​Preserving the Sports History of North Ottawa County, Kansas

Newest Additions to Website - MHS Football, Boys & Girls Basketball, Volleyball & Wrestling Records/Stats in the MHS Sports Records Page Link shown below.


The 9 Nominees (in alphabetical order) are:

I.  1950 - 60 MHS Boys Tennis Teams -  For 9 seasons in this decade, Minneapolis High School Boys Tennis dominated the North Central Kansas League Tennis competition.  The squads won the Team Tennis Titles in 9 of the 11 seasons, while taking 2nd in 1950 and 3rd in 1954.  In 7 of those Championship seasons, the teams won both the Doubles and Singles competition along with the total team points. In 1953 and 1958 they won the Singles competition while scoring enough total points to win the Team Championship.  Five times during the decade, MHS qualified teams to compete in the State Tournament. The decade started with inadequate facilities so that MHS couldn’t host Matches or Tournaments.  The modern Courts on 5th & Elm streets were built during this time.  Head Coaches during this time period were Roy Carlson, Louis Thompson, and Dean Johnson. 

II.  Aaron Cleveland – BASEBALL – MHS 1993 Graduate  -  Aaron Lettered 3 seasons each in Football and Basketball for MHS and since MHS didn’t sponsor Baseball teams at that time, played K18 & American Legion summer league Baseball while gaining a reputation as a 90+ MPH fastball pitcher.  MHS Football during his 4 seasons won 21 games vs 14L, earning 4 ea. 3rd Place finishes in the CKL.  In Basketball, Aaron garnered Honorable Mention CKL in 1992, and All-CKL in 1993 with Salina Journal Honorable Mention Status for Class 2A/3A in 1993.  For Career statistics, he hit 41.3% of FG, scored 725 pts, garnered 214 rebounds, and dished out 128 Assists in 64 games over 3 seasons.  After MHS, Aaron continued his Baseball career at Fort Hays State University from 1995-98 as a Pitcher at 6’1” 190 lbs.  Aaron lettered in 3 seasons as a FHSU Tiger.  He started 25 games, had 38 appearances, pitched 161.1 innings, recorded 104 strikeouts, had a 19W – 5L record with a 5.75 ERA, with 1 Save and was a member of the Tiger rotation for his Junior & Senior Seasons.  He recorded 2 games with 10 strikeouts ea., and in 1998 recorded a Shutout win, surrendering only 3 hits, walking 1, and striking out 4 in 7 innings in a 6-0 Tiger victory over Nebraska-Kearney.  He was an RMAC Honorable Mention selection in 1998.  In the 1998 NCAA II West Region, Aaron pitched a team season high 9 innings, going the distance, allowing just 3 runs, had 3 strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter in 80 pitches in a 10-3 win over Cal State LA.  For Career Stats at FHSU, Aaron is tied for 6th in Wins all Time with 19, ranks 8th in Win percentage with (.792), and ranks 7th in Walks per Innings pitched (0.24, 39 walks in 161.1 innings pitched).  Aaron graduated from FHSU in 1998.  While in college, Aaron also played Semi-Pro Baseball for the Salina Blaze during the summers for 3 seasons.  Aaron works for DesignPlast, Inc. for the past 11 years in Industrial Construction as a Project Superintendent.  This career has had him working in projects around the U.S. in at least 16 states..

