1997 GRHS 200 Freestyle Relay Team
One of Green River High School’s most decorated teams is not one that most would immediately think of. None-the-less, this team has held its own over the years and is still holding records across the state. That team is the 1997 GRHS 200 Freestyle Relay Team consisting of four wolves; Dustin Robbins, Ben Britton, Matthew Docktor, and Mike Moody. Britton was a junior while the rest of this Relay Team were seniors that year.
Their head coach, who is also an inductee this year, Randy Walker, was an absolutely amazing mentor to these four boys as they strived for the best from themselves as well as their teammates. Their best was the states best for 17 years. At the ‘97 state meet, these boys not only won the relay to go down in their school’s history, but they broke the previous state record with their time and held on to the record for far over a decade. With this time, the boys reached All-American status and were ranked 9th in the nation at the time of their swim.
Although this state record was eventually broken by some boys from Evanston, it still stands as the best time to come out of Green River High School for this event.
1927 GRHS Football Team
There have only been two football teams in the history of Green River High School to win the state championship with an undefeated season record. The team that started it all was the 1927 State Football Team. The coach was Robert Huey with Captain Kenneth Peters, they led the team that consisted of Ross Davis, Eddie Mucho, Norman Nolan, Donald Nicoll, William Pons, Milton Maynard, Francis Higginson, George Weir, Ernest King, Darrell Thrasher, Grant Morck, Roy Peterson, Donald Kellogg, Clyde Doak, and William Rood.
This team played 9 man football instead of the more common 11 man game. Playing their rival, Rock Springs High School, twice within the same season brought on stress and turmoil to the team, but this did not waiver their ever high spirits. Dominating over the Tigers twice in the season only made this team more aware of their hopeful impending glory of the state.
The Wolves played Hanna, Rawlins, Superior, and Rock Springs during the season with shut outs. They played a second game with Rock Springs beating them 13-3 as well as a second game against Superior with a win of 12-6. This ended their season with a 6-0 record.
This team’s undefeated record stood for 77 years, until Green River’s 2004 football team went undefeated in their season winning 11 total games including the state championship.
Nancy Raso Eklund was born August 18th, 1952 in Austin, Minnosota. She graduated in 1970 from Pacelli HIgh School, then went on to Saint Cloud State University. Nancy graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and Special Education, as well as a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Development and Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado.
Teaching was her true purpose where she taught in Sweetwater County School District #2 for 43 years until she retired in 2017. She also coached volleyball at the high school, as well as basketball and swimming at Monroe.
Nancy was the Executive Director of the Wyoming Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (WAHPHERD) from 1996 to 2019. Her favorite accomplishments and associations she partook in were; Shape America, Disney Teacher of the Year in 1996, Fuel Up to Play 60, American Heart Association, Jump Rope for Heart/ Hoops for Heart, Wellness Director, PEP Grant Director, Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport, and the Wyoming Health Standards Writing Team.
Nancy was a simple woman and to her the good life was relaxing with a good book. Nancy thought of everyone as family, many looked to her as their safe place. Her favorite things were her family and having those she loved in her home to enjoy Italian food. Being by the water made her feel young again as she grew up a competitive swimmer. Nancy truly loved to travel, especially to baseball fields. Coming home to Flaming Gorge Days or camping in the mountains is when she truly felt happiness.
Randy Walker was born in Fort Riley, Kansas. He graduated high school in Watertown, South Dakota in 1972. He graduated from Dakota State University in 1976 and began his teaching and coaching career in 1974 as a summer AAU club swim coach in Watertown. Walker was recruited and named swimming head high school boys coach and swimming instructor at Green River High School in the fall of 1979.
During the 1979-2004 school years, he coached GRHS swim teams bringing home Conference Runner Up 6 times, 17 Conference Championships, 10 Dual Meet Conference Championships, achieved 9 State Runner-Ups Finishes, and 2 High School 4A Boys Championships. He also coached 5 All-Americans. During the 1981 school year, Walker was named Sweetwater County Jaycee Young Educator of the year. He has also been named Conference Coach of the Year several times, State Coach of the Year in 2002, and Green River Distinguished Citizen of the Year in 2015.
