Summer 2012 Volume XXXIX Number 2
Alumni Making Sports Their Career Fitness Center Opens Alumni Return for Reunion Weekend Class of 2012 Graduates w w w. f a t h e r r y a n . o r g
Board of trustees
Patrick J. Nolan III ‘69, Chair Judy Komisky Orr ‘75, Vice-Chair Betty Lou Burnett, Membership Committee Chair David Glascoe, Finance Committee Chair
Brett Wesnofske ‘88, Facilities Committee Chair Philip M. Mattingly, Sr. ‘69, Advancement Committee Chair
This Place Made A Difference In My Life
The Memories Shared. The Friendships Celebrated. The Stories Told. Reunion Weekend is a remarkable event, one that reminds us of our traditions, our friendships and the legacies we have left as alumni of Father Ryan. It also gives us the opportunity to salute the continued accomplishments of our students. This year, that includes: nine
National Merit honorees
six military academy appointees one state championship team , and
Most Rev. David R. Choby ‘65 James A. McIntyre Dr. Therese Williams
Rev. Mark Beckman David Bohan ‘66 Tommy Bradley ‘81 Mary Brennan Warner C. Hassell Judith E. Hoover Steven Janicak Rev. Patrick J. Kibby ‘73 Dr. Robert Labadie Robert J. Mendes Rick Olszewski Ralph J. Schulz, Jr. John Siedlecki William R. Stejskal III ‘79 David Tehle
W. Irvin Berry ‘46 Thomas G. Connor, Sr. ‘60 John J. Cunningham, Sr. William H. Farmer ‘65 Edward B. Gore J. Terry Hunter Dr. Denis O’Day Vincent T. Phillips John C. Shea ‘51 William F. Smith Edward A. Stack
a nationally recognized band
What makes all of this possible every year is your support of the Annual Fund. Last year’s campaign resulted in a record number of donors and $522,000. Your gift ensures that the Father Ryan tradition–stretching from our oldest alumnus to our new Golden Grads to our youngest alumni–will continue to make a difference in our students’ lives.
James A. McIntyre, President Paul Davis ’81, Principal Sara Hayes, Academic Dean Michael La Haie, Dean of Students Tim Forbes ’93, Dean of Campus Ministry and Student Life Pat Lawson ’93, Athletic Director Connie Steinmetz, Chief Financial Officer
To make your tax-deductible contribution to the 2012-13 Annual Fund go online to www.fatherryan.org/donations.
A Tradition of Faith, Knowledge, Service
©2012 FRHS 18992
Thank you for your support of Father Ryan. Go Irish!
Summer 2012 Volume XXXIX Number 2
Feature Sports turn into career for Ryan alumni
Table of Contents
2} In the News
Msgr. Bevington Memorial, New Dean of Students, Yearbook Honored, Student Wins Film Award.
8} Graduation 10} Athletics
Winter, Spring Results. Fitness Center News. Simpson Wrestling Facility.
Gala Success. Chapel Reopens. Reunions.
16} Cover Story
Sports turn into career for Ryan alumni.
21} Class Notes 24} Births/Weddings 25} In Memoriam
A Life of Kindness.: Msgr. William Bevington ’42 Remembered Msgr. William Bevington ’42, priest, pastor, teacher, builder, scientist, and inspiration to many throughout the diocese with his humility and kindness, died June 20, just hours after Pope Benedict honored him with the title of Monsignor.
But the priesthood kept calling, and in 1947, he enrolled in the seminary at St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa. He studied there for one year and then attended the North American College in Rome where he was ordained on December 8, 1951. From that date forward he virtually covered the diocese, teaching at Father Ryan for six years, Memphis Catholic High School for Boys for seven and principal of Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, while also serving as and pastor of St. Francis Church. He returned to Nashville in 1967, and one of his jobs was as a part-time teacher at the former Cathedral High School. In 1969, he became simply a pastor, and his impact at each parish was enormous and understated…certainly by him. St. Rose of Lima in Murfreesboro for one year, Holy Rosary for 10 years, Immaculate Conception in Clarksville for two years, and St. Henry for seven years before his last stop–as pastor of Our Lady of the Lake. “When I came, the people were so welcoming,” Msgr. Bevington recalled in 2008, “I felt at home.”
Msgr. Bevington was the product of Catholic education and a proud example of its impact on his life and so many others. Born here on January 29, 1925, he attended Cathedral Grade School, Overbrook School (as one of the first students there) and Father Ryan, where the first thoughts of becoming a priest emerged. He credited Msgr. George Rohling for inspiring those thoughts in him and others–in fact of the 50 students in the class of 1942, Msgr. Bevington and six others became priests. “We had a good example in Msgr. Rohling. He had many gifts, one of them was encouraging people to go to the seminary,” Msgr. Bevington told the Tennessee Register at the time of his retirement in 2008. After graduating from Father Ryan, Msgr. Bevington wasn’t sure yet whether to pursue the priesthood. He went off to study aeronautical engineering at the University of Notre Dame, later joining the U.S. Navy as part of a program that allowed him to continue his studies while serving as a naval officer. World War II ended before he completed his degree and after leaving the Navy, Msgr. Bevington went to work for a short time at McDonnell -Douglas as an aeronautical engineer. And quite a good one–several aspects of early rocketry bore the marks of his work.
There he donned his builder’s hat as the growing parish needed space. Eventually, Our Lady of the Lake parishioners decided to move to another section of Hendersonville and build a new church, which was dedicated in 1999. Our Lady of the Lake parishioners remember Msgr. Bevington as very involved in parish life, never failing to sing “Wabash Cannonball” at social gatherings. Outside of parish life, there were two causes that were of the utmost importance to him: the people of Haiti and Catholic education. Msgr. Bevington is preceded in death by his parents, John Laurence and Mary Catherine (Halloran) Bevington, and brothers, John, Richard, Milton, and his infant sister, Mary Leyden. Survivors include his nieces, Mary Leyden Johnson (Victor S. III), Michael Sayles (John), Carol Parriott (Doug), Doris Wright, Joan Barkve and Mary-Laurence Bevington; his nephews, John (Julie), Richard, William (Martha), Milton (Nancy), Rickey (Robin), George (Kathy), Christian (Tracy), Charles and Justin (Tracy), and a loving extended family, including nineteen grand-nieces and grand-nephews, four great-grand nieces and nephews; two sisters-in-law, Frances (Richard) and Paula (Milton). His nephew, Peter, died in 2003. (Excerpted in part from the Tennessee Register, June 22, 2012 issue).
LONG-TIME PRIEST HONORED BY POPE Those who have known Fr. Bernard Niedergeses ‘43 for years simply as Fr. Bernard will have to practice his new name…Msgr. Bernard. Bishop David R. Choby ’65 announced in June that this long-time pastor has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to be Monsignor with the rank of Prelate of Honor to His Holiness. Provisions for this particular honor are reserved to those priests who distinguish themselves in their service to the Church. The Bishop indicated that while on his “Ad Limina” visit to the Holy See back in January, he had presented a letter requesting this honor for both Fr. Bernard and Fr. Bevington (left), who each served the Catholic faithful of Tennessee for over six decades. “I could not be more delighted than I am,” stated the bishop. “All of the priests of the Diocese of Nashville, as well as priests of our neighboring dioceses, look upon Fathers Bevington and Niedergeses as models for priestly life. Both men witness to a generous, unassuming way in which the Gospel is announced and supported in the lives of God’s people. As the Bishop of the Diocese of Nashville, in my own name and that of the priests, deacons, religious, and faithful, I say thank you and congratulations on a much deserved honor,” the bishop added. Msgr. Bernard has been pastor in numerous parishes in the diocese in his 60-year career of service, but he is most associated with two he’s headed for more than 40 years–since January 28, 1970–St. Pius X Church and The Church of the Assumption in Nashville where his calm and humble manner has endeared him to a large number of Nashville’s Catholics. He was born in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee and attended Sacred Heart School in Lawrenceburg. After three years at Lawrence County High School, he graduated from Father Ryan High School in Nashville in 1943. Bishop William Adrian assigned him to St. Charles College in Catonsville, Maryland; and he went on to St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. He was ordained by Bishop Adrian on June 3, 1950. Father Ryan joins the Bishop and the priests of the Diocese in congratulating Msgr. Bernard.
Michael La Haie Named Dean of Students Father Ryan welcomes Michael La Haie to its senior staff as the new Dean of Students. He joins Father Ryan from St. Cecilia Academy where he served as Dean of Student Affairs for the last seven years. Prior to that, he worked for the Metro School System teaching algebra and social studies and at Holy Rosary Academy. “The Dean of Students plays an important role in the total educational experience at Father Ryan, helping to direct policy, explore new initiatives and engage our students in the diverse opportunities here,” said Principal Paul Davis ’81. “Michael’s distinctive and varied roles in the educational community, his long and dedicated commitment to Catholic education and his experience as a Father Ryan parent make him particularly suited to this position. I have known him for some time, and I am excited to work alongside him in enhancing our students’ lives here at Father Ryan,” David continued. A native of Memphis, La Haie earned his B.S. from Memphis State University and his M.Ed from Middle Tennessee State University. He and his wife, Mary, have two children, Andrew, a 2009 Father Ryan graduate, and Sara, a 2011 St. Cecilia graduate. They are members of St. Henry parish.
