by Mark Jurgena
COLLINSVILLE — On Dec. 27 at halftime of Collinsvillle’s opening round win over Decatur (Eisenhower) at the Prairie Farms Holiday Classic the second class of the Kahok Hall of Fame was announced.
Nine athletes and two teams were named to the Hall of Fame and will be inducted on Feb. 15 at the Collinsville Gateway Convention Center.
Tickets are available to the public by contacting Clay Smith or Jan Harmon at Collinsville High School.
Five of those named to the Hall were part of Vergil Fletcher’s legendary boys basketball program including Bob Bone, Dennis Pace, Tom Parker, John A. “Jack” Renfro, John Renfro and Kevin Stallings.
Bone was a three year starter, helped the Kahoks to two Elite Eight appearances and was All-State. He moved on the the University of Missouri-St. Louis where he started every game for four years and was named an Academic All-American. He also served as the head coach for the boys basketball team for 20 years where his Kahoks went 360-201.
Pace was part of the 1965 state champions averaging 25.6 points per game earning both All-State and All-American honors. He played basketball at Illinois where he earned both All-Big Ten and All-American academic accolades. He returned to Collinsville to teach and coach.
Parker had the single game and career record for points at Collinsville until those marks were eclipsed in 2020 by Ray’Sean Taylor. Two times he was named all-state and earned All-American honors once. He played basketball at the University of Kentucky where he was All-SEC both on the floor and the classroom. He was also named SEC Co-Player of the Year.
In 1972 he was a first round draft pick of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.
Jack Renfro was a multi-sport athlete for four years in basketball, track and baseball. He was the captain of the 1950 basketball team that took fourth place at state. He also left Collinsville with school records in the 110 and 220 yard dashes. After graduating from SIUC he was a teacher and coach throughout southern Illinois including Collinsville.
Stallings was a four-year player in boys basketball for the Kahoks. Teams he played on won three conference crowns and made two state appearances. He set Collinsville records in season and career assists and steals in a season.
He played basketball for Purdue University before eventually being the head basketball coach at Illinois State, Vanderbilt and Pittsburgh.
Maryville native Ken Oberkfell signed with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1975 one year after graduating from Collinsville High. He played 16 seasons of Major League Baseball including with the 1982 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Oberkfell also suited up for Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Houston, San Francisco and the California Angels with a career batting average of .278.
Dominque Manley was an outstanding middle distance runner at Collinsville graduating with eight school records of which seven stand to this day. He was a state champion in the 800 meters in 2010. He moved on to Kansas University competing in track and field.
Francesca Kolesa led the Kahoks to a girls state bowling championship in 2010. She averaged a 229 at the state tourney to take the individual state crown and what is still the only girls team state championship in school history.
She was named the 2010 SIHSBC Player of the Year and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Female Athlete of the Year.
John Renfro went into the Hall in the Distinguished category but did serve as a captain of the cross country and track teams before his successful career in business.
In the team category, two state champions will be enshrined.
The 1965 boys basketball state champs went 30-2 and won the SWC. It was Vergil Fletcher’s second state title. They beat Quincy 55-52 in the championship contest.
In 1986, the boys soccer team brought home a state crown with an 18-5-2 mark to win the school’s second state title after beating Libertyville 2-1 in four overtimes.
Please see news for this year’s Distinguished HOF inductees.