By Havre Daily News Sports Staff
Four individuals will be inducted into the the Montana State University-Northern Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday during the Northern Alumni Games on the MSU-Northern campus.
The induction ceremonies are scheduled for the halftime of the women's alumni basketball game. In honor of the honorees, the public is invited to a reception will also be on Saturday from 1-3 p.m. which also will be hosted by the Northern Alumni Association and be held in Donaldson Commons.
The hall of fame inductions honor a 74-year tradition of excellence both in the classroom and on the playing field. Since it's inception in 1994, forty-four outstanding coaches and athletes have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. This year the honorees are: Sheila Green-Gerding, an All-Conference Skylight basketball player, Jason Liles, a two-time national championship wrestling coach and two Northern basketball standouts from the 1930's, Arnold M. Reed and J. Worth Timmons.
Sheila Green-Gerding is the all-time leading scorer in the Skylight basketball program. A highly sought-after player in high school, she was an impact player as a freshman and a three-year starter for the most successful women's basketball program in Frontier Conference history.
During her four years at Northern, the Skylights won four Frontier Conference Championships and made four trips to the National Tournament with a record of 126 wins and 12 losses. In the 1990 national tournament, Green-Gerding finished third in the three-point shootout.
An academic all-conference player for two years, she was known for her work ethic and her leadership. Green-Gerding earned all-conference honors in three of her four years. In 1992, she was the District 12 MVP and the Frontier Conference co-MVP when the team was ranked no. 1 in NAIA Division II. She was also named an NAIA II Kodak all-American.
After graduating from Northern, she worked as a graduate assistant coach at MSU-Billings for three years followed by a year in New Zealand playing semi-professional basketball. She was recognized as a New Zealand Top Five all-star. She returned to finish her master's degree in school counseling and took the head women's basketball coaching position at Minot State where she has coached for the last eight years.
In her first season, the team won its first-ever conference title and went to the NAIA II National Tournament for the first time in school history. Since then, Minot has repeated as champion twice. Last season, they finished second in the DAC-10, losing in the conference championship game.
Jason Liles was a 1979 graduate of Bowling Green State University in Ohio. As a four-year starter, Liles finished with more wins than any wrestler in school history. He was named the Most Valuable Wrestler his last three seasons.
In 1982, he earned his master's degree at Miami University where he was the assistant wrestling coach and helped develop three NCAA Division I All-Americans.
Liles became the head wrestling coach at Northern Montana College in 1984. During his nine years at Northern, his teams won back-to-back NAIA national championships in 1991 and 1992 and finished second in 1990 and 1993. He recruited and developed six wrestlers who captured individual national titles, 41 wrestlers garnered All-American honors, and eight were named academic all-Americans.
Liles left Northern for South Dakota State University in 1994, but he left the program in position to recruit and build on the past success. The program has continued to excel and now has a total of six national team championships, 18 individual national champions, 119 All-Americans and 15 academic All-Americans.
His protgs have enriched the coaching ranks of Montana's prep programs with many selected as coach of the year in their respective leagues. In his first year with SDSU, his team earned its highest national finish in 25 years, placing fourth in the NCAA Division II with two individual national champions. In 2001, the team placed second at the national tournament and he was named coach of the year. Last year, the team placed third at the national tournament and it was the school's eighth-straight top-five finish. The program has produced 37 All-Americans, 11 National Champions, 29 all-academic selections while three wrestlers have been named outstanding wrestler at the national tournament.
Arnold M. Reed and J. Worth Timmons played basketball for Northern Montana College from 1936-38 - a time when the game of basketball was still evolving. Typical game scores were 58-34, 50-31, 41-25. Still, the two inductees were head and shoulders above their peers in the fledgling small college basketball programs in Montana.
At 6-2 Arnold M. Reed was considered a big guard for the times. In 1938, his last year at NMC, he was the team's leading scorer and the leading scorer of the Small College Conference (SCC). He scored a total of 194 points - 38 more than his closest rival that year - and was named Most Outstanding Player in the conference by the Montana Collegiate Coaches Association. Reed was also a member of the Lights track team.
After graduating from NMC with a two-year engineering degree, he transferred to Montana State College in Bozeman, Montana where he became a defensive standout for the Bobcats from 1938-1940. He chose not to play his last year of eligibility to take a teaching and coaching job at Stanford High School, where he taught math and science and coached all of the sports offered at the school. Reed continued to compete in various invitational tournaments, and in 1947 he played on the top Pacific Northwest team, the Alpine Dairy, when it placed fourth out of 64 teams at the National Amateur Athletic Union tournament in Denver, Colo.
During his career he played against such notable players as Bob Kurland, a 7-foot center from the University of Oklahoma, Hank Luisette from Stanford University, who introduced the one-handed shot to the game of basketball, Jim Pollard, Ace Grueing, Bud Browning and the original Harlem Globetrotters. Reed retired from playing in 1949, but began a lifetime of assisting at basketball games. For many years until he retired in 1992, Reed was the official scorekeeper at many games. He still keeps time, picks place winners at Billings' track meets, and is a timer and judge for the Big Sky State Games.
For more than 35 years, he has worked with Montana schools and universities as the Jostens' representative and is credited for helping build the Jostens company, which provides yearbooks, class ring and graduation merchandise to schools. He was named to the Jostens' President's Cabinet for his outstanding sales. For 17 continuous years, he was the guest speaker at the annual salesman's awards banquet. He was president of the Pacific Northwest Shrine Association, the oldest in North America, and chaired the fundraising committee to build the Masonic Center in Billings. Active in Kiwanis, he was a member of the Golden "K" Club. In 1997, the Billings community recognized him with a Celebration of Life Award for distinguished service.
J. Worth Timmons was born in Havre and grew up an avid sportsman, participating in fishing, hunting and bowling, but it was in baseball and basketball where he distinguished himself. As a teenager, he won a batting title at a competition camp in Missoula and received a bat that had been signed by Babe Ruth. Timmons competed for Havre High School on the football and basketball teams.
An outstanding athlete for Northern, Timmons played first base for the baseball team and was known for his defense and his home runs.
In baskektball, he was named the Most Outstanding Center by the Montana Collegiate Coaches Association in his last year of competition for NMC. In addition to being voted to every All-Conference team, the Havre native finished that year as the eighth leading scorer in the conference with 121 points, in a tie with teammate Edward Morrison.
Under the guidance of first-year coach, the legendary R.V. "Sandy" Sandven, the All-Conference duo Timmons at center and Reed at guard led the team to the SCC Co-Championship in 1938 with Billings Poly (now Rocky Mountain College). A stalwart on defense, Timmons led the team in rebounds and shots blocked and was also the assist leader with many of his passes finding the hands of Reed.
The son of well-known Havre and Hill County residents, R. C. "Doc" and Clara Timmons, Worth studied engineering at Northern and in 1939 he was hired by the Montana Highway Department as a survey assistant. He joined the army in 1940 and was stationed in Seattle when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He served until 1946 in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in an artillery battalion and participated in the Battle of the Bulge in Germany.
After the war, he resumed his career with the Montana Highway Department. In 1949 he was transferred to Shelby as a project engineer. He often played basketball for the Shelby town team and als developed a passion for golf. He returned to Havre in 1967 to complete his career. Retiring in 1979, he and his wife Florence (McGuinn) moved to Arizona for an extended retirement of golf and travel. Worth Timmons passed away Dec. 2, 2002, at the age of 84, in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.