THREE NAMED TO BOARD OF TRUST
David Glascoe, William R. Stejskal, III, ’79 and David Tehle have been named to the Father Ryan Board of Trust. Glascoe, who will serve as Finance Committee Chair, Stejskal and Tehle join a board that is led by Pat Nolan ’69, Chair; Judy Komisky Orr ’75, Vice Chair; Betty Lou Burnett, Membership Chair; Brett Wesnofske ’88, Facilities Committee Chair; Phil Mattingly ’69, Advancement Committee Chair. David Glascoe is CEO of Mary, Queen of Angels, an assisted living community sponsored by the Diocese of Nashville, overseeing the operation of Villa Maria Manor and the Cloister at St. Henry. He is currently President of the Board of Leasing Age of TN, a trade association for senior service providers, and President of the Board of the Catholic Community Investment and Loan. Previously, he has served on the Boards of Westminster School and St. Bernard Academy, as well as completing an earlier term on the Father Ryan Board.
Bill Stejskal is Senior Vice President of Human Resources for SMS Holdings Corp. He has served previous terms on the Father Ryan High School Board of Trustees, where he chaired the Athletic Programs Committee and Facilities Committee. He has served as Chairman of the Christ the King School Board and President of the Father Ryan High School Alumni Association.
David Tehle is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Dollar General Corporation. He has held leadership positions with several world leaders in manufacturing, including Haggar Corporation as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He has served as Board President of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Dallas and of St. Bernard Academy in Nashville. He currently chairs the Finance Committee of the Board of Directors for Jack in the Box. In June 2010, Tehle was named to Treasury & Risk magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in Finance. 3
Casey Jones Named New Director of College Counseling Casey Jones has been named the new Director of College Counseling for Father Ryan. Casey has been a part of the Father Ryan family since 2005, when she became coach of the Dance Team, and joined the College Counseling team in 2006.
In her element: Wilkinson proudly relates students’ achievements at military academy signing.
Director of College Counseling Retires
As Director of College Counseling, she will be responsible for providing a comprehensive college counseling program to prepare Father Ryan students for the college application and selection process. This is done through group presentations for students and parents and individual meetings for families, beginning junior year. In addition, the college counseling office provides opportunities for students in grades 9-12 to interact with college admissions representatives (like the College Spotlight) and provides information and resources for parents and students throughout the year. Casey earned her Master of Education from Belmont University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Mississippi State University. She came to Father Ryan from Education Services Foundation in Jackson, MS, which provides information and counseling on planning and pay for college to underserved populations state-wide. A certified Zumba instructor (you can see her in last fall’s Father Ryan flash mob), she has coached the Dance Team to a number of exceptional seasons. For the last three years, they have qualified to compete at the National Dance Team Championship at Disney World in Orlando. Last year at camp, she received the Coaches’ Leadership Award, voted on by the other coaches. The Dance Team performs at football games, pep rallies and basketball games throughout the year. We’re delighted to welcome Casey to this new position.
Sarah Wilkinson’s 12-year tenure as Father Ryan’s Director of College Counseling came to a close this summer, though not without a story first. And if you know Sarah, you know she is one heck of a storyteller. It all started in 2000 while she was living in Little Rock, AR. She was looking to move closer to her children in Nashville after her husband passed away, and on a tip from her daughter-in-law, she was put in touch with Father Ryan. “My daughter-in-law called me up and told me they had an opening in college counseling and to send in my resumé,” she says. For one reason or another, Sarah never could find her resumé, so her children wrote it for her. “My son said, ‘You now have an undergrad in psychology from Harvard and a master’s in counseling from Yale. There’s no way they aren’t going to hire you,’” she laughs. Of course he was joking, but nonetheless, Sarah was called in to interview with former principal Eddie Krenson and John Spore ’64. “They asked me what my career goals were, and I told them, ‘I’m 55 years old, and I don’t do anything I don’t want to do.’ Boy, I thought I was cooked then,” she exclaims. Turns out she was offered the job three times before she finally accepted. “They wanted me to start right away, but I didn’t think it was fair to leave [Mount St. Mary’s High School] during the
school year,” she says. After a little persistence, she finally agreed to join Father Ryan in January 2000 and never looked back. Her connection with students is palpable. When students waver on their college plans, it is her job to get them on track. Oftentimes, all it takes is asking the right question—if you could do anything in the world, what would it be? “I shoot straight with the kids, but I do it with a twinkle in my eye,” she says. She expects much from her students, and her knack for challenging and encouraging them has helped many go on to schools like Princeton, Air Force Academy and the University of Notre Dame. “I don’t make the decisions, I just point things out and then celebrate whatever they decide,” she says. She also maintains close relationships with many former students, and you can always count on her to have the latest scoop on young alumni. “I get into their business—that’s what I do,” she explains. Sarah will always recall Father Ryan fondly, “I have made so many wonderful friends here. These students have treated me like a queen.” She plans to spend her retirement with her mother, three children and following her grandson who is a rising star in the PGA Junior Series. One thing is for sure—her impact won’t be forgotten and her stories will live on at Father Ryan.
Richard Chambers Named Teacher of the Year Student Honored by Predators Foundation Graduating senior Sarah Plantz was honored by the Nashville Predators Foundation with the Jack Diller Education Award this past spring. The award is given to seniors who demonstrate leadership qualities in the classroom, on the athletic field and in the community. Out of 150 applicants statewide, only four recipients are chosen and awarded a scholarship. Candidates are nominated by a teacher, coach or college counselor. Student Council Wins National Award The National Association of Student Councils (NASC) has awarded Father Ryan the 2012 National Council of Excellence Award. Each year, the Association recognizes schools who demonstrate an exemplary record of leadership, service, and activities that serve to improve the school and community. Father Ryan was one of only 180 high schools across the country to receive the award. Kate Cole and Matt Puryer are Moderators of Student Council. Father Ryan Family Honored at Special Olympics The Nashville Special Olympics held its award ceremony at Father Ryan in April. Taylor Krieg ‘08 sister of senior Griffin Krieg, won the 2012 Athlete of the Year Award. The Krieg family has been actively involved with Special Olympics, whose spring games were hosted at Father Ryan last year.
To thunderous applause from an appreciative audience, Richard Chambers was presented the Bishop Alphonse Smith Teacher of the Year award at Baccalaureate Ceremonies over Graduation Weekend. Richard, who began his career at Father Ryan in 1969, was selected by the faculty and administration. He was saluted for his distinctive teaching style, his connection with his students and his contributions to the campus’s life. A teacher of history and psychology, Richard accepted the award by thanking his students, which he noted included those in the Class of 2012 as well as many of their parents and even a few grandparents who were gathered for the celebration. Nashville Symphony Features Father Ryan Flutist Rising senior Kenley Cadena was invited to play with the Nashville Symphony in April. She performed with a handful of other young flutists in the Pied Piper Fantasy, a flute concerto by John Corigliano. This November, she will travel with Father Ryan’s Marching Band to play at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Teacher Earns Volunteer of the Year Award
Griffin Krieg, Taylor Krieg, Natalie Krieg and Andrew Donaldson.
History teacher Kate Cole was named Home Board Volunteer of the Year by the Oasis Center in Nashville. She began working with Oasis Center through her membership with Junior League. During her two years with the Center, she worked in the Crisis Shelter serving meals to young people, accompanying them on community service trips and sending care packages to first-year college students through the College Connection Program.
Scouts Recognize Volunteers Two students earned the top scout awards for their volunteer service this year. Sam Edelen and Ben Meacham received their Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts, and Gina Beckman, Sarah Carson, and Liz Haynes received their Gold Award from the Girl Scouts. Approximately 5% of eligible Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts earn these awards each year. Yearbook Staff Earns State Press Awards The Irish Pride yearbook staff and moderator Dina Tate attended the Tennessee High School Press Awards in March and earned several awards. The student staff received second place in copywriting by 2012 graduate Anna Sharp and picked up four honorable mentions for design and copy.
Band Surprises Capitol Records, Dazzles at World Championships In February, country singer Keith Urban asked Father Ryan’s marching band to help him celebrate his newest single “You Gonna Fly.” The band surprised the Capitol Records staff by marching into the Nashville office playing a special rendition of Urban’s song. The band also hit it big at the WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio. The Winter Drumline placed sixth following a spectacular season. They also earned the title of Tennessee State Champions and WGI Southern Regional Champions earlier this year. Joe Selikff turned in the top performance in the Bands of America National Competition, winning the national title for tenor drums.
