THE OFFICIAL SITE OF
Conway High School Athletics

HALL OF FAME

MARVIN DELPH

2019

BASKETBALL

Delph helped the Wampus Cats win state AAA basketball championships in 1973 and 1974. He was voted state tournament MVP both years. Delph attended the University of Arkansas, where he joined Sidney Moncrief and Ron Brewer as they became known as the famed “Triplets,” leading the Hogs to back-to-back Southwest Conference championships and the 1978 NCAA Final Four. While at Arkansas, Delph was known for his leaping ability, coolness under pressure and outstanding shooting skill from long range. He led the Razorbacks in scoring in 1976 and 1977. Sports Illustrated featured Delph in 1977, along with Larry Bird and Phil Ford, in an article titled “Hottest of the Hot Shots.” Delph finished his career at Arkansas as the school’s all-time leading scorer. His 1,742 points still rank seventh in that category, even though he played before the three-point line was adopted. Named second-team All-SWC in 1976, Delph earned first-team All-SWC honors in 1977 and 1978. He was also a Converse and Sporting News All-American in 1978. Delph was drafted into the NBA in 1978 by the Buffalo Braves and in 1979 by the Boston Celtics. However, he did not play in the NBA, opting to play internationally with Athletes in Action, a Christian-based team out of California. He has been inducted into the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor, the SWC Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. In 1999, Delph was selected by Sports Illustrated as one of Arkansas’ 50 Greatest Sports Figures of the 20th Century.

HENRY HAWK

2019

FOOTBALL

Hawk won the Frank E. Robins Award for outstanding senior athlete in 1956. He was named all-state in football and basketball, as well as excelling at track for the Wampus Cats. Hawk was also an outstanding Golden Gloves amateur boxer. He continued his athletic career at the University of Central Arkansas, earning all All-AlC honors in both football and track. Hawk received the inaugural L.B. Jackman Award for outstanding player in UCA’s homecoming game. In 1959, he was named a football 1st team AP Little All-American. That year, he was nationally ranked in total offense and scoring. He was selected to play in the All-American Bowl in Tucson, Arizona. Hawk signed a contract with the Canadian Football League, but returned to Arkansas to start a coaching career that lasted two decades. As head coach at North Little Rock High School, he led them to a football state championship in 1972. Hawk has been a world-class distance runner for decades, in multiple events from 800 meters to 50 miles. He participated in ten straight Boston Marathons. He has won dozens of national titles over the years. In 1998, Hawk set a world record in the 60-64 age division when he ran a 5:13.38 in the 1,600 meters. His training and exercise programs have been nationally recognized, and he has served on the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness. Hawk has been inducted into seven halls of fame, including the UCA Sports Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Track & Field Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.

TIM HORTON

2019

FOOTBALL

When Harold Horton took the UCA football job in 1982, Conway got one of the great coaches in Bear history. Conway also got his son Tim, then in junior high, who became one of the great athletes in Wampus Cat history. The younger Horton was a football and track star at CHS. He was named all-state tailback in 1984 and 1985. He was also a standout sprinter, setting the school record in the 100-meter dash in 1986. Horton is the only athlete in school history to win the Frank E. Robins Award, Kelly Dunlap Award, and Jim Case Award. When he graduated in 1986, he was offered a scholarship to the University of Arkansas. Horton was a four-year letterman from 1986-1989. He helped the Hogs to back-to-back Southwest Conference championships in 1988 and 1989. As a senior, he led the team in receptions and receiving yards, earning second-team All-SWC honors. In 1989, he was voted a team captain and was named the recipient of the Gordon Campbell Senior Spirit Award. Sure handed, Horton is fourth in Hog history with 78 career punt returns and fifth with 657 career punt return yards. He was also a two-time academic all-conference selection. Like his dad, Horton got into coaching, starting out with Appalachian State in 1990 before moving on to Air Force then Kansas State. In 2007, he returned to Arkansas where he served as running backs coach for the Razorbacks until 2012. Horton then went to Auburn and is now the running backs coach at Vanderbilt.

