Source: Sherman Publications

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Oxford grows its Hall of Fame by five

by Trevor Keiser

September 11, 2013

(From left): Megan Burns, Dr. Heather Hall, Joe Line (standing in for son Zach), Bobby Schmidt and Jennifer White. Photo by Trevor Keiser.
The fourth class of Wildcat athletes inducted into Oxford's Athletic Hall of Fame were officially honored at halftime at last Friday's football game, followed by a formal ceremony at Oxford High School's Performing Arts Center on Saturday night.

"It certainly is a labor of love between the committee and myself," said Athletic Director Mike Watson. "We really love this (ceremony)."

The class of inductees included Megan Burns ('95), Dr. Heather Hall ('85), Zach Line ('08), Bobby Schmidt ('02), and Jenny White ('98). Unfortunately, Line was unable to attend because he had to "work the next day" as he debuted in his first NFL career game as Minnesota Viking took on the Detroit Lions.

"It's so unbelievable to see such accomplished people in their high school athletic career, but more importantly for me, what they do afterwards," Watson said. "To see people like Megan Burns, who is an attorney, Bobby Schmidt, who is a teacher or a professor (like Dr. Heather Hall), someone who works in the engineering field (like Jenny White). That's what our students need to hear and need to see (because not everybody will make it to the professional level like Zach Line)."

"I can't stress enough that this is for the current and future student athletes," he continued. "It's great to give people awards, but like we always say 'trophies tarnish and memories fade, but these are the lessons we want to last forever.'"

The ceremony included special guest speaker Emmy Lucas, a sports reporter with the Oakland Press.

After having covered sports at the higher levels, when Lucas began her career, she questioned the validity of covering sports at the high school level and how much stock people, other than parents, really put into the reporting of it.

"I could have not been more wrong and I'm a little ashamed that those were my initial thoughts about getting into the business this way because there is such a passion for competition at this level I was honestly blown away at the beginning," she said. "Now, with my three years of experience, I've talked to athletic directors after games who have (sold) 8,000 to 11,000 tickets for one single event. I've gone to Eastern Michigan University Games and they haven't sold that many tickets. Now, high school is competing with that kind of fanfare coming to their games."

"I get to witness these student athletes with this raw talent before anybody else does and before they take it to that next level," Lucas noted.

Watson explained the significance of the Oxford Community Schools logo, which is a triangle that places equal emphasis on the arts, academics and athletics

"If we're not demonstrating how athletic participation fosters educational growth than we're not doing what we should and we can leave those programs in the community. There is a reason why we have those school programs and athletics. These people on stage demonstrate why that is," he added.

"I can't be more pleased. It's a lot of work putting this together but it's something the school district believes in and I couldn't be happier with the outcome."