Only one group of Hoover High athletes has ever managed to bring home the girls basketball state championship, and those same athletes get the chance to relive that moment when they reunite on the court next month.
The Lady Vikings Basketball Booster Club will bring the women back to their alma mater Dec. 8 to honor them and their coaches for the 10-year anniversary of their win.
"It's a great honor being a state champion; obviously we would hope it would inspire the girls currently in the program," said Booster Club President Geoff Stroemple. "We know they work hard but they can see tangible proof there — they are the ones who won it."
Expect a few surprises that night, Stroemple said.
"We have some surprises for the 2002 team coming back that you won't want to miss, to help them relive their championship season."
Abby (Moore) Allerding, who was on the 2002 Lady Vikings team, won't have far to travel to make it to the game Dec. 8; she's now the head coach for the Hoover High girls basketball team. Allerding left her coaching position at Perry High School to come to Hoover High, and told North Canton Patch in May that she was "so excited to be coming home."
Stroemple said he hopes to see a packed house for the game, which pits the Lady Vikings against the Lake High School Blue Streaks.
"We would enjoy the community coming out to honor them," he said. "It was a very exciting time back then on their run to the state title, and I think they were very well supported back then. It would be neat to see some of those folks come out and see the girls again."
Here are the details:
- What: A special event to honor the 2002 Lady Vikings State Championship Basketball Team and Coaches
- When: Dec. 8 before the Hoover High vs. Lake Varsity basketball game at Hoover High School
- Time: 2002 players and coaches will be recognized between the JV and Varsity games. Game times: JV at 2 p.m., Varsity at 3:30 p.m. (plan to arrive no later than 3 p.m.)
After the game, the 2002 Lady Vikings and coaches will enjoy a dinner at Papa Bear's Restaurant, courtesy owner Steve DiPetro.
2002 State Championship Players:
Nikki Budgake (Miller), Maria D'Aurelio, Anne Desantis (Nightingale),
Jessica Dirusso, Katie Glaws, Kristin Higy, Natasha Holloway, Alicia Johnson, Amanda Knaus, Jen Miday (Martinez), Abbey Moore (Allerding), Catherine Portyrata, Amber Robinson, Kelly Ann Staudinger (Butterworth)
Head Coach Paul Wackerly, Terry Moore, Scott Snyder, Troy Richardson, Leyla Renner, Pat Renner, Larry Salinas