GREENFIELD — Four recent standouts from the courts, fields, and stadiums of the Greenfield-Central High School campus, and a coach, posthumously, were honored with inductions into the school’s athletics Hall of Fame Saturday, Jan. 21.
Graduates from 2017, Morganne Denny, Katie Helgason, and Emily Jones, 2016 grad Tate Hall and Diane Hamant, widow of long-time assistant wrestling coach Ed Hamant, were introduced to the Dellen Automotive Gymnasium crowd at halftime of the boys basketball game against Shelbyville.
Denny was a multi-sport star for the Cougars, earning seven letters. A member of the 2016 girls basketball sectional championship team, her main sport was softball.
On the diamond, she was named all-state twice, including first team in 2017. She holds the school’s single-season (14) and career (36) records for home runs, ranking in the state’s Top 10 in both categories. She went on to play at Purdue Fort Wayne.
Helgason played three sports and received 11 varsity letters. Also a member of the 2016 sectional championship basketball team, she is ninth on the school’s all-time scoring list (799) and sixth in assists (287). Helgason was also selected to the Indiana Junior All-Stars and later played basketball at Ball State.
She was part of a state-qualifying 3200 relay team that owns the school record with a time of 9:46.03. She was a three-time All-HHC choice in soccer, as well.
Jones starred in track and field and still owns school indoor (10-feet, 6-inches) and outdoor (10-9) records in the pole vault. She was a state qualifier in both 2016 and 2017. She won three county championships in the event and also earned all-sectional recognition three times, qualifying for the regional in each of those seasons. She went on to compete at Hanover College.
Hall starred in both basketball and baseball. As a basketball standout, Hall is No. 4 on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,315 points, No. 9 in rebounding (426) and No. 1 in 3-point field goals made (181). He later played basketball at the University of Indianapolis and Loyola University Chicago, where he was a key contributor for the Ramblers in NCAA tournaments.
As a baseball player with the Cougars, Hall threw a no-hitter against Yorktown in 2016.
Hamant spent 40 years as an assistant coach for the Cougars wrestling program. He passed away in February of 2021 at the age of 75. He assisted with elementary and middle school wrestling programs and assisted over 50 Greenfield-Central wrestlers to become IHSAA state qualifiers.
He was inducted into the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2016, one of only a few assistant coaches to be enshrined. He was inducted into the GCHS Wrestling Program’s Hall of Fame in 2017. He was responsible for building the wrestling room’s hall of fame, trophy cases, singlet display, record boards, state-placer wall and countless other items for the program.
Former G-C girls basketball star Madison Wise, who scored over 2,000 points and recorded over 1,000 rebounds during her four-year career, and later played at Iowa State and IUPUI, declined her induction.
Wise declined because her coach at G-C, Doug Laker, was not voted in.
Wise posted a statement on her Twitter account congratulating the inductees, but said, “I won’t go in until the all-time winningest coach does. Maybe next year.”
Laker was the G-C head coach from 2009-2017. He had seven winning seasons, won one sectional title and had an overall record of 129-77. His coaching contract was not renewed after the 2017 season.
Greenfield-Central athletic director Jared Manning, chairman of the Hall of Fame committee, said Laker was one of five nominees not voted in.
Manning said nominees that were not selected remain on the ballot.
“Those that didn’t get voted in will be rolled over and on the ballot next year,” he said. “We keep them on the ballot until the committee votes to remove them.”