JULIE JISKRA SEYMOUR

2019

TRACK - CROSS COUNTRY

Jiskra became only the second female in school history to win the Frank E. Robins Award for outstanding senior athlete in 1987. She was a three-time state cross country champion, and a two-time state champion in the 800-meters, 1,600 meters, and 3,200 meters. At the Meet of Champs, Jiskra won the 1,600 three consecutive years, setting the state record of 5:01.1 as a junior in 1986. She helped the Wampus Cats win the 1986 state cross country championship and state track and field titles in 1986 and 1987. She also played basketball and golf. As a high schooler, she traveled with Athletes in Action to China to compete in a 3-mile race, finishing 3rd among females. Jiskra received an athletic scholarship to Rice University. In 1991, she earned NCAA Division I All-American honors in the 10,000 meters, finishing 4th at the outdoor championships. She was also named an Academic All-American. Jiskra ran the 10,000 meters in the TAC Outdoor Championships in New York, qualifying for the 1991 Olympic Sports Festival. She placed 6th in the Olympic Sports Festival 10,000 meters in Los Angeles. Her senior year, Jiskra was the recipient of Joyce Pounds Hardy Award for most outstanding female athlete at Rice. She was also the recipient of the Fred J. and Florence Stancliff Award for academic achievement and outstanding track and field performance at Rice. She competed in the 1992 Olympic Trials in New Orleans in the 10,000 meters. Still competing, Jiskra was the Cat 2 Women’s South Carolina State Mountain Bike Champion in 2017 and age group Marathon Mountain Bike National Champion in 2018.

GREG LASKER

2019

TRACK

Lasker won the Frank E. Robins Award for outstanding senior athlete in 1982. As a junior, he led the Wampus Cats to the 1981 AAAA state track championship, taking first in the 100 and 220-yard dashes and as part of the mile relay. He later won the 100 at the Meet of Champs. As a senior, Lasker won four events at the state meet - the 100, 200 and 400 meters and as part of the 1,600-meter relay. He then won the 100 and 200 at the Meet of Champs. Lasker still holds Conway High School records in the 200 and 400 meters. He earned a football scholarship to the University of Arkansas where he was a four-year starter at safety for the Razorbacks from 1982-1985. As a freshman, he also did little fill-in work for John McDonnell’s track team, running a few 1600-meter relays. Back on the gridiron, Lasker was named a team captain as a senior and won the school’s Bruce Mitchell Award for toughness. He earned AlI-Southwest Conference honors and played in the East-West Shrine Game following his final season. He ranks seventh on the UA’s career interception return yards list with 155 and is tied for 12th in career interceptions with nine. The New York Giants selected him in the second round of the 1986 draft. He played three seasons in the NFL. In his rookie year, they won Super Bowl XXI under head coach Bill Parcells. Lasker was named to the Razorback's all-decade team of the 1980's and has been inducted into the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor.

MIKE NEUHOFEL

2019

SWIMMING & DIVING

Like many kids growing up in Conway, Neuhofel played a multitude of sports, but it was in the pool where he achieved a level of success that few can match. He began swimming with Bob Courtway and the Hendrix Aquakids at the relatively late age of 14. He also swam for the Little Rock Racquet Club Dolphins, travelling throughout the United States to compete. Standing 6’6”, Neuhofel became a high school All-American swimmer at Conway High and a four-time junior national champion. The Arkansas Gazette named him as the state’s 1985 high school swimmer of the year. That year he broke the state record in the 50-meter freestyle. After weighing several scholarship offers, Neuhofel signed to swim for the University of Arkansas. He became a ten-time All-American and was named the Razorback’s most valuable swimmer from 1986-1988. He also set the school record in the 50-meter freestyle. Nine times he was named All-Southwest Conference and was a two-time SWC champion. While specializing in the freestyle sprints, Neuhofel also excelled in the longer distances, medleys, and in relays. He was a member of the United States National Team from 1986-1988 and was internationally ranked in 1987 and 1988. He was a finalist at the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials. Neuhofel won a gold medal at the National Sports Festival and a silver medal at 1987 PanAm Games in the 50-meter freestyle. After graduating from college, he later returned to Conway to coach the Aquakids for a time. Neuhofel has been inducted into the Arkansas Swimming Hall of Fame.

