Hall of Fame Class of 2022

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Martin Essary - Athlete

Class of 1977

Martin Essary graduated in the Monett Class of 1977. He was a high school 4-time letterman in wrestling. In 1974, Essary claimed Monett's first individual state championship and finished 4th as a team. He was also Monett's first 3-Time State Champion; 1975 at 98 lbs, 1976 at 105 lbs, and 1977 at 105 lbs. He hit a career record of 91-8-1 and was part of the 1977 3rd place State Team in Class A. 

"Goals are great to strive for, but friends will help you succeed in sports and in life." - Martin Essary

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Jack Fox - Athlete

Class of 1951

Jack Fox graduated from Monett in the Class of 1951. He lettered in football and basketball all four years of high school. Jack was also a tennis player. Fox was a distinguished athlete. During his senior year, he won the Big 8 Singles Championship. His team was also one of three high school teams to be undefeated (10-0) conference championship, including wins over Springfield and Jefferson City. At the end of his senior year, Jack was selected as a High School All-American. He was also invited to a High School All-American game in Oklahoma. 

Jack Fox attended the University of Missouri from 1951-1955. He played football and started in his first game as a freshman. Later, he started games in all four years, playing both ways as a halfback and defensive back. At the end of his college career, he decided to join the military and become a fighter pilot. 

Upon returning to Monett after serving in the military, Fox later began the first Monett Pee-Wee Football team and directed it for several years. Mr. Fox was an instrumental member of the Monett Schools Board of Education in 1968 when the Burl Fowler football stadium was approved and built. He recently served on the committee to raise funds to place artificial turf on the Burl Fowler Stadium. He and his wife made a generous donation toward this effort. 

Jack believes that sports created many life-changing opportunities that he wouldn't have had if it weren't for those programs, coaches, and teammates, which turned into lifelong friends. 

"I would like to thank the selection committee as well as the people that nominated me. Very gratifying to be awarded this honor." -Jack Fox 

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Alexia Johnson - Athlete

Class of 1994

Alexia Johnson graduated in the Monett Class of 1994. Shortly after Alexia started high school, she immediately signed up to play volleyball, basketball, and track. She continued playing these three sports until her senior year. 

In volleyball, Alexia earned three athletic letters, two All-Conference titles, one District title, and one All-State title. In basketball, she earned three athletic letters, three All conference titles, two District titles, and one All-State title. In Track, she earned three athletic letters, a Conference Champ Discuss title, a District Champ title, and 2nd place in State for shot put. 

After graduating from Monett, she went to Rockhurst University and played volleyball and basketball. 

"It is a great honor and a privilege to be inducted into the 2022 Athletics Hall of Fame. The memories created during my time spent as a Cub will forever be ingrained in my mind." - Alexia Johnson

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Melinda (Cox) Meredith - Athlete

Class of 1990

Melinda (Cox) Meredith is a Monett alumnus who graduated in the Class of 1990. Melinda was a four-year letterman in both basketball and volleyball. She earned an All-Conference title, an All-District title, and was the 1st Monett Volleyball All-State player. Melinda holds several records in both sports. Her Team accomplishments include a Conference title, District title, and 4th place State title. 

“I am humbled and honored to be inducted into the 2022 Monett Athletics Hall of Fame. Each sport I participated in was a team sport, and I graciously share this honor with my amazing teammates and coaches. Representing the Monett Lady Cubs athletic programs has always been a privilege. I am grateful for this honor.” -Melinda Meredith 

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David Beckett - Contributor

Class of 1970

Dave Beckett graduated from Monett in the Class of 1970. His broadcasting career as a color analyst for Monett High School sporting events spans over five decades. He began broadcasting for Monett in 1983. His early highlights included being behind the microphone at the Hearnes Center in Columbia broadcasting the Monett M Lady Cubs basketball games at Show Me Showdown in 1984, 1985, and 1986. Beckett was also a color analyst on the radio when Monett resumed playing baseball in the spring of 1988 and the start of the girl's softball program in 1998. Beckett has been a color analyst with play-by-play broadcaster Mike McClure since 1985. When McClure Broadcasting, LLC was started in 2009, Beckett remained with his longtime broadcasting partner. His recent broadcasting highlights include the 2016 football season when the Cubs won their third state title in school history, and the following year the Monett softball program won their first state title in school history in October 2017. Beckett was also a Monett R-1 School’s board member for 13 years, proudly serving the school district of his alma mater.

 "The Monett R-1 School District has always been a special place for me. I am honored to be nominated and inducted into the Monett Athletics Hall of Fame." -Dave Beckett

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Burl Fowler - Coach

Coach 1967-1974

Burl Fowler was Monett's head football, track, and wrestling coach from 1967-1974. During his tenure at Monett, the Monett 1971 football team won the Big 10 Conference Championship and Class 2A State Football Championship with a perfect 12-0 undefeated season. The Monett Football team improved immensely under his leadership. In the decade that preceded Fowler's arrival at Monett, the Cubs posted a 33-62-8 mark and only had two winning seasons. During Fowler's eight-year reign, Monett went 59-22, winning 72.8 percent of their games, including the 1971 State title, cruising to a 37-8 victory over South Shelby.

Burl understood the importance of multiple sports participation and made it a requirement for his athletes. He saw the need to bring in new athletic programs to Monett. He convinced the Monett administration at the time to start the wrestling program in Monett.  

Burl was inducted into the Missouri Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in February 1999. 

Burl Fowler’s son, Doug Fowler, will be receiving the plaque and ring in his father’s name.