VHS Athletic Hall of Fame class chosen

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The newest class of the Valmeyer High School Athletic Hall of Fame was announced last week. 

The inductees are Patrick McCarthy (Class of 1964), Randy Esker (Class of 1974), Jennifer Hawkins Kohnz (Class of 1994) and Sharon Huffman Marquardt (Class of 1995).

An induction ceremony will take place between the junior varsity and varsity boys basketball games between Valmeyer and Gibault on Saturday, Feb. 15, with a reception to follow at St. Mary Parish Center.

McCarthy was a four-time letter-winner in both baseball and basketball for the Pirates and a founding member of Valmeyer Boosters of School Sports. 

He was the Vernie Moffitt/Waterloo Times Free-Throw Award winner in 1964 at 80.7 percent.

McCarthy was manager/coach for Valmeyer Youth Sports Association baseball from 1976-85 and served as head coach of Waterloo Junior American Legion in 1986-87 and head coach of Waterloo Senior American Legion in 1988-89.

Esker scored over 1,000 points in basketball and starred in baseball for the Pirates and was drafted by the Montreal Expos. He played baseball for Belleville Area College.

His career pitching record at VHS was 27-6 and his career batting average was .356.

In baseball, Esker threw two no-hitters, three one-hitters and three two-hitters for the Pirates in 1974.

In basketball, Esker led the Chartres Conference in scoring in 1974.

Hawkins starred in volleyball, softball and cheerleading at VHS and coached varsity volleyball for 10 years, guiding the 2012 team to the state tournament. 

She also guided the Valmeyer Junior High School volleyball squad to a 37-0 record and SIJHSAA state title in 2019.

As a student-athlete, Hawkins was VHS valedictorian in 1994, was the cheerleading team MVP in 1994 and was volleyball MVP in 1992 and 1993.

She played on the University of Illinois club volleyball team from 1996-98.

As a coach, she guided the VHS volleyball squad to seven conference titles, seven regional titles and three sectional titles in addition to the state tourney appearance.

Huffman also starred in volleyball, softball and cheerleading for the Pirates. 

She went on to play softball and volleyball for Lewis & Clark Community College from 1995-97 and then softball at McKendree College from 1997-99.

She was McKendree’s softball MVP in 1999 and was named to a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American that year.

She holds a .376 career batting average at McKendree and is a member of the McKendree Sports Hall of Fame.

Huffman went on to coach softball, most notably at St. Louis Community College from 2004-11 and 2013-14.

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