Henry Lund has been part of the chain gang at Dwight High School football games for the past 41 years.
‘’We’ve had some cold nights, I’ll tell you,’’ the 83-year-old Lund said. “We always dress warm.’’
Warm feelings will fill the Dwight gymnasium Friday night when Lund will be among the individuals inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Other inductees to be honored between the junior varsity and varsity basketball games will be Marion Asa (deceased), an All-Star football player from the Class of 1937; the undefeated 1962 football team; Curt Christenson, a 1968 graduate and three-sport standout; and Stephanie Simms, the 2003 Class A 3,200-meter run champion.
“It really is such a cool thing to be able to research this, especially the older athletes, the pioneers at Dwight,’’ athletic director Ryan Kemp said. “It makes you more proud of the athletic department, what came before.’’
Each inductee will be presented with a plaque during the midcourt ceremony and another plaque for each individual will be displayed at the school.
For Lund, it will be a culmination of countless hours he has spent volunteering at the school, including being a ticket taker at basketball games for 38 years.
“It’s unreal, to be inducted into something like this,’’ said Lund, a 1948 Dwight graduate. “That’s got to be the top of the ladder.’’
Through all the years and all the football games, Lund hasn’t been bowled over by any wayward players heading out of bounds.
“I’ve always been quick enough to get out of the way,’’ he said.
Lund started on the football chain gang when his son, Todd, one of eight children, was playing football at Dwight in 1972. Lund said a highlight of his time on the sidelines was being selected to work on the crew for the 1989 Class 1A state championship game.
“That was great, to get a chance to do something like that,’’ he said.
Christenson, 63, was an All-State football and basketball player and ran track at Dwight before continuing his athletic success at Western Illinois.
“My favorite sport was the sport I was playing, but my favorite was probably football,’’ he said.
Christenson scored 25 touchdowns his senior year at Dwight, gaining eight yards a carry and 15 yards per catch to lead an undefeated team. He averaged 17 points a game for the basketball team that won conference and regional championships.
“Christenson was one of the best athletes to walk the halls at Dwight,’’ Kemp said.
At Western Illinois, Christenson was the MVP of the football team his junior year. The Quarterback Club at the school gives an award in his name.
Christenson recently retired after 38 years of teaching and coaching, many at University High in Normal. Having already joined his father, Kenny, in Western’s Hall of Fame, Christenson appreciates the honor of being selected.
“It’s great,’’ he said. “I haven’t been to the high school in a while, so that will be nice. My kids and grandkids are coming. It’s important to me. High school was an awesome time.’’
Simms, an All-Stater in cross country, attended Gardner-South Wilmington and ran on the Dwight co-op track team. In addition to the 3,200 meters state title, Simms was second in the 1,600 before moving on to Illinois.