2023 Hall of Fame Inductees

 

On Friday, October 6 during a ceremony in the Donnie Williams Center, St. Mary's Ryken honored 11 alumni who were inducted into the 2023 Athletic Hall of Fame. 

Please join us in congratulating the 2023 Inductees:

  • Stephanie Dameron Bolin ’10 - Softball
  • John Flowers ’07 - Basketball
  • John Gretz - Cross Country & Track and Field Coach (1973–77)
  • Joe Hatcher ’76 - Cross Country & Track
  • Tim O’Connor ’76 - Cross Country & Track
  • Tom Offenbacher ’74 - Cross Country & Track
  • Roman Pausch ’77 - Cross Country & Track
  • Tyler Smith ’12 - Basketball
  • Reed Sothoron ’00 - Lacrosse
  • Fred Spalding '78 - Cross Country & Track
  • Tom Spalding '77 - Cross Country & Track
Hall of Fame Group 2023

From left: Athletic Director, Jon Lombardo, Roman Pausch, John Flowers, Stephanie Bolin, John Gretz, Tom Spalding, Tim O'Connor, Tyler Smith, Tom Offenbacher, Fred Spalding, Reed Sothoron, Joe Hatcher and President Rick Wood

 

The St. Mary's Ryken Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1981 to honor those alumni, coaches and administrators who achieved excellence and distinguished themselves in the schools athletic programs.  Inductees are selected through a nomination process overseen by the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee and honored during Homecoming Weekend.

Stephanie Bolin '10

Stephanie Bolin graduated from St. Mary’s Ryken in 2010. Her experience as pitcher of the softball team has taught her that the world is full of opportunity, and when focused on doing God’s will and using the gifts God has given her to glorify Him, she can have an impact on others. Stephanie was a three-time selection for the Southern Maryland Enterprise All-County First Team; Washington Post All-Met Second Team (2010) and Honorable Mention (2009); four-time WCAC All-Conference Team, including First Team in 2010; SMR 2010 Softball MVP; and Most Promising Athlete 2007. Her favorite memory from high school took place her senior year when Stephanie had the opportunity to pitch to a few SMR faculty members, Jason DeLucco and Jeff Shaw, during homecoming week.

Mr. DeLucco and Mr. Shaw had been bragging that they could hit her fastball out of the park all year. The day of the challenge, all of Paschal Hall came out to watch the showdown. Although they both did foul off some pitches, she eventually struck them both out. She recalls, “I loved the camaraderie with my peers while being able to showcase my talents.”

After graduating from SMR Stephanie attended Radford University, where she continued her softball career and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in English and Special Education. She was named the softball team’s Freshman of the Year, was team captain sophomore through senior years, and has a few records in the Radford record books. She was second in NCAA Division I for the lowest number of walks in a season (14) in 2011, and she made Second Team All-Conference (Big South) and Virginia Sports Information Directors Association All-State Honors.

Currently, Stephanie is an English teacher and the English Department chair at SMR. After being the head softball coach for the past five years, she has transitioned to the assistant coach to spend more time with her family. She is married to William Bolin, a theology teacher at SMR, and they have two boys, Joseph and Daniel. SMR has been a part of Stephanie’s family for generations; her grandfather, dad, aunts, uncle, and five of her siblings are alumni, and her youngest brother is a junior.

John Flowers '07

John Flowers ’07 was a star basketball player during his time at St. Mary’s Ryken. He appreciated his time devoted to basketball because of how much it taught him. “Basketball built character and a competitiveness that you can’t teach,” he says. One of his favorite things about SMR is that, as a student, he felt like he was treated like an adult. He appreciated the mutual respect between the staff and the students. One of his favorite memories is when the team played against an SMR rival, Our Lady of Good Counsel, at Good Counsel. The head coach of the University of Maryland, Gary Williams, came to see John play because he was recruiting him. The team was down 20 points in the first half, and John felt like he was playing badly. Coach Williams left during halftime and missed seeing John score 30 points and the team won the game in overtime.

After graduating, John went on to West Virginia University on a full athletic scholarship. He was a college defensive all-American, Big East Champion, and made the Final Four in 2010.

