Prosper ISD hall of honor recognizes past athletes

By Aubrey Turner
For the Prosper Press

Members of the community gathered for a luncheon January 7th to honor three individual award winners and a former Prosper basketball team. These recipients were selected because of their athletic ability, as well having a community and leadership spirit in their sport and throughout their high school careers.  This is the third year of the Hall of Honor program.  

The first person selected was Dan Christie.  Effie Christie, Christie’s daughter, received the award for her late father. 

“My dad grew up in Prosper and played all sports, but truly loved football,” Christie said.  “After he graduated he went into coaching.  As time went on, my dad decided to sell real estate over the summer and he eventually decided to sell real estate full time.  A dream of my dad’s was to have a full time sports program.  So my dad got a YMCA team together and would drive the kids to the games in a limousine.  He loved to make things fun like that.” 

“Later in life, my dad was willing to sponsor any sports team that asked him,” Christie said.  “He was so proud that there is a track and field event here in Prosper, and we are all so pleased that it is still going 23 years later.”   

Softball player Kelly Ninemire Gatwood, 2004 graduate, was the second inductee into the Hall of Honor.  Gatwood set several records and won awards as a pitcher for Prosper.  She pitched three perfect games her senior year.   

Gatwood spoke about how sports have influenced her and impacted her as an adult. 

“This whole town rallied behind us, when we were playing our games,” Gatwood said.  “The game of softball has given me so much, and I know this is partially because we were supported here in Prosper.  Building relationships through sports is one of the reasons I have chosen a career in which I am still connected to softball today.  There really is a unique power that sports has, bringing people together and being a source of pride,i nspiration, and conversation in communities everywhere.”   

The final individual inductee was Laura Henry Gulick who played soccer and ran track, and was known as a team leader while at Prosper. 

“I can not even begin to tell you the hours and hours of training I did while I was in high school,” Gulick said.  “I wanted to be able to be better at the games I loved to play.  The drive and determination it takes to compete at the highest level can be both lonely and exhausting at times.  But it helped shape me into the person I am today, and I am so grateful.”   

The team honored at this ceremony was the 1923 Prosper High School Women’s Basketball Team.  This team was undefeated for five years, including winning the Silver Loving Cup against Melissa.  Many of the founding families of Prosper were related to the women on this team.  

Jackie Hughes received the award on behalf of his late grandmother Oberia Johnson Hughes. 

“It is important to remember the past these women and others worked so hard to build the Town,” Hughes said.  “For so long it was 500 people and seven streets.  It is important to remember these folks who made the foundation of Prosper.”  

“It means everything in the world to celebrate my grandmother in this way,” Hughes said.  “I remember my grandmother showing us her knees, still all with scars all those years later from playing on a rock court.  These women on this team were both kind and tough.  They led this town.   It is important to remember them and follow in their footsteps.”