During his years at Sweetwater County School District #2, he was also an Assistant Coach for 2 Undefeated Middle School Football teams. Randy assisted Track & Field and saw the girls team win the 4A Track and Field State Championship. He helped coach many events, but his personal favorite was pole vault. He coached the first ever Green River high school girl vaulters. Randy had a hand in coaching both State and Conference Vault Champions. Some of those athletes still hold the school records today at GRHS. Mr. Walker also coached Middle Distance Runners and Cross Country. He served as a Green River City Council Member and a Sweetwater County Commissioner. He had a hand in creating Adventure Challenge for kids that ran for 20 years.
He continues to work with a great board, swimmers, and the staff of the Sweetwater Aquatic Team. SWAT is a club team composed of athletes in Green River, Lyman, and Rock Springs. They recently brought home there 2nd state club title in their second year of existence. Walker was named Wyoming Club Coach of the Year in 2018.
One person that is being inducted this year has stood out for many years in our wonderful community. That person is Mr. Gary Cain. Gary graduated from Lincoln High School, to be renamed later as Green River High School, in 1958.
Prior to attending Lincoln High School, Gary was an instigator of play activities at his elementary school. He organized childhood baseball games in the streets for both boys and girls, he would throw together football games at the school or in his neighborhood, and he would organize sledding on Beebe hill. Being a Boy Scout and a part of Troop 12, Gary took his organizing skills from these sports to the Troop. He attended scout camps at New Fork Lake where he once again educated the boys in swimming, canoeing, crafts, and learning to shoot.
Always a leader and a friend, Gary was also a part of his church’s youth group. He took part in Christmas skits and sang in the choir. He was also a member of his school’s band, played as many sports as he could in junior high, and eventually lettered in high school football, basketball, and track. Gary was involved in school plays, gatherings around town (that most of the time he organized), and many other events. However, this town couldn’t hold in all of his vibrant enthusiasm, which lead him to join the military.
Cain joined the Navy soon after his high school graduation where he lead a very successful career until his retirement from the Service. This lead him into other adventures and guidings, one of which was being a full participating partner in starting and maintaining the Lincoln High Mirth and Missives, a weekly newsletter that goes out to many Green River and Lincoln High School graduates.
Gary has been an avid supporter of many things in this community, including the Green River High School Hall of Fame. Never nominating himself, he has written numerous letters to the Hall of Fame Committee nominating others from the community. He is a testament to our school, community, and a truly compassionate individual.
Not only does Gary promote many programs through Mark Hoffman’s Mirths and Missives, he also attends most, if not all, of the events and functions that he promotes.
Cheryl Ann Chew Packham
Cheryl Ann Chew Packham graduated from Green River High School with the class of 2000. Cheryl attended Western Wyoming Community College where she majored in Computer Information Systems. She soon joined the Wyoming National Guard 1041th Engineering Company just prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US, which would be her third semester of college. While serving in the Army National Guard, Cheryl was promoted and was often recognized for her outstanding leadership, morale boosting, and dedication. Cheryl spent several years balancing a civilian life and a military life as the operations of Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom were in full force. She served over in Iraq from 2006-2007.
Cheryl returned from deployment with several issues and injuries, however, she was very dedicated to the cause. She received many awards and commendations, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Action Army Badge, Achievement Medal, Meritorious United Commendation Award, and a Purple Heart. Signing up for a leadership course just two weeks after returning home, Cheryl showed that she was passionate about becoming the best leader she could be. She also earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from the University of Wyoming in 2016.
Moving to Surprise, Arizona, Cheryl opened up Codobe. Codobe is a technologically driven, flexible, and affordable work space with meeting rooms where people can work on growing their businesses. She started Codobe to encourage entrepreneurship in smaller communities and give people affordable space to collaborate, do more, and become inspired. She is also serving on the Committee for 1 Million Cups - Phoenix West Valley, where she works with other team members to create a community focused on the support of entrepreneurs.