III. Ernest Heikes – MULTI-SPORT ATHLETE / COACH – MHS 1960 Graduate  -  Ernie excelled in 3 sports at Minneapolis High School from 1957–1960 and went on to serve in Kansas High School coaching ranks, setting ream records in 8-Man KSHSAA Playoffs.  At MHS he lettered 3 years in Football and was a RB and LB in his Junior & Senior seasons.  He also lettered 3 years in Basketball and was a point guard on the 1959 & 1960 State Tournament teams.  As a Senior became a starter and averaged 7 pts per game, was the 2nd leading rebounder and led the team in Assists.  In Tennis, Ernie lettered 3 seasons in Doubles competition. As a Sophomore & Junior, they qualified for the State Tournament in 2nd place finishes; winning 2 matches and losing 1 as a Junior.  As a Senior his Doubles Team was undefeated for the season in Duals, Tournaments, the NCKL Tournament and the Regionals Tournament, qualifying for the State Tournament for the 3rd successive year.  A school scheduling conflict kept them out of the State Tournament. Ernie then attended both Bethany College and FHSU, graduating from there in 1966 in Industrial Arts Education.  He played Softball for the Hays Eagles in the summer of 1963.  His first teaching and coaching position was at Republic High School in 1966, moving on to Scandia in 1967 and coached there for 5 seasons with an overall record of 38W – 12L.  In 1970 and 1971, his Flying Swedes were undefeated and won 2 consecutive 8 Man State Championships!  Ernie moved on to Belleville High School where he taught and coached Football from 1972-1976. Ernie took a one year hiatus from education and coaching in 1977, running a home remodeling business in Hutchinson.  In 1978, they moved to Buhler, teaching Industrial Arts/Drivers Ed and being an assistant coach from 1978 until he retired in 1998.  At Buhler (4A & 5A), Ernie was an Asst. Coach in Football and Track and coached Freshman Boys Basketball.  After retirement from BHS, Ernie coached Boys and Girls basketball at Elyria Middle School for 11 years, having the honor of coaching all of his grandchildren.  Ernie and his spouse Jeannette (Mullen) live in Buhler.

IV.  NICK JOHNSON – WRESTLING & FOOTBALL / COACH -  2002 MHS Graduate  -  Nick was a multi-year letter winner at MHS in both Wrestling and Football.  In Wrestling, Nick was the first ever MHS Wrestler to win 2 State Championships.  He is only 1 of 3 MHS wrestlers to have won 2 State Championships.  Nick lettered 4 seasons in Wrestling and qualified for the State Tournament in all 4.  He finished 2nd as a Sophomore before becoming a State Tournament Champion as both a Junior (125 lb) and a Senior (130 lb).  He was ranked in Class 3-2-1A prior to each State Tournament in all 4 seasons.  Nick’s overall Career record was 104W – 13L, winning 30 matches each in both his Junior and Senior Seasons.  In 2002, Nick was named to the East West Classic and wrestled with a National team in Cleveland.  Nick lettered in Football at MHS for 3 seasons and as a Senior was a “monster” 130lb. Nose Tackle for the Lions NCAA Champions and Class 3A Playoff team (1W-1L).  After MHS, Nick wrestled for 2 years at the Neosho County Community College.  Nick became a Wrestling Coach at Bennington High School in 2010.  When BHS became a CO-OP squad with MHS in 2012, Nick’s coaching career moved to MHS where he has been an assistant coach since that time.  In 12 seasons, Nick has coached 10 State Placers through the 2021 season and numerous state qualifiers.  In 2014, Nick was named the KSHSAA 3-2-1A Assistant Coach of the Year.  Nick has coached in the Ottawa County Wrestling Club since 2010, serving 1 term as the Club President.  Nick works for the Cabinet Connection company in Salina since 2007 and is the Warehouse Manager.  Nick, Meredith and their 3 children live in Delphos and all 3 children attend school in Minneapolis.

V.  Cameron Knox – FOOTBALL – MHS 2006 Graduate  -  Cameron was a 3 Sport athlete at MHS, lettering 4 years each in Football, Basketball & Track&Field, helping the Lions to 2 ea. top tier League finishes in Football, 4 ea. League Championships and a State Trny Final 4 in Basketball, and 2 ea. Track&Field State Championships winning Silver and Gold Medals in the ShotPut.  As a bruising Running Back, Cameron earned All-League Honorable Mention in 2003 and All-League in 2004.  He rushed for 25 TD’s, 7 ea. 100 yd. (+) games, and 2,010 Career rushing yards (4th in MHS rushing stats).  In Basketball, Cameron was a consistent 6’ 4” Low Post performer playing in 70 games, avg. 46.2% of FG’s, scoring 354 points, pulling down 332 rebounds, while blocking 15 shots.   He was a consistent performer in Field Events in Track&Field winning 2 Silver and 1 Gold medals at State Track Meets and set the current the MHS ShotPut record of 55’ 2” in 2006. 

