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The Buddy LaRosa high school Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1975 to recognize outstanding athletes from area high schools. Each year, nominees are considered based solely upon high school accomplishments. Collegiate, professional, or other amateur achievements have no bearing on the selection process. The nominee must have graduated high school 10 years before eligibility may begin.

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Seven area high school sports’ legends – including five stellar athletes and two coaches—today were named as 2009 inductees into the Buddy LaRosa’s High School Sports Hall of Fame:
Andre Barkley

Andre Barkley
Cincinnati Country Day
Class of 1995

Football All-American and Ohio state track champion

Andre Barkley earned 12 varsity letters in football, basketball and track at Cincinnati Country Day. He is the first athlete from CCD inducted in to the Hall of Fame.

In football, Barkley – a five-time prep All-American – was named to the prestigious Parade Magazine All-America team, as well as being named All-America by Blue Chip Illustrated, Super Prep, Scholastic Coach and Reebok.

 A four-year varsity starter at both running back and safety for the Indians, Barkley rushed for 6,574 yards in his career (7,682 all-purpose yards) and scored 78 touchdowns. He was a two-time 1st team All-Ohio selection and twice was named The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Division II-V Player of the Year.

In track, he was a three-time All-Ohio selection and won the 1993 Division III 100-meter state title in 10.93, the second fastest in the state that year. He holds CCD’s school records in both the 100-meter (10.6) and the 200-meter (22.2).

 A four-year varsity starter in basketball, Barkley scored more than 1,000 points in his career. He was an all-city selection at guard as a senior by The Enquirer and was Player of the Year in the conference as a junior. Barkley went on to attend the University of North Carolina on a football scholarship, however his collegiate career was cut short because of a series of injuries.

Currently, Andre Barkley lives in Cincinnati and works in the entertainment business. He is active in the community as a coach, mentor and motivational speaker.

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Dr. Beth Osterday Strange

Dr. Beth Osterday Strange
St. Ursula Academy
Class of 1996

1st Team all-state in three different sports

Beth Osterday is perhaps the best overall athlete to play for the Bulldogs, earning 12 varsity letters in three sports – volleyball, basketball and softball. She is the only female athlete in Greater Cincinnati since 1989-90 (Jamie Kirch Toon of Mercy) named 1st team All-Ohio in three different sports.

Osterday was a finalist for the national Wendy’s High School Heisman Award in 1995, and was selected the LaRosa’s High School Female MVP of the Year for 1995-96.

In volleyball, Osterday, an outside hitter, played a key role in three consecutive state championships. She was an all-city and all-state selection two straight years. She was named Player of the Year two times.

In basketball, Osterday graduated as the school’s third all-time scoring leader (1,013 points). She set four school records in free throw shooting and steals. As a senior, she helped lead St. Ursula to its first GGCL title and a 22-3 record and was named 1st team all-Ohio.

In softball, she still holds 10 school records, including most career hits (149), career batting average (.512), career runs scored (102) and career stolen bases (149). A catcher, Osterday was a 1st team all-Ohio pick in 1996 and a three-time 1st team all-city selection by The Enquirer.

Osterday continued her athletic dominance at Xavier University where she was a three-time Atlantic 10 volleyball all-conference team selection. Upon graduation she held XU’s all-time record for volleyball digs (1,728), ranks second all-time in kill-attempts (3,973), third all-time in kills (1,384) and seventh in career games played (447).

Osterday was named XU’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2000, and named one of the five best athletes (male or female) in XU history. A member of both the Xavier University and St. Ursula Academy Halls of Fame, Osterday went on to The Ohio State University and graduated from the College of Dentistry in 2004.

Currently, Dr. Beth Osterday Strange, she is a dentist in Blanchester with Dr. Jody Gundler. She lives in Union Township with her husband, R.J. Strange. They have two daughters – Ava Grace (4) and Ali Elizabeth (2).

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Bobby Brannen

Bobby Brannen
Moeller High School
Class of 1994

Moeller basketball All-American and U.C. star

Bobby Brannen is the finest big man to ever play for the Moeller Crusaders. An intimidating inside force in high school, and later in college at the University of Cincinnati, Bobby Brannen still stands as Moeller’s all-time scoring leader (1,435 points) and all-time rebounder (683) in three varsity seasons.

