Kaufman High School honors former coach, players in Sports Hall of Fame

From left, Todd York, Thomas Borders Jr., Randy Shaw and James Henderson are this year’s inductees into the Kaufman Independent School District Sports Hall of Fame. Thomas Borders III, second from left, is holding his father’s posthumous award. 

Kaufman High School inducted a former football coach and three all-around alumni athletes Friday into the 2019 Hall of Fame class.

Todd York was the head football coach and athletic director at KHS from 2003 to 2016. During his career at the school, he compiled the second highest number of wins among all KHS coaches and took Kaufman to the state quarterfinal game in 2008. He predicted current Head Coach Jeremy Burleson might be the first Kaufman coach to surpass that finish. 

In 2002, coaching in Corrigan-Camden, York’s team won the 2A state championship. His dad, Chuck, coached a state champion team in 1959, and his brother Toby did so in 1981, making them the only father and two sons that have won state football championships in coaching. Considering only about 2 percent of teams in the state win a state title, it’s quite an achievement, Burleson said in his introduction of York.

These are not the most important statistics in his career, Burleson added. York taught his players to be better men, fathers and community members, he said. 

York thanked the attendees at Friday’s luncheon, sharing the credit for his success with the Kaufman administration, his coaching staff, “and our Lion family.” 

“It’s the people that make this place special,” he said.

Honored next was Tommy Borders, Jr. a 1959 graduate of Kaufman who played as a guard on the football team for four years, earning All-District honors his junior and senior years.  He also played basketball and ran track for three years and was named All-District in basketball his senior year. After graduating, he attended Trinity University to play baseball and one year of football. After serving in the U.S. Army, he returned home to help run the family business, Borders & Long Oil.

His son, Thomas Borders III, accepted the award and said his father didn’t view his athleticism as anything extraordinary, noting that in the 1950s, athletes were expected to play multiple sports at their schools. Tommy Borders died in 2018. 

He loved taking his family to games, and also was active in the Kaufman Lions Club for 50 years, helping to support the baseball program operated by the club. 

“Go support a local high school team,” Borders asked those in attendance.

The third inductee this year is Randy Shaw, a 1985 alumnus who played baseball and basketball and ran cross country. He also was a football trainer for two years. He became an electrician for the City of Dallas and runs his own electrical company.

Shaw joked that he panicked when learning that he was being inducted in the hall of fame, noting that most of the other honorees went on to play college athletics. 

“Baseball was my huge love in high school,” he said, noting that that team won “more fistfights than baseball games,” and his coached joked with his players that they should have been a boxing team. He went on to coach his two children in athletics, and they are avid golfers, as well.

James E. Henderson is a 1995 graduate and is another multi-sport athlete. He was a fullback and defensive end on the football team, earning All-District honors for three years. He played basketball, baseball and competed in track and field, as well. He went on to play defensive end for Abilene Christian University. 

Henderson coached at ACU and Huntsville High School, coaching three state champions in track and field in the hurdles, long jump and triple jump. For seven years, he as been the chief investigator at the Kaufman County Public Defender’s Office and is the chaplain for the American Legion Post 165. He is also a motivational speaker. 

“I’m not supposed to be here,” he said of the many obstacles he had to face in life. But he persevered, “and the greatest thing I learned from playing these sports was love.” 

Henderson noted he wasn’t the fastest, strongest, or biggest player on any of his teams, but he had a father, friends, teachers and coaches who believed in him, and that made him push himself farther and harder.

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