After MHS, Cameron continued his Football Career at Washburn University.  Redshirting his 1st year, he played Tight End and Special Teams for the next 4 seasons, starting as a Sophomore and lettering 3 seasons. Cameron had 34 Receptions for 508 yards and 6 TD’s over 4 Ichabod seasons as the Ichabods posted a record of 27W vs 16L in his career.  In his 2010 Senior season, the Ichabods won the Kansas Bowl over West Texas A&M.  Cameron was named Player of the Week twice and also made the Dean’s List, graduating in 2011 with a degree in Accounting.  Cameron and his wife Christa live in Dover, Ks.  He is a Financial Analyst for the Cotton O’Neil Clinic of the Stormont Vail Health Systems.

VI.  Bailey Ponton Leland – GOLF – MHS 2006 Graduate  -  Bailey was a 4 year letter winner in the MHS Girls Golf program and a consistent performer in the several tournaments that she and her teammates competed in annually.  Starting with her Freshman year she consistently was a top finisher in the school tournaments.  Of the 30 school tournaments that she competed in over 4 years, she brought home the Gold medal 17 times. In 8 additional tournaments she finished in 2nd place 6 times, and 3rd place twice.  This was an astonishing 83.3% success rate for 1st – 3rd place finishes every time she stepped on a golf course.  There were 3 school tournaments where Bailey won the championship in each of 3 successive seasons.  In non-post season 18 hole tournaments, Bailey averaged a score of 41.9.  In non-post season 36 hole tournaments, she averaged a score of 92.  In KSHSAA Post-Season 36 hole tournaments, Bailey averaged a score of 89.  Regional Tournament play resulted in two 1st place finishes, along with a 2nd and a 3rd.  Her best finishes in State Tournament competition were, 4th, 7th, and 10th respectively.  Some other career highlights: In her Junior year Bailey hit a “Hole In One” at Russell; and in the State Tournament of her Junior year she finished in a 4 way tie for 3rd, but she forced her way into a playoff by calling a penalty on herself that no one else had seen, displaying real sportsmanship!  Bailey graduated from Kansas State in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing & Business.  She then graduated as an RN from LSU – Alexandria.  Bailey and her husband and two children live in Kansas City.  She is employed at Shawnee Mission Medical Center as an RN.

VII.  MIKE McGAVRAN – Multi-Sport Athlete; MHS Graduate – 1992  -  Mike was a 4 year letter winner in Football, Basketball, Track & Field at MHS.  In Football Mike played both QB and LB and earned CKL Honorable Mention status in 1990 & 1991.  In Basketball, Mike earned CKL Honorable Mention status in 1991/92 and was on the All-Tournament Team at the Belleville Tourney.  In Track & Field he won multiple events in Relays and in Field Events.  In 1991, Mike won 3rd Place in the 3A Shot Put and in 1992, he won 1st Place in the Discus with a throw of 164’ 4” at the 3A State Track Meets.  In March 1992, Mike signed a Letter of Intent to play football at Fort Hays State University.  At FHSU, Mike was a 4 year letter winner in Football as a Tight End.  He was a Team Captain in his Senior Year.  During his 4 seasons, the FHSU Tigers had a combined record of   28W-14L-2T.  They were RMAC Champions in 1993 & 1995.  In those seasons, the Tigers played in the NCAA Playoffs and lost their opening round games.  Mike graduated from FHSU in 1996 with a BA in Business Administration.  Mike worked for 15 years for the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Corporation and has worked for PAYCHEX in Overland Park for the last 9 years as a District Sales Manager.  Mike, Marcie (Garrison) and their 3 children live in Overland Park, Ks.

