Cardinal Gibbons celebrates the 2019 Athletics Hall of Fame inductees: Jessica Botzum Cockrill ’04, Kaela Pearce ’04, Serena White ’04, and Jonathan Burns ’08.
It was a daylong display of Gibbons legacy, engagement, and joy. From inducting four alumni into the Athletics Hall of Fame to enjoying fellowship at a tailgate, basketball game, or pep rally it was a Friday to remember.
That is especially true for the members of the 2019 Hall of Fame class, which includes All-American and All-State performers from the early 2000s, all of whom went on to enjoy collegiate careers. They were honored during the February 1 induction ceremony and reception in the school’s Learning Commons. The event was also one of several celebrations to mark the close of Catholic Schools Week, underscoring that the ties that bind community members to Gibbons last well beyond graduation.
The newest hall of fame members also were recognized on center court during halftime of the women’s varsity basketball game against Sanderson High School in the Fr. Price Gymnasium. The inductees are listed below along with a statement of gratitude from and a link to a video of each honoree. (Pictured above, from left, are Kaela Pearce '04, Jonathan Burns '08, and Serena White '04. Jessica Botzum Cockrill '04 is not pictured.)
Jessica Botzum Cockrill ’04, swimming, said: “I am incredibly honored and humbled to be inducted into the Hall of Fame…I spent four wonderful years at Gibbons and owe my collegiate and professional success to the foundation it provided me.”
Kaela Pearce ’04, basketball, said: “I owe this [honor] to all of my teammates and coaches who were part of our successful formula.”
Serena White ’04, basketball, said: “Fifteen years after graduating … and in receiving the recognition of being inducted into the Hall of Fame, I can honestly say my four years playing varsity basketball at Gibbons was the most fun and the best four years of my basketball career.”
Jonathan Burns ’08, wrestling, said: “It's an honor to have my name mentioned with such incredible individuals and hopefully I can be an inspiration to those coming after me as I was inspired by others before me.”
Director of Athletics Leadership/Legacy Dean Monroe said of the evening. “We were thrilled to honor these outstanding former student-athletes and celebrate with their families. These gifted and talented individuals not only transcended our program and took it to another level during their time at Gibbons, they also left behind a legacy.”
To be sure, the Cardinal Gibbons Athletics Hall of Fame honors the school’s past and inspires its future by celebrating student-athletes who have contributed to Gibbons’ storied athletic tradition.
Also inspiring is that immediately after school the area around the main lobby and café was transformed into an indoor tailgate. The event, now in its third year, drew 100+ members of the school community who gathered around 12 tailgates sponsored by various school groups, including the women’s and men’s varsity and junior varsity teams as well as Gibbons educators.
Director of Parent Engagement Kerry Mann said the event succeeded in reaching its goal of “celebrating not only the end of Catholic Schools Week, but of all things Gibbons.”