Ralph “Stub” Dow, John “Bud” Thomas and Donease Smith were the honorees whose portraits are now hanging on a special display case at the school.
Thomas, a 1947 graduate, is the only S-C alumnus to play as a regular roster player in Major League Baseball. Thomas. And S-C didn’t even sponsor a baseball team when he was a student. But he went on to play shortstop, and signed a contract with the St. Louis Browns.
After minor league stints from 1947 to 1950 in Belleville, Ill., Toledo, Ohio; Globe, Ariz., and Marshall Texas, he went to Dayton Ohio in 1951 to play Class A. ball. And during that 1951 season, the Browns called him up to the big-league roster.
He retired after the 1953 season and later earned degrees from CMSU, and then taught at La Monte, Otterville and Sedalia school systems. Thomas taught for 30 years in District 200, serving as principal of Whittier, a counselor at S-C and principal of Heber Hunt. He later became assistant superintendent, eventually retiring in 1986.
Thomas was in Florida and did not attend the ceremony.
Dow was a graduate of the S-C Class of 1929, served as assistant football coach and math teacher starting in 1941, and became head football coach in 1945, serving until 1959, when he was sidelined by two heart attacks. He racked up 80 career wins during his tenure. Dow died in 1962. His nephews Ernie and Frank Dow accepted the award for “Stub” Dow and spoke on his behalf.
Smith is a 1994 S-C grad, finishing her basketball career as the leading scorer and rebounder in school history and holds more than a dozen other records. She was named First Team All-State in her junior and senior years, and she maintained a GPA of 3.0 throughout her high school career.
After completing her college career at SMSU, she served as Director of Basketball Operations for Kansas State University’s women’s program, assistant coach of the KC Legacy of the national Women;s Basketball league, Director of Basketball Operations for the Detroit Shock, which won three WNBA championships, and Director of Basketball Operations for the University of Memphis women’s program.
Superintendent of Schools Brad Pollitt, who was Smith’s high school basketball coach, was in attendance at the ceremony, and Smith tearfully credited him for her success on the basketball court. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia Weekly Observer.