Four selected for NRHS Hall of Fame

A former coach who delivered league titles in two sports, a three-sport star who exceled in the classroom, a former school board member who set a standard for volunteering and a pitcher who pitched a no-hitter for the school’s first district baseball title make up the 2015 class of the New Richmond Lions Sports Hall of Fame.

Joe Moon, Eric McMonigle, Dave Hawkins and Donnie Morrison will be inducted at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31 at the annual Hall of Fame banquet at the high school which will follow a 4 p.m. varsity basketball game against Ripley. Banquet tickets are $15 and available at the high school.

Joe Moon, soccer and basketball coach

During his 16 years as a soccer and basketball coach at New Richmond High School, Joe Moon didn't just produce winning teams but winning programs that resulted in four league soccer championships and a league championship in basketball in 1995. Moon took over a soccer program that had won only 10 games in the previous three seasons and developed consistent double-digit winning teams. Moon’s seven-year career record was 66-40-21 but 25 of those losses came in the first two seasons when there was no feeder program for varsity soccer. New Richmond went 13-2-4 in Moon’s third season to start a string of six straight double digit winning seasons and four league titles. Moon was named league coach of the year four times and was the 1988 Ohio High School Soccer Coaches Association East Division II coach of the year in 1988. Moon stepped down from soccer coaching after an undefeated 1993 season (12-0-4) to concentrate on his new varsity basketball coaching duties. Moon produced consistent winning teams during his nine years as varsity basketball coach including two 15-win seasons including 1995 when his team gave New Richmond its only league titles over a 27-year span.

Eric McMonigle, Class of 2006

Eric McMonigle was a 7-time first team Southern Buckeye Conference all-star whose athletic achievements in football, basketball and baseball were matched in the classrooms at New Richmond High School. McMonigle, who was named academic all-state in basketball in 2006, was a 4-time first team All-SBAAC selection in baseball; a 2-time All-SBAAC selection in basketball including being named co-player of the year in 2005; and a first team All-SBAAC selection in football in 2004 and a Cincinnati Enquirer all-city selection in all three sports. In baseball, Eric was a member of three league and district championship teams in baseball and is the New Richmond career hitting leader with 163 hits which included a 27-game hitting streak. He ranks in the top five in total bases, runs batted in, runs scored, doubles and career batting average (.480). In basketball, Eric ranks third in career scoring with 1,152 points. He was an outstanding running back, kicker and defender in football and only an injury his senior year prevented him from being named first-time All-SBAAC for a second time. He owns the record for longest field goal at 49 yards and career kickoff touchback record which included a string of 19 in a row during his junior year.  Eric attended the University of Kentucky after graduation and made the UK football team as a walk-on at linebacker and defensive end.

Donnie Morrison, Class of 1985

The mark of a great athlete is how they perform in crucial situations and no one performed better than Donnie Morrison when he took the mound in the spring of 1985 and pitched a no-hitter against Wyoming to give New Richmond High School its first district championship in baseball. On days when he didn’t have his best on the mound, Morrison would rise to the challenge. Earlier in the 1985 tournament against Hamilton Badin, Morrison struggled and coach Jim Robinson was forced to remove him early in the game. “When the succeeding relief pitchers couldn’t hold Badin and we saw our season slipping away, I played a hunch that Donnie would rise to the challenge and brought him back in,” said Robinson. Morrison not only shut down Badin the rest of the way, but he also led a series of two-out rallies that lifted the Lions past Badin. Besides his no-hitter, Morrison’s outstanding accomplishments included a school record 11 wins in 1985 and a senior year batting average of .521 with 50 hits and 37 runs batted in. He ranks in the top 10 in career pitching with 15 wins, a 2.24 ERA and 108 strikeouts and in career hitting with 81 hits, 31 stolen bases, 32 walks and 121 total bases. He was selected to 1st team all-l league and all-city and all-state. Donnie also played basketball and was an outstanding cross country runner for the Lions.

Dave Hawkins, school board/volunteer

Dave Hawkins is being remembered for his many years of dedicated service to the New Richmond Exempted Village School District which included 22 years as a member of the Board of Education and nearly 30 years of volunteer work. Mr. Hawkins died July 10, 2014 at the age of 62 after a long battle with cancer. In addition to his tenure on the New Richmond Board of Education, Mr. Hawkins spent 14 years as New Richmond’s representative on the U.S. Grant Vocational School board. His legacy as a volunteer includes 27 years of operating the football scoreboard for freshman, JV and Varsity games; 26 years as the official scorer for New Richmond freshman, JV and Varsity basketball games; and many years as scoreboard operator and timer for league, district and NR track meets. He also started the New Richmond Middle School wrestling program and served as tournament director for 12 years and scorer for 16 years. His years of dedication earned Mr. Hawkins the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s the “Friends of Athletics Award” from the SW District Athletic Board.

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