By BUTCH BURNEY
Four former athletic greats at Sulphur Springs High School will be honored with induction into the Wildcat Hall of Honor in two weeks.
A record-setting track and basketball athlete, a multi-sport player, a basketball guard who led his team to the playoffs and a soccer whiz will all be honored before the Wildcats’ home football game Friday, Oct. 11, against the Mount Pleasant Tigers.
A reception will be held for Lester Henley (Class of 1974), Shelby Bruhn (Class of 1994), Casey Osborn (Class of 1999) and Franki Jimmerson Cooper (Class of 2001) at 5:15 p.m. Oct. 11 in the Sulphur Springs High School conference room. Friends, family and Wildcat fans are invited to the reception.
The honorees will then be introduced on the field at Gerald Prim Stadium before the game.
Class of 1974
Lester Henley was one of the main reasons the Wildcats tied for first in zone in the 1973-74 year and went on to play in the district championship. He was a four-year starter at guard for the Wildcats, including being named All-District his sophomore, junior and senior seasons.
Henley was known for his play-making ability, not only by scoring but passing as well.
He was named Most Athletic in the senior class.
After his high school career, Henley played basketball at Kilgore Junior College.
He is currently married to Janice Henley, and has three children, Derrick, Chaster and Arin. He is a deacon at East Caney Baptist Church, where he teaches Sunday school and is also a part of the MLK event held annually.
Class of 1999
Casey Osborn was one of the top soccer players to come through Sulphur Springs High School, and becomes just the second primary soccer player (Andy Holt was the first) to be inducted into the Hall of Honor.
Osborn was a four-year letterman and starter for the Wildcats, and he also earned numerous accolades. He was an All-State and First Team All-Region selection his senior year and was named the team’s MVP. He was also the district Offensive MVP and was a two-year First Team All-District selection.
After high school, Osborn played a redshirt year at Tyler Junior College then transferred to Mary Hardin-Baylor, where he was a four-year letterman and starter. He was the UMHB Male Athlete of the Year in 2004 and was the team’s MVP in 2003. Additionally, he was an All-Conference player for three years.
After college, he played one year of semi-professional soccer with Tyler Threat in 2005.
Osborn has additionally made a name for himself as a soccer coach with a nine-year cumulative record of 154 wins, 36 losses and 23 ties. He is currently the head soccer coach at McKinney Boyd.
His coaching awards include leading a team to the state finals in 2009, when he was named the Dallas Morning News Soccer Coach of the Year. He has twice been the Region II Coach of the Year and a six-time district Coach of the Year selection.
Casey is married to Kelly Osborn and they have three children, Hayden, 11; William, 8; and Weston, 1.
Class of 1994
Shelby Bruhn was not just a multi-sport athlete at SSHS in the early-90s, he was also decorated in each sport.
A two-year letterman in football, he was named All-District quarterback, kicker and punter and was the team’s Co-MVP as a senior. He also set school records for most pass attempts without an interception (96), most rushing touchdowns in one season (19), most passing touchdowns in one season (14), most passing touchdowns all-time (16), most touchdowns accountable for in one season (33), most touchdowns accountable for all-time (37), most points scored in one season (168), most points scored all-time (224), best interception percentage for a season (0.023), and ranked second all-time in extra-points (63).
Bruhn was a three-year letterman in baseball, a two-time All-District second baseman and the team’s Co-MVP his senior season.
In soccer, he was named All-District at forward as he led the team in goals (16) and in assists (15). And once again, he was named Co-MVP his senior season.
He was also the Forrest Gregg Award winner in 1994.
After high school, Bruhn signed a full scholarship to play football at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M-Commerce). He played wide receiver and kicked as a true freshman until deciding to go to Bible College. After Bible College, he spent the next three years in full time ministry. After that, he received his degree in accounting from the University of Texas at Dallas. He is now the senior vice president and chief lending officer of Providence Bank of Texas in Southlake. He and his wife, Katie, live in Colleyville and are expecting their first child in January.
Franki Jimmerson Cooper
Class of 2001
Franki Jimmerson Cooper was a record-setting track and basketball athlete, and many of her records still stand.
She took third place in the state 400-meter dash as a senior and set the school record of 55.09 seconds in that race. She also placed eighth in the state event as a sophomore.
She holds the school record in the 100-meter dash of 12.08 seconds, has the school record in the long jump of 19 feet even, and was a member of the school-record 4x100-meter relay squad that ran a 48.40.
As a basketball player, Cooper set the school rebounding record of 902 and also scored 1,683 points, second all-time in school history. She was the district Newcomer of the Year as a freshman, Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore, Offensive Player of the Year as a junior, and Co-MVP as a senior.
She never lost a race in middle school in track and had 18 steals in one basketball game.
After high school, she received a scholarship to UT-El Paso, where she ran track and played basketball.
Cooper currently lives in Mesquite and works with special needs children at a Rockwall elementary school. She is married to Cornelius Cooper and has two children, Zia and Franklin.
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