The Judson Athletics Department has announced its 2016 Hall of Fame class that will be inducted on Saturday, Sept. 24, during a luncheon and induction ceremony as a part of Homecoming festivities. Five former athletes and a coach will be permanently placed among Judson’s finest athletes and program contributors. This is the 14th class to be inducted in the Judson Hall of Fame.
One of the most decorated and entertaining men’s soccer players in program history is Doco Wesseh. Wesseh played two seasons at Judson (2002 and 2004) after transferring from Malone College in Ohio. Wesseh earned NAIA All-American honors both seasons as an Eagle and was a NCCAA All-American in 2002. Also in 2002, the Eagles won the NCCAA National Championship, and Wesseh was honored on the NCCAA All-Tournament team. In both years of his career, he was named to the CCACAll-Conference, NAIA All-Region and NCCAA All-Region teams. In 2004, he earned the prestigious honor of CCAC Player of the Year. During that season he led the team with 60 points, which ranks as the program’s ninth best single-season total. He also led the team with 22 goals and 16 assists that year. In 2002, he was also the team’s assist leader with 17. For his two-year career, he totaled 113 points with 40 goals and 33 assists.
Another two-year athlete that accomplished much in her time as a Judson women’s basketball player is Heather (Kusch) Johnson, who transferred to Judson from Harper Community College. She was a member of the program’s most accomplished team in 1998-99 that finished in the Elite Eight of theNAIA National Tournament and won the CCAC regular-season championship. During that season, she led the team with a 62 percent field goal percentage, which ranks second best for a single season in program history. She also led the team with 270 rebounds, which ranks ninth for a single season, averaging a team-best 7.9 rebounds per game average. She played in 34 games that year, which is tied for the most games played in a season. In both the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons as a Lady Eagle, she was named to the NCCAA Honorable Mention All-American, CCAC First Team All-Conference andNCCAA All-Region teams. Her 59 percent career field goal percentage ranks second all-time in program history.
A four-year men’s basketball player known for his defensive play and crowd-pleasing dunks is Rick Williams. Playing in 122 career games as an Eagle from 1998-2002, Williams’ name is all over the men’s basketball program record books. A member of the 1,000-point club, he scored 1,474 career points, which ranks 10th best in program history. His 219 career steals rank second all-time, his 80 career blocks is fifth best and his 573 career field goals made and 636 career rebounds both rank ninth in program history. He had his best season his junior year in 2000-01, where he led the team with a 19 points and 5.9 rebounds per game average. His efforts that year earned him NCCAAHonorable Mention All-American and CCAC First-Team All-Conference team honors. As a sophomore in 1999-2000 Williams was a NCCAA All-Region selection. As a senior, he led the team with 77 steals, which is the fourth best single-season total for the program.
Former Judson volleyball player Julie (Anderson) Schickert was a force at the net for the Eagles during her four years on the team (2001-2004). Schickert holds all of Judson’s career blocking records with 536 career total blocks, 186 career solo blocks and 350 career block assists. In all four of her seasons, she led the team in solo blocks of which all rank in the program’s top-10 for a single season. She set the single season record for blocks in her junior year in 2003 with 58 on the year. That same year she set the single-season record with 176 total blocks. Two other seasons have both her total blocks and block assists ranked in the season record books as well. In addition to her blocking skills, Schickert’s serving skills are the best in program history. She holds the record for career service aces with 251 and three of her single season totals are in the top-10. Schickert’s performances on the court earned her many accolades, including being a three-time CCAC All-Conference team member. She was also recognized as a NAIA All-American Scholar Athlete, a NCCAA Scholar Athlete and on theNCCAA All-Region team. She was also a co-captain and Team Most Valuable Player for her team.
One of the longest tenured coaches in Judson Athletics history is former men’s basketball coach Jim Wallis. He coached the men’s basketball team from 1984-1993. He has 114 career wins which is the most of any men’s basketball coach in program history. He coached five NCCAA All-Americans in his nine years. He had his best year in 1989-90 with a 17-12 record, while winning the NIIC Conference championship. But beyond wins, losses and honors, it’s the positive influence that Wallis had on so many men that earns him his Hall of Fame recognition. He coached more than 100 players during his time at Judson, and it’s the lessons that he taught outside of basketball that have led to many of them going on to become successful teachers, coaches, businessmen, pastors, husbands and fathers. Wallis would go on to work in District 300 for 19 years, including being the assistant principal and athletic director of Hampshire High School for 12 years and principal of Hampshire Middle School for seven years.
A former wrestler and track-and-field athlete at Judson, Bob Pleticha is primarily being honored for the contribution he has made in the Elgin community and the sport of weightlifting. Pleticha graduated from Judson in 1972 after participating in one year of wrestling and two years of track and field. He participated in discus, long jump and the one-mile relay. In wrestling, he had the most season pins with seven and 11 fastest pins. Pleticha went on to win the International Powerlifting Association World Championship four times and was a national champion 15 times. In 1980, he created the Elgin Sharks Track Club in Elgin with the goal of instilling healthy habits as well as maintaining good health through running. During an average year, more than 100 young athletes run with the Sharks, which translates to more than 3,000 athletes since 1980. Many of these young athletes come from underprivileged backgrounds. The Elgin Sharks Track Club has generated local, state and national championships, and athletes have gone on to be members of national teams and become collegiate athletes. November 18, 2015, was proclaimed Bob Pleticha Day by the mayor of the City of Elgin in honor of his dedication to the health and fitness of Elgin’s young people as well as his championships in powerlifting.
Please join us in congratulating them all.
For more information about the Hall of Fame Luncheon and Induction Ceremony, click here.
Committed to excellence, Judson University Athletics develops the character of student-athletes by providing opportunities for competition, education, relationships, and spiritual growth. Judson offers 21 different sports and is affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA), Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC), and the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA).