Levins: Notre Dame's Wall of Fame truly has become a family tradition
The Hawk Eye
"A family tradition, made in Burlington" is the slogan of the Sterzing's Food Company, which has made potato chips in Burlington wince 1935.
Notre Dame High School started its own family tradition several years ago with the Wall of Fame, which honors former athletes, teams and people who have made significant contributions at the school, people who went on to have a significant impact in life after school.
While the Notre Dame tradition isn't nearly as old as the 87-year tradition of Sterzing's, it is every bit as much a family affair.
That was abundantly clear as Wall of Fame committee members Brian Fleming and Randy Trine and Notre Dame High School principal Bill Maupin inducted the 2022 Wall of Fame Class on Friday night at Father Minett Gymnasium.
This year's class included siblings Kim, Jason and Justin Trine, siblings Morgan and Johanna Myers and their late father, Jim Myers, along with Andrea Easton, who went on to play NCAA Division I basketball at Duquesne University.
It was a special night for the Myers family. Jim Myers, who died after last November after a long battle with cancer, coached Morgan and Johanna from the time they were little all the way up through high school.
While their father was not there physically, his daughters felt his presence in Father Minett Gymnasium, where they spent countless hours together playing basketball.
“It means a lot because of the hard work and deception we put in to not only sports, but academics, and doing it together and being recognized together as a family is of huge significance and a huge honor," Johanna Myers said.
“It’s awesome because we spent so much time together in the gym. To be able to accomplish this as a family it’s like everything has come full circle. All the hours, the blood the sweat, the tears … it’s all paid off," said Morgan Myers, who was married last weekend. “Lots of good family moments. Not just Johanna and my dad, but our mom as well, and our sister, Marissa (Riffel) as well. A lot of our family time was here in the gym.”
For Morgan and Johanna, they were best friends growing up, but fierce competitors in everything they did. They credit their dad with that competitiveness, which helped each of them earn induction into the Wall of Fame.
“She got married last weekend and I mentioned that in my maid of honor speech in how competitive it was growing up in our household," Johanna said of Morgan. "We would play a lot of one-on-one in the backyard. It usually ended with us arguing about a missed call. It was good because I was younger than her. Playing against an older person made me into a better player and a better person.”
“Growing up we were so competitive and I think that just drove each of us to get better and be a better athlete," Morgan said. "It’s really exciting to be inducted together, especially with our dad. We wish he could be here with us today, but we know he’s here spiritually.”
The Trines join their parents, Randy Trine and Deb Trine, in the Wall of Fame.
Jason Trine was a multi-sport standout for the Nikes back int the late 1980s and early 1990s. He laid the groundwork for his younger siblings to follow.
“Being the oldest sibling, I was off and away to college during the height of their high school careers," said Jason Trine, who lives in Des Moines. "I really had no idea what their accomplishments were like. To hear Mr. Fleming read through them was pretty impressive. I had no idea how good my sister was in softball at such a young age show well my brother did at football. My freshman year was the first year West Burlington and Notre Dame combined for football and we were pretty big rivals. The thought of me playing football with West Burlington just wasn’t going to happen. He wasn’t a part of that because he was younger. Even though it was hard to see him wear a uniform with West Burlington on it, it was neat to see the success he had.”
Kim and Justin were two of the best athletes in southeast Iowa during their time at Notre Dame in the late 1990s. The twins made their mark in every sport they played, putting up impressive numbers wherever they went.
“It’s pretty special to have my town and my older brother with me is great," said Kim Trine, who lives in the Quad Cities. “It’s pretty special. It’s been 25 years for me, so to come here and celebrate an honor like this is really, really humbling and nice.”
“It’s pretty cool. It brings back a lot of emotions, a lot of awesome memories, to be honest," said Justin Trine, who earned 17 varsity letters in his four years at Notre Dame and now lives in the Quad Cities. "I know we were supposed to be on the baseball field. I had awesome memories coming here to the basketball gym. It’s an honor, too, but I have to say there were a lot of teammates who helped me get to where I was in a lot of things. It’s really cool. It’s an honor. I’m humbled. It’s awesome. There are a lot of great athletes who have come through here.”
Eaton was one of the best basketball players ever to play for Notre Dame. Her high school career and subsequent four years at Duquesne are a testament to her talent and hard work She now lives in Alabama with her husband and their son.
For Notre Dame, the tradition lives on through the Wall of Fame. And it truly has become a family tradition.