John has been playing professionally for 12 years overseas, including in Japan, France, Germany, Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina and Mexico. His team won championships in Mexico and France. John says he was “blessed to be able to use basketball as a tool to help me get an education for free and travel across America and the world for free. I was able to make a living playing the game that I love. Basketball allowed me to experience different cultures and learn about life.”

Since graduating, John has kept Morgantown, West Virginia, his home base. While at WVU, John met his wife, Jessica. They have two daughters, Violet and Liliana, and have another baby on the way. John continues playing overseas and is also beginning his next chapter as a businessman. He credits his mother for introducing him to the game of basketball; she was a three-time All-American at Louisiana Tech. He also credits his father for instilling a strong work ethic and a hustler’s mentality in him.

John Gretz, Coach (1973-1977)

John has been playing professionally for 12 years overseas, including in Japan, France, Germany, Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina and Mexico. His team won championships in Mexico and France. John says he was “blessed to be able to use basketball as a tool to help me get an education for free and travel across America and the world for free. I was able to make a living playing the game that I love. Basketball allowed me to experience different cultures and learn about life.”

Since graduating, John has kept Morgantown, West Virginia, his home base. While at WVU, John met his wife, Jessica. They have two daughters, Violet and Liliana, and have another baby on the way. John continues playing overseas and is also beginning his next chapter as a businessman. He credits his mother for introducing him to the game of basketball; she was a three-time All-American at Louisiana Tech. He also credits his father for instilling a strong work ethic and a hustler’s mentality in him.

John Gretz was the Ryken High School cross country coach from 1973-77 and was the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference (SMAC) Coach of the Year for three of those years. He says that every minute of his coaching experience at Ryken is his favorite memory because he got to work with talented and dedicated athletes who inspired him.

At the time, Ryken High School was the only private school competing in the SMAC, which consisted of eight schools at the time. While John was the coach, the cross country and track team had very successful seasons.

Some of their accomplishments include SMAC Cross Country Team Champions (1973, 1975, 1976), St. Mary’s County Cross Country Team Champions four years in a row (1973, 1974, 1975, 1976), Cross Country Mattapany Relay Team Champions four years in a row (1973, 1974, 1975, 1976), 12 First Team All-SMAC Runners and 8 Second Team All-SMAC Runners in Cross Country, St. Mary’s County Track Team Champions (1976, 1977), and 10 First Team All-SMAC performers in Track.

John was a teacher and coach for more than 30 years. After his tenure at Ryken, he coached for five years at the University of Maryland, where he was named Maryland State Chairman of Indoor Track. He has presented educational seminars at national conferences and workshops in multiple states. In 2015, John was also appointed by Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner to serve on the Educational Leadership Team helping to plan countywide initiatives and programs. Appointed by Gov. Larry Hogan to serve on the Maryland State Commission on Disabilities from 2018-20, John helped establish regulations and programs designed to assist individuals with a wide range of disabilities. In 2019 John was inducted into the Prince George’s County Coaches and Friends Association Hall of Fame in honor of all his hard work.

John has been married to his wife Kuang-Tzu for 32 years. He credits her for being extremely understanding and supportive while he devoted many thousands of hours to teaching, coaching, and umpiring.

Joe Hatcher '76

Joe Hatcher ’76 had a wonderful experience at Ryken High School. He fondly remembers the Xaverian Brothers who taught him and seeing Brother Thomas Crane riding his motorcycle from one end of the campus to the other. However, what stood out to Joe the most was his cross-country coach, John Gretz. “He made us into a solid group of young student-athletes to push ourselves and constantly encouraged us to strive to be better as athletes and most importantly as students.” Joe was on the Cross Country All-SMAC team his sophomore and junior years. He also was the recipient of the Brother Herbert Award in cross country and track.

Athletics helped him learn self-discipline, self-control, and how to work with others. Joe says his athletics experience was very formative.

"It changed my life,” he says. “I wanted to be a part of something. It helped me stay focused in school, it helped me in making choices on what path I would take in life. Athletics was the impetus for me to succeed in high school and later in life.”

After graduating from RHS, Joe joined the Navy. While attending boot camp, he was selected as Company Honor Man and promoted to the next rank. He went on to attend Hospital Corpsman School and at the U.S. Naval Academy, he was selected as Sailor of the Quarter. When his obligation of four years was completed, he enlisted in the active Reserves and retired after 26 years.

