BIG PINEY – The Big Piney Athletic Hall of Fame board inducted three new members – Bill Tanner, Steve Hughes and Jace Marx – during its annual banquet at the Marbleton Senior Center on Saturday, Sept. 24.
The ceremony also honored four 2022 Big Piney High School (BPHS) Distinguished Alumni – Kenna Tanner, Casey Osborn, Jenna Chandler Banks and K.C. Lehr.
Joel Eskelsen, a member of the Hall of Fame board, presented the Appreciation Award to Margy Hawley for more than 36 years of service with the Sublette County School District No. 9 (SCSD9).
Kenna Tanner, Class of 1988
Bill Lehr introduced Tanner, the current coordinator at Tip Top Search and Rescue. During her junior year at BPHS, Tanner attended a workshop on athletic training and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in physical education and health with a minor in athletic training.
In 1994, Tanner joined the SCSD9 team as a teacher and coach. She volunteered with Big Piney’s Search and Rescue and worked full-time for Big Piney EMS. She was selected to coordinate search-and-rescue operations for the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office in 2013.
The University of Wyoming Hall of Fame inducted Tanner into the organization in 2022.
“A large part of the success of Tip Top Search and Rescue can be attributed to Kenna’s leadership, knowledge and understanding of backcountry rescue,” wrote Sheriff K.C. Lehr. “I would rank our search-and-rescue team among the top in the nation, if not the world, and Kenna is at the upper echelon.”
Casey Osborn, Class of 1974
Zach Wenz presented Osborn at the ceremony.
Osborn was the first in his family to attend college. He graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with a civil engineering degree in 1979 after paying his way through college laboring as a roughneck.
Osborn worked as an engineer for Chevron, Gary Energy in Montana and Hunt Energy in Oklahoma before moving back to Big Piney to join Green River Basin Well Service.
In 2000, Osborn founded EMIT Technologies with his wife, Sue Osborn, in Sheridan, Wyo. The company designs catalytic converters for compressor drive engines.
Osborn “always found time to work for community improvements,” Wenz said.
Osborn designed and developed the recreation area behind the old Big Piney High School. He is a member of the Sheridan Recreation Board, Sheridan Senior Center Hub board, First Light Early Childhood Education board, the Provision Fund and a cofounder of the Seven Pillars Foundation.
Jenna Chandler Banks, Class of 1987
BPHS Principal Jeff Makelky honored Banks, a veteran educator with 31 years of service in the field and a math teacher at BPHS for 24 years.
“Teachers make things happen,” Makelky said, and described Banks as a “true facilitator of education,” leading a dynamic classroom where students are encouraged to teach math concepts to their fellow pupils.
Banks teaches college algebra through Western Wyoming Community College, chairs the BPHS mathematics curriculum team and serves as a peer mentor advisor and senior class sponsor.
Banks earned the BPHS Teacher of the Quarter Award four times. The SCSD9 leadership selected Banks as District Teacher of the Year in 2017.
Banks coordinates the National Trig-Star Competition at BPHS and received the organization’s Richard E. Lomax National Teaching Excellence Award in 2015.
Banks received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in teaching at the University of Wyoming.
K.C. Lehr, Class of 1993
Louann Heydt introduced Sublette County Sheriff K.C. Lehr.
Lehr “influenced many young people” in Big Piney and “gives accolades to this community for teaching him the value of hard work, sacrifice and to always assist those in need,” Heydt said.
Lehr attended Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D., graduating with a degree in criminology. He completed studies at the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy in Phoenix and worked as a policeman in Mojave County, Arizona.
The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office hired Lehr as an investigative officer in 2003. Lehr was first appointed Sublette County Sheriff and then voters elected him sheriff in 2016.
Lehr is a Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA) certified basketball and track official and volunteers at the Special Olympics.
Athletic Hall of Fame
Bill Tanner, Class of 1984
Mack Rawhouser introduced Tanner, a multi-sport athlete.
During Tanner’s sophomore year in basketball, the Punchers earned the Southwest Conference and Regional Tournament championships and were the Wyoming State Basketball Tournament runner-ups.
The following year, the Punchers earned the Southwest Conference and Regional Tournament championships and the consolation championship at State.
Tanner scored 616 points over his varsity career at BPHS and he helped the Punchers win 51 games.
Tanner earned All-Conference and All-State honors from the Wyoming Coaches Association (WCA) as a junior and senior.
The Casper Star-Tribune named Tanner to its “Super 25” and “Cream of the Crop” lists. Tanner participated in the WCA’s inaugural North-South All-Star game.
Tanner also started for the BPHS football team and played quarterback for a year.
Tanner continues to serve the community as a member of the SCSD9 Board of Trustees.
Steve Hughes, Class of 1991
Hughes was an “all around athlete garnering individual and team honors in all sports” at BPHS, said Eskelsen.
As a football player, Hughes was selected to the Rocky Mountain All-Conference team and received All-State honors as a junior and senior. The Puncher football team won the Conference Championships in 1988 and 1990 and the 1988 State Championship. Hughes played in the 1991 Shrine Bowl.
In basketball, Hughes made the Rocky Mountain All-Conference team.
As a track athlete, Hughes captured gold at State as a member of the Puncher 4x400-relay team. He earned a ticket to the Meet of Champions in the high jump. Hughes’ mark of 6 feet, 3 inches, is one of the top eight performances in all Wyoming high school classifications.
Hughes was a member of the National Honor Society and received numerous WHSAA academic awards.
Jace Marx, Class of 2015
Bill Lehr described Marx as a “tremendous young man” in indoor and outdoor track. Marx excelled in sprinting and relays and finished his BPHS career with seven individual State championships, more than any other Puncher athlete in all sports to date.
Competing in indoor track, Marx made history as the first Puncher to break into the finals at the Simplot Games at Idaho State University.
Marx set BPHS outdoor track records in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes and earned gold in each event at State his senior year.
During his career on the University of Wyoming indoor and outdoor track team, Marx clocked the eighth-fastest time in the 200-meter as a member of UW’s record-breaking 4x400-relay team. He holds the school’s sixth-fastest times in the 100- and 200-meter sprints.
Marx received All Mountain West Indoor Track, All Mountain West Conference honors and All Mountain West academic honors in 2017, 2018 and 2019.