MLB Pitcher Recognizes Teacher English teacher Carol Brewer was cited as a positive influence in Major League Baseball pitcher R.A. Dickey’s book, When I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knucklebal released this spring. She taught Dickey in the early 1990s at MBA before he went on to UT Knoxville, where he was an English Lit major. Student Receives Scholarship Through Mentor Program Stephen Brennan graduated this past year with a scholarship from the ACE Mentor Program (Architecture, Construction and Engineering). His team developed “Music City Park”, a project to be located downtown. Stephen and his team were selected among seven other teams to continue on to a national competition where they placed 1st runner-up among 38 teams. His leadership and success earned him a $2000 scholarship. Stephen will pursue a degree in mechanical engineering at UT Knoxville in the fall. 6
Dance team stars at ut competition The Father Ryan Dance Team attended a Universal Dance Association camp at the University of Tennessee in July. All three dancers who auditioned were named All-Americans, Kelsey Barrett, Jessica Brennan and Maddy Walters. These dancers were invited to perform in a New Year’s Day Parade in London, England. The team placed second in the home routine competition and received the Team Full Out Award for the best group dance. They were also voted by the other campers to receive the Camp Leadership Award and Super Spirit Sticks. Congratulations to the 2012-2013 Father Ryan Dance Team! Pictured: Front Row (L to R) Coach Kathryn Guion, Maddy Walters, Amanda Rains, Claire Lumm Second Row (L to R) Megan Miller, Jessica Brennan, Kristen Hobbs, Stephanie Beagle, Coach Casey Jones Third Row (L to R) Courtney Tipps, Kelsey Barrett, Caitlyn Woodside Not Pictured: Bailey Dahl
Student Wins Film Festival Award Julia Jones ‘12 has been recognized by the Reality Bytes Independent Student Film Festival for her short film entry. She received a Best in Show in the High School category at this year’s festival for Forever Sam, a film about a girl obsessed with her high school crush. This is not Julia’s first short film. She has directed and produced dozens, including her latest titled Captivated about a girl who kidnaps her crush. “My genre is drama and thrillers. I would consider those my forte,” she says. Among her style inspirations are 1950s film noir Sunset Boulevard and director David Fincher, known for his dark thrillers. For the last four years, she saved up money to purchase the professional camera that she uses for her shorts, categorized as a 30-45 minute film. Just like a professional director, she also holds auditions for actors and has cast several friends from local theatres. Long before she began producing films, she honed her skills with writing. “I’ve been a writer my entire life. Since I could write, I’ve been writing stories,” she says. Before her freshman year at Father Ryan she traveled to Los Angeles for a screenwriting talent program with Duke University. That is where she discovered her love for directing. “It was really life-changing. As soon as I picked up a camera, I knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Jones states. Since then, she has been attending film school every summer
at New York Film Academy and spent a month shooting in Los Angeles back lots. Her involvement with the fine arts at Father Ryan is just as extensive. She played the part of step-sister Portia in last year’s Cinderella and co-directed the Purple Masque Player’s Sing Down the Moon and Midsummer Night’s Dream. “You have to take responsibility when directing your peers. You can’t goof off—you have to be the leader and role model. It’s a weird transition from being friend then director,” she says. Outside of the arts, she is an active volunteer, earning her Girl Scout Gold Award and United States Gold Volunteer Service Award. Her volunteer work was mainly through Happy Tails which helped her earn the U.S. Award. This past year, she served as president of the Creative Writing Club, Mu Alpha Theta and the Father Ryan Singers. She is also a black belt in Tai Kwon Do. “I really love the community here. I can’t describe what a great experience Father Ryan has been, especially with opportunities like student directing,” Jones states. This fall she will attend NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, one of the most prestigious art schools in the country with only a 3% acceptance rate. She plans to spend her summer producing as many short films as possible and building a strong YouTube following. You can view Julia’s films at: Youtube.com/user/ GingerChildFilms. 7
Graduation Summer 2012
Celebrating The Class of 2012 Big day for the class of 2012; (above) graduates prepare to receive their diplomas; (top right) Salutatorian Jessica Zic and Valedictorian Domenic Canonico; (right) Students Maris Keller, Zach Kent, Zack Kirby, and Nawal Kirmani are ready to celebrate.
The members of the Class of 2012 are an impressive bunch, and with their diplomas in hand, they are set to embark on some of the most exciting and admirable pathways in Father Ryan’s history. Just how impressive, you ask? Eleven military appointments, 17 perfect subject scores on the ACT and SAT, nine National Merit scholars, two National Merit finalists, and dozens of inductions into honor societies like Cum Laude and Cardinal Newman, which inducts students scoring 30 or higher on ACT or SAT equivalent. These graduates also earned acceptances to 117 schools and over $19 million in scholarships. Father Ryan’s valedictorian and salutatorian represent just a small spectrum of what this class has accomplished. Valedictorian Domenic Canonico earned First Prize from the Veterans of Foreign Wars at Post and District levels with his 8
Voice of Democracy essay. During his four years competing in track and crosscountry, he earned a spot in the 400-mile Club and 7th place in 3200m at the Region Championship; he was also named captain his senior year for both teams. He has been a leader in several organizations and honor societies including president of Cum Laude Society. As if those weren’t enough, Domenic also plays classical piano and trumpet, speaks Italian and has earned class awards in Latin and Chinese. He has demonstrated a strong commitment to service with several organizations—ER and orthopedic assistant at St. Thomas Hospital, member of Father Ryan’s Relay for Life Leadership Committee, Room in the Inn, Loaves and Fishes, March for Life and the list goes on. All of this earned him the Good Citizens Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution. There’s been no shortage of accolades
for salutatorian Jessica Zic, either. She is a proud member and section leader of Father Ryan’s award-winning marching band and winter drumline. In 2010 she was asked to sit on a panel for The Dreyfuss Initiative to discuss the importance of American civic education; that information was later presented by Richard Dreyfuss and John Siegenthaler at the Tennessee Governor’s Mansion. She has also traveled to Salamanca, Spain to study Spanish; she was one of four students selected to participate in the televised Westfield Insurance Quizbusters Game show; and she was chosen to participate in Rutgers University’s year-long Waksman Research Program to analyze DNA for biofuel research. Her membership is also extensive—Mu Alpha Theta, Eucharistic minister, Rachel’s Challenge Club (Co-President) and more. Like Domenic, she has been a strong leader
Serving our Country: (from left) Bradley, Faimon, Menke, Fisher, Hooker. Students Answer the Call to Serve A record number of students received appointments to military academies this year. Continuing Father Ryan’s long and celebrated history are six students with 11 appointments among them: Tyson Bradley received appointments from both the Air Force and the Naval Academy, and has accepted a post at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. He is a member of the Cardinal Newman Society and a cross country and track athlete. Caitlin Faimon also received an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. Before she heads to Colorado, she will be competing in the Irish Dance World Championships in Belfast, Ireland. She is also a member of Cum Laude.
in her community, attending the National Catholic Youth Convention and Youth Leadership Workshop. On top of that, she was chosen to be part of the St. Henry Church Youth Commission for two years. Colleges across the country have taken notice of these two: Domenic was accepted to Notre Dame, Vanderbilt and Fordham, and Jessica was accepted to Notre Dame, Vanderbilt and St. Mary’s College. Both will continue their Irish tradition at Notre Dame this fall. The Class of 2012 has marked its four years with success across the board—in faith, knowledge and service, and in everything that a Father Ryan education embodies. Nothing can stop these students from following their aspirations across the globe.
Sara Menke, who received an appointment to the Air Force Academy and Naval Academy, will join Tyson and Caitlin at the Air Force Academy. She is an All-American State Champion swimmer and a member of the National Honor Society, Cum Laude, Cardinal Newman and St. Vincent de Paul Service Society. Michael Hooker was accepted to the Naval Academy Prep School in Rhode Island. Although a transfer student, he quickly made an impression on Father Ryan’s wrestling team, setting the state record for most career wins and claiming his third state championship. Ricky Fisher was accepted to three military academies—West Point, Coast Guard and the Merchant Marines and will attend the Merchant Marines Academy in New York. During high school, he was a state champion in wrestling and a regular on the gridiron. Cole Moseley earned appointments to the Air Force Academy and the Coast Guard Academy. However, he has chosen to continue his college career at American University where he will also wrestle. Father Ryan students have always exemplified the strong character and moral fiber valued by the nation’s military academies. Since 2000, 24 students have received appointments to these distinguished institutions. 9
Athletics Summer 2012
WINTER, SPRING SPORTS STORM THE STATE
The sight of Father Ryan athletes filling the fields, rinks and courts for the State Championships of the TSSAA is a familiar one; but this year had even more purple on display as virtually every winter and spring Irish team made the postseason. Through one team title, several individual titles, two team runners-up and several final fours, the pride of the Irish shone in the talent and sportsmanship of our athletes. Here’s a salute to a stellar group of student-athletes who made these seasons successful for Father Ryan. Wrestling Claims 19th Team and 79th Individual Titles Father Ryan’s wrestling team brought home their 19th state wrestling championship this year. Many have compared this incredible win with the 1974 championship, though this marks the first time ever that all 14 starting wrestlers placed in the tournament. Three took home state titles: TJ Holmes, Ricky Fisher and Michael Hooker. Hooker finished the season as the state’s all-time leader in wins with 239, setting the single-season record with 65 wins and finished with a victory streak of 115. State-runner ups were Michael Eckhart, Chris Wesnofske, Mark Marchetti and Cole Moseley, who set the school record for career wins. Garrett Lagattuta came in third in the state, with teammates Ryan Simpson, Mike Ayers and Patrick Cosgrove placing 4th. Hal Fisher and Steven Nolan placed 5th in state with Brandon Christy bringing home 6th. Cole Moseley finished his career with 154 wins, the most ever by a Father Ryan wrestler. Michael Hooker was offered a scholarship to the Naval Academy along with TJ Holmes to UT Chattanooga, Cole Moseley to American University and the Air Force and Ricky Fisher to West Point and the Merchant Marines. Needless to say this was definitely a season to remember for Father Ryan wrestling. 10
Basketball Peaks At State A season that was clearly pegged as a rebuilding one produced a memorable state run that took the mens basketball to the final four. With no seniors on the team and no one taller than 6'5", the Irish relied on their speed and outside shooting to topple Brentwood Academy and Christian Brothers to get to the state semifinals. Despite head-spinning drives by Jamonte Graham and the outside threat from Griffin Connolly, they came up one game short, losing to eventual state champion Ensworth. The Lady Irish were strong throughout the year. They also were dependent on their outside shooting and tough defense, and the combination resulted in big victories over powers like Ensworth and BA. Led by seniors Shannon Brady, Jamie Chauvin, Brittany Burns and Nicole Lytle, they played every team close, no better illustrated than the state quarters when they lost to Briarcrest by four points. Rugby Record Streak Snapped After three consecutive state titles and having completed its fourth straight undefeated season, the expectation for another state champions banner was realistic. The team had stormed through the regular season with its normal combination of strong offense and impenetrable defense.
