Hall of Fame Induction: Class of 2015

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By George Panoutsos

This year, the second annual Athletic Hall of Fame Induction ceremony is scheduled to take place Thursday, Oct. 1. The ceremony will take place in the South Lobby at 5:45 p.m. The class of 2015 consists of previous Niles West athletes and coaches. The inductees will be honored at halftime of the Homecoming football game.

Inducted this year will be Rashard Mendenhall from the class of 2005. Mendenhall was the running back on the football team, and ran track. After high school, he was a first round NFL draft pick in 2008, and recently, Mendenhall announced his retirement from the NFL after a successful career. He announced his retirement in March of 2014, and plans on pursuing other interests.

Another inductee is Bill Porter, from the class of 1978. Porter was a wrestler at Niles West. He did not record a single loss while at Niles West, and had multiple seasons with over 30 wins.

Darrell Kerbel is to be inducted this year as well. Kerbel graduated Niles West in 1977 and was a successful gymnast. After a great career at Niles West, Kerbel went on to play at the college level. Kerbel attended LSU and set record scores for the highbar.

From the State Champions Baseball Team from 1975, Ray Borucki is to be inducted. After High school, Borucki pursued baseball, and played at the Triple A level for the Oklahoma City ’89ers.

Barbara Pabst, from the Niles West class of 1980 is to be inducted for her great performance for the Girls’ Basketball team. After a solid high school career, Pabst went on to play collegiate basketball for The DePaul Blue Demons.

Judi Sloan is to be inducted as a coach. Sloan coached three sports while at Niles West. She was the girls’ cross country, girls’s gymnastics and girls’ tennis coach. She led several winning seasons, and was Teacher of The Year in the 1992-93 school year.

Boys’ track and cross country coach Ron Campbell is to be inducted this year. Named after Campbell, Niles West hosts the annual Ron Campbell Invite in his dedication.  Campbell made great contributions to bettering Niles West’s runners.

Bill Richardson, who came through Niles East as a student, was named MVP and received a football scholarship.He returned to Skokie and coached football and wrestling. He was the defensive coordinator under Mike Basrak. In 1982, Richardson became head coach of the football team, and in 2000 he was inducted to the Illinois High School Hall of Fame.

Niles West coach, Mike Basrak, is to be inducted to the Niles West Hall of Fame. Basrak was arguably the greatest Niles West coach of all-time as he finished his career with a record of 71 wins and 34 losses. He played collegiate and professional football, and was an inspiration to the players at Niles West. As long as football is around, Mike Basrak will go down as one of the greats.

Lastly to be inducted is the 1975 State Championship Baseball team. The baseball team captain Ray Borucki will be in attendance along with a few players. The team is in the history books as one of Niles West’s best teams of all time.

The Hall of Fame Class of 2015 consists of very well deserving players and coaches who are being recognized for outstanding performance.