New Inductees to Enter SC Athletic Hall of Fame October 21

The Southwestern College Athletic Hall of Fame will induct six new members on Saturday, Oct. 21, in the Roy L. Smith Student Center at 10 a.m.  Inductees will also be introduced at halftime of the Southwestern-Bethel Homecoming football game.  The new members are Jim Corwin ’69, Burt Helmer ’70, Charles Osen ’94, William “Trey” Jones ’03, Roderick “Ricky” Kendrick, ’06, and Amy Topham (Pierson) ’11. 

Jim Corwin played two years of basketball and three years of football for Southwestern College. He was a three-year letterman in football and was a member of the 1967 undefeated football team. He was the team’s punter and played defensive end. He was selected to the KCAC Football First-Team in both 1967 and 1968, and was selected to the District 10 NAIA All Star team as Honorable Mention All-American in 1968. Corwin is listed in the 1969 edition of Outstanding College Athletes of America.  Corwin earned numerous awards while at Southwestern including, Who’s Who Among Students, Masterbuilder, and the McNeish Award (athlete with highest GPA).  Jim was a charter member of Theta Phi Delta Fraternity and president in 1968-69. He received his masters’ degree from Fort Hays University. He worked nearly 43 years for the Farm Credit System until he retired in 2013. Jim and his wife, Carolyn, reside in Buhler.

Burt Helmer played football at SC.  His teams had a combined record of 22-4-1 from 1968-70.  He led the team in rushing in 1968 and 69 and was a tri-captain for the 1970 squad.  At the end of the 1969 season, he was the career leader in total rushing yards.  His single season rushing record stood up for over a decade. Helmer received the A. D. Kahler ‘Builder of the Year’ award, voted on by his teammates and coaching staff. Helmer also served the college as a sportswriter and editor for the “Collegian” and was the sports information director.  After SC, Helmer spent 40 years teaching and coaching.  His coaching career included numerous league championships, state championship appearances, and ‘Coach of the Year’ awards.  He also took great pride in mentoring younger coaches which allowed them to navigate their own success from the sidelines.

Charles Osen, a.k.a Curt Caden, has been, and continues to be, the radio and web streaming voice for Southwestern College football, and men’s and women’s basketball since 2000. In 2002, he began broadcasting Winfield High School football and boy’s and girl’s basketball, and continues that work today. He has broadcasted more than 2,500 games in his career including numerous KCAC basketball championship games, NAIA men’s and women’s basketball championship tournament games, NAIA football championship tournament games, and Kansas State High School basketball tournament games. Osen played one year of golf and basketball while at Southwestern.  He graduated with a bachelors degree in mass communications and film studies and was named a Masterbuilder.  He was the Kansas Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Sportscaster of the Year in 2017 and the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Media Award winner in 2019. Osen lives in Winfield with his wife of 28 years, Kelli, and has four children; Chastity (Will), Daelor (Katie), Avery, and Riley, and two grandchildren; William and Clara.

William A. (Trey) Jones III was a four-year track and field athlete at Southwestern College, specializing in high jump and javelin. Trey was a three-time conference champion in the high jump and named Field Athlete of the Year in 1999, 2000, and 2002, taking the 2001 season off to work full-time and welcome the birth of his son, Hunter. Trey earned All-American status in 2000 and 2002 when he placed 3rd in high jump both years at indoor nationals. Trey still holds the SC indoor high jump record of 6’11”. Not only did Trey excel on the track and field, he also made lifelong friends, as well as meeting his wife, Amy, a fellow SC high jumper. Trey went on to coach middle school track in Arkansas City before taking the head coach position at his alma mater, Nickerson High School, where he coached three high jumpers to state championships in four years, including his son and daughter, Hunter and Ava. Though Trey was tragically taken from us last year, his athletic legacy lives on through his children. Hunter is currently a three-time All-American track and field athlete while Ava plays collegiate basketball and Creek, a 6th grader, is following his dad's footsteps too.

Roderick "Ricky" Kendrick played men’s basketball at Southwestern College for two seasons.  He was a two-time All-American (2004-05 and 2005-06).  He was awarded KCAC Player of the Year, and KCAC Newcomer of the Year in 2004-05 season.  He made the All-KCAC First Team in both seasons.  In 2005-06 season, his team won the KCAC Championship, and went to the National Tournament. They finished the season with a 28-4 record, which is the most wins in a season to current date.  Ricky is third on the all-time list at Southwestern for: Three-point field goals made in a season (105); and in all-time three-point field goal percentage (45.5%) in the 2004-2005 season.  He is also in the 1,000 point club for points scored in his career.  He now resides in Oklahoma for short periods of time, while being a traveling registered nurse throughout various states.   

Amy (Pierson) Topham had a decorated career in track and field. She was a three-time NAIA All-American and held school records in the indoor 800 and 1,000 meters. In cross country she competed three times at the NAIA National meet and was also KCAC champion one year. She earned Academic All-American all four years, was awarded Masterbuilder, and graduated with a bachelors of science degree in nursing. Topham lives near Wichita with her family.

“These inductees are truly exceptional. Their collegiate athletic careers resulted in numerous accolades and accomplishments, but what sets them apart is their character. It is an absolute honor to celebrate these outstanding individuals,” said Matt O’Brien, athletic director at Southwestern College.

O’Brien adds that nominations for the 2024 Southwestern College Athletic Hall of Fame will be accepted until Dec. 31.  To submit a nomination, email Matt.O’

The public is invited to attend the ceremony and there is no admission charge.  For more information about the SC Athletic Hall of Fame or the induction ceremony, call (620) 229-6218.

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