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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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Five outstanding area sports legends – including a brother and sister team -- are the latest inductees into the Buddy LaRosa's High School Sports Hall of Fame, along with a remarkable Kentucky volleyball coach and two fabled high school sports' teams.

The latest additions to the LaRosa's High School Sports Hall of Fame will be officially inducted into the Hall in ceremonies in summer 2021. Now in its 46th year of recognizing outstanding local high school athletes and coaches, the Buddy LaRosa's High School Sports Hall of Fame has honored 284 athletes and coaches and eight top teams since its founding in 1975. It is the oldest and one of the only Halls of Fame of its kind in the country.

This year's class includes only the 20th First Ballot inductee in Jordan Hicks and the 10th sibling inductees in Tami and Kyle Ransom, who are also only the second brother-sister combination.

Terrill Byrd

Terrill Byrd
Colerain High School Class of 2005

The most feared defensive lineman anchoring the middle of one of the best defenses Ohio football has seen since the start of the football playoffs, Terrill Byrd intimidated foes throughout his career. As a senior, Byrd recorded a staggering 63 team tackles and set a school record for 37 tackles-for-losses. In doing so, he was honored as the National Defensive Player of the Year by in 2005.

Terrill symbolized a defense on a 15-0 Colerain team that in 2004 allowed only 98 points all year, including six shutouts. In 15 games, the Ohio Division I state champions allowed only a strangling 1,921 total yards (742 rushing) and eight rushing touchdowns.

Terrill accumulated numerous other accolades during his career including being named first team all-Ohio, The Cincinnati Enquirer/Channel 9 Player of the Year, first team all-city by The Cincinnati Enquirer and was named Defensive Player of the Year in the Greater Miami Conference.

The Cardinals were 36-3 when Terrill was a starter. He was featured in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd and he went on to play in the Big 33 Ohio vs. Pennsylvania All-Star game.

His fearsome presence continued in college at the University of Cincinnati where he started four seasons – being named Defensive Newcomer of the Year in the Big East. Terrill was a two-time Big East first team selection and in 2007 was an Associated Press All-American. He went on to play in the Arena Football League.

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Gaby Downey

Gaby Downey
Forest Park High School Class of 1985

The finest female basketball player to come out of Forest Park High School, Gaby Downey was the driving force behind the Lady Chargers' 1984 undefeated Ohio Division I state championship team. In addition to leading Forest Park to the 1984 title – the first female team from Cincinnati ever to win the state basketball title – she was named the MVP of the Ohio State Tournament. She scored 40 of Forest Park's 98-point two-game total in the state tourney.

During her career, Forest Park's girls team sported a 90-8 overall record. Downey earned 12 varsity letters during her career, including four in volleyball, two in softball and two in track. Basketball was clearly her best sport as she scored 1,107 points and collected 718 rebounds during her varsity career.

Gaby collected numerous awards and honors in basketball. She was a Street & Smith and USA TODAY honorable mention All-American in 1984-85. She was The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati Post Player of the Year in 1984. A first team all-city selection in 1984 and 1985, Gaby was also first team all-Hamilton County American League 1983-85, and in Volleyball in 1983-84. She played in the Ohio North-South basketball all-star game.

Graduating with a 4.0 GPA, Gaby went on to enjoy an outstanding career at Miami University where she is only one of nine players in RedHawks' history to score more than 1,000 points (1,192) and pull down 500 rebounds (543) in her career. She was Captain and MVP on the 1990 Mid-American Conference championship team that went 23-5.

Gaby has been inducted in two other Halls of Fame – a member of the Inaugural Class of Winton Woods-Greenhills-Forest Park Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Miami University Hall of Fame in 2009. Currently, Gaby, who lives in Blue Ash with her husband Jack Kinsinger. She teaches at Milford High School and is the assistant basketball coach at Princeton High School. They have five children.

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Jordan Hicks

Jordan Hicks
Lakota West High School Class of 2010

Unquestionably the most decorated high school football player to come out of Greater Cincinnati this century, Jordan Hicks was regarded by nearly every publication in the country as the No. 1 linebacker in the nation as a senior. An eight-time letterman in football and basketball, the 6-2, 225-pound Hicks was one of the most heavily recruited athletes in the nation.

He was only the second player in U.S. history to be named No. 1 linebacker in the nation by both Parade Magazine and the independent Butkus Foundation. He was a consensus All-American by USA TODAY, Parade Magazine, ESPN and Jordan joins an elite group of LaRosa's Hall of Famers in becoming only the 20th athlete to be inducted on the first ballot.

As a senior, he compiled 95 tackles – 67 solo – plus three sacks and two interceptions. The accolades he collected were staggering. He was selected for the Art Teynor Award by the Ohio Football Coaches Association, emblematic of the state's top player. He was named Gatorade Ohio Player of the Year. He was picked as the Ohio Division I Co-Player of the Year (Defense) and was a two-time first team all-Ohio pick.

