Class of 2023

Mary Lanette Taylor

Perhaps the best basketball player – male or female – to come out of Elyria West High School was Mary Lanette Taylor Eggleston. She graduated from West in 1988. Playing under ESHOF inductee Tom Kubuski, Taylor led the Wolverines to state rankings and the regional tournament twice during her four years on the varsity. She holds West’s career scoring (1,088 points) and rebounding (803) marks. She also holds the single season rebound record of 289. She earned a scholarship to Cleveland State and remains the only female CSU basketball player to attain All-American status in 1992. She was inducted into the Viking’s Hall of Fame in 2003. While at Cleveland State, Taylor held five school records including the single-season rebound mark of 352 in 1992. Career-wise, she ranks in the top 20 in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots, steals, field goals made and games played. After her historic career at CSU, “Lanette” went on to play five years professionally in Europe and the Middle East; in Austria, Spain, Israel and Switzerland.  She is the only basketball player from Elyria West to play professionally and the first female from Lorain County to play professionally.

Erik Burnett

Elyria High has always had an excellent wrestling program over the years but Erik Burnett took the Pioneers to new heights in his 25 years at the helm. Frank Fiore is credited with starting the Pioneer wrestling program and his successor, Bill Pierson, took the team to the state championship in 1973, the first EHS athletic team to win a state title. Both have been enshrined in the ESHOF. When Burnett took over in 1997, he immediately restored Elyria as a state wrestling powerhouse. His teams won 299 dual meets and finished as the state’s individual team runner-up three times. In the state dual competition, Burnett’s teams finished second twice. Elyria won 13 conference championships under his leadership. He was named Ohio Coach of the Year in 2015 and his teams were nationally ranked six times. He’s been awarded multiple Coach of the Year awards. He coached 12 state champions, 27 state finalists, 66 state placers and 108 state qualifiers. Thirty-nine of Burnett’s wrestlers won over 100 matches in their career.  Burnett is one of only 27 wrestlers to win four state championships while at Oberlin High. He went on to great acclaim at Clarion University where he is a 2000 Hall of Fame inductee.

Chase Farris

Chase Farris, a 2011 Elyria High grad, has pretty much done it all as a football player. Farris was All-Ohio on both sides of the ball for the Pioneers in 2010 and went on to Ohio State where he helped the Buckeyes win the National Championship in 2014.  He was also a member of New England’s championship team in Super Bowl LI. While at Elyria, Farris was a dominating two-way lineman. He led the Pioneers in sacks both his junior and senior seasons. He led the team in tackles and sacks as a senior. He had 19 career sacks at Elyria. As a basketball player, Farris led the team in rebounds in all three of his varsity seasons.  As a senior, twice he scored 26 points in a single game and finished with 250 points (13.9 average) and pulled in 178 rebounds. He shot 53 percent from the field.

Kate Verhoff

The Verhoff name is synonymous with winning volleyball and basketball at Elyria High. Kate Verhoff, a 2005 graduate of Elyria High, joins her older sisters Jessie and Lisa as members of the Elyria Sports Hall of Fame. It’s hard to say which sport Kate excelled in more. She was All-Ohio and Miss Volleyball her senior year and duplicated the feat on the basketball floor – following in the footsteps of her sisters. She was four-time All-Conference, All-County and All-District in volleyball and was named second team All-Ohio in 2002 and 2003. As the team’s setter, she had 630 assists her senior year, 554 her junior year and 524 as a sophomore. She’s the all-time career assist leader with 1717. She also holds the career ace record with 154 aces. Elyria won 91 matches, lost only 13 during her career.  In basketball, she finished her career with 1,420 points, 412 rebounds and 112 3-pointers. Elyria was 76-18 over those years. She played collegiately at the University of Southern Florida (volleyball), Kent State and Notre Dame – Cleveland (basketball).

Ellen Borowy Casey

From a three-sport star at Elyria Catholic to being inducted into Clarion University’s Athletic Hall of Fame, Ellen Borowy Casey has established herself among the very best female athletes. She graduated from EC in 1981 and won the Gilgenbach Award, given to the Outstanding Female Athlete. She earned 10 letters participating in three sports – volleyball, basketball and track. In track, she held the school and conference discus record. In basketball, she was All-Conference and 2nd team All-County in 1981. Her best sport was Volleyball where she earned MVP honors both her junior and senior years. She was All-Erie Coast Conference. She continued her volleyball career at Clarion University. Not only a good athlete, Borowy Casey was an extraordinary student. She was the first two-time Academic All-American from Clarion and was the 1982-83 Athlete of the Year. She was inducted into Clarion’s HOF in 2022. She has been a volleyball coach at several schools since graduating from Clarion.

1979 Elyria Catholic Baseball Team

When Andy Pavlenda, a previous ESHOF inductee, was selected to start the baseball program at Elyria Catholic, little did anyone know just how successful the Panthers would be in their inaugural season. The Panthers surprised everyone by becoming the first baseball team to qualify for the state tournament since Lorain High in 1957. Earning a trip to Columbus wasn’t easy. Because of rain postponements, Elyria Catholic had to win two games at the regional tournament on the same day. The Panthers defeated Painesville Harvey, 2-1, and Orrville, 2-0, to earn a spot in the final four. Charlie Zepp, who won nine games without a loss, pitched a two-hitter against Harvey. Mike Baumbick and Ed Henderson drove in the runs. Against Orrville, Mitch Boehm and Zepp combined on a two-hit shutout. John Swansinger and Tommy Taylor drove in the runs. The team lost in the semi-final to eventual state champion Columbis St. Francis DeSales, 5-4, in nine innings. Baumbick had a triple and a home run, driving in two of EC’s runs. Jeff Kovacs and Swansinger had the other RBI. The team won 16, lost 5. Taylor was named the MVP of the team.

Bill Troyer, Distinguished Service Award

For nearly four decades, William E. (Bill) Troyer was the glue that kept the Parks and Recreation Department the pride of Elyria. Troyer could do it all, from organizing leagues to umpiring and officiating several sports. His expertise and knowledge in all sports was invaluable to setting up leagues for young and old in the city. He was District 4 Softball Commissioner for many years and was an officer of the Elyria Softball Umpires Association. He volunteered to be a line judge for middle school volleyball games as recently as 2022. He moved to Elyria in 1961 and worked at LaGrange Screw Products and Ohio Screw Products for 45 years.  As an athlete, Troyer was respected as an outstanding softball player and bowler. He passed away unexpectedly on December 12, 2022.