Crusader Hall of Honor

Class of 2015

Inaugural Class of 2015

Steve Atwater

Steve Atwater, LHSN 1984

In high school Steve was an excellent student, as he was named the Scholar Athlete from North in the annual recognition for academic excellence by the Post-Dispatch. He was also a leader as a member of the Executive Board for Student Council. He was popular with the student body being elected as King at the Homecoming Dance. While his fame came as a result of his football career, he also played basketball, baseball, and ran track. In football at North, Steve was selected as all-conference and voted the league’s Most Valuable Player as a quarterback.

Steve received a full athletic scholarship to the University of Arkansas to play football. He was moved from quarterback to safety for the Razorbacks. He holds the school record at Arkansas with 14 interceptions. He was named to the All-Southwest Conference for three years and as an All-American twice. In 1994 he was named to the Razorback All-Century Team. Steve graduated in 1989 with a B.S. Degree in Finance and Banking. In the East-West Shrine Game in 1989 he was named the Most Valuable Player.

In the 1st round of the NFL Draft in 1989, Steve was selected by the Denver Broncos organization. In his rookie year, he led the team in tackles with 129. He finished his career with over 1000 tackles. He also finished 2nd in the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. His legendary statistics with the Broncos include:
  • 8 Pro Bowls (1990 – 1996, 1998)
  • 3 Super Bowl Appearances (XXIV, XXXII, XXXIII)
  • 2 Super Bowl Championships (XXXII, XXXIII)
  • NFL 1990’s All Decade Team
  • 2 First Team All-Pro selections (1991,1992)
  • Second Team All-Pro selection (1996)
His advice: “Patience, focus, and hard work will reward you in the long run. With God as your base, the sky is the limit.”

Richard Beumer

Richard Beumer, LHS 1955

Richard’s main interests in high school were baseball, mathematics, science, and basketball. He was also involved in leadership activities such as Vice President of the Student Council. He played and lettered in baseball and basketball all four years in high school. He continued his leadership experiences at Valparaiso University where he was involved in many campus organizations.

His real love in his youth was being a baseball pitcher. In 1954, the Crusader baseball team played Cape Girardeau Central for the State Championship (there were not any divisions of schools based on enrollment) at the Cardinals’ Sportsman Park in St. Louis. Richard pitched a victory in the semi-finals and pitched in the State Championship game resulting in a 5-4 loss in the last inning.

He attended Valparaiso University on a baseball scholarship and played on Valpo’s first team to go to a NCAA Tournament. The highlight of that tournament was pitching a 2-0 shutout against Notre Dame. He had two professional offers but didn’t sign. He graduated with a BSEE degree from Valpo and did graduate work in Engineering Management at the University of Missouri-Rolla.

He began his career at Sverdrup engineering firm as an electrical engineer. He progressed through the ranks becoming VP of Sverdrup and project manager on UE’s Callaway Nuclear Power Plant. After leading a number of other major projects throughout the world, he became chairman/president of Sverdrup Corp. a 6000+ employee company.

Upon graduating from Valparaiso in 1959, the space age was just beginning and Richard took advantage of the many opportunities available in this exciting new era of space exploration. He has also remained active in the church serving as chairman and member of many Lutheran not for profit organizations.

Jim Crane

Jim Crane, LHSN 1972

Jim left little doubt that baseball and basketball were his main passions in high school. He lettered in both sports all four years of his high school athletic career. As a teenager, he caddied for members of the Cardinal team at local golf clubs. Jim was impressed by the caring, family atmosphere of the Cardinals team, along with their close ties with the local community. He has carried these values forward through his life in business, philanthropic and personal relationships.

As a result of a significant gift from Jim, the James Crane Athletic Complex was developed on the Lutheran North Campus in 2004. The new football stadium, baseball and softball complex and two soccer fields doubled the size of the North campus to approximately 47 acres.

Jim carried his passion for baseball to Central Missouri State University where he was a standout pitcher from 1973 through 1976. He ranks first in complete games (23), first in career shutouts (7), and third in strikeouts (215) for the Mules. Jim threw a shutout striking out 18 batters, which is still a school record, in the opening game of the NCAA Division II College World Series in 1974. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Safety in 1976.

He opened his first freight forward business in Houston in the early 80’s with a sole employee. Eagle USA Airfreight (EGL, Inc.) grew to an organization of more than 10,000 employees with 400 plus facilities in 139 countries. This company was sold in 2007. In 2008 Jim formed Crane Worldwide Logistics (CWL), a premier global provider of customized transportation and logistics services.

Jim is also the CEO of Crane Capital Group, Champion Energy Services and works with the Crane Foundation. In 2010, Jim purchased Floridian Golf Club from H. Wayne Huizenga and quickly turned the property into one of the nation’s nine premier golf clubs. In 2011, Jim achieved his ultimate goal when he, along with a group of investors, purchased the Houston Astros. Jim is the controlling investor.

Dr. W. James Kirchhoff

Dr. W. James Kirchhoff, LHS 1953

In the 1953 Crusader yearbook, the first word after Jim’s picture is the word “Leadership.” How prophetic! He was president of his high school senior class, president of the student body at Concordia Teachers College, principal of Lutheran elementary schools, president of the National Lutheran Education Association, Education Executive of the Northern Illinois Lutheran School District and Chairman of the Illinois Coalition of Non-Public Schools.

Dr. Kirchhoff earned his B.S. in Education from Concordia Teachers College, River Forest in 1957, his M.A. from the University of Chicago in 1965, and his Doctorate in Education from Northern Illinois University in 1976. While pursuing graduate work, he served in Lutheran schools as a teacher, athletic director, organist, and choir director. He served Lutheran schools and congregations in Chicago, Park Forest, and Naperville.

While at Lutheran High School, he played tennis and basketball all four years. In college he played varsity basketball for four years, was the #1 singles player in tennis for three years, and played golf one year. In college he was a starter in basketball for three years, leading his team to three consecutive conference championships. During his junior year in college, he was named to the first team of the Concordia Invitational Tournament. He finished his college career with 931 points (the three point shot was not a part of basketball in the 50’s).

His skill and ability in sports was equally matched with his musical interest and abilities. In high school he sang in two choirs and the Boys’ Glee Club. In college he sang in choirs and the Foresters (Male Quartet). In addition to singing, he also studied piano and organ. Dr. Kirchhoff’s interest in music might be traced to his father, William Kirchhoff, choir director at Lutheran High School Central, Lutheran North and Lutheran South in the 50’s and 60’s.

Dr. Paul Lange

Dr. Paul Lange, LHS Founding Principal

Lutheran High School opened August 26, 1946, at Lake and Waterman in the west central area of St. Louis. Dr. Lange opened the school with 248 freshmen and sophomores. He had a staff of 11 teachers and a budget of $80,000. The school achieved accreditation status before it graduated the first class, the first school in Missouri to achieve that recognition so quickly.

Dr. Lange remained the principal until 1957 when Lutheran South opened its doors. At that time a new principal was called for Lutheran South and Lutheran High School became Lutheran Central, also with a new principal. Dr. Lange was appointed as superintendent of the two high schools. He served in this position until 1962, when he accepted a call to Valparaiso University as education department chairperson. He remained in this position until his retirement. Dr. Lange went to be with his Savior in 2003.

Dr. Lange was a distinguished leader in Lutheran secondary education. He was very active in the national organization Association for Lutheran Secondary Schools (ALSS). He was often referred to as “Mr. Lutheran High School.” He was the leader in establishing a partnership with Valparaiso and the ALSS.

In 1994 in honor of the many years of service and leadership in the Lutheran high school movement across the nation, the Paul Lange Award was established by the ALSS. This award is given annually to a Lutheran high school administrator that exemplifies an extraordinary commitment to Lutheran high school ministry.

Dr. Lange devoted his personal and professional life to Lutheran secondary education. Few individuals have so profoundly influenced the growth and spread of Lutheran high schools and inspired generations of Lutheran high school administrators.

Connie Teaberry-Lindsey

Connie Teaberry-Lindsey, LHSN 1988

The 1988 Yearbook indicates that Connie was chosen as the most athletic person in the senior class. She participated and lettered for four years in basketball (still holds the record for rebounds) and in track & field where she placed in the state high jump several times. In basketball she was the team captain. What is not remembered as much is her membership in the National Honor Society and her excellent academic record. She was selected as Homecoming Queen her senior year.

Connie attended Kansas State University with a scholarship in track and field. She graduated in 1992 with a B.S. Degree in Life Science and Pre-Nursing. In January 2016, she was inducted into the K-State Athletic Hall of Fame.

She was an eight-time letter winner in track and field (4 indoor and 4 outdoor) seasons. She was a four time outdoor All-American in the high jump during her career at K-State. She set the school indoor high jump record in 1992 and currently ranks third for the outdoor record at K-State.

