over the hurdle of speaking in front of family and friends as they accepted their awards.
“And this is the stressful part, but to me this is the best part. Because it’s fun to see them, how they respond under pressure, it’s just like they did when they played,” said Felt.
Edward E. Smith, former baseball player, Nancy Sspeseth from the softball and women’s basketball team, Telly Lockette from the football team, and James H. “Byrd” Yizar Jr., a former track athlete, were all in attendance to receive the honor, but the fifth inductee, Jackie Poulsen, was noticabley absent after the tragic accident that took her life last fall.
“Well one she is so tremendously deserving, and it’s bittersweet because I wish she was here to accept it, and she deserves every bit of this. Two time all American, just a wonderful gal, my student athlete, my assistant coach, and my good friend. And we mourn her loss and miss her greatly, but this is wonderful,” said Head Track and Field Coach, Dave Nielsen.
Jackie’s induction was a no brainer for the committee. The point of the hall of fame is to celebrate the hard work and dedication of ISU’s greatest, and there is no doubt Jackie was deserving of the recognition, even if she could only be there in spirit.
“We wish beyond wishes that she were here but it’s been a challenge for her family and for us as well, we want to be sensitive, but we also realize that she was just a heck of a kid and an athlete extraordinaire,” added Felt.
The new additions to the sports hall of fame were also honored during half time of ISU’s football game this afternoon.