Stevenson High names first inductees to sports hall of fame
Ten former Stevenson High School student athletes and seven coaches will constitute the first class of the Lincolnshire school's athletic hall of fame.
They'll include Olympic and professional hockey star Megan Bozek, former professional football player Matt O'Dwyer and three-time Illinois State High School Association tennis champ Suzie Jaeger.
"Stevenson has built a rich athletic tradition since opening in 1965, and the hall of fame is a way that we can honor Patriots who have excelled as athletes and coaches," school spokesman Jim Conrey said.
Bozek, a 2009 Stevenson graduate, said she was "very humbled and grateful" to be part of the hall's freshman class.
"Being one of the 17 original inductees into the hall of fame is such an honor," said Bozek, who won a silver medal in the 2014 Winter Olympics as a member of the U.S. women's hockey team and remains a member of the squad.
In addition to Bozek, O'Dwyer and Jaeger, the inaugural hall of fame athletes are:
• Gymnast Lindsay Borkan.
• Track and field and cross country competitor Mark Deady.
• Volleyball star Courtney DeBolt Slinko.
• Football, basketball and baseball player Andy Farrissey, who's also being inducted as a coach.
• Football, basketball and baseball player Chris Piggott.
• Girls basketball standout Tamika Catchings.
• Girls basketball star Tauja Catchings.
The coaching inductees are:
• Tom Baumann, football.
• Judy Harwood, girls gymnastics.
• Bob Mackey, baseball and football.
• Frank Mattucci, girls basketball.
• Bill Mitz, football.
• Paul Swan, boys basketball, baseball and football.
• Jeff Wimer, girls water polo.
"This is an incredible group of men and women who played a significant role in making Stevenson's athletic program one of the most successful in Illinois," Athletic Director Trish Betthauser said. "We are excited to have a formal way to ensure the lasting legacy of these Patriot pioneers."
The inductees will be introduced during halftime of the Oct. 18 varsity football game against Warren Township High.
To qualify for induction, an athlete must have attended Stevenson for at least two years. Additionally, for Stevenson alumni, at least seven years must have passed since graduation.
Coaches become eligible at least one year after their retirement from a sport. Active coaches may be considered if they have coached at least 10 years.
Staff members and supporters may be considered for the hall of fame, too.
A hall of fame garden is being built at the west entrance to Stevenson's football stadium.
The garden will cost $250,000. The district is paying for the work now but will be reimbursed over 15 years by a booster club, Conrey said.