The Eaglecrest Athletics & Activities Hall of Fame turns five this year and will welcome in four new members Nov. 15.
As selected from a pool of nominees by a panel of school administrators, representatives of the Cherry Creek School District, the community and the media, the Class of 2018 includes four athletes: April Thomas (cross country/track & field), Melissa Westhoff (soccer/cross country), Basil (BJ) Williams (football/basketball/track & field) and Gage Wooten (basketball).
Those eligible for the Athletic and Activities Hall of Fame must be graduated from Eaglecrest for at least five years and be nominated by a member of the community. The four additions this year will make 25 total members.
Tickets for the induction event at Heritage Eagle Bend, which includes a cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m., can be purchased through the Eaglecrest Athletic Department at 720-886-1083. Cost is $30 per ticket.
A brief bio of the four inductees, listed alphabetically, in the fifth class:
April Thomas, cross country/track & field (Class of 2005)
Thomas is Eaglecrest’s most accomplished female cross country runner, as she holds the school mark for highest finish as the Class 5A state cross country meet with her third place finish in 2002. Thomas finished only behind Smoky Hill sisters Megan and Katelyn Kaltenbach — who combined to win five state championships — in an Aurora-dominated race. She went on to run cross country at Colorado State University, where she became the only Rams’ female runner thus far to win the Mountain West Conference championship when she took the 2007 conference title. The season before her showing at the 5A state meet, Thomas and the Eaglecrest girls — which also featured her twin sister Melissa — won the only Aurora City Championship for the program. In track, April Thomas placed in the top seven of both the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs as a senior and set a variety of school records in distance events.
Melissa Westhoff, girls soccer/cross country (Class of 2012)
Westhoff had a prominent position in the Eaglecrest athletic program from 2008-2012 (when she earned seven varsity letters), as she excelled in girls soccer and cross country and earned the school’s Female Athlete of the Year honors as a senior. On the soccer pitch, she started for the Raptors on defense for four seasons, captained the team for her final two seasons, during which she also made the All-Centennial League and All-Aurora first teams. Westhoff went on to have a four-year career at the Colorado School of Mines, where she played in 88 games (67 starts) and was a team captain and All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference first team selection as a senior. In cross country and track, Westhoff still ranks in the top 10 in school history with her times in both the 5K and 3,200 meters. She placed 13th at the Class 5A state cross country meet in 2009 and 16th the season before.
Basil (BJ) Williams, football/basketball/track & field (Class of 2006)
Williams won multiple letters in three different varsity sports in his time at Eaglecrest, as he earned four in football, three in track & field and two in basketball. His greatest accomplishments came on the football field, where he was a three-year starter for the Raptors and wrapped up his career with a big senior season in 2005 when the speedy pass-rushing defensive end led the Centennial League with nine sacks (with 18 of his 59 tackles going for losses) on his way to all-league and Sentinel All-Aurora first team honors. Williams went on to play four seasons with San Diego State (three as a starter) and had a brief cup of coffee in the Canadian Football League with the Montreal Allouettes.
Gage Wooten, basketball (Class of 2009)
Wooten was a key part of the group that helped the Eaglecrest boys basketball program begin its run as a consistent power under former coach John Olander. The 6-foot-4 forward earned a spot in the Raptors’ starting lineup for four years and performed at an All-Centennial League first team level in three of those season. Wooten, a versatile scorer and dogged rebounder, helped Eaglecrest make it to the Class 5A semifinals in 2008 as well as capture back-to-back league championships. As a senior in 2009, he was voted by coaches as the Centennial League Player of the Year, earned a spot on the All-State first team and was selected to play in The Show All-Star Game, then put on by the Denver Nuggets. Wooten went on to play in college at Minnesota State Mankato, where he earned All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate second team honors with the Division II Mavericks.
EAGLECREST ATHLETICS & ACTIVITIES HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
2018: April Thomas (cross country/track & field), Melissa Westhoff (soccer/cross country), Basil (BJ) Williams (football/basketball/track & field), Gage Wooten (basketball)
2017: Sola Abolaji (boys soccer), Jasper Armstrong (football), Nick Harper (boys lacrosse) and Courtney Karst (volleyball) — Bios
2016: Aubrey Mable (softball/golf/basketball), John Green (coach/athletic director), Zak Edwards (performing arts), Doug Moreland (volunteer), Kevin Yu (tennis) and Jennifer Condreay (teacher/theater director) — Bios
2015: Ralph Gorton (volunteer), Lisa Roberts (Sprague) (softball, lacrosse, basketball), Kristen Schevikhoven (volleyball), Kimberly Tedder-Avalos (theater), Stacey Timberman (cheer) and Gregory Treco (theater, dance, vocal music) — Bios
2014: J.J. Billingsley (football/track & field), Damian Brown (football), Ben Baum (basketball), Tara Mendozza (DeCrescentis) (cross country, track & field) and Stacey Jennings (softball)