Joe then became a police officer in Anne Arundel County. During his career as a police officer, he was selected as Policeman of the Year for the Anne Arundel County 100 Club and was nominated twice for the Baltimore Sun Newspaper Police Officer of the Year. After 22 years as an officer, Joe worked in the Comptroller of Maryland Office as a field enforcement agent, where he eventually was promoted to division administrator and eventually retired after 38 years in law enforcement. During his time in law enforcement, he was still able to nurture his love of athletics by coaching a cross-country and track team.

Tim O'Connor '76

Tim O’Connor ’76 was a member of the cross country and track team. Ryken High School introduced him to a love of running, which he says has enhanced his life. “The introduction to long-distance running and the great coaching I received in high school laid a foundation for athletic activity I’ve been able to enjoy over the years,” he says. Since high school, Tim has completed several 10ks and the Marine Corps Marathon. Running has brought Tim a lot of peace, he says. “If you can run three miles in under 20 minutes, life's obstacles are surmountable.”

After high school, Tim went to Towson University and completed a Bachelor of Science degree. Then, he went to Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School and ultimately became an E-2C naval flight officer. He served eight years on active duty in the Navy before joining the Naval Reserves, completing 20 years of total service.

Following active-duty service, he joined the Naval Air Systems Command as a civil servant and completed 25 years as a logistician supporting numerous naval aviation programs, which included six years as lead logistician for the F/A-18 program. In 2022, Tim retired from government service and now works as a senior logistics consultant for Sierra Technologies.

When Tim moved back to Southern Maryland in the late 1990s, he met his wife, Sandra ’79, who is a St. Mary’s Academy alumnus.

Tom Offenbacher '74

Tom Offenbacher ’74 competed in varsity cross country and track all four years of high school. In his junior and senior years, he was the SMAC cross-country champion. At graduation, he was awarded the Student-Athlete Award.

Tom’s favorite memory from high school is Competition Day in 1973 when his junior class beat the senior class (it was said to be the first time that had happened). He specifically remembers the tug-of-war contest, where the junior team struggled for 10 seconds and then the senior team collapsed and was dragged speedily through the mud.

Tom returned to competitive running at the age of 37. In his 50s, he placed in the top 20 in four national cross-country meets and won the Montgomery County, Maryland Running Club championship road running series for his age group three times in his 50s and 60s. He was also the Montgomery County Grand Master Runner of the Year in 2019.

Tom has three adult children that he raised in Boston while having a career in biotechnology and is currently raising his 14-year-old son in Montgomery County, though they spend a lot of time in their St. Mary’s County home playing on the Potomac River. Currently, Tom works in biotech manufacturing and became senior vice president of operations for Genzyme Corp. He has always felt that through his athletic pursuits, he was modeling good habits and lifestyle for his children and nephews/nieces (and now his grandchildren and grandnephews/nieces). “When I think of vacation or recreation, I think ‘athletics,’ ” said Tom. “Throughout my life, I have avidly participated in competitive running, snow-skiing, water-skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking and scuba diving. This is what I do when I have spare time; it’s what I create space in my days for.”

Roman Pausch '77

Roman Pausch graduated in 1977 from Ryken High School, where he ran cross country. He credits the athletics department with the ability to create and build lasting friendships as well as maintain his health. Roman has fond memories of jumping into the pool with his teammates after cross-country practice.

After high school Roman went on to West Virginia University to earn his bachelor’s degree in forest resource management, followed by a master’s degree and Ph.D. in crop physiology at the University of Maryland.

Roman has had a very diverse and interesting career path. For eight years, he was a plant physiologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He then worked at Cornell University as a research and lab manager before becoming an innkeeper in New York for over 17 years. He moved back to research and crop specialization work from 1999-2014. Roman is currently a carpenter and stoneworker, as well as a gas specialist with Cipher Consulting.

Tyler Smith '12

The rise of girls’ basketball at St. Mary’s Ryken coincided with the arrival of senior Tyler Smith in 2012. She became an instant leader and was named captain in her first and only season. She credits her faith with defining her and giving her purpose and credits her family as the backbone and heart of everything she does. After that, athletics is a vital contributor to who Tyler is today. She says, “Sports are important because they teach you the value of healthy living, discipline, strong work ethic, teamwork, and commitment. … It is an empowering and priceless experience that I hold of extreme value, even now.”