She was a member of the USA World Championship teams in 1993 and 1995. She was a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team when the World Olympics were held in Atlanta, GA. In the national trials for the Olympics, Connie had a previous PR of 6’3.5”. Her goal in the trials was to break her PR and make the Olympic Team. After two misses at 6’4.75”, she cleared this on her third and final try to be one of the three women representing the USA in the Olympic Games. She met both her goals as she was nationally ranked #2 in the United States. While not winning an Olympic medal, she was ranked 15th in the world.

Connie is presently the Coach and Director of Track & Field and Cross Country at Northern Illinois University.

Advice: Believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything if you put in the work.

Dr. Gary May

Dr. Gary May, LHSN 1981

The 1981 Yearbook page of Senior Superlatives picked Gary May as the “Most Likely to Succeed.” What a smart class! Maybe it was because Gary was the class salutatorian, maybe it was because he gave the student address at graduation on the football field while Dr. Lange gave the graduation address or maybe because he was selected as the 1981 Presidential Scholar for this community and met President Ronald Reagan in Washington D.C.

Gary received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Magna Cum Laude from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1985. He received his M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1991.

After earning his Ph.D. at Berkeley, Gary returned to Georgia Tech as a professor and researcher in the area of computer-integrated manufacturing of integrated circuits. In 2002 he was appointed as Executive Assistant to the President of Georgia Tech charged with representing and acting on behalf of the President. In 2005 he was selected to be the chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Program.

In 2011 he was appointed as the Dean of the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech. He serves as the chief academic officer of the college and provides leadership to over 430 faculty members and to more than 13,000 students. The College of Engineering at Georgia Tech is the largest producer of engineering graduates in the United States. The College of Engineering currently ranks sixth in the world. Gary is a member of the Executive Committee of the Engineering Deans Council of the American Society for Engineering Education.

In 2017, Gary was named Chancellor of the University of California-Davis. Read the story.

His advice: “Work hard, play hard, and pray hard.”

Scott Negwer

Scott Negwer, LHSN 1975

In high school, college, and life after education, Scott’s passion has been soccer. He played all four years for the Crusaders, serving as captain his senior year. During his high school years, soccer was played during the winter regardless of rain, snow, ice, mud, etc. After high school Scott received a scholarship to attend Blackburn College in Jacksonville, IL and played soccer.

While at college, he received the Drew Thurston Award that recognized a Blackburn College varsity athlete who best exemplified citizenship, community involvement and academic achievement. He graduated from Blackburn in 1979 with a B.A. in Economics.

His college award was very prophetic as Scott has been extremely involved in the Lutheran school and church community, and in the community of Ferguson. He has served on the LHSA Board and was selected by Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri to be one of the sixteen members of the Ferguson Commission to study “social and economic conditions” that were highlighted with the protests in the Ferguson community making national news this past year.

His leadership positions include president of Negwer Materials, owner of Engineered Steel Products and NEWCO, LLC building products. He is a former chairman and board member of the Lutheran High School Association. He was recently recognized by the North County Inc. organization (businesses, schools, churches, non-profit organizations) by receiving its Community Development Award. He is a founding member of the Drake Group, a national business organization. He served ten years as chairman of this group. His service to others exemplifies Scott’s philosophy of life.

One of the interesting notes about Scott’s family is that sixteen members (including siblings, children, nephews, nieces, and cousins) have graduated, or will soon graduate from Lutheran North.

Dr. Sharon Reinisch

Dr. Sheryl Reinisch, LHSN 1976

During her high school experience, Sheryl maintained a broad interest in school activities. She was on the Honor Roll (academics), a member of the Girls Athletic Association (sports) and the Art Club (fine arts). She has served in various roles as a leader in Christian education with her passion being in the field of Early Childhood Education.

Sheryl received her B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University, River Forest, M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Central Florida, and her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State University.

She has served as a Lutheran School teacher in Chicago, IL, Oviedo, FL, and Orlando FL. Since 1999 she has served at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon as a Professor, Director of the Master of Arts Teaching Program, Director of Early Childhood Program, and is presently the Dean of the College of Education.

She is the author or coauthor of numerous graduate early childhood courses. Her interest in early childhood education has taken her to Finland, Sweden, and Italy to better understand these unique years of the total educational experience.

Sheryl’s educational experiences and research in early childhood education have made her a highly sought presenter at various conferences (private and public education). She has served as a consultant/advisor for various Lutheran and public organizations working with early childhood care and has been a leader/chairperson for various groups across the nation.

