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Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame to induct five new members; John Erardi to speak

By Andy Furman
NKyTribune reporter

Five new members – two from Covington Catholic High School – will be inducted into the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame, Wednesday, February 15, at The Gardens of Park Hills (1622 Dixie Highway) at 1 p.m..

The announcement was made by Joe Brennan, President of the non-profit organization.

The ceremony is free and open to the public.

John Erardi, a Northern Kentucky resident and former sportswriter and columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer, will serve as guest speaker.

Erardi is an author – or co-author – of a total of eight sports books – two of them – Crosley Field and Big Red Dynasty were named Top Ten finalist by Spitball literary magazine as the best baseball books of the year. The latter, a Top Five finalist for the Seymour Medal for best baseball history.

John Erardi

His piece on high school basketball player Nick Mosley won a national first-place feature writing award from the Associated Press Sports Editors, and his story on “Cincinnati and the Negro Leagues” was named the best feature in a state newspaper, all departments, by the Ohio Associated Press.

Erardi plans to bring several books for purchase and autograph.

The February inductees:

Robert (Bo) Kemper – A 1962 Covington Catholic graduate, Kemper’s baseball career started at the Knothole level and went all the way to “A” ball. He played area softball for 24-plus years, but he says his greatest accomplishment came as a coach and organizer. He was instrumental in developing the instructional basketball program for first and second graders at Villa Madonna. He also coached elementary school girls basketball – and his girls won a sixth-grade championship in Minnesota.

Glenn Coyle – A Dixie Heights High School graduate (1969), Coyle’s basketball skill started at Crescent Springs Elementary where he averaged 17 points-a-game as a fifth grader; and 21 ppg in the sixth grade. He was later inducted in the school’s Hall of Fame.

At Dixie High, he led the freshman team in scoring (16 ppg); led the jayvee as a sophomore (14 ppg). As a varsity performer, he started as a junior (12 ppg) – leading the Colonels to a district title. He was named captain as a senior averaging over 20 ppg and was named All-District, All-Region, All-Conference and Honorable Mention All-State.

He earned a scholarship to Brewton Parker College where he averaged 11 ppg for a team ranked third in the nation.

Eric Neuhaus – Eric ran on three state cross-country championship teams while at St. Henry High School, Class of 1997. He attended Wilmington (Oh.) College where he was a three-time Academic All-American.

As a runner in Cincinnati’s Flying Pig Marathon, he won his age-group in 2006 – a year-later he competed in the Boston Marathon.

In 2002 he started coaching at St. Henry and led them to five consecutive state titles – they’ve won six he’s started as their coach. He was twice named Coach of the Year, Class “A” Coach of the Year four times, and Region Five Coach of the Year five times.

He’s coached three state champions, one runner-up, one Kentucky runner of the year, 16 first-team all-staters, five second-teamer, 14 honorable mentions and 14 all academic all-state.

He served as coach at the University of Cincinnati where he’s coached 11 Big East qualifiers and one regional qualifier. His teams have finished the runner-up in the all-Ohio cross-country and all-Ohio track and field championships.

Ted Volpenhein – A two sport athlete at Covington Catholic – basketball and softball – he says he was cut by his high school basketball coach Mote Hils. “I was spotted playing intramural ball by Dan Tieman and was asked to walk-on at Thomas More College,” he said. “Jim Weyer was the coach and Dan (Tieman) was the assistant.”

Volpenhein was named team MVP twice; and he weas the leading scorer and rebounder for two seasons.

Volpenhein’s game-winning buzzer shot, beat Xavier (1972) – giving Thomas More their first win over a Division One team. He scored 22 points in that contest.

“Being inducted into the same Hall of Fame as my dad,” he said, “is truly an honor.”

Gary Akers — A graduate of Betsy Layne High School (1961) he served as an assistant to Tommy Boyd. They started the baseball program with donations from alumni and even had an old-fashioned pie social.

Akers arrived at Bellevue High School in 1969 and remained through 1997. His first stint was jayvee basketball coach (’69-’73); and later coached the varsity (’73-’79). His ’76-’76 team was the first Bellevue team to reach the Final Four in the region since 1949 – and also the last to reach the Final Four. He was named co-region Coach of the Year in ’75-’76.

He coached baseball from ’72-’78 at Bellevue and later moved to Ryle High School as assistant basketball coach.

The Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame was formed October, 1982 for the purpose to recognize and honor individuals for outstanding athletic achievements and overall contributions to the sports scene in Northern Kentucky.

Categories to include: Team Sports, Managers, Coaches, Umpires, Sponsors, League or Tournament Managers, Park Owners, Media Members and Sporting Goods Owners.

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One Comment

  1. Pat Foltz says:

    Glenn Coyle was also one of the best shortstops in No. Ky Softball.

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