CINCINNATI - Sunday, I'll have the honor of again presiding, along with Paul Keels, as Master of Ceremonies for the LaRosa's High School Hall of Fame banquet at the CET studios. It is annually one of the high points of the sports calendar and this year will be no exception. The roster of inductees will insure that. They are listed below in no particular order. Greatness has no rank.
Jelani Brandon — Lloyd Memorial School — Class of 1992
There’s little doubt in the community of Erlanger that Jelani Brandon was the finest athlete ever at Lloyd Memorial. A three-sport star, Jelani excelled in football, baseball and track during his record-setting career for the Juggernauts. He is the first athlete in Lloyd history to be named to the LaRosa’s High School Hall of Fame.
Tom Chambers — Withrow High School — 1966-1998, 2001-2008
Dedication. Patience. Teacher. All words that aptly describe Tom Chambers, one of Greater Cincinnati’s most revered baseball coaches over the last 50 years. In fact, there has been no other head coach in any sport in the history of the Cincinnati Public Schools to have served as long as Tom Chambers.
After coaching a combined 41 years at Withrow High School and one year at Riverview East High School and one at Woodward, Chambers has compiled an overall high school career record of 577-442.
Maureen Egan Corl — St. Henry High School — Class of 1993
An insight in to just how outstanding Maureen Egan Corl’s career as a high school runner can be found simply by opening the Kentucky State Track & Field record book. Almost 20 years after her senior year, three of her records still stand as Kentucky state standards.
Maureen, who was the LaRosa’s Female Athlete of the Year in 1992-93, won a staggering 15 state titles during her “six-year” high school career. She started running in the state meet as a seventh grader for St. Henry.
Dan Ketchum — Sycamore High School — Class of 2000
Not only is Dan Ketchum regarded as the greatest swimmer in the long history of Sycamore High School, but the 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist ranks among the best male swimmers in Greater Cincinnati history as well.
During his high school career, Dan collected six state swimming championships, was a national high school champion, a two-time national runner-up and a 14-time high school All-American.
Ron Krechting — Elder High School — Class of 1968
There’s no question, Ron Krechting was the scourge of the Greater Cincinnati League in the mid-1960s. If he wasn’t beating you with a long touchdown pass, he was draining a dramatic jump shot on the basketball floor or tossing a no-hitter on the baseball field.
A rare starter as a sophomore for Elder in football and a two-year starter in basketball, Krechting earned eight varsity letters during his prep career with the Panthers. Ron was urged to try out for the varsity football team by head coach Mike Honold and Krechting went on to become one of the best in the GCL.
Steve Sollmann — St. Xavier High School — Class of 2000
In the last 25 years of St. Xavier High School athletic history, no family name has generated as much excitement as the Sollmanns. Following in the footsteps of his brother Scott, Steve enters the LaRosa’s High School Hall of Fame as only the ninth set of siblings to be so honored.
An obvious throwback to ages past, Steve Sollmann was a true three-sport athlete. He earned nine varsity letters in the three major sports – football, basketball and baseball. Another tribute to Sollman’s ability may be reflected in his teams – seven of nine teams won Greater Cincinnati League championships, the Bombers’ football team finished state runners-up in 1998, and the 1999-2000 basketball team won the Ohio Division I state title.
Richard Hall — Wyoming High School — Class of 1999
The football tradition in Ohio and at Wyoming High School in particular is long and storied. Richard Hall, the LaRosa’s Male Athlete of the Year in 1999, occupies a preeminent spot in both as one of the state’s greatest running backs of all time.
Named Ohio Player of the Year in Division IV by the Associated Press and by the Ohio Player of the Year by the Football Coaches Association, Hall posted incredible career numbers.
In four years, he rushed for 7,376 yards on 749 carries for an amazing 9.8-yard-per-gain average; he caught 53 passes for 924 yards and even was 7-for-6 in passing for 193 yards and two touchdowns. In all, Richard accumulated 8,930 all-purpose yards, had 121 touchdowns (106 rushing TDs), scored 726 points and had 11 interceptions. As a senior his 2,855 yards set the city record at that time, one yard shy of the Ohio state record.
His single season rushing total – along with his career total yards and TDs – ranked in the top 20 all-time nationally. In Ohio prep history, Hall’s total career rushing yards ranks No. 5 and his 106 rushing TDs ranks No. 4 all-time
The entire induction and naming of the LaRosa's Male and Female athletes of the year will be aired starting at 2 p.m.