As a senior, Brannen was named the Ohio’s Division I Player of the Year (1993) and the Gatorade/Circle of Champions Player of the Year for Ohio. He was named Cincinnati’s Player of the Year by both the Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati Post, and was named a Street & Smith High School All-American. He was a two-time 1st team all-city pick and was three times named Greater Cincinnati League Player of the Year.

Brannen was also a two-year starter at tight end in football and was named preseason All-America by Street & Smith. Highly recruited out of high school, Brannen stayed home to play for the Bob Huggins’ UC Bearcats.

As a senior, he averaged 14.3 points and 8.1 rebounds and was named an honorable mention All-American by Basketball Weekly. He finished his career with 771 points and 578 rebounds. He ranks fourth all-time in UC history in games played (129) and second in career victories (100). Brannen was named UC’s MVP in 1998 and was 1st Team All-Conference USA.

Brannen went on play professionally overseas for more than 10 years in Australia, Europe, Korea and Puerto Rico, where he was named the league’s MVP in leading his team to the Puerto Rico pro championship. Currently, Bobby Brannen resides in Cincinnati, where he works as a personal trainer.

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Rocky Boiman

Rocky Boiman
St. Xavier High School
Class of 1998

St. X football All-American starred at Notre Dame

One of the most electrifying athletes to play football at St. Xavier High School, Rocky Boiman carried that same kind of dynamic play into the college and professional ranks.

Boiman earned six varsity letters for the Bombers – three in football, two in baseball and one in track. At free safety his senior season, Boiman led the 9-3 Bombers with 164 tackles, six pass interceptions for 139 return yards and sported a 26.4 kickoff return average, including two for touchdowns. For his career, he had 330 tackles, 11 interceptions, 15 passes-broken-up,and six touchdowns.

In Boiman’s senior season, he was named Cincinnati Enquirer Division I Player of the Year, Greater Catholic League Player of the Year, and was named All-America by three services. He was a finalist for the LaRosa’s Male MVP Award and a finalist for the “That’s My Boy” Award. He also posted a 3.8 GPA and membership in the National Honor Society.

Boiman was a two-year starter in baseball and was a member of St. Xavier’s 1600-meter relay team that finished second at the Ohio Division I state track meet. Boiman enjoyed a stellar collegiate career at the University of Notre Dame.

In 2002, he was the fourth round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans and went on to play eight seasons in the National Football League with four different teams. He set a Titans’ franchise record for special teams tackles (28).

He played for the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts in 2006, then later with the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Currently, Boiman resides in Cincinnati and owns and operates the Rocky Boiman Football Academy LLC. He also is a weekly Bengals Nation analyst for WKRC/Channel 12 sports.

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Steve Bell

Steve Bell
Wyoming High School
Class of 1973

Wyoming three-sport all-star earned 12 varsity letters

Steve Bell occupies a prominent position in Cowboys’ athletic lore. One of the city’s finest athletes in the early 1970s, Bell earned 12 varsity letters in football, basketball and track during his record-setting career.

An outstanding football and basketball player, he held Wyoming school records that were later broken by Richard Hall. Bell was a three-time 1st team All-Ohio selection (one in football, two in basketball).

During Bell’s career, he scored a then-school record 30 touchdowns as a tight end for a school noted for a vaunted running game behind legendary coach Bob Lewis. 

It should also be noted, Bell played both offense and defense. Bell set a single-season record of 27 receptions and career record of 42 receptions. He had school marks for 623 reception yards in one season and 1,030 in his career.

As a senior, Bell was the Cincinnati Enquirer’s 1st team all-city pick as both tight end and defensive end. He was also selected to play in the East-West All-Star game. In basketball, he was a two-time 1st team all-state pick and was the school’s all-time leading scorer (1,322 points) and rebounder (1,374) when he graduated.

Bell averaged 20.5 points and 17 rebounds per game as a senior. He set single-season records in scoring (496) and rebounds (418). A 1st team all-city selection by both newspapers, Bell was named Co-Player of the Year in 1972-73 by the Cincinnati Post-Time Star. In track, Bell set school records in both the 110-yard low and 180-high hurdles.
Bell went on to letter for three varsity seasons at the University of Cincinnati as tight end, being selected to the All-Ohio Shrine Bowl in 1976. He also played semi-pro football in Columbus and signed as a free agent with the Denver Broncos (1978) and later the Green Bay Packers (1979).

