Six new inductees added to Wayne High School Athletics Hall of Fame

January 28, 2020

Wayne Hall of Fame

Wayne Hall of Fame

Wayne Hall of Fame

Wayne Hall of Fame

Wayne High School added six new names to its Athletics Hall of Fame during a ceremony January 24 at the school. Christopher Brautzsch, Deon Mitchell, Brionna Thomas, Al Harants, Phil Morey and David Torres were all honored for their contributions to Wayne athletics. The six hall-of-famers were introduced during the boys and girls basketball doubleheader, and were honored during a reception earlier in the evening.


Wayne High School Athletic Hall of Fame 2020 Inductees

Christopher Brautzche (Athlete): Christopher Brautzche compiled numerous track accomplishments during his time as a Wayne General. Christopher was the SAC Champion in 110m hurdles in 2005 and 2006, SAC Champion in 300m hurdles in 2006, Sectional Champion 100m hurdles 2006, Sectional Champion 300m hurdles 2006, Regional Champion 110m hurdles 2005 and 2006. Christopher won the North Side Relays High Point Award in 2006 and the Goshen Relays High Point Award in 2006. Christopher was a three time all state finisher in 2004, 2005, and 2006 and two time Indiana State Champion in 2005 and 2006. He ran lead leg on 4x100m relay team at the Indiana State Championship posting the time of 41.95 seconds in 2005. Christopher earned an Indiana State Championship in the 100m hurdles posting the time of 13.82 seconds in 2006 and won the Robert S. Hinshaw Mental Attitude Award for outstanding scholarship, leadership and athletic ability in 2006. Christopher continued his career at the University of Louisville where he was a three time All-Big East finisher 2006-2008 and finished 3rd place in the 110m hurdles in 2007 at the Outdoor Big East Championship. He continued his collegiate career at Indiana Tech where he had three NAIA All-American finishes in 2009-2011 and finished 3rd at NAIA Indoor Nationals in the 60m hurdles posting a time of 8.05 seconds in 2011. Christopher currently serves as a patrolman with the Fort Wayne Police Department.

Deon Mitchell (Athlete): Deon Mitchell was a football and track star at Wayne High School. In the 1992 season, Deon scored 15 TD’s, was named Second Team All-SAC, and finished the season as 4A State Runner-ups. In 1993, Deon scored 20 TD’s, was named First Team All-SAC, named All State at three different positions, and played in the Indiana All-Star game. Deon’s track accomplishments include Varsity 4X400 7th place finish at Indiana State Finals in 1992, Varsity 4X100 North Side relay champs, Goshen relay champs, Sectional champs, Regional 2nd place finish, 4th place at the Indiana State finals, Varsity 4x400 All SAC, North Side relay champs, Goshen relay champs, Sectional champs, Regional 2nd place finish, and 5th place finish at the Indiana State Finals (1993). In 1994, Deon’s track accomplishments included Varsity 4x100 North Side relay champs, SAC champs, Goshen relay champs, Sectional champs, Regional champs, Varsity 4x400 North Side relay champs, SAC champs, Goshen relay champs, Sectional champs, Varsity 100m North Side relay champs, SAC champs, Goshen relay champs, and Regional champs. Deon went on to play football at Northern Illinois (1994-1998) and earned 2nd Team All-Independent (1996) and the Vern Smith Award nominee MVP in MAC conference (1997 and 1998). He was named 1st Team All-MAC conference as kick returner (1997), Playboy best of the rest All-American as kick returner (1997), and 2nd team All-MAC conference as wide receiver and kick returner (1998). Deon finished college as the all-time leader in All-Purpose yards in the history of NIU with the most career and singles season kick return yards and attempts in NIU history (1998). Deon was a member of Northern Illinois University top 50 greatest players of all time (1998) and signed free agent with the San Diego Chargers (1999). Deon played for the Dallas Cowboys (NFL) in 1999-2000, Scotland Claymores (NFL Europe) 2000, Las Vegas Outlaws (XFL) 2001 and Grand Rapids Rampage (AFL) 2001-2002.