Swimming After topping White Station in the semifinals, the matchup with Ravenwood–one of the team’s fiercest rivals–for the crown was expected to be hard-fought. That was the understatement of the tournament. Neither team gave in over the course of the match, and in a low-scoring game, the Irish suffered its first loss since 2008 by a score of 6-5. Hockey Skates to Final Four The varsity hockey team continued its streak of successful seasons with another trip to the state playoffs this year, going all the way to the state semi-final game and finishing as one of the top four teams in the state. Some of the other highlights of the year include victories against JPII, the defending state champions, Brentwood and sweeping the season series against MBA. The team was led by captains Andrew Mueller, Doug Bolton, Mel Lonsway and Zac Appleby. Andy Franklin set a Father Ryan record by recording 11 shutouts in his three years as starting goalie for the Irish. An Early Goal Seals Soccer’s Fate In typical fashion the defending state champion mens soccer team started solidly and then got stronger as the season wore on. Heading into the state semifinals against McCallie, the Irish fashioned a 2-1 victory to vault them into their second straight title game against Baylor, one of the top teams in the nation. However, an early goal was all that Baylor needed, and when a late Father Ryan flurry produced an ideal scoring chance that just sailed wide past an open post, the outcome was settled, 1-0.
Swimming coach Shannon Philbin commended her team for another successful season, noting that every swimmer showed improvement throughout the year. “They would never let themselves become discouraged or lose faith in their abilities to touch the wall first,” she said. Notable achievements include the Relay Invitational where the men’s team placed 4th and the women’s team placed 3rd for a combined team finish of 2nd place. The Irish made a splash at the Excel Invitational where the men ranked 10th, the women ranked 7th and the combined team ranked 8th among more than 20 competing teams. Bowling The bowling team celebrated two players in the state tournament this year. From the girls’ team, sophomore Emily Kerinuk and junior Catie Bohleber qualified for state tournament play. They advanced to the semi-finals where Emily placed 21st and Catie placed 15th. The Irish hit the lanes this season with plenty of enthusiasm and hope to shatter more pins next year. Softball and Baseball Roll Both baseball and softball teams rode strong pitching and some timely hitting into the playoffs this year, and it looked like both would make the state bracket. But an extra inning loss eliminated the baseball team. Softball stretched its season further than any in the last five years only to miss out of a title run. Lacrosse Hits Its Stride: Wilson a Field Force Mens Lacrosse found the playoffs and traveled to Memphis where MUS ended their season. In addition, track produced a field force as senior Jim Wilson placed in the top ten in both the discus and the shot put, setting school records in the process.
Athletics Summer 2012
JIm Carell Fitness Center Opened August 4
Jim Carell Fitness Center comes to life: Mary, Our Lady of Grace statue in lobby; Simpson family (right) at announcement, Phillip and Sue in front, Stephanie ‘90, Pat ‘74, and Kirby.
In less than a year since its groundbreaking, the Jim Carell Fitness Center opens officially on August 4 with a Mass by Bishop David Choby ’65 and a ribbon cutting led by Mr. Carell and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.
feet. The Sports Medicine room is dramatically expanded and improved and the new locker rooms are clean, well laid out and more functional for both the players and coaches.
The new Center, which has taken shape on the north end of the Catignani-Drennan Fieldhouse, was funded with a $3.5 million gift from Mr. Carell, a 1954 graduate, and a number of other alumni, parents and friends of the school. The donors and more than 1,500 people from throughout the Father Ryan community will celebrate the new facility at the special Saturday Night Workout event, with tours, food and historical salutes to Irish athletes from past and present. “This is a transformational day for our students and an historic day for our school,” said President Jim McIntyre. “This Center will be used by every member of our school— students and faculty alike—both through competition and classes and will further our goal of educating and preparing our young men and women for lives of service and commitment. We are grateful to Mr. Carell for his enormous generosity and leadership and to all the donors who have made this a reality for our community,” McIntyre continued.
One of the features of the new space is Victory Hall, honoring the achievements of student-athletes throughout Father Ryan’s history, and the new Team Room, which can accommodate up to 70 for team meetings and special events.
NEW WRESTLING FACILITY NAMED FOR Coach SIMPSON The new wrestling facility in the Jim Carell Fitness Center has been named the Patrick Simpson ’74 Wrestling Facility to honor the long-time Irish coach. Father Ryan President Jim McIntyre made the surprise announcement to Simpson and his family in June at a special preview of the Center exclusively for the Simpson family. A group of donors had approached Mr. McIntyre about the idea and committed funds to name the facility for the wrestling program’s longest serving head coach.
The Fitness Center adds over 15,000 square feet of new space, including a fitness and strength room, sports medicine room, team room, wrestling facility and locker rooms, and almost 15,000 square feet of renovated space for coaches offices, meeting areas and added locker rooms.
Simpson has been a faculty member in the wellness and social science departments since 1979 and has served as the head coach of wrestling for the same period of time. He is also the linebacker coach for the football team and previously served as the head coach of softball from 1987-97, winning the state title in 1995.
The Center’s entrance includes a statue of Our Lady of Grace, a new statue of the Blessed Mother that rests upon a pedestal from the roofline of the original Elliston Place school building and is framed by bricks from the Elliston Place building and the Faculty House–which was built in the 1860s.
Since becoming just the fourth wrestling head coach in Father Ryan’s history in 1979, his teams have won seven team and eight dual state titles with 59 wrestlers earning individual state titles. He was inducted into the MTSU Wrestling Hall of Fame earlier in 2012.
The new Fitness and Strength Room is 4,500 square feet with all new equipment, compared to the old space of 900 square
In making the announcement, McIntyre praised Simpson’s work ethic and his commitment to the school’s students.
New Faces in Athletics The 2012-13 sports season at Father Ryan will mark the debuts of two new Irish coaches. Mark Williams brings his All-American credentials and his varied offensive experience to the football team as the new Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator. And Father Ryan alumnus Mike Wilson ’00 takes the reins as the new Fitness and Strength Coach. Both have already begun their work this summer in preparation for a sterling season for all Irish athletes. Mark Williams brings over 11 years of coaching experience to the Irish, most recently as offensive line coach at Mountain View High School in Suwanee, GA. Previously, he was the offensive line coach at Woodward Academy in Atlanta after serving two years as the head coach of the Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, RI. A 1999 graduate of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA, Williams was a three-time All American, the Walter Camp Lineman of the Year as a senior and a two-time Southern Conference Lineman of the Year. He played on the 1999 Div. I-AA National Championship team as well as three conference title teams and coached on the staff of two Southern Conference championship teams. Williams said, “To join a school with such a rich history, enthusiastic fans and a longstanding commitment to its students, its faith and its community is an opportunity that excites me greatly. My wife, Candi, and I look forward to being a part of the Irish tradition for years to come.”
“Pat is a Father Ryan teacher through and through, whether in the classroom, on the field, or on the mat. For more than two decades he has represented excellence and achievement and has a legacy of student-athletes who are better people because they were coached by Pat. Naming this wrestling facility after him—and saluting the Simpson family, who have been integral parts of this community and this sport—is natural. Its addition to the campus will only enhance the program. It will also be a lasting tribute to his many accomplishments and the impact he has had on our students.” Simpson and his wife, Stephanie, have a son, freshman Kirby, and a daughter, Caroline. He earned a B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University and a M.Ed. from Tennessee State University. The new Pat Simpson ‘74 Wrestling Facility is a 3,000 square foot addition to the Fitness Center with permanent seating for more than 250 spectators. It creates over 7,500 square feet of wrestling floor space, enabling the school to line up three mats and extend the practice space for the entire team.
