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Black Hills State University inducted five individuals and two teams into the 2006 Yellow Jacket Hall of Fame during Swarm Week recently. Inductees as athletes were: Jeff Englund and Leslie Deutscher-Merrill. Inducted as coaches were: Ernie Mecca and Terry Burgess. Inducted for his outstanding contributions and service was Jim Alcorn. The 1970 football team and the 1928 men’s basketball team were also inducted.

Leslie Deutscher-Merrill, a women’s basketball standout for the Yellow Jackets in the early 90s, still holds many records at the university. Accepting the award, Deutscher-Merrill expressed her thanks to the university and noted that the award honor not just her but the entire team. She also expressed her gratitude to her family for the support through the years

Jeff Englund ran his way into the record books as he competed for theYellow Jackets football team from 1988-1991. Three times Jeff scored 30 points in a single game. Englund thanked the university for the recognition and the opportunity to compete in collegiate football.

“Thanks for allowing me to live my football dream,” Englund said. He noted that looking back to his childhood, he was always dreaming about playing football and is glad he had that opportunity at BHSU.

Inducted in to the hall of fame as a coach, Terry Burgess, Class of ’72, established himself as one of the most highly respected coaches in the state of Wyoming. At BHSU, Burgess was a multi-sport athlete, playing football, baseball and wrestling for the Yellow Jackets.

Burgess said he’s loves coaching and is glad he made it his career. He is now serving as a school administrator but noted that “coaching is in his blood” and that he continues to find ways to be involved in coaching. Burgess thanked BHSU for the recognition and expressed his gratitude for coaches everywhere who care enough to make a profound difference in the lives of their students.

Burgess, and his father, Glenn, are one of only three father-son Yellow Jacket Hall of Fame inductees.

Ernie Mecca, Class ’78, was also inducted as a coach. Mecca built his coaching career in Dubois, Wyo. In 1995, the National High School Athletic Coaches Association awarded him as Region 7 Coach of the Year for his work with girls’ track. The girls’ track team won two state championships and four regional championships while the boys’ track team won three state championships and five regional titles under his direction. He was awarded the Class 1A Coach of the Year in 1990 for boys’ basketball.

Mecca remarked at how humbled he was to join the Yellow Jacket Hall of Fame. He thanked one of his coaches at BHSU, Dave Little, for helping shape him into the coach he became.

Jim Alcorn was inducted into the Yellow Jacket Hall of Fame for his contributions to the BHSU athletic program. In the past he served as a president for the Yellow Jacket Foundation and is currently a member of the Yellow Jacket Foundation Board of Directors. Alcorn’s loyalty to the Yellow Jackets runs deep. He served as an assistant football coach at Black Hills State in the 80s and was president of the Yellow Jacket Foundation from 1991-1999.

The 1970 football team which is remembered for ending their season as SDIC Tri-Champions with a 5-1 conference record and an 8-2 overall record was inducted into the Yellow Jacket Hall of Fame as a team. Coach Gene Schlekeway spoke about his experiences with the team and noted that it referred to by many to be the best football team ever to compete for BHSU. Team members who attended the banquet included: Mike Murphy, Lanny Swisher, Kent Waugh, Terry Burgess, Keith Schultz, Keith Catron, Randy Langdon, Bill Fleak, Harvey Krautschun, Norb Weisbeck, Rob Templeton, Ron Young, Mike McMahon, Kirk Stratinger, Paul Georgas, Bob Lantgen, Mark Kookmich, Keith Glanzer, Kent Mauck, Doug Roseth, Roger Risty, Graig Leckner, Jerome Lee and George Kuhler.

Also recognized during the banquet was the 1928 Yellow Jacket men’s basketball team. This team of Yellow Jacket men provided enthusiasm and excitement during the incredible 1928 season. Then known as the Black Hills Teachers College, the team played in 22 games, winning 17 and dropping only five contests. They lost only three games to collegiate opponents. Bruce Sell, grandson of Art Sullivan, accepted a plaque on behalf of the team members.
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