Hill College Athletic Hall of Fame inducts Class of 2022

  Jessyca Brown
  Tuesday, February 1, 2022 9:59 AM

Hillsboro, TX

The Hill College Athletic Hall of Fame committee inducted nine members as its Class of 2022 last week during a ceremony at the Vara Martin Daniel Performing Arts Center at the Hill College Campus in Hillsboro.

The Hill College Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the achievements and prestige of Hill College athletics through their performance on athletic teams representing the college or by meritorious efforts in years after graduation. This is the fourth class the committee has inducted into the Hall of Fame since it was established in 2015.

“It is a great honor and privilege to recognize alumni who excelled as student athletes while attending Hill College,” said Hill College Athletic Director and rodeo teams coach, Paul Brown. “As a committee, the responsibility to narrow this honor down to a select few athletes is overwhelming and challenging. Athletics has been a vital part of the Hill College legacy, and we are attempting to preserve some of that history.”

The Class of 2022 inductees include:

Michelle Alley, Josey (Stubblefield) Armstrong, Kriston (Looper) McSpadden, and Tina (Alvarez) McKinley were members of the 2000 Hill College women’s rodeo team, and each contributed to the team finishing fourth in the nation at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Wyoming.

Alley earned reserve All-Around champion at the 2000 CNFR, as well as finished ninth in the nation in breakaway roping. In 2001, Armstrong earned the reserve national champion goat tyer and went on to rank third in the nation in goat tying in 2002 as a student at Stephen F. Austin State University. McSpadden finished seventh in the nation in goat tying and fourth in the nation in breakaway roping in 2002. McKinley also competed for her team at the CNFR in 2000.

Tara Kindel played for the 1995-96 women’s soccer team. Her contributions were key to the early success of the team and led to her earning All-American honors twice.

Jim Bratsen played baseball during the 1971-72 season and was posthumously inducted into the Class of 2022. He was elected as an All-Conference player his freshman year and then transferred to Texas A&M University where he earned All-Southwest Conference honors in 1975 and was the team’s Marion Pugh Most Valuable Player. He had a brief professional career in the minor leagues before becoming a coach and teacher at Navasota for more than 30 years. Bratsen died last February of pneumonia after being hospitalized for COVID-19.

Kevin Madden played for the 1988-89 and 1989-90 basketball teams. His contributions helped lead the Rebels to a runner-up conference position where he scored 30 points against Odessa in the regional playoff. Madden also had a successful career playing for the College of Charleston in South Carolina.

Melvin Roman was a member of the 1990-91 baseball team. His achievements included All-Conference and All-Region honors, as well as setting several records at Hill College. Roman continued his collegiate career and went on to open MDR Sports Management in 2006, the only baseball representation firm in Puerto Rico and Latin America representing Hispanic players.

Dr. Bill Auvenshine served as Hill College’s president from 1984-2004. His contributions and support of athletics during his tenure as president of Hill College helped to establish the region’s first softball, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s golf, and volleyball teams, as well as expanded the rodeo program. Auvenshine also served on the NJCAA Board of Directors for 15 years.

The Ray Roberts Award was also presented by the award’s namesake during the induction ceremony. Roberts served as the Hill College head basketball coach and athletic director from 1981 to 1998.

Each year, this award is given to a second year Hill College student athlete who throughout their tenure with the college has consistently demonstrated a passion for the success of the college, a personal commitment to advancement and improvement of the college, a selfless effort to support and better their teammates and peers, a strong work ethic in both the classroom and their athletic endeavors, and a positive demeanor and excellent character.

This year’s award was presented to Cade Fedor, a native of Grandview and current Hill College rodeo team member. Being from Grandview, Fedor’s older brother was part of the rodeo program several years ago, so for the past five years Cade has been showing up and helping out at practices. Fedor is a steer wrestler and a team roper. He has helped with the production of the college’s NIRA rodeo for the past four years. He is always the first to jump in and help wherever he is needed. 

Roberts said it’s an honor to be associated with the induction ceremony and inductees.

“I am always very excited about this event,” Roberts said. “It is especially exciting to go back in time and relive the accomplishments of these individuals and teams from decades back, and to recognize their achievements both on and off the field. Also, meeting the inductees’ families and sharing in their excitement and pride over their loved one’s accomplishments is a personal highlight for me. What these former players don’t realize is that this event also means a whole lot to those of us who coached them or watched them play. It is an opportunity for us to say ‘thank you’ for a job well done and for being the kind of person they were and have become.”

Nominations for induction into the Hall of Fame are open to the public. If you would like to review the criteria for induction or nominate a former athlete, coach, or staff member for consideration, please visit www.hillcollege.edu/Athletics/HallofFame/NominationForm.html. The nominations are reviewed and voted upon by the Hall of Fame committee.