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Hillman inducts new classes into Sports Hall of Fame

News Photo by James Andersen Hillman High School inducted two new classes into its Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday. Pictured left to right are: Jessica Tebo, Tim Jones, Todd Dodge, and Julie Jones (representing Roger Jones Sr.). Jones Sr. and Dodge were part of the 2020 class and Tim Jones and Tebo made up the 2021 class.

HILLMAN — In his athletic career, Tim Jones built quite a resume.

In his time at Hillman High School, Jones was a state champion in baseball, an all-conference selection in three sports, a regional track qualifier, and an accomplished basketball player.

Jones’ resume earned him a spot in the Hillman High School Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, but what made the moment even more special was Jones was inducted with family.

Jones was inducted into the Hall of Fame along with his uncle, Roger Jones, Sr., Todd Dodge, and Jessica Tebo at Hillman as part of the seventh and eighth Hall of Fame classes.

Roger Jones and Dodge were part of the 2020 class and Tebo and Tim Jones comprised the 2021 class.

Roger Jones Sr., a 1978 graduate, was an all-state Class D pitcher and considered the ace on teams that won three district titles. During his career, he earned all-North Star League honors in baseball, basketball, and football. He also participated in cheerleading and eventually earned a baseball scholarship to Central Arkansas.

Jones Sr., who passed away in 2012, was revered on the diamond for his pitching abilities — especially his speedy fastball and knuckleball — and remembered for his passion for Hillman athletics.

“Our family considers this to be an incredible honor in memory of my father for all of his accomplishments during his time at Hillman High School,” Jones’ daughter Natalie said. “Dad, this town and your family miss you so much. We love you and are incredibly proud to accept this award on your behalf.”

Dodge, a 1997 graduate, was an all-stater in both football and baseball, who went on to play at Adrian College.

At Hillman, Dodge was a two-time Golden Helmet Recipient, a member of two baseball state championship teams in 1994 and 1997, and a state-runner-up in 1995. During his career, he earned 12 varsity letters and numerous all-conference awards in football, basketball, and baseball.

“(I had) a lot of great years here in Hillman, a lot of supportive people. A lot of faces up here I hadn’t seen in years,” Dodge said.

Tebo, a 2007 graduate, was lauded as one of Hillman’s best all-around athletes after a decorated career. Her father, Curt Tebo, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.

Jessica Tebo earned 11 letters at Hillman, was all-conference on softball, basketball, and volleyball, and was an all-state honorable mention in softball. In softball, she was named all-state, all-region, and all-academic. She was also named the North Star League MVP and was on conference and district championship teams.

In basketball, Tebo still ranks among the school’s all-time leaders in assists for a season and a game. She later went on to play for Alpena Community College in softball and baseball.

During her induction speech, Tebo said she sought advice on what to say and was told to talk about a favorite or a coach or teammate.

She soon realized that would prove difficult.

“In doing that, what I realized is how incredibly lucky I am because I can’t choose, it literally wouldn’t be fair. I cannot name a single coach who hasn’t pushed me…or encouraged me or showed me respect in some form. I cannot name a teammate who didn’t work their butt off alongside right of me. I cannot think of a family member who hasn’t fully supported me my entire life,” Tebo said.

Tim Jones, a 1992 graduate, was part of Hillman’s first state baseball championship team in 1992 and earned 11 total letters.

At Hillman, he was an all-stater in baseball and basketball, earned all-conference honors in baseball, basketball, and football, and was a regional track qualifier.

He still ranks among Hillman’s all-time leaders in scoring, assists, and scoring average in basketball and was part of Hillman’s football playoff team in 1990.

During his induction speech, Jones pulled out several hats and T-shirts celebrating Hillman’s accomplishments in baseball and football; gifts made to commemorate a successful season.

Jones said mementos like those show just how important community support of athletics is.

“Through that all was the support of my community. The town was there, the escorts in and out of town. The town was empty (when we went down (to Battle Creek)),” Jones said. “I show all that because the support was amazing.”

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