A native of Albany, GA, Williams received his B.S. from Georgia Southern and his M.A. in Sports Administration from American Public University. He was inducted into the Albany Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. Mike Wilson comes to Father Ryan from Middle Tennessee State University where he has served as the assistant strength coach since 2008 and a professor of Kinesiology for the last year. Prior to that he was also at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA, where he served as the graduate assistant strength coach and a graduate teaching assistant. He founded the Men’s Lacrosse Club at Georgia Southern and served as its coach for two seasons. Wilson received his B.S. in Psychology from the College of Charleston in 2004. He earned his M.S. in Kinesiology at Georgia Southern in 2007. Wilson said, “To have the opportunity to work and coach at a school I love, and which helped shape me, is a real honor. I am humbled to be able to extend Father Ryan’s commitment to setting the national standard as we unveil the new Jim Carell Fitness Center to our students and community.”
Events Summer 2012
Band Marches On After Triumphant Gala March’s Legacy Gala struck a chord with attendees who banded together to support one of Father Ryan’s most celebrated student programs. Thanks to the generosity of the over 600 guests who filled the Loews Vanderbilt to dine, bid and salute the accomplishments of our marching band program and our band director Jeff Schletzer, a remarkable $130,000 was raised. Over $24,700 of that was the result of our Stand Up for The Band program, which will help fund the band’s trip to New York City in November to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Another $9,000 was raised for specific classroom and departmental needs through the Giving Tree.
Undoubtedly, the most poignant moment of the night was the surprise performance by the marching band. Not even the night’s honoree Jeff Schletzer knew! The unmistakable drum beat of the Fight Song filled the room and stirred the crowd to their feet in the ultimate crescendo of the evening. A special thanks to our Presenting Sponsors: Barbara and Mike ‘76 Barrett; Taylor, Pigue, Marchetti & Mink; and Vandenbergh Insurance, as well as the dozens of supporters and volunteers for their help in making the Legacy Gala a success.
Winners of the Lou Graham Alumni Golf Tournament
Members of the Class of 1957.
Reunion Weekend Caps Off Another Successful Year
Brandon Emerson ‘04, Graham Carter ’04, Blake Emerson ’99 and Ryan Nicholson ’99 who won the tournament with a score of 54. Nicholson also won the putting contest.
Reunion Weekend welcomed back hundreds of alumni, members from 2007 to 1952, and every five years in between celebrated with class reunion parties. The Class of 1962 celebrated 50 years with induction into the Golden Grad Society on Sunday. Saturday’s Lou Graham Alumni Golf Tournament sold out for the first time in recent years, with Lou Graham ’56 on hand to offer putting tips. Special congratulations to teammates 14
With picture perfect weather, the weekend rekindled friendships and reminded us of the strong Ryan connections we hold so close. The Alumni Office would like to thank all the volunteers, Reunion Committees, Class Reps and Sponsors who made Reunion Weekend 2012 an overwhelming success. Most importantly, we thank our alumni who came to the reunion events.
Long family continues tradition of service with work on Ryan chapel by Andy Telli
When Bubba Long heard Father Ryan High School needed new liturgical furniture for its renovated St. James Chapel, he wanted to put his woodworking skills to use to help his alma mater. Long told Jim McIntyre, president of the school, “I want to do this.” Being of service to Father Ryan is a Long family tradition. Long’s grandfather, Leo Long, was a legendary football and basketball coach at Ryan from 1925 until he died in December 1956. “He’s in the first 30 pictures” of graduating classes hanging in the hall at Father Ryan, said Long. Four generations of the Long family have been connected to Father Ryan as a teacher or student, Long said. His father, Larry Long, and his children Joseph Long and Jessica Long, all are Ryan graduates. “Hopefully, my grandson will go there for five generations,” Bubba Long said. The renovation of the chapel is part of a $3.5 million project at Ryan, financed with a donation by Ryan graduate and Nashville businessman Jim Carell, that also includes the expansion of the Catignani-Drennan Fieldhouse. “The chapel had been leaking pretty much since” it was built in the early 1990s, said Lee Carter, a former member of the Ryan board of trustees and the owner of the construction company, the Carter Group, that did the work. “There were some architectural details that just didn’t work.” The old roof was taken off and a new roof was constructed, Carter explained. In the process, clerestory windows and new lighting were added. During the day, the clerestory windows allow more light into the chapel, and at night the lights inside the chapel shine through the windows, making the chapel a more prominent building on the campus. The project also included a new wood ceiling, a reconfigured drainage system for the exterior of the roof, a renovated wood floor, all new furniture, and a new confessional space. Long, a captain with the Nashville Fire Department, recruited Drew Smith, a fellow firefighter and 1992 Ryan graduate who is married to Long’s niece, to help make the liturgical furniture. Since March, Smith put in about 60 hours on the project and Long about 150 hours, Long said. Although he’s done woodworking and made furniture for many years, this was the first time Long had worked on liturgical furniture. He made the altar, two candlestick holders, an ambo, baptismal font, the celebrant’s chair and celebrant’s side table, and he is finishing work on a tabernacle stand. School officials showed Long a photograph of an altar at a church in Washington, D.C., and said they wanted their furniture to have a similar style.
Bubba Long, top right, and Drew Smith, both alumni of Father Ryan High School and firefighters for the Nashville Fire Department, made and donated the altar and other liturgical furniture to the school for use in the renovated St. James Chapel. Bishop Choby blessed the renovated chapel (below) The furniture is built out of white oak in the Missionary or Cribbing style, a traditional method of building tables and chairs, Long said. “I think the stuff there will never go out of date.” Long worked on the furniture in his shop on his days off from the Fire Department, sometimes working 10 hours a day on the project. “I went through 13 12-inch boards,” Long said, “and six garbage bags full of sawdust from milling everything.” Ryan provided the materials and Long and Smith donated their time and labor. Long and Smith were on hand on Tuesday, April 17, when Bishop David Choby celebrated Mass in the chapel to bless the furniture and the renovated space. “Renewing a chapel is one of the most important projects I’ve been involved in,” McIntyre said. “I hope you know how blessed we are to have this place,” he told the students attending the Mass. The chapel was built at the center of the Ryan campus “with a purpose,” Bishop Choby said at the end of the Mass. Its location on campus is a reminder to faculty, staff and students of the role that faith plays at the school, the bishop said. “I hope this will be a place…you can find your relationship with Christ,” he said. (©Reprinted with permission from the Tennessee Register, April 27, 2012 issue).
Using the photograph as inspiration, “I pretty much designed everything,” said Long. 15
Cover Story Summer 2012
Being in the right place at the right time, a whole-hearted desire for hard work, and a foundation of Christian ideals are ingredients three Father Ryan Alumni will tell you helped them get to the top of their game—in the business of professional sports.
played three sports in college—none of them well,” said Adolpho A. Birch III, a senior vice president of law and labor policy for the National Football League and a 1984 graduate of Father Ryan High School. “But I had no aching desire to be in the sports business as a career. It was the law I was practicing that led me to sports, and once I made the career choice, I never looked back.” The son of the revered Tennessee judiciary giant oversees drug testing policy and enforcement for America's most popular professional sport, and in his 15 years with the League, Birch’s reputation has tagged him the NFL’s “drug czar”. “The labor piece—the collective bargaining—is really at the center of our universe,” says Birch. “Steroid issues and some of the other integrity issues of the game are also my focus, but there are many things that fall under the rubrics of sports law work.” Birch, who was his Father Ryan class valedictorian and is a graduate of Harvard University and Vanderbilt School of Law, was initially involved with the league’s labor relations council dealing with the union on collective bargaining agreement grievances with players, when the NFL came knocking at his door. His player interaction led to work with various conduct and drug policies and over time grew to be his principal focus. Birch’s endeavors have produced inroads. The NFL has by and large been praised for its proactive and aggressive efforts to regulate steroid use among its players; and today Birch is confident that as a result of the League’s vigilance, the general public is in no danger of turning on ESPN and discovering—as has been the case in other major sports leagues—a generation of players abusing performance— enhancing drugs. What lies at the center of this confidence is Birch’s belief in the NFL’s value system and its desire to put a product out on the field to be proud of.
For Chuck Meriwether, a Major League Baseball Umpire Supervisor and 1974 Father Ryan graduate, the beginnings of a 20 year career behind home plate were simpler and represented a less complex era.
y father loved baseball and we spent our summer vacations traveling to Atlanta to see games,” said Meriwether. “I played baseball at Father Ryan and at Athens State College in Alabama. When I graduated, I saw an ad in Sporting News for The Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School in Daytona Beach, FL and thought what a great place to spend the winter. “I didn’t know any umpires, but I liked the game and things just kind of worked out. I’ve been very blessed.” Meriwether retired from on-field work in 2010 after 22 years and now travels the U.S. scouting minor league umpires in search of new blood for Major League Baseball. Meriwether suited up in the American League from 1988 to 1999 and umpired in both leagues from 2000-2009. During his 18-year stint as a Major League Umpire, he worked eight Division Series, two League Championship Series, two World Series and two All-Star Games. He also worked two of the 25 perfect games in MLB history. After joining the League’s staff, he became only the fifth African American umpire in major league history. Coincidentally, Meriwether was behind the plate when the Boston Red Sox—the last major league team to integrate its roster—won its first World Series in 86 years in 2004, and he was again behind the plate when they won the Series three years later in 2007.