MIKE NEW

2019

FOOTBALL

New won the Frank E. Robins Award for outstanding senior athlete in 1969. He quarterbacked the Wampus Cats to 20 wins over two seasons, going 10-1 in 1967 and 10-2 in 1968. The 1967 squad won the Region 3AA West conference championship. There were no playoffs back then, but the Arkansas Gazette ranked Conway High as the #1 team in Class AA. New was twice an all-state selection in football and played in the 1969 all-star game. He also earned All-American honors as a senior. New was an all-state basketball player and also ran track. As a senior, his teammates selected him as co-captain in both football and basketball. New was recruited by colleges from all over the country, but chose the University of Arkansas. Frank Broyles personally flew to Conway to sign him to a scholarship. As a freshman, New was moved to defensive back. Wanting to play quarterback, he transferred to the University of Central Arkansas where he lettered in 1971. New served as an assistant coach at Conway High from 1975-1979. He had a long and distinguished career as a football referee. From 1980-1992, he officiated high school games, including two state championships. In the college ranks, New worked the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference from 1983-1986 and the Southland Conference from 1987-1991. From 1992-2009, he worked as a back judge in the Southeastern Conference. He was selected to officiate the 2000 SEC Championship Game, as well as six bowl games. He still works as an SEC replay official. New has been inducted into the Arkansas Officials Association Hall of Fame.

J.B. PENDERGRAFT

2019

BASKETBALL

Pendergraft won the Frank E. Robins Award for outstanding senior athlete in 1966. He was one of the best all-around athletes to ever come out of Conway High School. An all-state basketball player, he was also an outstanding sprinter on the track team. In football, he was a key member of the most celebrated team in Wampus Cat history. As a junior in 1964, Pendergraft was a two-way starter for the undefeated state champions. When Conway beat class AAA powerhouse and No. 1 ranked Little Rock Central 7-0 late in the season, Pendergraft scored the game’s only touchdown, going in on fourth and goal from the one-yard line. That victory propelled the Cats to their first state championship. Conway went a perfect 11-0 and won the 3AA conference title. There were no playoffs back then, but Conway became the first AA school to be ranked No. 1 overall at season’s end. Pendergraft was named all-state in 1964 and 1965 and played in the 1966 all-star football game as a senior. He originally signed with the University of Arkansas and played for their freshman team, the Shoats, in 1966. Pendegraft transferred to the University of Central Arkansas, where he lettered from 1968-1970. His versatility was further showcased at UCA. As a sophomore in 1968, he registered offensive statistics in rushing, passing and receiving. On defense, he intercepted a pass. On special teams, he logged punt return yards and kickoff return yards. He even punted once, for 48 yards. Pendergraft later served as a coach in the Conway School District.

LAWSON PILGRIM

2019

BASKETBALL

Pilgrim was simply a winner on the basketball court. From the 7th through 12th grades, his teams went a combined 141-11. As a sophomore, he was a starter on Conway’s 1974 AAA state championship squad. As a senior, he was a part of one of the greatest teams in state history. The 1976 Wampus Cats captured the AAA state championship, with Pilgrim earning tournament MVP honors. The Cats then won the school’s only Overall title, finishing the season a perfect 36-0. Pilgrim was named all-state in 1975 and 1976 and played in the state high school all-star game as a senior. He signed a scholarship with the University of Arkansas, where he lettered as a freshman. Pilgrim then transferred back home to Hendrix College. After a redshirt year, he was ready to play for the Warriors. But the following season, he had tendonitis in both knees and was told that he would not be able to play. Though well under 100%, Pilgrim did play and was the hardest worker on the court, helping the Warriors to a runner-up finish in the AIC. Hendrix coach Cliff Garrison said Pilgrim was one of the greatest competitors he ever saw in his 41 years of coaching. The next two seasons with healthy legs, Pilgrim led Hendrix to back-to-back AIC crowns. Twice named All-AlC, he became only Hendrix player ever named first-team NAIA All-American in 1981. Pilgrim went on play internationally for Athletes in Action. He was inducted into the inaugural class of the Hendrix Sports Hall of Honor.

