Girls Basketball Program Introduces Hall of Fame

Pictured is the St. Marys girls basketball hall of fame board that is located outside the gymnasium at Memorial High School. Twenty former Roughriders girls basketball players on are a member of the program’s new hall of fame.
By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Sports Editor

Friday marks the beginning of the 44th season of St. Marys girls basketball and the program is planning to recognize the best players within those 44 years.

Friday’s season opener against Fort Jennings will recognize past coaches and 20 players who were named to the program’s inaugural hall of fame board that was added to a wall leading to the gymnasium by the cafeteria of Memorial High School.

“This has been two years in the making,” Roughriders coach Jon Burke said. “When I took over the varsity program, this is something that I wanted to do. We did some fundraising to make sure we had the money to do it, but once the board went up, I kept seeing teachers and community members coming in asking where the board is and we still have people coming in asking to see it

“I know it has created a little bit of buzz around the school and the community and that is a great thing. I think it is a great thing for those athletes too because it is permanent, they will be there forever. We want to recognize our program.”

Burke along with former assistant coach and MHS English teacher Kelly Jay helped compose the hall of fame, which consists of only First-Team All-Western Buckeye League players dating back to the first girls basketball season in St. Marys in 1975-76 season under coach Mike Lynch.

Jay collected all of the statistics of players, reached out to every player that was a first-team selection and also received any additional information back from those former players such as if they played basketball in college and what their statistics were during those years.

Kelly, along with her husband and MHS social studies teacher Mike, keep track of all of the statistics for both boys and girls basketball program.

Currently, there are 20 players who on the Roughriders girls basketball Hall of Fame with Shania Taylor being the latest player to be on the board outside the gym. Burke added, however, that Lauren Cisco will be added to the board — after notching first-team honors last season — once she graduates.

The players in the inaugural hall of fame areSue Lauth, MaryAnn Burden, Stephanie Gudorf, Connie Hamberg, Nikki Miars, Annie Raymond, Amy Bowers, Katie Lhamon, Jenny Steinke, Rachel Dedrick, Nan Kogee, Andrea Roth, Liz Krugh, Krissy Haines, Haley Fannon, Toya Anderson, Kerri Imwalle, Emily Shellabarger, Erika Thornsberry and Taylor. 

Each player has their career statistics in their individual plaque, what year they earned first-team honors, the accolades they accumulated throughout their high school careers, where they played collegiate basketball and their career college statistics. 

Burke added he thought the reason it took so long to get the ball rolling on the idea was money is needed and who is willing to collect the statistics and get all the information from former athletes. Stars and Stripes Graphics also designed the background of the board.

“It was big undertaking,” Burke said.

Burke added he wants to motivate his players to be on the board someday. Aside from Cisco, Carly Caywood was a second-team selection last season while Kendall Dieringer was a third-team selection and Elena Menker made honorable mention.

“Not that our girls will come out and say that they want to be on that board because honestly it takes a team effort to get somebody to that level where they can be recognized as first-team all-league, but it gives you something to work for,” Burke said.

Junior varsity is at 6 p.m., followed by varsity at approximately 7:30 p.m. at Memorial High School.