12 new alumni inducted to the Athletic Hall of Fame


D'Niya Little-Segers

(left to right) Dawn Rippelmeyer, Dr. Rich Erickson, Bob Gabler’s wife Carole Gabler, Mike Haverty, Nick Linne, Kevin Noel, Abbey Kerth, Amanda Fox, Mark Menis, and David Elliott hold their Athletic Hall of Fame plaques after the induction ceremony on Feb. 3.

Evelyn Zwicky, Sports Editor

Central hosted this year’s Athletic Hall of Fame Induction on Feb. 3, admitting 12 new members. The event involved tours of the school for the inductees, an assembly and award ceremony planned by junior and senior athletic ambassadors and Central’s Athletic Hall of Fame Committee. 

The Athletic Hall of Fame Inductions started in 2013. There have been nine inductions since. 

Jeff Plackett, girls water polo coach and member of the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee since 2013, has helped plan this event and select inductees since it started. 

“We are looking to put together a class that showcases different sports, genders and athletic success over a long period of time,” Plackett said. 

The process of planning and selecting nominees for this year’s inductions started in April 2022. The committee looks for a group of accomplished athletes, coaches, or contributors to the athletic program that showcases a multitude of sports and graduating classes. The list of nominees starts at anywhere for 75 to 100 candidates and is then narrowed down to 10 by the committee and current coaches to create one final list. 

“[I feel] so honored to hear everyone’s accomplishments and be alongside them. It’s very humbling and [it’s] a huge honor to be able to participate,” inductee Amanda Fox said. 

Along with an accomplished athletic career at Central, inductees have also had highly regarded professional careers. Inductee Sergeant Major Dawn Rippelmeyer served in the United States Army for 35 years. She served two tours in Afghanistan and two tours in Iraq. 

“Having that athletic background really helped me when I got into the army to gain that acceptance and have that understanding of how to be a good teammate,” Rippelmeyer said. 

Plackett hopes that the inductions will help current athletes understand the importance of not getting caught up in competitions and inspire students through the stories of Central athletes that came before them. 

“Sometimes it’s hard for us while we’re living it to recognize the value in what we’re doing,” Plackett said. “What I like about the panel is a collection of people [telling students] here’s how my time as an athlete at Naperville Central has impacted my life well beyond high school.”