VIII.  Dr. Jared Shoemaker DC – FOOTBALL – MHS 2003 Graduate  -  Jared was a 3 sport athlete at MHS in Football, Basketball & Track&Field, lettering 3 years in each sport.  In Football he helped the Lions win a League Championship and the first ever win in a KSHSAA Playoff game in program history (both in 2001), in Basketball he was a member of the 2001 State Trny 3rd Place Team (1st appearance in 40 years) and the 2003 League Champions. In Track&Field jaared was a member of the NCAA League champions of 2002, and also the Class 3A State Champions of 2002 (1st ever MHS Boys Team State Champions in any sport).  In Football, Jared garnered League Honorable Mention in 2001, and All-League in 2002, both as a Defensive Back.  In Basketball, Jared was named All-League in 2003.  As a DBack in Football, he was a ferocious tackler recording 78 Career unassisted tackles, and for total tackles had a personal game high of 19 in 2001, 126 for the 2001 season, and 293 in his career.  In Basketball statistics Jared hit 42.3% of FG’s, 80% of FT’s, scored 415 points, grabbed 190 rebounds, and dished out 116 assists in 61 games.  At the 2003 State Track Meet Jared won a Silver Medal in the 4x400M Relay.
After MHS, Jared continued his Football career first at Ottawa University, and then transferred to Lindenwood University in Missouri, lettering there for 2 seasons.  Some highlights of his Statistics at graduating in 2008.  As a Defensive Back, his statistics at Lindenwood include: 96 yards in Interception returns in 2005 (5th) and 122 yds in 2007 (4th), 3rd longest Interception return (96 yds), Most Pick 6 TD (Tied 2nd), and Most Interceptions (Tied for 6th with 5 ea.).  After Lindenwood, Jared earned a Chiropractic Degree in Kansas City.  He currently owns and operates InMotion Spine-Muscle-Joint in Maize, Ks.  Jared and his wife Meryl and 2 children reside in Wichita. 

IX.  Kenneth “Ted” Warren  -  FOOTBALL  -  Delphos High School 1931  -  Ted played for the “Gold & Wine” of Delphos from 1926 – 1929.  His 4 Delphos Teams compiled a 26W-9L-4T record, outscoring their opponents 631 to 185.  Ted went on to play Football for the Kansas State Aggies from 1933 – 1936, lettering his final 3 years; as a 6’1” 180 lb. blocking Half-Back.  He also kicked and was known to pass from the position.  He started on the KS Aggies 1934 Big 6 Championship Team (5-0 league), which was the only KSU League Football Championship until the Bill Snyder era.  Ted was named a Big Six Conference Honorable Mention Halfback in both 1935 & 36.  He became an assistant Football Coach before graduating from Kansas State in 1939 with a PE Degree.  Ted then became the Coach of Athletics at Delphos High School for the 1939/40 school year.  His Maroons were 8-0 in Football (outscoring opponents 196-6), tied for the Basketball League Championship and won a Track Title.  Ted then became the Head Football Coach at the College of Emporia in 1940 before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in WWII, where he served as an Artillery Officer in the Atlantic Theatre and later Commanded a Ship in the Pacific Theatre.  In 1946, Ted was named an Assistant A.D. and Football Coach at Wichita University.  In 1948, Ted returned to KSU as an Asst. Football Coach/recruiter and later an Asst. AD.  In 1951, Ted left athletics to join Farm Bureau Insurance as a Casualty Sales Manager.  He made a career with Farm Bureau until retiring in 1977.  In the mid-1950’s Ted became the Public Address Announcer for Kansas State Football and Basketball games & Track Meets until retiring at the end of the 1969/70 school year after 15 years of service.  Ted and his wife Beulah had one son, and a step-son.  Ted passed away on March 3, 1984 at the age of 77.



Listed below, please find the 9 Nominees and their biographies that were submitted to our 23 Member Voting Panel in order to determine the next class of Inductees for 2020 - our 8th class.