Four individuals, relay team honored
CONSTANTINE — Constantine athletics held its 15th Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 7.
Inducted were Jenny King Outlaw, Ryan Lockmondy, Mike Schragg, Jim Schragg and the members of the 1992 state champion 400-meter relay team: Matt Grile, Nick Juday, Brian Stears and Justin Topolski.
Tim Baker, former Constantine coach and Hall of Fame committee member, was the master of ceremonies.
In a prepared statement, Mike Messner, Hall of Fame committee chairman, said the four individuals that were inducted, as well as the relay team, were outstanding achievers.
“Their hard work, positive attitude, and dedication exemplify the pride, spirit, and classy effort of our athletic department. They have contributed immensely to the great tradition of Constantine athletics,” Messner said.
Constantine school superintendent Steve Wilson said there is no honor more rewarding than being inducted to an organization’s Hall of Fame.
“It takes only a short time for any individual to appreciate, respect, and admire the deep and rich athletic and academic traditions Constantine is noted for across the state,” Wilson said.
“It is an honor and a fitting tribute to the time, effort, and dedication that was put into representing this school in a positive and productive manner. The teams and individuals being honored have truly fought for the only colors: red and white.”
Baker said he had the pleasure of coaching everyone who was inducted. Each person inducted was introduced, and given an opportunity to speak.
Jenny King Outlaw said it is an honor to be chosen.
“Pride describes what it is to be an athlete at Constantine. ‘P’ is perseverance, going to practice, and showing respect to other athletes and coaches. ‘I’ is integrity on and off the field, what is outlined in our school conduct code. ‘D’ is the desire we had to come to practice hungry to learn. ‘E’ is the effort to excel. We just didn’t want to be good. We wanted to be great. We gave it our all,” she said.
Constantine football coach Shawn Griffith said he asked his team that night what makes a Hall of Fame player.
“It’s more than being a great player. Every school has its tremendous athletes, but not all get inducted,” Griffith said. “It takes three things to get into the Hall of Fame: You have to be a coachable player. You have to be a great teammate and earn the respect of your fellow players; you can’t play by yourself, and you have to have great talent.”
Matt Grile said coach Baker “was as close as a parent.”
“There’s nothing Baker wouldn’t do for his athletes. We were all his kids. I still measure myself by his standards. All our coaches meant the world to us. What he did for us made us what we are today and we’re still passing that on,” Grile said.
Ryan Lockmondy, an individual state wrestling champ at heavyweight, said sports have been a conduit to building relationships and he is proud to be from Constantine.
Baker said Mike and Jim Schragg are the second set of twins to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Josh and Jeremy Hardman, members of the 1994 football team, were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
The Constantine Athletic Hall of Fame was visualized in 1983 by former Constantine coach and instructor Dave Horn. The idea was put on hold until the fall of 2002 when a committee headed by Messner and Horn developed the idea. The Hall of Fame came into being on April 14, 2003. The current Hall of Fame committee consists of Mike Messner, Dave Horn, Kent Avery, Steve Barrus, Libby Owens, Rod Juday, Tim Baker, Brian Stears and Mike Tulley.
Angie Birdsall is a freelance writer who primarily covers Constantine.