Her favorite memories from high school are simply having the opportunities to play with her sisters. “Through my sports journey, I was not only able to compete with my biological sisters, but I had the opportunity to meet and play with some of my best friends to this day. I have built relationships that will last a lifetime, with people who are just as strong, resilient, and motivated to be the best they can be each day. They are the iron that sharpens me, and I am so grateful for all the battle scars and stories we share.”

After graduating from SMR, Tyler went on to the University of North Carolina Asheville and continued playing basketball. During her college career, the team’s record went from 2-28 in her freshman year to 26-7 in her senior year. In 2015-16, she was a Big South Regular Season Champion and a Big South Tournament Champion.

Currently, Tyler works for Crowe, a public accounting, consulting, and technology firm in Washington. She has coached basketball for Western Carolina University, Queens University of Charlotte and Kansas Wesleyan University.

Reed Sothoron '00

Reed Sothoron graduated from St. Mary’s Ryken in 2000. During his senior year of high school, he was named a lacrosse All-American. Reed’s favorite memories from high school are beating St. Albans and Georgetown Prep in the same week. SMR had never beaten either of these teams, and beating both in the same season was special. He fondly remembers celebrating these wins with his father, John Sothoron, who was also the head boys lacrosse coach.

After SMR, Reed played lacrosse for Towson University. The team went 38-21, a record that included three Colonial Athletic Association titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances.

He was chosen for the First Team All-CAA twice and Second Team once, was a two-time Honorable Mention All-American and was one of five Towson Tigers selected to the CAA’s 25th Anniversary Team.

As a captain in 2005, Reed was named to the Tewaaraton Watch List. Reed’s .608 save percentage in 2005 remains a single-season program record. His 578 career saves at Towson rank him in a tie for third with who else, but his dad, John. His career goalkeeper save percentage of .561 remains second on the all-time career list. Reed went on to play three years of pro lacrosse for the San Francisco Dragons, the Denver Outlaws and the Baltimore Bayhawks.

Reed lives in Catonsville, Maryland, with his wife Liz and two kids, Scarlett, 8, and Keller, 6. Reed works in Outside Sales for Clark Machine. He has continued to be involved in athletics by coaching high school lacrosse for over 10 years and competing in marathons and triathlons.

Fred Spalding '78

Fred Spalding graduated from Ryken High School in 1978. He was on the track and cross-country teams all four years of high school. His commitment to athletics paid off, and in his senior year, he received the award for Student Athlete of the Year.

His dedication to athletics taught him to work hard and never give up. Fred notes, “Athletics are very important to a young person. It encourages and promotes attributes that are important for a productive full life.” Fred took these lessons and continued to apply it to his life, knowing that hard work was the answer to making progress.

After graduating from RHS, Fred earned his stationary engineers license. He has been employed by two Southern Maryland hospitals for nearly 40 years.

He purchased some land in Leonardtown to build his own home, and he made sure to include space for a garden. Fred loves to garden, hunt, fish, and go to church on Sundays. He has committed his life to Jesus and, in reflection, notes, “My life is full, and I am living the dream.”

Tom Spalding '77

Tom Spalding is a member of the Class of 1977. He was on the track and cross-country teams for three years. Tom appreciated his time at Ryken High School and his class of 76 students. The other students were an inspiration; he especially remembers admiring Joe Hatcher and Jerry Beason.

Athletics has always been a good choice for Tom because “I have always been an active person; I am not a couch potato.” While running for RHS, Tom was always determined to win, whether it was a quarter-mile, half-mile, or 1-mile, or one of many relays.

After his time at Ryken, Tom continued to seek out action. He became a firefighter, an EMT, and worked on the medical unit for roughly 10 years.

In the early 1990s, he received his captain’s license. After that, Tom was employed in maintenance management for 35 years. Now he teaches at the College of Southern Maryland and Maryland Center for Environmental Training.

Tom has been blessed with four daughters, twins Mikaela and Tiara born in 1989, Molly born in 1995, and Ashley born in 2000. Tom notes how grateful he is for his wonderful life and how full it is.

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