West Honors Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

West Honors Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

By Ethan Carey, Sports Editor

The Niles West Athletic Department honored this year’s Athletic Hall of Fame inductees last Thursday, September 26, 2019, with a dinner and a great ceremony paying tribute to every athlete for their accomplishments during their times at West.

The 2019 inductees were; Steve Foerch, Arlene Mulder, Bruce Bolnick, Ed Bruksch, and Shirley Cohen Katz. All inductees graduated long before we became the Wolves and sports consisted of different coaches and players alike.

Ed Bruksch was a three-sport athlete who played baseball, basketball, and football. Bruksch ended up playing both football and baseball in college, but his baseball career is what meant most to him. He was on one of the best baseball teams that Niles West has seen, and that is why he was honored in the hall of fame this year. He credited almost all of his achievements to his family, especially his brother.

“My brother should be standing up here with me right now, we learned how to do everything together, and up until high school, we were inseparable,” Bruksch said.

Bruksch played on a baseball team that made it all the way to the state finals, and even though they lost, he talked about his pitching during the game and mentioned how much all of the other sports he played meant to him.

“We had a lot of guys on that baseball team who deserve to be here in the hall of fame with me,” Bruksch said.

Bruksch’s speech was very heartfelt and after listening to his stories and learning about his career both during his time at Niles West and after, anyone could tell that he was more than deserving to be in the hall of fame. He finished with a quote to everyone in the room that pretty much summed up his athletic career.

“Life is a journey, not a destination,” Bruksch said.

Another former Niles West athlete that was more than deserving of being honored in the hall of fame was a former girls basketball player, Shirley Cohen Katz. Cohen was apart of a state qualifying basketball team and her former teammate, Missy Isaacson, recently come out with a book about their journey as a team. She was also a multi-sport athlete but said herself nothing was like basketball.

“I loved nothing more than competing in all four of my sports, but there was no doubt that basketball was my passion,” Cohen said.

Her teammates meant everything to her, and she talked about them making the biggest impact on her from the start.

“I would like to thank my teammates for this ride more than anything, they deserve to be up here standing with me more than anything,” Cohen said.

Another former Niles West girls basketball player and current gym teacher¬†Becky Tuecke, was there to honor her teammate and friend and couldn’t be more proud of her.

“I am humbled every time I get to share this stage with Shirley, and this is a very special moment,” Tuecke said.

This year’s inductees for the Athletic Hall of Fame were all more than deserving, and anyone could see that just from sitting down and listening to them talk about their experiences and stories. Each year, there are athletes who are more than deserving of being inducted into the Hall of Fame, and next year should bring even more great athletes to be honored.