Four Inducted into the Alliance High School Activities Hall of Fame
By ERICA CHIPPERFIELD
Four new members were inducted into the Alliance High School Activities Hall of Fame on Saturday evening.
The first inductee of the evening, was Dick Boness who was associated with Alliance High School from 1977-1998. He served as Athletic Director, Assistant Principal, Principal, and Interim Superintendent. Dr. Pat Cullan, former AHS assistant principal gave a heartfelt introduction to Mr. Boness, sharing stories of their time working together at AHS.
Cullan said, “Mr. Boness valued all people, he was always there, always positive and never let anyone slip through the cracks. He lead with confidence and was always prepared and expected others to do the same.” After his award was presented, Mr. Boness gave his acceptance speech, stating that he was honored to be inducted and was thankful to be given such an honor. He enjoyed coaching football, basketball, track and baseball, and continued to coach even after retiring, and was fortunate enough to be able to coach his two sons, Brett and Bill, along with a few of his grandchildren. He gave thanks to his wife Lorraine, along with many others.
Merlin “Beanie" Lawerence, was the second inductee of the evening. “Beanie” was the first pole vaulter in the state to clear 13 feet as a senior in 1958. He also broke the state record at the state meet and finished second in the state pentathlon by two points. “Beanie” attended college in Kearney and continued his track career there as well. He was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1992. After college coached track and cross-country in the Metro area, and went on to win a couple state titles in track and four state titles in cross-country. He passed away in 2017, his brother Archie accepted his award in his honor. Archie also shared many memories of his brother and said that “Beanie" was always humble about his many accomplishments and that he didn’t find out most of them until long after the fact.
The third inductee of the night was Lannie Shelmadine, nominated by Jeff Tomlin. Lannie was an outstanding multi-sport athlete, he earned all-conference in football in 1962 and 1963. He was All Big 10 football in 1963 as well as honorable mention all-state. Lannie was also part of the 440 relay team which set the state record in 1964. He attended college at Kearney State, and was a running back on their football team earning all-conference in 1965 and 1966. After college he returned to Alliance to coach many athletes in both the middle and high schools, for nearly two decades in the 80’s and 90’s. Lannie stated, “Coaching, teaching, and to be a part of Alliance has been an amazing trip. Alliance has always been very good to me and my family. The Bulldog spirit, is always there even back east. Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog.”
Jeff Tomlin was the fourth and final inductee, nominated by Chris Seebohm. He served as assistant coach from 1990-1993, participating in three state playoffs, and was defensive coordinator from 1990- 1993. He became head coach in 1994. During his time as head coach, he lead the Bulldogs to six more playoff games, and is one of two coaches to have won a playoff games in school history, leading the team to victory in 2002. He was named assistant coach in 1993, and head coach in 1998 for the East-West game as well as an assistant coach for the Shrine Bowl in 1999. The Scottsbluff Star-Herald named him coach of the year in 1994. In 2002 he and his family, moved from Alliance to coach in Grand Island, and is still presently coaching there. He stated, “I am honored to be back home in Alliance to accept this award, and Alliance will always be home.”