The most successful football playoff team in school history, as well as five individuals, will be inducted into the Burlington Central High School Athletic Hall of Fame on Sunday, April 13.
The 2003 Rockets' football team that finished the season 11-1 will be the first football team to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Coached by Dave Smith and led by all-state running back Chris Wesson, the Rockets advanced to the Class 4A state quarterfinals before losing to eventual state champion Driscoll 45-28.
"In my 29 years of coaching that was best team I have ever been associated with," said Smith, the current head coach at Dixon High School, when informed the squad would be inducted. "They were excellent in so many different phases of the game. It was like being in Heaven coaching those guys."
The five individuals being inducted include Vicki Braden (Class of 1995), Michelle (Butt) Domson (Class of 1984), Dan Hagberg (Class of 2008), Scott Hoffmeister (Class of 1977), Brian Krantz (Class of 2001) and Darrel Dean Westerbeck (Class of 1953).
Braden is being inducted for volleyball. An all-conference and all-area player while at Central she went on to play at Elgin Community College and then Rockhurst University in Kansas City. While at ECC, she was named to the JUCO Division I National All-Tournament team when she helped the Spartans finish fifth at the national finals in 1997. An outside hitter, she was then named to the NCAA Division II All-Region team in 1999 while at Rockhurst.
Domson is being inducted for girls basketball. As a senior she helped lead the Rockets to the program's first sectional championship in basketball, boys or girls, and a berth in the Class A Sweet Sixteen. She averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds per game for a team that finished 20-9 and won the Big Eight Conference championship. In 1983, she was named a National Award winner by the United States Achievement Academy. She played at ECC, where she set the program record for blocked shots in a season.
Hagberg was a multiple-sport athlete who excelled in football and track. A three-year letter winner and former all-area standout in football, he set school records on the track in both hurdle events and in two relays. The school's 2007-08 Athlete of the Year, he led the Rockets to their first Kane County track championship in 2007. Hagberg went on to Cornell University where he became a four-time Ivy League sprint hurdles champion. He was an NCAA qualifier in 2012 and a three-time academic all-American.
Krantz brought home state medals in the shot put and discus and holds the school record in the disc. He went on to become the Missouri Valley Conference indoor shot champion while competing for Illinois State University.
Westerbeck, who will be inducted posthumously, was a three-sport standout in baseball, basketball and football for Burlington High School. He earned all-conference honors in all three sports and went on to play baseball at Coe College in Iowa before becoming a teacher, coach and administrator in District 300 for many years.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony and banquet will be held at Elgin Community College on Sunday, April 13. Cocktail hour will begin at 5 p.m., dinner at 6 and the program at 7. John Radtke, Fox Valley Sports Editor for the Daily Herald and a 1975 Central graduate, will be Master of Ceremonies for the event.
Tickets are available to the public at a cost of $30 each. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Central athletic office at (847) 464-6038, or go to the newly created Central High School Athletic Hall of Fame page on Facebook.