Ray Graves

(Shenandoah) -- 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 the most successful cross country coaches in state history. Ray Graves won five state championships and 10 Hawkeye Ten Conference titles during his nearly 25-year career as head coach for the Shenandoah and Shenandoah-Essex cross country program.

"No one earns this honor alone," Graves told KMA Sports. "I know I share it with several others."

Graves shares the honor with the 15 teams he sent to the state meet and those that won state championships in 1974, 1975, 1988, 1989 and 1991.

"I think each team had its own personality," Graves said when asked about some of the memories from those teams.

In 1974, Graves said they had just seven runners on the team. They would graduate one and add four more before they repeated in 1975.

"At that time, every team could go to the state meet if they wanted to," Graves said. "One year, there were 30-some teams in the state meet. That was a very good start for our cross country program, and I think that really got things going."

In 1988, the Shenandoah program turned into Shenandoah-Essex, and it also turned the Mustang program into one of veritable dominance. After winning the 1988 championship, they put together a dominant 1989 season.

At the district meet, Shenandoah-Essex placed all seven of their runners in the top nine for a point total of 17. "I don't think that's going to be equaled for some time," Graves noted.

In 1990, Graves' team finished third, but they were able to bring the trophy back in 1991.

"In 1991, we had a tremendous ice storm in Shenandoah," Graves said. "They postponed the Saturday meet, but on Monday morning it was iced up again in Ames. It finally warmed up enough to have the meet. The 1991 team didn't win the district, but just ran so well at state that they ended up number one as well."

According to the National High School Athletic Coaches Association, Graves is able to count 1,653 wins against just 595 losses.

"I think it was the talent that we had," Graves said. "The work ethic was great. I think it was just a situation that the town got behind us, the administration was behind us and it just kept growing."

Graves will be inducted into the KMA Sports Hall of Fame's inaugural class along with Missy Buttry Rock at the Shenandoah XC Invitational on Thursday, September 29th.

FALL

Football: Announced August 26th at 7:50 AM

Volleyball: Angie Spangenberg, Red Oak/Harlan (Induction: 9/27)

Boys Cross Country: Ray Graves (Induction: 9/29)

Girls Cross Country: Missy Buttry Rock (Induction: 9/29)

Team: Clarinda Boys Cross Country 1956 State Champions (Induction: 9/6)

WINTER

Boys Basketball: Announced August 5th 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

SPRING

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: Announced August 9th at 7:50 AM

Soccer: Announced August 15th at 7:50 AM

Team: Announced August 25th at 7:50 AM

SUMMER

Baseball: Announced August 8th at 7:50 AM

Softball: Announced August 24th at 7:50 AM

Team: Announced August 22nd at 7:50 AM

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