Sheryl has truly served her Lord and church as an outstanding Christian educator for 35 years. She has taken the words of Jesus in Matt. 19:14 as her guide, “Let the little children come to me…”

Dr. Brett Taylor

Dr. Brett Taylor, LHSN 1984

In the 1984 Yearbook Brett is pictured with: Student Council as President (Leadership), Sounds of 16 (Select Singing Group), National Honor Society (Academics), Homecoming Court (Popular), Football, Basketball and Track Teams (Athletics). Brett participated in a full and well-rounded experience during his high school career. In 1984 he ventured into a fifteen-year educational experience that would result in being an orthopedic and spine specialist.

He graduated with a B.S. Degree in Biology from Yale University in 1988. His graduate work was at Harvard Medical School where he attained his M.D. in 1992. He did his Surgical Internship at New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston, MA. in 1993. He served his Orthopedic Residency with the Harvard Combined Program at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1993-1998. He completed his Fellowship in Spine Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA.

As a Major in the Air Force, He was Chief of Spine Surgery in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, TX. He was an Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Adult Spine Specialist at Washington University School of Medicine from 2002 – 2005 in St. Louis, MO. From 2005–2014, he had a Private Practice as an Adult Spine Specialist at The Orthopedic Center of St. Louis. He is now in private practice as an adult spine specialist at Town and Country Crossing Orthopedics.

He is presently affiliated with SSM St. Clare Health Center, St. Louis Spine and Orthopedic Surgery Center, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, and Progress West in O’Fallon, MO.

He is an experienced researcher in his field, has done a number of professional presentations, written and developed many courses, and reviewed numerous publications, manuscripts, and abstracts.

Crusader 1981 Football Team

Crusader 1981 State Championship Football Team: the first Lutheran High School team to win a State championship!

Jeff Angelo, Don Borgmann, Steve Borgmann, Hank Branom, Tony Buford, Terrance Clay, Bobby Edmonds, Edwin Edwards, Rory Green, John Grubbs, John Holiday, Chris Horne, Vernon Huggans, Anton Ivy, Ira Hughes, Jerome Hutchinson, Greg Jacobsmeyer, Jeff James, Eugene Jones, Karl Klein, John Krehmeyer, Greg Miller, Rich Potter, Keith Randall, Kevin Randall, Donald Reeves, Thomas Rooks, Charles Simmons, Andre Smith, Craig Smith, Andre Spears, Darryll Watkins, Mark Fellwock mgr. Deceased: Xavier Ferguson and Kevin Houston.
Head Coach – Mike Russell, Assistant Coach – Carl Holschen

Regular Season:                   
LHSN 14         John Burroughs 0
LHSN 17         Country Day 13
LHSN 28         Lutheran South 0
LHSN 42         Principia 6
LHSN 22         Priory 0
LHSN 21         Jennings 14
LHSN 14         Mercy 20
LHSN 29         Rosary 7
LHSN 10         Hillsboro 6

State Playoffs:
LHSN 18         Bowling Green 3
LHSN 10         Hillsboro 7
LHSN 14         Jackson 6
State 3A Championship Game (Busch Stadium):  
LHSN 14      Marshall 6

The 1981 (Class of 82) football team and the state playoff games will be long remembered by the Lutheran North community. Although the details may grow fuzzy, the memory of becoming the first Lutheran North team to win a state championship will remain clear and unblemished. By the time the playoffs began, the team had developed a strong defense balanced by a big play offense. This combination provided the keys to victory as the last three games were low scoring contests with narrow margins of victory. In the state championship game at the Old Downtown Busch Stadium the defense dominated. And although Marshall struggled back to make it a close game, North was not to be denied its first-ever state championship.

All-ABC League: (1st Team) Tony Buford, Bobby Edmonds, Keith Randall, Kevin Randall, Thomas Rooks, (2nd Team) Don Borgmann, John Grubbs, John Holiday, Chuck Simmons, Andre Smith, Craig Smith, Darryll Watkins, (Honorable Mention) Vernon Huggans, Anton Ivy, Jeff James

All- Metro: (1st Team) Tony Buford, Bobby Edmonds, Thomas Rooks (Post Dispatch Player of the Year)

All-State: Tony Buford, Bobby Edmonds, Thomas Rooks

Tony Buford played linebacker at the University of Tulsa. He played briefly for the St. Louis Football Cardinals.

Bobby Joe Edmonds attended the University of Arkansas and played professional football (six seasons) with the Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders, and Tampa Bay Bucs; and professional baseball with the Detroit Tigers. He was drafted in the NFL fifth round and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie with Seattle.

Thomas Rooks was the all time leading rusher when he left the University of Illinois in 1985. He started in the Rose Bowl in 1983. He tried out for the Minnesota Vikings in 1986 and the St. Louis Football Cardinals in 1987.