By Ryan Kaczmarski
The North Olmsted High School Athletic Hall of Fame will have seven new members inducted on Saturday at the Springvale Ballroom. This year marks the 14th annual induction, which, including the class of 2013, makes the Eagles Athletic Hall of Fame 79 members strong.
The class of 2013 is comprised of Aaron Arlinghaus (03), Lauren Skocaj (02), Patrick McAndrew (91), Kelly Murphy Coyle (02), Justin Christafaris (00), Tracy Kovach Rodriguez (80) and former coach Bill Andrews.
In his four years of competition at North Olmsted High School, Aaron Arlinghaus simply became one of the most honored and decorated long distance runners in the school’s history. A very versatile athlete, he participated in basketball for two years and also was on the swim team for a year. In his four seasons of running cross country, Arlinghaus won two Southwestern Conference titles, set several course records, competed in the state meet three times and finished third in the state his senior year. As a competitor in track and field for four years, he competed in the 1600m and 3200m. As captain of the track team, he won several conference, district and regional titles and he culminated his senior year with a state title in the 3200m, and broke the school record as well. After graduating from high school, he went on to compete at Cornell University, where he was a part of four Ivy League track and field championships and was the 2007 Ivy League 3000m steeple chase champion. Arlinghaus also earned his degree in applied economics and management from Cornell’s school of business.
Lauren Skocaj was one of the finest gymnastic athletes in the history of North Olmsted High School, who also participated in cheerleading as well. As a sophomore, she was named to the All-District team, placed third in the state meet in all-around, was named All-Ohio and with a score of 36.825 holds the record at North Olmsted High School for the highest number of points ever scored in the all-around category. The gymnastics team record that year was a stellar 8-1. As a junior, she once again was All-District and qualified for the state meet on bars. After graduating from high school, she attended Cleveland State University, where she received her doctorate in physical therapy.
During Patrick McAndrew’s career as a North Olmsted High School soccer player, the overall record of the varsity team was 53-5-6. He led his high school team to three Greater Cleveland Scholastic Soccer League championships, three SWC championships, three sectional and three district championships and played in two state championships, in 1988 and 1989. He presently is ninth on the list of all-time leading scorers, 14th on the list of all-time career goal leaders and ranks second on the list of career assist leaders. After graduating from n high school, he continued his education at Cuyahoga Community College, where he set the single season junior college scoring record of 24 goals. He was named to the first team Junior College All-American team. Following his college career, McAndrew played for multiple indoor and outdoor professional soccer teams including the Cleveland Crunch, Detroit Neon, Columbus Invaders, Cleveland Caps and the Buffalo Blizzard. Since his retirement from professional soccer, he has been involved with coaching soccer at the high school, college and youth levels and currently is a coach and administrator of the soccer club American Solution.
In the long and proud history of female athletes at North Olmsted, Kelly Murphy Coyle’s career simply stands above all the rest. A volleyball and softball player, she was simply the most dominating pitcher the SWC has ever seen. She personally holds 12 different school softball records, some of which include; wins in a career (66), wins in a season (22), season ERA (0.00), perfect games in a career (4), shutouts in a season (17) and seven consecutive shutouts. Along with her high school records, she also added to her list of awards first team All-Ohio, SWC MVP, first team All-SWC, all-district and holds the Ohio state record of lowest ERA in a season (0.00). This is a record that can never be broken. Upon her graduation from high school, she attended Youngstown State University, where she earned both her bachelors and master’s degree and graduated as a dean’s-list student cum laude. Her softball career continued to blossom as she was named YSU female athlete of the year, All-Horizon League, Horizon League pitcher of the year, holds the career records for career ERA, career strikeouts, season wins and season strikeouts. One of her proudest accomplishments was recently earning her doctorate degree from Old Dominion University.
One of the most outstanding dual-sport athletes in the history of North Olmsted, Justin Christafaris participated in both basketball and soccer. By the end of his two years as a varsity basketball player, he had garnered such honors as two-time All-SWC, first team All-Midview district, All-Northeast Lakes district and played in the Greater Cleveland Coaches all-star game. As a soccer goalie, his career was even more impressive. A two-time first team All-SWC selection as a goalie, he also earned All-greater Cleveland Honors, All-Western Division in the Greater Cleveland League, first team All-Greater Cleveland, set the school record for most saves in a season (151) and holds the school record for most saves in a career. On top of all of that, Christafaris made the game winning save on the fifth penalty kick in the state championship game to give the eagles their fourth state soccer title. He went on to attend Akron University, where he was named to the All-MAC soccer team after setting several single season and career goal keeping records.
Tracy Kovach Rodriguez was an outstanding three-sport athlete, participating in basketball, track and volleyball. She was a three-year letter winner in track and a two year letter winner in basketball, where she was her team’s most outstanding defensive player for two years. As a three-year letter winner and captain of the volleyball team, she led her team to two SWC championships. During that time, she garnered such awards as first team All-SWC, was the team most valuable player and was named the team’s best defensive player as well as the best hitter. She went on to receive her bachelor of science in nursing degree at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. A dean’s-list student, she was also named her volleyball team’s most valuable defensive player for two years.
In the fall of 1972, Bill Andrews began his employment in the North Olmsted school system fresh out of Baldwin Wallace University. Predominantly a middle school teacher, he taught grades four through seven during his tenure as a North Olmsted teacher. With the beginning of his teaching career also came along an opportunity to coach the girls track team and he jumped at the opportunity. He would remain the girls track coach for the next 30 years. A two-time SWC Coach of the Year selection, he went on to post a dual meet record of 187-92. His teams also won 13 major relay championships. With many outstanding athletes over a 30-year span, North Olmsted girls actually competed in 19 events at the state track championships. Four of the girls that Andrews coached also went on to be college All-Americans. With a fond affection for football as well as track, he was also an assistant varsity football coach on two SWC championship teams. He also was a head middle school football coach for several years, where he posted an outstanding record of 100-14-4.
Information provided by North Olmsted High School