Burleson ISD Hall of Fame inducts two members, one team
BURLESON – For the two inductees of the Burleson ISD Sports Hall of Fame, it was all about staying true to their roots.
The school district honored the athletic excellence of Wendy Ator, John Hampton and the 2011 Burleson baseball team on Saturday during a luncheon at Burleson High School.
“It was never really beyond Burleson,” former Elk tight end John Hampton said. “I played a little bit in college and beyond which was really cool and a dream I guess. But really, as I got closer, Burleson, Texas, was all I ever knew and wanted to be the best for.”
After starring as an all-state player for Burleson, Hampton went on to play football at SMU where he excelled as a three-time All-Conference tight end. After setting the record for the most receptions among tight ends at SMU, Hampton signed to play with the Tennessee Titans in 2003.
Ator, who competed in high jump for the Burleson track team, was a state finalist during her senior season, finishing sixth. She still holds the all time record at BHS with a jump of 5’9” in 1986. Ator went on to compete for Abilene Christian University where she was named an All-American in 1990 and was a part of three Indoor National Championship teams.
The 2011 Burleson baseball team was also inducted on Saturday. The Elks posted a 26-19 record and advanced to the regional finals, which remains the deepest playoff run in team history.
Hampton said he was humbled by the honor and directed all recognition to his family.
“It was always just for you,” Hampton said while addressing his parents. “I will cherish this opportunity, but it’s for you guys.”
Hampton said his father really molded him into the player and man he has become.
“My dad helped create this drive to just be one of the dudes, to be one of the team, to be an Elk," Hampton said. "To be a part of the Hall of Fame is a great honor, but being your kid and being a part of this family means the most to me.”
Ator emphasized the role that Burleson athletics has played throughout her life.
“The Burleson athletic program has been a huge and wonderful part of my entire life," Ator said. "I’ve always felt a part of this family.”
Ator joked, saying her youthful uncoordination almost kept her career from happening. After struggling through several sports, Ator found her niche on the high jump team.
“Those coaches worked and worked with me until they found a place I could be successful,” Ator said. “It was a really special part of my life. I really felt like it was just a gift that God gave me. I wasn’t really blessed athletically, so I just felt like it was a gift He gave me so I’d have a place to belong and to connect me with people.”
Levi Scott, who played first base and pitched for the 2011 baseball team, remembers the ‘never-say-die’ attitude of the team.
“Really the one thing is that we never gave up,” Scott said of his team that won six games when facing elimination. “We definitely had our struggles throughout the year, but I think we just got hot at the right time. Once playoffs came around we went on a streak and eventually fell just short to the state champs.”
The Elks came within one game of reaching state after defeating Stephenville, Aledo, Crowley, and Lake Dallas during their run. The team finally fell to Wichita Falls Rider in the regional finals.
Scott went on to play first base for Howard Junior College and UTA before being drafted and signing with the Toronto Blue Jays. He is currently a free agent and continues to pursue a career professionally.
Dallas Owen and Les Todd were also inducted as Campbell’s Community Champions. The two were honored for their impact and service to the community as well as their support for the Burleson athletic department.