Volume 17 | October 2021
The Bear Facts
Welcome to the official newsletter of the Ballard High School Alumni Association. Our mission is to keep graduates and friends up-to-date on both school and alumni news.
Highlights of the Stadium and Turf Field Dedication on September 24
Dozens of alumni and their significant others joined the Alumni Association to celebrate the grand re-opening of the stadium on September 24.The weather was perfect, food trucks provided lots of good things to eat, and the camaraderie among old friends made the evening special.

The game ball was flown in by the WLKY helicopter by Ballard grad Bill DeReamer, Class of '79, and delivered to the field by Olympian Ronnie Baker. Dr. Mark Lynn, Cindy Lynn and their daughter Dr. Brittany Lynn were recognized for their turf field donation at halftime. And many of Ballard's championship basketball players were there with former Coach Richard Schmidt with his wife Mary Jo; they went on to have a luncheon reunion on Saturday. Ballard's original football coach Tom Peterson was also in attendance and had a chance to catch up with many of his former players.

We hope you enjoy the attached photos showing high points of the evening. We also have two video clips here that provide additional looks at the evening.


Go Bruins!
Teacher Feature: Susan Fetter
Health and Physical Education Teacher 1970-1997
Assistant Athletic Director, Coach of Multiple Women's Sports
Those of us on the shady side of 50 will likely remember Ballard's iconic Women's Phys Ed teacher Susan Fetter. Many Ballard alumni, however, are unaware of her pivotal role in creating the Women's Athletic program.

Armed with a BS and an MA in Education from Eastern Kentucky University, Susan joined the the Ballard faculty in January 1970. At the encouragement of Pat Crawford, she launched the Women's Athletics program. She ultimately coached golf, tennis, JV basketball, field hockey and track & field before being named Assistant Athletic Director. On September 25, Sue was also named to the Eastern Kentucky University Athletic Hall of Fame as well.

Are there any staff of faculty at Ballard who have been particularly influential on you?

"Pat Crawford was very supportive, trusting me to start a Women's athletics program and constantly providing support to girls sports over the years. Assistant Principal A.B. Sandefur was a big track & field supporter, working the Derby Invitational, District, Regional and State meets as a starter and timer. And Kathy Wilhoit was always willing to work athletic events and give hugs to winners and losers."

What are your most memorable experiences while teaching at Ballard?

"I can name three -- winning the 1974 State Track & Field State Championship, Ballard's first state athletic championship; coming in as runner-up in the 1985 State Field Hockey Championship; and ultimately being inducted into the Ballard High School Athletic Hall of Fame."

What can alumni do to better support teachers and students at Ballard?

"Recognizing student and teacher accomplishments is always appreciated, as is being supportive of student activities and sports. Most importantly, be visible around the school and provide examples based on your own achievements. Students need to see that they can reach their dreams."
Here's a Touching Letter from a Ballard Alumnae
We recently received a touching note from Maria Henson, Class of '82, that is worth sharing. Maria is currently Associate Vice President and Editor-at-Large for the Wake Forest Magazine. She said:

“When I was two weeks into my senior year in high school in Raleigh, North Carolina (just after Elvis died), my dad took a new job and moved our family to Louisville. I figured my life was ruined, not just my senior year.

I’m writing today to thank the teachers and fellow students at Ballard High School that year who welcomed me and made me feel a part of the senior class functions. I helped with “Tenderloin,” our school play, and designed the program we handed out at the door. I hung out with friends interested in government and took a long bus trip with Kentucky high school students to Washington, D.C. I played tennis after school with friends, made prom decorations and attended Young Life events. Sherleen Sisney introduced me to economics; I sold milkshakes as my class project to put the lessons into action. Madame Samuels inspired me with her tales of travels in France and dazzled me with her stylish European shoes. As my homeroom teacher, Mr. Gregg played “Birdland” on the record player and made sure I was not left out of school events.

I could not have asked for a better place to land at a time of such disruption in my life. My days with Ballard friends would be too short. My family moved again during my freshman year at Wake Forest University. All these years later, I still remember your kindness and the way you rescued me from what could have been a disastrous stage of my life. I remain proud to be a Bruin.”

A direct and compelling headline
A direct and compelling headline
Top Photo: Coach Bealmear at Reunion Dinner

Middle Photo: Jim Beck and Denny Haddad

Bottom Photo: Coach Bealmer, Jim Beck and Denny Haddad at September 24 football game
Here's What Happened at the Cross Country Team Reunion
In conjunction with the September 24 Homecoming, there were reunions of both the Cross Country team and the Men's Basketball team. Here's the report from the Cross Country event, courtesy of Jim Beck, Class of '73.

The great Ballard High School cross country teams from the 1970s held a reunion on Saturday evening, September 25, 2021 at the Hogan’s Fountain shelter in Cherokee Park. It was attended by 31 former runners from the 1969 – 77 teams and 7 of their guests, Coach and Judy Bealmear and 4 of their guests, and 2 officers of the Ballard Alumni Association. The event was organized by Jim Beck (1973), Denny “Muskrat” Haddad (1974) and Coach Richard Bealmear.

Packets containing a Ballard Cross Country golf cap, the History of Ballard High School Cross Country 1969 -1977 book and individual name tags were given to the runners and all guests as they arrived. The packets, golf caps and name tags were gifts from Denny Haddad and the book was a gift from Coach Bealmear and Jim Beck.

During the 7 years from 1971-77, Ballard won 7 straight County Championships, 3 Regional Championships (1972, 75,76), one State Runner-Up (1974) and 2 State Championships (1972, 75).