Birch’s law work is not only a reflection of a system of values held by his employer, but from a core system he took away from his time at Father Ryan. “The combination of trials and triumphs, joys, challenges and emotional events got me where I needed to be,” says Birch of his high school pursuits. “The people I was surrounded by at Ryan—classmates and authority figures—tended to be good, solid people who thought the best of other people and tried to inculcate that kind of thinking in me,” said Birch. “You’re always in a position to either help somebody or not help somebody,” says Birch. “In its purest form, you grow to that principle that allows you to do things for others without giving it much thought.”
Meriwether calms David Ortiz during World Series play. 17
Cover Story Summer 2012 “I’ve been fortunate to get here,” said Meriwether, “It’s a tough road to get to the big leagues and there are only 68 major league umps. It’s almost like a Supreme Court Judge’s seat in that there’s not much turnover.” “There have probably been a lot of minor league umps that have been passed over because it was not the right time and place,” said Meriwether, “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. I know God had a plan for me.” Meriwether’s wife, Curline Meriwether, taught Spanish at Father Ryan before her untimely death in 2011. The Meriwethers have two sons who are Father Ryan alumni, like their father: Jeremy a 2004 graduate and Chris, a 2007 graduate. Meriwether is quick to point to his time at Father Ryan as one filled with great friends, great teachers and great coaches, especially Boots Donnelly [Baseball, Football coach–1973-1976} who “took me under his wing,” says Meriwether. When it comes to exemplary resumés, Kenneth C. Scull, a 1965 Father Ryan graduate, walks with honors and spheres of influence almost too comprehensive to replay.
n his 15th season as stadium manager for Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium at the University of Louisville, KC Scull oversees the day-today operation of the stadium and stadium clubs, including scheduling and management of athletic events, public gatherings, corporate and private functions and concerts. He also serves as an adjunct professor for the University Sports Administration graduate and undergraduate degree programs. Scull joined the Cardinals in 1997 after serving five years as the deputy director of athletics at the U.S. Military Academy. He rose to the rank of Army Colonel before retiring from the military and directed nearly 100 staff and support personnel for the Army’s 24 men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletic programs. He directly supervised maintenance, scheduling and business activities for the Cadets’ major athletic facilities. One of the first Father Ryan graduates to earn an appointment to a military academy, Scull graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1969 with a degree in engineering and played football for three seasons. He returned to the Academy from 1975-78 while serving as an active duty assistant coach and admissions support officer for the athletic department. He 18
earned a master’s degree in public administration at Oklahoma as well as a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Louisville. Commissioned in the Infantry branch of the U.S. Army upon his graduation from West Point, Scull held a variety of staff positions and commands, including the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry at Schofield Barracks, HI. Overseas tours took him to Germany and Vietnam. “By far, the most defining point in my career was my responsibility of leading troops in battle,” says Scull. “It shaped the man I’ve carried through the rest of my life.” While Scull left Nashville after graduating from Father Ryan, the distance has not diminished his bonds of friendship nor the memories of his high school experience. “It was a much different time then,” says Scull. “It cost my parents $120 a month to send me to Ryan. We studied, but we had fun. We used to meet up in the mornings on West End around MBA and hitchhike to school,” remembers Scull, “I was on Ryan’s first wrestling team, as well.” “The one thing that I did leave Nashville with was my wife,” said Scull, who is a father of five and grandfather of six. “The priests, teachers and people I called friends left impressions,” said Scull. “Bobby Garmon ‘65 is still one of my closest; I talk to him all the time.” Collectively, outside the success Birch, Meriwether and Scull have enjoyed, each shares a belief in the importance of sustaining the legacy of understanding the value of what a Father Ryan education brings to the formation of a young person’s life. “It begins with a determination of what the value of the institution was for you and then what you think that value should impart to others,” says Birch. “If you value the experience you had, it would stand to reason you would want to foster that experience for other folks.” “I have nieces and a nephew there, and I consider Ryan a connection to my community.” said Birch. “I still regard myself a Nashvillian and always will. My experiences there were worthy ones, and it is important to me that others are able to take advantage of the same thing.” Perhaps, the hand-to-glove relationship between success and a Christ-centered life is best mapped out by the man who’s spent his career ruling the plays of the game. “In my day, a Catholic education meant keeping God at the center of your life and keeping your nose clean. God has a plan for us, and if we stick with that plan, things will work out for us,” says Meriwether.
Numerous alumni have taken their athletic experience with the Irish into Athletic Careers around the country; on the business side, coaching And/or playing professionally. Here is a Sampling:
Hannah Blatt ‘06 is the promotions coordinator for the Colorado Rockets, she graduated from Vanderbilt University where she was a member of the women’s tennis team. Tracy Cepnio ’03 is the head coach for the women’s lacrosse team at Millsaps College. In 2009, she joined Millsaps as the team’s first coach. She previously served as an assistant to the women’s lacrosse and field hockey teams at Washington and Jefferson College Tracy Cepnio in Pennsylvania. She was also a four-year letter winner for Ohio Wesleyan’s lacrosse team and helped them claim the 2005 NCAA Div. II title. Alex Craw ’06 is the high school fishing program director for the Student Angler Federation, part of The B.A.S.S. Federation. He has helped establish high school bass fishing tournament championships in 46 states. During his time at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, he launched the school’s fishing team. Matt Devlin ’86 is the official voice of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors. Since 2008, he has served as the club’s television play-by-play announcer and is considered one of the top young broadcasters in the industry. He has called games for the NFL, MLB, WNBA; and college basketball, football and baseball; and has broadcast with NBC at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games. Hunter Hughes ’87 is the defensive coordinator for Colorado State University at Pueblo. In 2011, he was named the FootballScoop Division II Coordinator of the Year. His team
led the conference in turnover ratio in 2009 and 2010. Prior to CSU at Pueblo, he was a defensive graduate assistant for the University of Colorado and the University of Tennessee football teams. Kat (McNamara) Ihlenburg ‘00 is the head softball coach for Georgia Gwinnett College, located outside Atlanta. She is the team’s first head coach and will lead the Kat Ihlenburg team during their inaugural season in 2013. Previously, she coached at Reinhardt College and then served as assistant coach at the College of Charleston for seven years. During college at Barry University, she played catcher and outfield, helping take her team to the 2002 Division II College World Series.
America All-American, first-team National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American and NSCAA first-team All-Mid-Atlantic region. He was drafted by DC United of the MLS. He recently signed with the Wilmington Hammerheads in United Soccer League. Pat Simpson ’74 and Frank Simpson ’75 are the head wrestling coaches for Father Ryan and MBA, respectively. They lead two of the most recognized wrestling programs in Tennessee. During college, Pat was a Southern tournament winner and a qualifier for the NCAA nationals in wrestling at MTSU. Frank was a fouryear letter winner and wrestling team captain for MTSU. In 2012, they were inducted into MTSU’s first Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Ernie Owusu ’06 is a defensive end for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. He was picked up as a free agent by Minnesota in 2012 after a successful career at the University of California. During his time with the Golden Bears, he played 42 games with 18 starts and 55 tackles. He was named first-team Pac-12 All-Academic his senior year and is a two-time first-team ESPN All-District 8 pick.
Charles Rodriguez Charles Rodriguez ’08 just finished four years with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s soccer team. He helped the 49ers reach the College Cup finals for the first time in history. He was named first-team Soccer 19
Cover Story Summer 2012
t the height of the sports season, Ashlee Schenk and Doug Bontrager ’81 are sometimes putting in 16-hour days. “I get to school at 7:00 a.m., help students until school starts, teach until 2:50, then go to JV games at 4:00, play at 8:00, go home and watch two hours of film,” says Doug. Both he and Ashlee are full-time teachers and head coaches. He teaches AP Calculus and coaches mens varsity basketball; she teaches College Algebra and Trigonometry and coaches varsity softball. Throughout their careers, they have learned to sacrifice, prioritize and balance a challenging schedule. “You get here early and stay late. And then you have to find time to grade and plan,” says Ashlee. Doug agrees, “It feels like two full-time jobs sometimes. It’s very demanding.” Ashlee started at Father Ryan in 2006. As a Brentwood Academy alumna, she was familiar with the school, and after coming on campus, she knew where she wanted to be. “Father Ryan seemed like a perfect fit for me,” she says. This year she will begin her third year as the head softball coach, but she also admits coaching is still a learning process. “I still go to [volleyball coach] Jinx Cockerham and Doug for pointers on how to deal with certain things.”
