Five individuals will be inducted into the Wayne State College Athletic Hall of Fame during Homecoming/Hall of Fame festivities at Wayne State College October 10-11. The Hall of Fame inductees will be honored during halftime of the Saturday, October 11 home football game as the Wildcats host Bemidji State at Bob Cunningham Field.
The inductees will also be honored with a banquet that evening in the Frey Conference Suite of the WSC Student Center with a social hour beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the banquet and induction ceremony running from 6:15-8:30 p.m.
Advance tickets, which are $20 per person, are required for the Homecoming/Hall of Fame banquet. Contact the WSC Alumni office at (402) 375-7209 or 800-228-9972 ext. 7209 for ticket information.
The 2008 Hall of Fame inductees include:
Al Svenningson (Coach): Al Svenningson has the most wins of any men’s basketball coach in school history, compiling a 121-73 record in his eight seasons as head coach of the Wildcats from 1959-1967. He never had a losing season as head coach, posting a top record of 19-7 during the 1959-60 season and finishing 18-8 in 1961-62. His eight years as head coach matches Rico Burkett and Charles Obye as the second-longest tenured coaches in school history. Svenningson coached 18 years at Alaska-Fairbanks after leaving WSC and has more than 30 years of coaching experience. He is a native of Winona, Minnesota where he starred in football and basketball at Winona High School and then Winona State.
Eric Henderson (Athlete): Hard work made blue-collar player Eric Henderson one of the school’s all-time rebounding leaders under Greg McDermott at Wayne State College during his playing career from 1996-2000. Henderson ranks fourth in career rebounds (876) and ranks second in a single season with 352 rebounds during his senior season when WSC went 26-6 and made the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division II National Tournament. In his senior season, Henderson scored 373 points (11.7 ppg) and grabbed 352 rebounds (11.0 rpg) to nearly double his career numbers in one season. He also ranks second in career steals with 160. Henderson currently serves as a learning specialist in academic services at Iowa State University after coaching two seasons with Greg McDermott and the Cyclones men’s basketball team.
Sarah Herrick Wagenfuhr (Athlete): Sarah Herrick was an outstanding two-sport star at Wayne State College from 1998-2002, excelling in soccer and softball. The native of Elkhorn was a four-time All-Northern Sun Conference performer in softball and a three-time All-NSIC selection in soccer. Herrick is the school’s all-time leader in soccer goals with 72, including a school-record 23 goals in the 2001 season. She is also the career leader in assists in soccer with 51. Herrick also holds numerous school records in softball and is the career hits leader with 201 while ranking second in career at bats with 606. She had 62 hits in the 2002 season, a school record until this past season.
James McGown (Athlete): James McGown was Wayne State’s first NCAA All-American in cross country and second in track and field during a stellar running career from 1994-1998. He was a two-time NCAA national qualifier in cross country in 1995 and ’97 and finished third at the 1995 NCAA Regional meet with a new school record time of 31:41 on the 10,000 meter course. In 1997, McGown placed 28th at the NCAA National Meet to become Wayne State’s first All-American in cross country since AD Benson was NAIA All-American in 1966. In track and field, McGown was an NCAA All-American in the 1998 indoor season with a fourth-place finish in the 5,000 meter run (14:31.19). Since graduating from WSC, McGown has competed in marathons at the Olympic Trials in 2004 and 2008. He recently won the USATF Marathon Trials Championships in Deadwood, South Dakota and currently serves as head cross country and assistant track and field coach at Sidney High School in Sidney, Nebraska.
Dr. Donald Mash-Contributor: Dr. Donald Mash served as president at Wayne State College from 1988-1998 and promoted the school’s transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II athletics. Under Mash’s tenure, Wayne State experienced record growth in enrollment, going from 2,875 students in 1988 to 4,000 students in 1991. The school underwent numerous improvements during Mash’s tenure, including the modernization of the school’s on-campus power plant, transformation of campus technology and construction of the Gardner Business Building, the first new academic building constructed on the WSC campus in more than 20 years, just to name a few of the many projects. He provided leadership for such programs at WSC as the Rural Health Opportunities Program started in 1991 and formed partnerships with numerous area institutions to provide more academic opportunities for student in northeast Nebraska. Mash has worked for nearly 40 years in higher education and currently serves as Executive Senior Vice President for the University of Wisconsin system.