Naperville Central inducts eleven new members into Athletics Hall of Fame

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Eleven new members of the Naperville Central High School athletic community were inducted into the 2023 Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday February 3rd. This year’s inductees combined with the Hall of Fame Class of 2022 after last year’s ceremony was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The day was full of  walks down memory lane as well as chatting with fellow inductees and current athletes at Naperville Central. It was followed by a tour of the building along with a dinner, and ceremony before the Naperville Central boys basketball game against crosstown rival Naperville North. A game that was won by the Redhawks, to the delight of the crowd and the new Hall of Fame members.

State Champion inductees

Some of the most recent inductees are 2012 grads Amanda Fox, and Nick Linne as well as Mark Menis, who graduated in 2010. Fox was a member of the Central girls cross country and track and field teams. A two-time All-State runner, her most memorable moment was when she won the 2011 IHSA girls cross country State championship in her senior year. During the spring track season, Fox finished in third place in the 3200 meter run at the State meet as a senior. However, the State cross country championship memories are the ones that Fox will always cherish. 

“I still remember vivid things like remembering the truck ahead of me saying it’s the Amanda Fox show, and I’m just chasing down the truck, and just my coaches on the sidelines and teammates and just everyone supporting me. It was just such a special experience and something I’ll never forget,” said former Redhawk runner Amanda Fox. 

Senior years to remember

Linne and Menis were both a part of Central teams that won State championships during their senior seasons. Menis swam for the Redhawks who won the 2010 boys swimming and diving State title by three points ahead of rival powerhouse Neuqua Valley. Menis was also a part of two relay teams in the 200 and 400 yard freestyle. The 400 yard free relay was the final event of the meet, which clinched the championship for the Redhawks. Menis was also an All-American water polo player and earned Illinois Water Polo Player of the Year as a senior. He helped the Redhawks bring home state trophies in 2009 and 2010. Menis could not have accomplished all of his goals without teammates and coaches. 

“At the end of the day, I was part of two team sports at Naperville Central High School, and the only reason why I am inducted is because of all the teammates and coaches and everyone that has helped me come to this point. So I just want to give a special thank you to all my teammates and coaches,” said former Redhawk swimmer and water polo player Mark Menis.

Nick Linne was a three sport athlete for four years at Naperville Central, throwing touchdowns for the football team, sinking buckets on the basketball court and batting over .350 for the State winning baseball team. Linne’s success on the gridiron helped him earn two time all conference and two time DVC player of the year. On the baseball diamond is where Linne acheived his most memorable accomplishment, as a key member of the Redhawk’s victory in the 4A IHSA State baseball championship

Good company for the new class

After many athletes like Sean Payton, Owen Daniels, and Candace Parker have been inducted into the Redhawk Hall of Fame, Linne knew he was in good company.

“It’s pretty surreal just to think about some of the athletes who have come before me and think that I’m somehow mentioned in the same breath as them. It’s a very cool thing. We’ve had some really incredible athletes come before me, so it’s a huge honor. I’m super humbled and I’m just excited for a cool experience,” said former three sport athlete Nick Linne.

2023 Hall of Fame inductee Bob Gabler, a longtime friend of athletics at Naperville Central and assistant boys tennis coach for over 30 years, passed away last month after a brave battle with ALS. Coach Gabler was a key part of the Redhawk 2017 State championship boys tennis team.

The names of the Naperville Central Hall of Fame class of 2022 and 2023 are listed below. 

Amanda Fox- 2012- cross country and track

Bob Gabler- Friends of Athletics and assistant boys tennis coach

Abbey Kerth- 2012, swimming and water polo

Nick Linne- 2012, football, basketball and baseball

Dan Dobrowski- 1946, football and track

David Elliott- 1988, soccer, basketball, and baseball

Rich Erickson- Friends of Athletics and team physician

Mike Haverty- 1992, football and baseball

Mark Menis- 2010, swimming and water polo

Kevin Noel- 2001, football and track

Dawn Rippelmeyer- 1982, basketball, softball and track

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!