Inductees for the 2015 class of the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame were announced Wednesday, December 17, 2014. “It is an outstanding group of inductees, certainly worthy of this recognition” said Dr. Jack Lewis, Co-chair of the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame committee. The 2015 inductees are:
Bruce Benedict -A four sport standout at Millard High school, Bruce went on to the University of Nebraska-Omaha where he was a two-time All-American. A fifth round draft pick for the Atlanta Braves in 1976, Benedict had a 12 year career in the Atlanta Braves highlighted by two all-star seasons in 1981 and 1983. He finished his career with a .990 fielding percentage and holds the major league record for most runners thrown out in a single inning (3).
Ken Geddes – Ken Geddes was a member of the 1965 all-class and Class A all-state football teams. The 6-foot-2, 198-pound end also ran the third leg on Boys Town’s mile relay team that won the Class A and all-class gold medal at the state track meet. He started for the Boys Town basketball team that won the 1966 Class A basketball title and went on to play college football for the University of Nebraska from 1967 to 1970. He earned All-Big Eight honors as a linebacker in 1968 and as middle guard in 1969. He played in the Senior Bowl in 1969 and then in the Coaches All-American Game in 1970. The Detroit Lions selected Geddes in the seventh round of the 1970 NFL draft. He played eight years in the NFL for the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks.
Peaches James – No one dominated Nebraska high school softball like Peaches James. The pitching ace on four straight state championship teams, the four-time all-state hurler set numerous state records, including 11 no-hitters, five perfect games and an 0.04 ERA in 1999. Her exploits included 31 consecutive wins, 19 consecutive shutouts and a streak of 257 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. After high school, she became the first pitcher to earn All-Big 12 honors four times at Nebraska and she became a second-team All-American as a senior. She pitched professionally for four years and was a National Pro Fast-pitch all-star in 2005.
Christy Johnson-Lynch – A two-time all-state selection from Millard North High School, she led the Mustangs to the 1990 Nebraska Class A state championship and was then named the captain of the U.S. Junior National Elite team. She then went on to post a stellar career at the University of Nebraska leading them to the National championship in 1995 and earning First Team All-American and All-Big Eight honors while setting several school records. Christy has been the Head Coach at Iowa State University since 2005 earning Big 12 and National Coach of the Year honors in 2009.
Charles “Deacon” Jones – An NCAA cross country champion at the University of Iowa, Charles “Deacon” Jones set the American record in the steeplechase in 1957 and competed in the 1956 and 1960 Olympics in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. An all-around athlete at Boys town, Jones was the Nebraska high school Class A champion in the mile run and anchored Boys Town’s champion mile relay team. He played outfield on Boys Town’s baseball team, halfback on the football team and point guard on the basketball team. He earned all-state honors in football and basketball as a senior and helped Boys Town win the Class A state basketball championship his senior year.
Omaha – The 1935 Triple Crown winner, “Omaha” won 9 of his 22 major races during a three-year career. Elected to the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame in 1965, he was also ranked 61st out of the top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century. Upon his death in 1959, “Omaha” was buried at the Ak-Sar-Ben racetrack.
1985 Omaha Creighton Prep Football – The first of five consecutive championship teams, the 1985 squad is considered by many to be the best in state history. The Junior Jays dominated the Class A field not allowing a first-half touchdown all season until the 45-7 finals win over Papillion on an ice-covered Caniglia Field. The team featured Eight All-Nebraska players, 14 Division I recruits and two future NFL players (Gene Williams and Junior Bryant). Led by Hall of Fame coach Tom Jaworski, they finished 20th in final USA Today ratings.
The induction ceremony and banquet for the class of 2015 will take place on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at the Scott Conference Center on the campus of the University of Nebraska Omaha. Social hour begins at 6:00 p.m. with the dinner and induction at 7:00 p.m.
For ticket information, please visit www.omahasportshalloffame.com.
About the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame
The Omaha Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 2006 with the goal of providing a permanent place to honor individuals with strong ties to Omaha and who have achieved tremendous success through athletics. The Omaha Sports Hall of Fame honors athletes and coaches who have highly excelled on their field of play. The Hall welcomes nominations of individuals who are either originally from Omaha or have spent a significant amount of time in the community.