Michael Phelps headlines first Towson High Athletics Hall of Fame class

Dase, Beeler, Thomas, Jones and Reynolds had standout careers with Generals

  • Michael Phelps topped off a brilliant international swimming career at the London Olympic Games last summer.
Michael Phelps topped off a brilliant international swimming… (File photo/2012 )
April 12, 2013

The inaugural class of the Towson High School Athletics Hall of Fame, featuring Michael Phelps (2003), Randy Dase (1972), Sue Beeler (1958), Billy Jones (1964), Jaimee Reynolds (1998) and Jack Thomas (1970), will be honored April 19 at halftime of the Hereford-Towson boys lacrosse game.

At 5:15 p.m., five minutes before the opening faceoff of the varsity game, a flagpole and plaque will be dedicated to Mike Godzik (1965), who died in 2008 and in whose name an annual award is given to a boys lacrosse player.

Phelps will be unable to attend the event, although he sent an email expressing his gratitude for being chosen.

"I am honored to be a part of the first class of the Towson High Athletics Hall of Fame," he said in an email. "It really means a lot to me to be recognized by my hometown.

"I set out to change the sport of swimming and to do something that nobody had ever done before, and thanks to a lot of hard work, dedication and a tremendous support system, I can say that I accomplished all that I wanted to do in my career. I am sorry that I will not be able to attend in person, but I would like to express my sincere thanks to the entire Towson community, city of Baltimore and state of Maryland for all of your support throughout my career. I am proud to say that I grew up in Towson, and will always call Baltimore home."

Sue Beeler (Class of 1958)

Sue Beeler was an avid athlete who played field hockey, basketball, and softball from 1956-1958 at Towson High. She was listed in the 1958 yearbook as "tops in all sports, barrels of fun, a college-bound academic, and a future gym teacher." This is exactly what she became.

After graduating from Towson she attended Western Maryland College where she became a standout in field hockey and basketball, earning high scorer honors in hockey in 1962. She was inducted in to the Western Maryland Hall of Fame in 1997.

Not long after returning to her high school alma mater, Beeler coached field hockey, softball, and lacrosse — a program she started and coached until 1996 when her team fell to Catonsville in the state championship game.

More than anything, being the daughter of former Johns Hopkins University lacrosse standout Henry Beeler, she loved lacrosse and enjoyed teaching it to others.

Sue Beeler lost her battle with cancer in 1997, the same year current Bryn Mawr coach Wendy Kridel guided the Generals to their only state lacrosse title.

The Towson Sports Boosters have established an annual award in her honor each year for the female athlete who best emulates her positive passion for sports participation.

Billy Jones (Class of 1964)

Billy Jones was a star on Towson basketball teams that recorded a 38-0 record from 1962-64 against county opponents and earned the school's only state championship (l963). The high-jumping forward was named the outstanding player of that title team, scoring a record of 58 points in 1963 and 73 points in 1964 in the playoffs. Jones, who also lettered in lacrosse two years, became the first black player at Towson.

After graduating in 1964, Jones turned down an offer to play basketball for the University of Michigan, opting to play for the University of Maryland instead while breaking the color barrier in the Atlantic Coast Conference. While at Maryland he played for legendary coach Bud Millikan and with future Maryland coach Gary Williams. He was later inducted in the Atlantic Coast Conference's Legend's Hall of Fame.

After graduating from college, Jones went on to a lengthy college basketball coaching career at American University, the University of California, Santa Barbara, Stanford University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Mr. Jones, who now resides in Florida with his wife Brenda and children Damian, Billy, and Karen, said that "My experiences at Towson High School provided a strong foundation and gave me the confidence to manage the many challenges that I experienced in college and during my professional career. During a very tough time of social unrest in American society, I was embraced and encouraged to pursue my aspirations. Towson High School taught me to be open to all peoples and to be a citizen of the world."

Jack Thomas (Class of 1970)

The son of legendary coach Bill "Bear" Thomas, Jack Thomas was an outstanding athlete at Towson High School, lettering in football, basketball, and lacrosse. Though he was the quarterback of the football team that won a county championship in 1969 and captain of the basketball team that finished second in the county twice, he was best known for his prowess as a lacrosse player. He led the Generals to three straight county championships in 1968, 1969, and 1970 and remains as the only Towson player to receive the C. Markland Kelly Award, give annually to the state's best lacrosse player. Thomas shared the Baltimore Sun's 1970 Prep Athlete of the Year honor with Dundalk High's Jeff Bradford.

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