Jordan went on to play at the University of Texas where injuries plagued his final two seasons. Still, he participated in the 2015 Senior Bowl and was a third round pick (84th overall) of Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL. He signed a four-year free agent contract in 2019 with the Arizona Cardinals. He currently is a starting linebacker with the Cardinals and lives in Phoenix.

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Kyle Ransom

Kyle Ransom
St. Xaiver High School Class of 2003

It is hard to think of swimming as more than just an individual sport, but St. Xavier's reign of Ohio swimming championships may have been in jeopardy if not for the "team” play of Kyle Ransom.

During his career at St. Xavier, Ransom won seven Ohio state titles – six of them as part of a relay team. And during that four-year run, the Aquabombers won four straight Ohio state titles and the National Championship in 2001. Named a high school All-American 13 times during his career, Kyle finished his senior season with a state championship in the 200-yard individual medley (1:50.70), and anchored both state championship 200-yard freestyle relay (1:24.53) and the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:05.39) teams. He earned numerous awards and accolades over the course of his prep career. In addition to winning seven state titles, he held three St. Xavier team records, and was named Swimmer of the Year in 2003 by The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Kyle continued his outstanding career in swimming at Stanford University, where he was a three-time collegiate All-American. While at Stanford, his team won the Pac-10 conference four times and he was a two-time Pac-10 conference champion in the 200-yard free relay (2006 and 2007). Kyle won a bronze medal for Team USA as a member of the 400-yard free relay team at the World University Games (2005). Kyle was an Olympic Trials Qualifier in 2004, 2008 and 2012, most recently competing in both the 50 and 100 freestyle.

Currently, Kyle Ransom works at Deloitte Consulting as a Manager of Supply Chain in Chicago, IL. He and his wife, Ashley, have two daughters (Charlotte and Audrey).

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Tami Ramson

Tami Ransom (Checkoway)
Ursuline Academy Class of 2001

One of the finest female swimmers in Greater Cincinnati in this century, Tami Ransom, sister of Hall of Famer Kyle Ransom, was an essential part of Ursuline Academy's dynamic run of four Ohio Division I state championships from 1998-2002.

Tami captured six individual Ohio state titles – three in the 200-yard individual medley – two in the 100 freestyle and one in the 100 butterfly. Her state-winning time of 1:58.76 in the 200 IM in 2001 stood as the Ohio state record for more than 10 years. That time was the second-fastest time in U.S. prep history and was the No. 1 time in the country in 2001.

Tami was part of five state championship relay teams, including three-time winner in the 400-yard freestyle relay, the 200-medley relay (1998) and the 200 free relay (2001). Tami was also runner-up in four other Ohio division I state title events.

Her awards and honors were plentiful. She was named the Ohio Swimmer of the Year in 2000 and 2001. She was twice named The Cincinnati Enquirer's Swimmer of the Year and the Girls Greater Cincinnati League Swimmer of the Year in 2000 and 2001. She was picked first team all-city and All-GGCL four times.

Tami went on to swim collegiately at Stanford University where she was a two-time collegiate All-American. Currently, Tami Ransom Checkoway is a Senior Consultant for Galmont Consulting in Lexington, Ky. She is also owner of Sweet Bee Cakery.

Tami and her husband, Daniel, live in Georgetown, KY and have two children (Alex and Sarah)

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Kim Gunning

Coach Kim Gunning
Notre Dame Academy 1989-2000

Greater Cincinnati has long been the hotbed of high school volleyball in the Midwest and while Cincinnati has had its share of champions, no one has set the gold standard higher than Notre Dame Academy volleyball coaching legend Kim Gunning.

Gunning charted new territory in just 12 years of coaching that likely will remain unmatched in Northern Kentucky for many years to come. As head coach of the Notre Dame Academy volleyball team, Kim drove the Pandas to three Kentucky state championships and four second place finishes in a state where all schools compete in the same class. In three of those losses, the Pandas lost to the No. 1-ranked team in the United States.

In her 12-year coaching reign, NDA compiled a 360-75 record (83%). Just as remarkable – her teams were District champions, Regional Champions and Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference Champions all 12 years!

She was named Kentucky Post Coach of the Year seven times, The Kentucky Enquirer Coach of the Year eight times, the Kentucky Volleyball Coaches Association Coach of the Year three times and the National Federation Interscholastic Coaches Association Outstanding Coach for the state of Kentucky in 1993.

In 2016, Gunning, Athletic Director at Notre Dame Academy for 20 years, received the Brigid DeVires Outstanding Leadership award, from the Kentucky High School Athletic Association which is emblematic of the state's top administrator.

During her tenure at NDA, the school also added four sports programs (lacrosse, bowling, bass fishing and archery) and added a gym and three outdoor sports facilities (soccer field and track complex, tennis courts and softball field). Currently, Kim is the assistant athletic director at St. Ursula Academy.

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