(Clarinda) -- Each weekday from now until August 26th, KMA Sports will be announcing the inaugural KMA Sports Hall of Fame class. Throughout the 2016-17 sports year, these 20 inductees will have special induction ceremonies, but August is designed for the announcements.
Today's inductee is one of only four male state tennis champions in the history of the Hawkeye Ten Conference. Clarinda's Mark Paulson won the Class 1A state championship in 1977, finishing off a dominant senior season with a straight sets win in the final.
"It was a very good year," Paulson told KMA Sports. "I just had really strong teammates, who were excellent tennis players and were good friends. We had really good competition within the team and challenged each other to improve."
That same year, Paulson's teammates Randy Moore and Jim Turner advanced to the state doubles championship in Class 1A before falling to a NUH, Cedar Falls team.
"Our practices were pretty competitive," Paulson said. "We had really good athletes on the team all four years. We just had strong athletes. We challenged each other to improve."
Paulson, who would later go on to a solid career at Iowa State, says much of his success can be attributed to his father, Don.
"My dad kind of brought tennis into Clarinda," Paulson said. "He was kind of the first high school tennis coach. He's just a very accomplished tennis player and an excellent coach and instructor."
Don Paulson started a tennis club for high school students in 1961 and a year later formed the first sanctioned boy's tennis team at Clarinda. He also worked with the parks and recreation department to build the town's first tennis courts in 1965. Just 12 years later, his son captured the school's only (male) state tennis title.
"We were all taught by my dad," Paulson said. "When I played my dad, I think he won most of the time, so I had to get better just to stay up with my dad."
Paulson will be inducted into the inaugural class of the KMA Sports Hall of Fame at a date to be determined.
KMA Sports will announce a new inductee each August weekday morning during the 7:50 AM sportscast. Track the Hall of Fame announcements/inductees below:
Football: Announced August 26th at 7:50 AM
Girls Basketball: Announced August 18th at 7:50 AM
Wrestling: Announced August 12th at 7:50 AM
Team: Announced August 11th at 7:50 AM
Girls Track: Announced August 10th at 7:50 AM
Boys Track: Announced August 23rd at 7:50 AM
Girls Golf: Announced August 16th at 7:50 AM
Boys Golf: Announced August 19th at 7:50 AM
Girls Tennis: Announced August 17th at 7:50 AM
Boys Tennis: Mark Paulson (Induction: TBA)
Soccer: Announced August 15th at 7:50 AM
Team: Announced August 25th at 7:50 AM
Softball: Announced August 24th at 7:50 AM
Team: Announced August 22nd at 7:50 AM