ERNEST RUPLE

2019

FOOTBALL

Ruple was an all-state football player in 1962. He was also a standout on the track team where he set a school record in the discus while helping the Wampus Cats win the 1963 state championship. He accepted a football scholarship to the University of Arkansas. Freshmen were ineligible to play with the varsity in those days, but Ruple was a member of the team when the Razorbacks won the 1964 national championship. Ruple became a three-year letterman on the offensive line for the Hogs from 1965-1967. He helped the Razorbacks win the Southwest Conference title in 1965 and played in the 1966 Cotton Bowl. The 1967 Sports Illustrated college football preview issue stated, “The backs will all run behind Ernest Ruple, who is 6'5" and 252 pounds of tackle - the only big man in Broyles' camp. Ruple is a relic of the glorious era, just ended, when Arkansas was both big and fast.” That senior season, Ruple was a team captain and earned All-SWC honors. His outstanding play earned him invitations to the East-West Shrine Game and to the Senior Bowl. Pittsburgh drafted Ruple in the 2nd round of the 1968 NFL draft with the 36th overall selection. He played two seasons with the Steelers. Ruple later got into coaching. He returned to his alma mater as an assistant, and was named head football coach of the Wampus Cats in 1975. His 1976 squad finished 9-3, winning the AAAA West Conference title. His two-year record at Conway High was 15-8.

KENNY SMITH

2019

FOOTBALL

As a football player, Smith was a member of Conway High School’s 1964 state championship team and was a co-captain as a senior in 1966. He also played basketball for the Cats. He later played football at the University of Central Arkansas, where he lettered for the Bears as a lineman in 1970. Smith then began a coaching career that took him to stops in North Little Rock, Cabot and Magnolia. He retuned to his alma mater as an assistant football coach in 1984. Smith also served as head track & field coach for four years during this time, winning the AAAA-North conference title each season. His team captured the AAAA state championship in 1989 and finished as state runner-up twice. But Smith got his dream job in 1991 when he was named head football coach of the Conway High School Wampus Cats. He is the longest tenured coach in school history, serving 18 years from 1991-2008. His career record is 129-75, good for a winning percentage of 63.2. His 129 wins are the most in school history. That total represented almost one-quarter of all Wampus Cat football victories at the time. Smith had 12 winning seasons, six conference championships, and 13 playoff appearances. His 1993 squad finished as AAAAA state runner-up. He also coached in two All-Star football games. All told, Smith coached for 25 years at Conway High School. Few have ever been prouder to wear the blue and white. The annual Kenny Smith Wampus Cat Open golf tournament is named in his honor.

DANDRA THOMAS

2019

BASKETBALL - VOLLEYBALL

Thomas was a basketball, volleyball and track star at Conway High and was honored in 1994 with the inaugural Ruth Doyle Award for outstanding female senior athlete. Her 9th grade basketball team at Conway Junior High began the program’s remarkable 140-game winning streak. As a sophomore, she led the Lady Cats to their first state final appearance. As a junior, she set the single season scoring mark with 470 points and by the time she graduated, she had become the program’s career scorer leader with 1,279 points. Thomas was twice named all-state in basketball. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette named her the state’s Female Athlete of the Year in 1993. She also earned all-state honors in volleyball. Her versatility was further showcased in track & field, where she ran the 400, high jumped and threw the discus. After high school, Thomas signed to play basketball at Oral Roberts University. She spent a short time there before transferring back home to the University of Central Arkansas where she would play both basketball and volleyball for the Sugar Bears. On the hardwood, she was a first team All-Gulf South Conference West Division selection for the 1996-97 season. She was also named to the GSC All-Tournament team in 1997. She was selected as Conway High School's Beauty Review Queen in 1993 and participated in other pageants where she showcased her many talents. It was not unusual for her to sing the National Anthem at a game before she would play. She passed away in 2003 at age 27.

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