�Steve Bell, who is Superintendent for the Department of Energy in Portsmouth, currently lives in Wyoming. He and his wife, Colleen, have three children – Jamie (35), Eric (30) and Mary (27). He is active in the community, where he has coached basketball and baseball and has served as a volunteer firefighter with the City of Wyoming.

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Coach Dan Bowling

Coach Dan Bowling
Hamilton High School

Big Blue Legendary Baseball Coach

When Dan Bowling retired at the end of the 2010 baseball season, the Big Blue not only lost one of the finest coaches in the school’s history, but it was departure of one of the state’s all-time best coaches.

Bowling’s baseball teams won 20 or more games in 25 of his 28 seasons, including two 30-victory seasons and, at one point, enjoyed a 17-year streak 20+-victory seasons.

Over all, Coach Bowling compiled a staggering 655-207 career record, for a .760 winning percentage. His career victory total ranks 9th all-time in Ohio baseball coaching history. 

Bowling won the Ohio High School Division I state championship in both 1983 and 1997. His 1997 team finished the year ranked No. 2 in the nation by Baseball America – the sixth time in his career to have a nationally-ranked team. The 1983 team finished No. 2 in the nation according to Collegiate Baseball.

Bowling’s teams won four Southwest Ohio Regional titles and won or shared 15 Greater Miami Conference championships. The Big Blue won five Cincinnati city poll championships and one Ohio State Baseball Coaches Association poll.

Coach Bowling has had 16 players drafted by Major League Baseball, including three major leaguers – 1st round picks Mark Lewis (Cleveland, 1988), Aaron Cook (Colorado) and Ricky Stone (Los Angeles Dodgers/Cincinnati).

In addition to Bowling’s induction in to the LaRosa’s High School Hall of Fame, he also has been inducted into the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2002, the Butler County Sports Hall of Fame (1998) and the Hamilton High School Hall of Fame in 2011.

He was named National Coach of the Year in 1997 (USSSA), Southwest Ohio Coach of the Year twice (1983 and 1997), five times named Cincinnati Coach of the Year by the Cincinnati Enquirer and GMC Coach of the Year 12 times.

Bowling was an outstanding baseball player in his own right, being selected all-state in 1969 when he played at Hamilton Garfield (now Hamilton HS).

Now retired, Dan Bowling was a teacher for 29 years in the Hamilton City Schools system. He has two children – Damon (36) and Darcie (31).

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Coach Nell Fookes

Coach Nell Fookes
Boone County High School

Winningest basketball coach in Northern Kentucky history

Coach Nell Fookes is the winningest high school basketball coach in Northern Kentucky history. She began her 26th season at the helm of Boone County High School this fall with a career record of 576-207.

The victory total ranks fourth all-time in Kentucky girls prep coaches and second in career victories among active coaches in the Commonwealth. Her 576 victories rank No. 2 among all-time Greater Cincinnati high school coaches.

Under Coach Fookes’ direction, the Lady Rebels have never had a losing season. Boone County has won 19 District championships, eight Region Nine titles, six Region Nine runner-up finishes and has participated in eight Kentucky state tournaments. Her 1998 team finished 31-3, losing to Montgomery County, 42-40, in the Sweet Sixteen semifinals.

Coach Fookes has been inducted into the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame, the Greater Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame and the Northern Kentucky Athletic Directors Hall of Fame.

In 2010, she was named a National Coach of the Year finalist by the National HS Athletic Coaches Association. Coach Fookes has been named Northern Kentucky Coach of the Year numerous times, and in 2000 was named Northern Kentucky Coach of the Decade for the 1990s by the Greater Cincinnati Basketball Coaches Association.

In 2002, she was honored by the KABC and the KHSAA by being named to the Basketball Coaches Court of Honor for her contributions to girls’ basketball on and off the court in the state of Kentucky.
A native of Bedford, Virginia, Fookes was a four-sport athlete and went on to be a four-year starter in basketball at Radford University. She was an assistant coach at Eastern Kentucky University before becoming the head coach at Boone County in 1985.

Currently, Nell Fookes lives in Florence, Ky. with her husband, Dean. They have two sons, Derrick (22) and Christopher (18).

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