Bob Brill, one of four brothers who ran cross country for Ballard and who all attended the reunion, opened the event with an invocation that remembered Principal Pat Crawford, Track and Cross Country Coach Bob Schildknecht, Ballard’s first Cross Country Coach Tim Jackson and Cross Country runners Larry Neichter who died in 2018 and Kent Taylor who died in March 2021.

Mark’s Feed Store catered the event with a selection of pulled pork, pulled chicken and sliced turkey sandwiches and sides of potato salad, green beans, coleslaw and baked beans. Banana pudding and buttermilk (chess) pie were the dessert choices. A generous anonymous donor, a former Ballard runner who attended the reunion, covered the cost of the shelter rental and the meals.

Jim Beck, Class of 1973 and member of the 1972 State Championship team, was Master of Ceremonies. Ten of the eleven captains/co-captains of the teams from 1971-77 attended the reunion (Kent Taylor being the only one missing). Each captain spoke to those gathered, recalling favorite training runs and races and paying tribute to Coach Bealmear. Those captains sharing their memories were Steve Bullock (71 & 72), Curt Milliman (71 & 72), Don Coleman (73), Tom Milliman (73), Scott Dolson (74), Denny Haddad (74), Bill Strench (75), Lou Armstrong (76), Dale Sirrine (76) and Jim Brill (77). Jim Beck also asked Rick Brill, one of the stars of the 1975 State Championship team and one of only three runners who ran on both Ballard State Championship teams (Bill Strench and Steve Ferguson being the other two), to speak.

Coach Richard Bealmear was the last speaker of the evening. He gave special awards to some of the runners and recognized Dennis Haddad as the author of 4 of the 13 chapters in the history book. Coach himself also authored 4 of the chapters. There were 7 other former runners who contributed to the 5 remaining chapters.

Jim Beck presented Coach Bealmear with a plaque from his former runners inscribed with “Ballard High School Cross Country Coach of the Decade”.

Even before the reunion ended, runners from the 1972 State Championship team, of which there were 18 in attendance, the most from any team, were planning another reunion next Fall to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ballard’s first State Championship in any boys’ sport. I look forward to seeing you other 17, plus other team members who couldn’t make this year’s reunion, next year! I encourage you to follow and contribute to the group page on Facebook called Ballard High School Cross Country Reunion of 1972 Team in 2022.
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The Membership Committee is Looking for Class Ambassadors
Do you help organize any Ballard gatherings or reunions? Are you an administrator on your class Facebook page?

The Membership Committee is looking for volunteers to serve as Ambassadors for their class. You'll be part of a group of designated volunteers from each Ballard graduating class. We're happy to have more than one Ambassador per class.

As an Ambassador, you'll work with the Membership Committee to help welcome alumni to the Alumni Association and share information about all things Ballard -- communicating news to your class about Alumni Association events, school news, volunteer opportunities and more. In addition, Ambassadors will forward emails from interested Alumni to the Membership Committee.

If you would like to work with the Membership Committee in this role, please contact Caroline Robinson or Barbara Trager at ballardalumni@gmail.com.
From the Archives, a Cool Ballard Alum Moment

Walter Booth, Class of '74, recently shared this photo from the March 8, 1964 edition of the Courier-Journal. To the right of Muhammad Ali is little 8-year-old Walter. Walter reports that Mr. Ali had a profound impact on him for the rest of his life.
Interested in Showing Your Bruin Pride with Ballard Sportwear?

There is a lot of high-quality sportwear and branded merchandise available for alumni from the school. You can check all of it out on-line, buy it and have it sent to.

For a look at the complete product line, click on the QR code above.
Upcoming Reunion News
Class of 2011 Announces Its 10-Year Reunion on October 23
The Class of 2011 is pleased to announce its 10-year reunion scheduled for October 23 at the Seelbach Hotel. Cocktail hour begins at 6pm (cash bar), with dinner and the reunion to follow at 7pm.

The cost for dinner will be $55 per person. Payment via Venmo to Clayton Bailey at @claytonbailey or through Apple Pay to (502) 415-6594. Include your full name and the name of any guest
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Do you help with your class reunions?  Please send an email to ballardalumni@gmail.com – we would love to connect with you. We are looking for class leaders/reunion organizers to help us build our association.  We can help each other by sharing information to assist with your reunion and our association membership. 
Meet our Ballard Alumnus of the Month
Jeff Marion
After graduating with the Class of 1975, Jeff went on to secure his BA in Biology at Wittenberg University, followed by his MS and Ph.D in Parks and Recreation Management from the University of Minnesota.

After a brief stint as a university professor, Jeff switched to a research career with the National Parks Service in 1985. Since 1989 he has been a Field Station Leader at Virginia Tech University as part of their College of Natural Resources & Environment.
He co-founded the Recreational Ecology field of study, investigating environmental impacts resulting from recreational visitation to protected natural areas. Jeff's research work is focused on sustainable trail, camping and visitor management consulting in wilderness areas and national parks.
He was a founding Board member of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics program and has authored their official book Leave No Trace in the Outdoors. Jeff is on the editorial board for the Journal of Environmental Management and has served on several national Boards of Directors focused on nature conservation.

On the personal side, Jeff has served as a Scoutmaster for his son's troop and with his family started a co-ed Venture Crew providing high adventure activities for teens, serving as the primary advisor to this group for sixteen years. He has backpacked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail and now hiking hiking the Pacific Coast Trail one section at a time.

Jeff, it's exciting to see a Ballard grad turning his passions into a career. Your generous efforts to give back to your communities and share your passions with young people is really special. We hope you keep climbing the next mountain before you for years to come.
Do you have personal news you'd like to share with Bruin Nation? A new job, a published article, a professional recognition? Here's your chance to let everyone know "What's Bruin" in your life. Send your submissions for inclusion in our next issue to rmoeller@change-managed.com.