Supportive colleagues have been the cornerstone for much of their successes. “I felt like I belonged here,” says Doug, who began his career at Father Ryan in 1985. “We have such a good group of people. They really embrace you and look out for you.” After more than 25 years teaching and coaching sports—baseball, track, tennis and basketball—he is still learning. “The game changes year after year so I’m always learning something. That’s why I like coaching. It’s like you start all over again the following year,” he says. Doug and Ashlee know that teaching and coaching is more than reciting lessons and running plays all day. “We’re helping students with life skills, teaching them time management and how to prioritize,” Ashlee says. Having students in the classroom and on the court or diamond has shed light on a different side of their personalities, and it makes the experience much more rewarding. “These kids are fun and they keep you young. I love to teach and be impactful during a time when these kids are the most impressionable. Very few professions allow you to do that,” says Doug. Admittedly competitive, they grew up playing sports—Ashlee played basketball and softball, the latter in college, and Doug played basketball and ran cross country. Much like the adrenaline rush from a neck-and-neck game, teaching and coaching teenagers keeps them on their toes. While they agree they want to win championships, making an impact with their students means more than winning. “My goal is to see them go on to lead productive lives,” says Ashlee. Doug couldn’t agree more, “It’s about staying true to our mission and allowing our student-athletes to be the best they can be.” 20
Class Notes Summer 2012
Above: Colonel Ted Donnelly ‘85 pictured on the right with General Austin. Center: Tanise L. Jackson, DVM ‘79. Right: Claude Watkins ‘40 with grandson, Jack. 1940 CLAUDE WATKINS is living in the Washington, DC area with his son, Kelly, who brought Claude to the 2011 DC Alumni Reception. Kelly tells us that Claude, now 90 years young, walks one mile three times a week and enjoys going to the senior center for activities. The Alumni Office recently found an article in a 1944 edition of The Moina announcing that Sgt. Claude Watkins was reported missing in action. Fortunately, he returned from WWII and has lived a long life. This photo (top left) was taken with his grandson, Jack (12), while doing a little light yard work.
1979 The Board of Directors with the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) voted Tanise L. Jackson, DVM, (top right) as a new Diplomate into the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine recently, after she successfully completed the certification examination. ACLAM advances the humane care and responsible use of laboratory animals through certification of veterinary specialists, professional development, education and research. Dr. Jackson has served as Director, Office of Animal Welfare and Research Integrity, Division of Research at Florida A&M 1955 Thomas Kerrigan recently had computer problems University (FAMU) since 1997. and asks his classmates to email him at thomaskerrigan250@ 1982 John G. Krenson, Lieutenant Colonel in the gmail.com so he can rebuild his email list. Tennessee Army National Guard, graduated in June 2012 from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, PA, with a 1964 Billy Lynch took over as Metro Nashville’s interim Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies. Prior to attending the War fire chief on May 1, 2012. The 43-year Metro veteran was College John served active duty tours in Afghanistan and Iraq previously head of Metro Public Works, where his most recent where he earned two Bronze Star medals. He currently serves accomplishments was cleaning up 250,000 cubic yards of trash and debris after the May 2010 flood in only 30 days. His as the Brigade Executive Officer of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the National Guard. John is now employed by department received a national award for their efforts. This is Nashville Chemical & Equipment Co. as Plant Manager. He Billy’s second stint serving as interim fire chief. is married to Carrie Krenson and they have two children, 1975 Patty (Galbreth) Stephens serves as president Dasha and Evan. John is the son of Gilbert Krenson ‘47 and of the St. Jude Auxilliary, which provides volunteer support Ann Krenson and is the brother of Jay Krenson ‘84 and former and raises funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She Father Ryan principal Eddie Krenson ‘72. is also the 2011 winner of the Sheryl K. Nienhuis Memorial 1984 Chris Lewis coached the Christian Brothers High Volunteer Service Award. School wrestling team to the 2012 TSSAA Wrestling State 1978 The TSSAA recognized Jim Simpson as its Duals Championship. The dramatic finals pitted CBHS against distinguished service honoree as an official. He has been a Father Ryan, securing the first DII wrestling championship TSSAA wrestling official for over 25 years. During that time from a Memphis team. Jim has been named Middle Tennessee Official of the Year, 1984 Dan Strebel was installed as the 2012 president of held leadership positions in the Middle Tennessee Wrestling the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee. Officials Association, including President, and currently serves as Treasurer. He has become a staple at the State Tournament 1985 Colonel Ted Donnelly (pictured above) recently where he has officiated numerous finals. Jim is also an honored graduated from U.S. Army War College with a Master of member of the Tennessee Chapter of the National Wrestling Strategic Studies. His thesis, “Fergana as FATA? A Post-2014 Hall of Fame. Strategy for Central Asia” will be published in the upcoming edition of Connections, a European Defense and Security 21
quarterly journal. It also won the annual Athena Award for best scholarly contribution to Connections. 1985 Joe Lisle has been named an Assistant Athletic Director for The University of South Carolina. Previously, Joe was the Gamecocks Video Coordinator. The Collegiate Sports Video Association named him the Outstanding Southeastern Conference Video Coordinator in 2002. He and his wife, Anne (Claiborne) ‘84, have two sons, Mark and Gordon, and a daughter, Maggie Grace. 1991 Elise Miller recently left her position at the U.S. Department of Education to become a Senior Program Officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In her new role, she will be working with grantees to find new and innovative ways to use educational data to help improve college completion rates in the United States, particularly at America’s community colleges. She will continue to be based out of Washington, DC, but will also be spending time at the Gates Foundation home office in Seattle. 1990 Pam (Donnelly) McDonald was selected as Tennessee’s Boating Officer of the Year for 2011. She works to promote and enforce boating safety on portions of the Buffalo and Tennessee Rivers that flow through Wayne County. Pam developed a decal for canoes and paddle boats that explains the laws and guidance on safely traveling the river. She was instrumental in enforcing a safe boating environment on one of the state’s busiest scenic waterways. In a Letter of Commendation, agent Steve Wilson of the 22nd Judicial Drug Task Force said of her work, “Boaters seem to have a sense of boating safety on the river that we have not seen in a long time.” 1991 Tom Shumate IV is the new FRHS Alumni Board Chair, serving a two year term. He is an attorney at Kay, Griffin, Enkema & Brothers PLLC. In addition to his work with the Alumni Board, Tom is the community liaison for the board of Big Brothers and Sisters of Middle Tennessee. 1992 Lisa (Yutendale) Pearson lives in Holland, MI with her husband, Perry, and their three children, Annika (8), Jonas (5) and Ellery (1). She is the Executive Director at The Brain + Spine Center. 1993 Melissa Bosi has relocated to the Knoxville area and taken a job as Project Controller at Oak Ridge Associated Universities after almost nine years in Atlanta. 1998 Chad Baker recently opened a new business. The Dog Spot is East Nashville’s premiere provider of doggy daycare, boarding and grooming. The newly renovated facility includes climate controlled indoor play areas, outdoor play areas and web-cams. Please visit at: www.TheDogSpot.com or on Facebook: The Dog Spot (East Nashville). 2001 Kelly (Nolan) Cortesi’s article, “Big U.S. Banks Brace for Downgrades,” was published on the front page of the Wall Street Journal on June 9, 2012. She has been a reporter for Dow Jones & Co. since 2009.
Pam (Donnelly) McDonald ‘90 pictured with Ed Carter(left), Executive Director TWRA and Darren Rider, TWRA Director and current parent of Slate and Maggie Rider. 2002 Michelle Consiglio-Young graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law, magna cum laude, in May 2011. While in law school, she was an Acquisitions Editor for the Tennessee Law Review; acted as a student editor on the Tennessee Journal of Law and Policy; had two legal articles published, one in the Tennessee Law Review and another in the Tennessee Journal of Law and Policy; did summer clerkships with the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office; clerked for the Department of Justice, White Collar Crime Division in Atlanta, GA; did a semester-long judicial clerkship with Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee; externed as a third-year law student attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office - Eastern Division in Knoxville, assisting prosecution of interstate drug cases and several other matters; and made Dean’s List every semester. In August 2011, she began working in Nashville as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Robert W. Wedemeyer on the Criminal Court of Appeals. On November 11, 2011, Michelle married Jason Young at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Gallatin, and they live in Murfreesboro. 2003 Stacey Trevathan-Tackett graduated December 9, 2011 with a Master’s of Science in Biology from University of North Florida in Jacksonville, FL. She will be going on to earn her Ph.D. at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, in the marine biology field. 2004 Bobby Glidwell III recently became the proud owner of I.T. Made Easy L.L.C., a local Managed Service Provider offering remote management and security for home and business computer networks. He says “Technology has always fascinated me. Just five years ago, IT support was only available for the big boys. Now, we can support a family network, on another continent, for the price of a pizza!” 2006 Alyssa Bonagura’s song, “I Make My Own Sunshine”, was featured this spring in a nationwide commercial for Lowes. 2007 Brennan Sparta graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in May 2011 with a degree in Aerospace Administration and has successfully completed the Air Traffic Controller - Collegiate Training Initiative Program. Brennan works for Southwest Airlines in Baltimore, MD. 2008 Logan Bowlds begins his teaching career in middle school social studies teacher at St. Matthew School in Franklin,
TN. He graduated from MTSU with a B.A. in history, political science and government. 2008 Peter Eric Collins, Jr. of Brentwood, an engineering student at the UT-Knoxville, has received a $1,000 scholarship from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee. He will now compete for national ACEC scholarships to be awarded in October. Eric is expected to graduate in May 2013 from UT with a Bachelor of Science in nuclear engineering. 2008 Daniel Rone was named to the College of Arts and Sciences’ Dean’s List at Loyola University of Chicago for the first semester of the 2011-2012 academic year. 2009 John Thetford has been selected as one of two UT Knoxville students to study this summer at the London School of Economics. 2010 Sarah Hayden has been awarded the Gaines Fellowship at the University of Kentucky, a prestigious $5,000 award for a program of intense study in the humanities. Gaines Fellowships are given in recognition of outstanding academic performance, demonstrated ability to conduct independent research, an interest in public issues and a desire to enhance understanding of the human condition through the humanities. Sarah is majoring in Political Science at UK. 2010 Bevan Sparta is a member of the Bellarmine University Knights varsity women’s tennis team. She has recently been named to the Academic All Great Lakes Valley Conference team. The Academic All-GLVC honor is bestowed upon student-athletes that have completed two semesters at
Ellen Mullins ‘10 celebrates a memorable season. their institution and maintained a 3.30 cumulative grade-point average or have attained a 3.40 GPA over the two most recent semesters. 2010 Ellen Mullins (above) had an outstanding volleyball season at UT Knoxville, starting every match for the Lady Vols at the Libero position. She was named the SEC Defensive Player of The Week after having a career high 31 digs (an SEC high for any player and second highest in the school’s history) in the Lady Vols match at the University of Kentucky. Ellen participated in USA Volleyball’s open tryouts for the U.S. Women’s National Team, U.S. Women’s National A2 Program and U.S. Women’s Junior National Team, making her the first Ryan alumnus to be invited to try out.
