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TELL CITY—Rick Alvey, Kara Kessans and Paul Werner were inducted into Tell City High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday.
Each was a multi-sport star for the Marksmen but is probably best remembered for the sport they played in college: football for Alvey and basketball for Kessans and Werner.
Alvey, a 1971 Tell City graduate, was a two-time Southern Indiana Athletic Conference B-Division Most Valuable Player in football and the leading rusher for Tell City’s undefeated 1969 football team.
“I was very blessed to play for coaches who truly cared about you as a person and cared about you as an athlete,” said Alvey.
He added, “I often times think of the influence Coach (Joe) Talley had on me, not just as a football player but as a person.
“He believed in looking people in the eye and telling them what they did right and what they did wrong. That lesson has carried over from my football career to my business career.”
While Alvey’s 5-foot-10, 190-pound frame was ideally suited for being a football running back and track athlete, it made him small for playing forward in football.
Nevertheless he started at forward for the 1971 regional champion Marksmen and won the team’s most improved award.
He credited Coach Bob Lochmueller, who “taught me how to play the game and compete and not let my physical deficiencies hold me back.”
Alvey also thanked his family. “My mother would’ve been so proud—she was so strong and taught me so much about leadership.”
Kessans, a 1998 Tell City graduate, also mentioned how supportive her family was and said all of her coaches “each contributed something to my life that I’ve taken with me since I’ve left Tell City.
“Tell City athletics has made up a big portion of my life.”
She went on to be a four-year starting guard for the University of Louisville, where she was named an academic All-American.
She then earned a doctorate in physical therapy at the University of Southern California and is now a physical therapist and assistant athletic trainer at Purdue University.
Werner, a 1973 Tell City graduate, said, “Being athletic is a gift, so in that sense I’ve been blessed.” But he also said, “I consider myself very fortunate to have grown up in a large family that taught me to be very competitive.”
He also paid tribute to classroom teachers. “I think we were all very blessed to have a lot of good teachers. In my opinion, teachers are the most under-appreciated people around. And it’s the same with coaches—coaches are teachers too, as John Wooden said.”
He closed with “a message to the youngsters. It’s so important that you work hard at what you do and do it with passion. It doesn’t matter if it’s sports or studying medicine—nothing comes without hard work.”