Brionna Thomas (Athlete): BrionnaThomas ran Track and Field throughout her four years at Wayne High School, graduating in 2014. While competing for Wayne, Brionna became a 12x SAC Champion, 11x Sectional Champion, 12x Regional Champion and won 4 individual State Championships, (2) in the 100 and (2) in the 200 meter dash.  She also was a 2013 USATF Junior National Champion in the 100m, 200m and the 400 meter relay.  Brionna currently holds 4 Wayne High School records in the 100 meters, 200 meters, 4x100 relay and the 4x400 relay. Following graduation, Brionna accepted a full ride scholarship to Purdue University. During her time at Purdue, she became a 13x All-American, 7x Big Ten Champion, 16x Big Ten medal winner, 2018 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Athlete of The Year, 2018 Great Lakes’ Region Outdoor Track Athlete of The Year, 2018 Purdue Women's Athlete of The Year, 2x Big Ten conference record holder, 6x school record holder, and she holds the third fastest 400 meter indoor time in Big Ten history.

After graduating with a Law and Society Bachelors Degree in 2018, she began running as a post collegiate athlete. Thus far, Brionna has represented team USA on multiple occasions. In 2018, she was a part of the gold medal winning 4x400 relay at the World Cup Championship in London England. Following that, she went on to win bronze in the 400 meter at the NACAC Championship in Toronto, Canada. After her 2018 collegiate and post collegiate season, Brionna was named USATF Indiana T&F- Open Women Athlete of The Year. In 2019, she was a member of the gold medal winning mixed 4x400 relay at IAAF World Relays in Yokohama Japan. Brionna is currently training at University of Kentucky under head coach Rolando Greene with the goal of making the Tokyo 2020 Olympic team.

Al Harants (Coach): Al Harants first football head coaching job was at South Adams in 1969. In 1971, Al took over at Bellmont High School. In 1977, Al was honored by being named the North Head Coach for the North/South All Star game. In 1987, Al coached the Wayne Generals, taking them to two semi-state appearances in five years. 1992 saw Al take over as the head coach for North Central High School. From 2003-2012 Al was an assistant coach at the University of Saint Francis. Al has been honored as a member of the Franklin College Athletic Hall of Fame and the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.

Phil Morey (Coach): Phil was born and raised in Ft Wayne attending South Side High School in the early 70s.  While at South, he participated in basketball and baseball. After high school, he attended St Francis College on a basketball and baseball scholarship but ended up playing baseball and golf. He eventually graduated from IPFW in 1978.  He began his coaching career as the boy’s basketball assistant for Roy Klein at Snider High School during his student teaching. After coaching cross-country, basketball and track at Shawnee Middle School for 2 years, he joined the basketball staff at Elmhurst.  In 1982, Phil was approached by Sue Jordon and asked if he wanted to assist her with the volleyball program at Wayne. Knowing absolutely nothing about volleyball or coaching girls, he began what would become a 20-year coaching tenure at Wayne and what has developed into a 40-year volleyball coaching career.  He is now the varsity assistant at Woodlan High School. Phil’s teams compiled 9 consecutive winning seasons with records of 30-5, 33-3, and 25-8 as their best. They won five sectionals and one regional.  His 1987 team tied for 5th in the state being beaten in the semi-state championship by the eventual state champion.  All of these team successes came in a single-class system. While the head volleyball coach at Wayne, he took the reins of the girls’ basketball program and the softball program for two years winning a softball sectional, the first one in the school’s history. He retired from teaching in 2011.

David Torres (contributor): David Torres was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is a graduate of Snider High School where he participated in wrestling and track. He has three daughters Nina, Nicole, Jacobi and one son David. He worked at PTC which is now called City Link Bus Company, as a bus driver for 34 years, retiring in 2011. David got involved with the Booster Club at Wayne High School when his son attended the school. David then became PTSA president for Wayne. During his tenure, David built strong relationships with the staff of Wayne and gained participation from Wayne staff in the PTSA. David enjoys being involved because he gets to help the students in the sports of their choosing. David loves interacting with the Wayne students in the hallway and at sporting events. Although his son graduated in 2016 David remains active in the Wayne, PTSA as Treasurer and Booster Club Secretary/Treasurer.

Bios provided by Wayne High School Athletic Department | Photos provided by Molly Brehm

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