Memories From 2002: Father Ryan Salutes State Champions–Lady Irish LAX Baseball The winter and spring of 10 years ago had a distinctively Irish flair as three of our athletic teams captured state titles: the men’s basketball team claimed the school’s fourth state title while baseball and women’s lacrosse wrapped up sterling seasons and hoisted the trophies as state champions for the first time in each sport’s history. Father Ryan welcomed members of those teams back to campus this winter and spring to bask once more in their achievement. The basketball team was introduced during halftime of the Brentwood Academy game in January to raucous cheers from the Irish faithful. In early May the baseball team from ’02 was cheered as their coach Bill Brunner ’77 threw out the first pitch of the game against McCallie, and the girls lacrosse team joined Coach John Gorham ’54 in remembering its undefeated run to the title. Look for the latter two teams to join us again August 24 as honorees at the home football game against Cane Ridge.
Put me in coach: Basketball team recreates championship pose (top left); ‘02 Lacrosse team gathers with current team; Baseball champs look ready to take the field. 23
Births Summer 2012
Abbie Caroline to Colin ‘01 and Katie (Lenchis) Brooks ‘03 born on November 28, 2011.
Abbie Caroline Brooks
Emma Luci Childs
Bailey Rose Crowell
Christine Elizabeth McDaniel
Colton Wade McMillian
Elyssa Dennise Nerstad
Emma Luci to Jennifer (Francescon) ‘02 and Daniel Childs born on April 9, 2012. Bailey Rose to Paula and Joseph P. Crowell ‘88 born on August 12, 2011. Colette and Michael Jones ‘89 welcomed the birth of their daughter, Addison, in the fall of 2011. Christine Elizabeth to Rebecca (Wieck) ‘02 and Bobby McDaniel born on January 6, 2012 in Lexington, KY. She joins big sister, Ashlyn. Colton Wade to Michelle (Moore) ‘97 and Jason McMillan born on November 17, 2011. Elyssa Dennise to Shona (Burns) ‘93 and Brian Nerstad born on May 1, 2012. Porter Maxine to Theresa (Schlacter) and Russell Kelly born on May 20, 2012. Maureen (Faculty) and Mike Schlacter are proud grandparents again. Julia Isabelle to CARLOS and JESSICA ORAMA (SFM Standard Operating Procedures Manager) born on June 20, 2012.
Weddings Summer 2012
Veronica Birdwell ’97 and Jimmy Hendricks were married on June 2, 2012 in Italy. The couple lives in Nashville. Veronica is the Director of Operations for TomKats restaurant group, which includes Saffire in Franklin and The Southern in Nashville. Laura Greiner and Mark McWatters ‘05 were married on October 10, 2011. The two were highlighted in the Tennessean’s Couple of the Week article on March 25, 2012. Laura Maureen Flanagan ‘02 married James Andrew Owens on September 10, 2011 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Brentwood. They are both pursuing their MBAs at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Amanda Stilwell ‘98 and Matthew Frederick were married September 25, 2010 at 2nd Presbyterian in Nashville, TN. They live in Atlanta, GA. 24
Julia Isabella Orama
Stacey Trevathan ’03 and Randy Michael Tackett were married on July 30, 2011 with Father Breen officiating at St. Edward Church. Rachel Eason ‘99 and Christopher Webb were married on April 14, 2012 at the Cheek House in Nashville. The couple lives in Nashville. Lauren Rebecca Nealy and Justin Joseph Yusko ‘05 were married on June 16, 2012. Justin is a pilot for American Eagle Airlines.
In Memoriam Summer 2012
MARGARET MANNING ADELMAN - Mother of Catherine Hancock, Ed Adelman, Jr. ‘72, Frank Adelman and Bill Adelman ‘75. REVEREND JOHN V. ATKINSON - Former Faculty member. MARK S. ATRIA ‘62. REV. MSGR. WILLIAM S. BEVINGTON ’42 – Brother of Milton (deceased), John ’40 (deceased), Richard ’42 (deceased) and Mary Leyden Bevington. ALBERTA BROWN - Wife of Charlie Brown ‘42 and mother of Charlie Jr. ‘66, and Mike ‘69 Brown. MARY M. CARVER - Wife of Ted Carver ‘52 (deceased) and mother of Shannon Story, Theodore Carver, Jr. and Virginia Sage ‘84. DELORES R. CHAMBERS - Mother of Richard Chambers (Faculty). WALTER F. CLEPPER - Father of Sheeran (deceased), Tim ‘67, Mike ‘70, Pat ‘72, Rick ‘73, John ‘75, Mary Ann (Burns) ‘75, Paul ‘78 (deceased), Teresa (Whitley) ‘80 and Tom ‘80. ROBIN K. CRIST - Mother of Brent (sophomore) and Colin Crist. LOUIS C. DAUGHERTY ‘45 - Brother of Philip ‘36 (deceased) and Joe ‘48 (deceased) Daugherty. KEVIN P. DAVIS ‘09 - Son of Paul ‘81 and Teresa (Sharp) Davis ‘81 and brother of Philip Davis ‘08. MCCLELLAN “MAC” DAVIS - Wife of John B. Davis ‘48 (deceased) and mother of Donna Griffith ‘78, John B. Davis, Jr. (deceased) and Sara Hamilton. JULIAN DE LA GUARDIA, JR. - Father of Joe de la Guardia ‘71. JOHN R. DEAN - Father of Christene Coode, Ronnie Francescon ‘87, Stefanie Brown ‘97 and Katie Dean ‘99. MARK A. DREIFKE - Father of Mark ‘08, Shelby ‘11 and Melanie Dreifke (freshman). EDNA MAE DUFFY - Mother of Tommy Duffy ‘65, John (Sparky) Duffy Jr. ‘69, Cathy Duffy Chappell ‘74 and Donna Duffy Coode. LUCILLE L. EDWARDS - Mother of Kevin ‘73, Mary Margaret ‘74, Pat ‘75, Mark ‘77, Brian ‘81 and Herb ‘86 (deceased) Edwards. JOSEPH D. FERTITTA, SR. - Father of Joseph Fertitta, Jr. ‘64, Deborah Croffut and Tony Fertitta ‘74.
Golden Grad Class of 1962
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MICHAEL L. “LANCE” FURLOUGH ‘71. GERTRUDE V. HILL - Mother of Patsy W. McAllister, Jackie Kelly, Robert F. Hill, Jr. ‘58 and Phillip E. Hill ‘64. PHILLIP R. HOLLINGSWORTH, JR. ‘77. Curtis “Danny” Hunt Father of Anthony ‘07, Tyler, and Drew Hunt. Al J. MCCLUNEY father of MAggie ‘08, Alexis ‘11, and Joseph (senior)
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JOIN US ON THE HOMECOMING STAGE Homecoming 2012 takes on a theatrical flair this year as we salute 85 years of the theater at Father Ryan. Since 1927 the Purple Masque Players has been producing dramatic and musical performances for Father Ryan. Join us September 14 for the celebration of this accomplished Father Ryan group.
Friday, September 14 Homecoming Game vs. McCallie at 7:00 p.m. Reception for Theater Alumni 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 15 Elliston Homecoming Luncheon Honoring the Theater Alumni Go to www.fatherryan.org/homecoming to reserve your tickets for the weekend.
Homecoming 2012 is the highlight of a fall full of events at Father Ryan. August 17 Irish vs. Overton Opening Game, honoring 50 Years of Wrestling August 24 Irish vs. Cane Ridge, honoring 2002 Baseball and Lacrosse Champions August 31 Irish vs. Baylor President’s Tailgate 5:30p.m. edt September 21-22 Relay for Life October 5 Irish vs. vs. John Paul II: Bishop’s Cup October 18 Ryan Connections October 19 Irish vs. BGA Parochial School and Senior Night October 21 Admissions Open House November 10 Veterans Pride 5K November 22 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC, featuring the Father Ryan Marching Band For details on these and more activities go to www.fatherryan.org/alumni