By Adam Thorp
Another set of Louisiana High School sports icons entered the school’s athletic hall of fame at an induction ceremony Friday night.
This year’s inductees included Coach Jim York, Greg Farris, Dexter Schraer, David Cunningham, and the 1977 football team.
York played football and ran track at Louisiana, graduating in 1960. He coached Louisiana High School football to a 26-3-1 record. In 1972, his team made it to the state semifinal team. In 1973, the team won the school’s first CCC championship in decades.
“I was very grateful,” York said about his reaction upon hearing the news. “It was a culmination, I guess. Icing on the cake, if you will.”
Greg Farris, a graduate of the class of 1972, was an all-conference running back in high school. Farris was especially honored to be picked out from among a crowded field of accomplished athletes.
“It was surprising. I had never even thought about it, growing up here. Louisiana has so many great athletes. I mean, wherever you look, there are great athletes that have come out of here,” Farris said.
Farris especially emphasized the role his coaches played in his life.
“The coaches. They were like family. I grew up without a father, so these coaches were my father. Even from middle school on,” Farris said. “Coach York: he challenged me. I was about to go into the army, and he challenged me: do you think you could play college ball. He challenged me to give it a try.”
Farris went on to play for Missouri Valley College, where he was an all-conference, all-district, and honorable mention All-American running back, breaking several school records and earning a place in that school’s hall of fame. He later did serve in the army.
David Cunningham was an accomplished three-sport athlete and an all-conference, all-district, and all-state running back. He graduated in 1977. After college he signed to play for the Kansas City Chiefs before a shoulder injury ended his career.
What stood out from his time at the school? “The comradery,” Cunningham said. “I was fortunate to be on teams with very high caliber players, and coaches too.”
“What I accomplished in high school had everything to do with everybody around me. Because I was a running back, you know, when the linemen are blowing holes wide open for you, and the coaches are making great decisions with play-calling, that makes it pretty easy,” Cunningham added.
William “Bill” Cunningham, David Cunningham’s father, was inducted in 2017.
Schraer was unable to make the induction ceremony, where he was described as “one of the best basketball players in school history.” He earned all-district, all-conference, all-state, and Prep all-American honorable mention his senior year.
Four players represented the 1977 Bulldog football team, the first ever to reach a state championship before losing to Monett, 21-19.
The inductees still find themselves reflecting on the lessons they learned while playing for the Bulldogs.
“It laid the foundation. As a single parent, some days the only thing you can do is put one foot in front of the other. And that’s what sports, the football field teaches you: one foot in front of the other, keep going, keep grinding,” Farris said.
“It’s a matter of discipline, structure and teamwork,” York said. “Kids get an awful lot. Not just x’s and o’s, but a lot of good character. You really have to discipline yourself, when you’re out there, hot, and you’re doing cardios, and you’re running with pads on, your really have to dedicate yourself to what you’re doing.”
They were honored before Louisiana took the court against Montgomery County.