From the pool to the tennis court and the track to the football field, this year’s Hall of Fame recipients excelled. They tallied 54 varsity letters, posted school records, earned league honors and made state appearances.
This year’s class of hall of fame honorees recently shared what this honor means to them and the impact that CJ had on their life long after they left campus.
Jerry Scheper ‘61 (tennis) was a three-time state qualifier in doubles and a four-year varsity player. In addition to his success in the high school ranks, Jerry is the only Eagles player to qualify for USTA Nationals.
“It’s a special honor and it certainly reinforces the fact that all the effort you put in, really does pay off. It’s a reward for giving it all you’ve got every day.”
Scheper added, “When I was a kid, we lived right next to a park and I woke up looking out my bedroom window and seeing tennis courts. I probably played almost every morning, all summer. I played in my first tournament when I was 6 and my dad was there every time he could get away from work — he was very supportive.
Andy Daley ‘95 (cross country/track) was a four-time varsity letter winner and earned first team all-league honors three times. Daley was also named the GCL cross country Runner of the Year.
“This is an honor,” Daley said. “I hadn’t previously looked at the other runners in the Hall of Fame until I got the call myself. It is truly an honor to be among them.”
Daley also shared how his time running in college prepared him for a new athletic accomplishment.
“I didn’t run in college, but I did start competing in bike races which require the same type of work ethic and endurance. I even won my division at the U.S. National Criterium Championships.”
Megan Slayback Wajda ‘08 (swimming/volleyball) was a two-time all-league honoree and helped the Eagles earn volleyball Southwest District runner-up honors three times. She also earned seven varsity letters – four in volleyball and three in swimming.
“This honor is my opportunity to thank all those who had an impact on my athletic career, and who supported me in ways I did not recognize until now,” Wajda said. ”It is a way to thank my parents, family, and friends – all those who drove me to every game and practice and sat through countless hours of watching me play. I am proud that my hard work in athletics is being recognized, but I am also proud that their sacrifice for me is also being recognized.”
Wajda also shared the life lesson she took away from her time as an Eagle athlete.
“It may seem cliché, but one lesson I learned during my time playing volleyball at CJ was that no goal is accomplished alone,” Wajda reflected. “In the team setting, it is not individual athletes who win, but rather it’s the combined efforts of all. Translated to life outside of CJ, I have tried to be appreciative of the ‘team’ that has helped me in college, work and beyond.”
Katie Pleiman Grabosky ‘09 (tennis) was a four-time state qualifier and two-time state finalist. She compiled a 103-9 career record along with earning multiple league and area honors.
“I am honored to be included in this year’s Hall of Fame Class,” Grabosky said. “CJ has a long-standing tradition of graduating not only great athletes, but also great people. I am humbled to be part of this group.”
Grabosky said since graduation, she is eager to share with others that she is an Eagle.
“Living in Cincinnati now, most people from here ask what school you went to, and they are referring to high school. I tell them with pride I went to CJ, a school bound with people from different backgrounds and communities forming one.”
Kurt Hess ‘09 (basketball/football) excelled on the football field and the basketball court, earning seven varsity letters, numerous all-league and all-area honors and was named the 2008 Player of the Year in football. He broke the school records for touchdowns thrown, passing yards, passing attempts and completions.
“This honor is a true blessing and testament to the preparation, dedication, and hard work from not only myself, but my loving supportive family, as well as a tribute to the leadership and excellence of my coaches and teammates at CJ,” Hess said.
Hess also shared the athletic accomplishment that was most meaningful to him while at CJ.
“Winning the District title and GCL North in basketball in 2008. Also, being recognized among all the great players that went on to have successful collegiate and professional careers from the GCL in football.”
Sam Jandel ‘09 (golf) was an individual state champion who also helped the Eagles golf team finish as state runner-up. The GCL Player of the Year was a three-time state qualifier, placing first, fourth and fifth.
“This honor means a lot to me for a few reasons,” Jandel said. “One, I understand how many great athletes have walked through the halls of CJ and it’s very cool to be among the few to be recognized. Two, it’s a great honor for me because, since high school, I have moved to Arizona and it's very cool to be recognized in front of my family and friends for my accomplishments.”
Jandel also shared how being a leader on the links has helped him since his graduation.
“Ever since freshman year, I was looked up to as one of the better players on the team,” Jandel reflected. “It was a great life lesson to teach others and help guide our team to, I'd imagine, the best four-year streak our school has had.”
Taylor Beyerle Mackell ‘09 (track/cross country/swimming) earned ten varsity letters in her three sports. She also received all-league honors in track and cross country, qualified for state and was a member of three record-breaking CJ relay teams.
“It’s difficult to put into words how incredible this honor is to me,” Mackell said. “I absolutely loved being a student at CJ and was always so proud to be able to represent my school through my athletic career. For me, this honor is a celebration with my family, coaches, and teammates who were there to support me each day as I strived to do my best as a student athlete.”
Mackell recalled how her father, current CJ co-head men’s cross country coach, Paul Beyerle, gave her a great life lesson that she still takes to heart today.
“He always equated running with life,” Mackell shared. “He taught me that you get out of it what you put into it, but sometimes you can put forth your best effort and you still don't get the results you want. This lesson gave me great perspective while persevering through running challenges and races that ended with unhappy results, but it also gave me a greater understanding that life will not always go as planned, no matter how hard you try.”
Lisa Treadway Marino ‘09 (swimming/volleyball) was a two-time volleyball Player of the Year, nominated as an ESPN High School Top Player to Watch and was runner-up for the Rae Burick Award. She also broke the school record in the 400-yard individual medley.
“This is certainly a dream come true,” Marino said. “I grew up dreaming about playing sports at CJ, watching not only my siblings play, but watching the football and girls basketball teams win state championships. I couldn't wait to be a part of CJ's long tradition of strong athletics.”
Marino said the foundation she developed at CJ still makes an impact on her today.
“I give all the credit to CJ for instilling the values of becoming a contributing member of society, service-oriented, and a lifelong learner,” Marino shared. “Those values still resonate with me as I've completed my doctoral degree in physical therapy, started my own physical therapy practice, and strive to give my time and talents to my parish community. And, now, I'm fortunate to share that foundation with my own children. The importance of teamwork, humility, and especially prayer are still fundamental in my life today.”
Michael Raiff ‘09 (baseball/football) was named a GCL player of the year. His successes in baseball included a season batting average of .500 and in football, scoring seven touchdowns and tallying 570 yards in a single season for the Eagles.
“This honor means a great deal to me,” Raiff said. “To have so many family members and friends be members of the Hall of Fame and for me to be part of the next wave of members is truly something special.”
Raiff said being one of the newest members in the Hall of Fame is like a dream come true.
“In a lot of ways this is the highest athletic honor that I ever dreamed about as a kid,” Raiff shared. “I remember going to induction ceremonies with my parents and family when I was little and it always seemed like such a big deal to me. I guess, from then on, it always has been. I'd be lying if I said I haven't been planning my speech since grade school.”
Posted February 4, 2020