PCDS Athletic Hall of Fame 2010 Inductees
Kristina Simonds ‘86
Erich Schweikher ‘97
Sarah Engle ‘01
Alex Ashby ‘05
The third annual PCDS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony honored four outstanding athletes and two coaches as part of this year’s Homecoming Weekend Festivities. The October 16 brunch and ceremony drew more than 100 people to celebrate the pride and tradition of our school and the athletic department.
The athletes were chosen based on several criteria including the significant impact they made on the PCDS athletic program, the recognition they received for their achievements locally, statewide, regionally, and nationally, and their character, leadership, and dedication.
Said Bob Kosower, PCDS Athletic Director for 32 years and now Associate Athletic Director, “Our Hall of Fame Athletes exemplify the pillars of character that make up our Pursuing Victory With Honor program: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. As we look beyond the high school and college years, these qualities are interwoven throughout the lives of our honored athletes.”
Kristina Simonds ’86 was a standout high school athlete in three sports: volleyball, basketball, and softball. She was an All-State player in softball and volleyball, was named Most Valuable Player in volleyball, received the All-State Leadership Award, the PCDS Eagle Award, and the Most Outstanding Athlete Award. An all-around student/athlete, she also was involved in the school play, French Club, Community Service Club, Bowling Club, band/jazz ensemble, and student senate. According to Mr. Kosower, “Tina set the bar high and her impact in the 80s served as a foundation for future Eagle athletes.”
Erich Schweikher ’97 was a leader in soccer, basketball, and baseball. He earned Most Valuable Player honors in basketball, considered by his coach, Bob Hendrickson (also a Hall of Fame inductee) as the team’s “go-to guy” and a clutch performer. He earned All-Region awards in soccer and basketball and was an All-State goalie in soccer. In both his junior and senior years, Erich was voted Most Outstanding Athlete by the PCDS coaching staff. Few PCDS athletes have won that honor twice.
Sarah Engle ’01 was a shining star in one of the biggest games in PCDS history—the 2000 state basketball championship at America West Arena (now US Airways Center). With the team’s star, State Player of the Year Courtney Lewis, fouling out, Sarah stepped up to lead the Eagles to an overtime win and the state championship. As a Hall of Fame inductee, she was described by Mr. Kosower as “the kind of student-athlete you want to represent your school…a coach’s dream who would do anything to help the team.” Her high school basketball awards included Most Valuable Player, PCDS Most Outstanding Athlete, Coaches’ Award, Junior/Senior Year All Metro Region, and All-State Tournament team.
Alex Ashby ’05 was a star in soccer, basketball, and baseball. Among his soccer honors: Most Valuable Player two years, three years named All-Central Region Player, and an Arizona Republic All-State Selection. PCDS awards included the Coaches’ Award in soccer, basketball, and baseball and the Most Outstanding Athlete Award. Twice he was honored with the prestigious Eagle Award for leadership and sportsmanship. His crowning achievement came in his senior year when the Arizona Interscholastic Association selected Alex Scholar Athlete of the Year. According to Mr. Kosower, these accomplishments were a small part of what made Alex a great PCDS athlete. “He was everything you could want in a high school athlete with great leadership skills and a tremendous work ethic.”
Bob Hendrickson was honored for the 23 years he has spent as a PCDS coach, first as boys’ basketball coach and then as boys’ and girls’ golf coach, a position he holds today. He was praised for his professionalism and for bringing the basketball program to new heights in the 1990s. Said Mr. Kosower, “Bob was not just a winning coach but one who taught respect, commitment, responsibility and sportsmanship.” He came to PCDS in 1987 from Newark (New Jersey) Academy as Dean of Students and Head Basketball Coach. His 1992 varsity team won the regional championship and he coached PCDS teams to two state tournament appearances. His golf team twice placed second in the state. Mr. Hendrickson also is a member of the Newark Academy Hall of Fame and has been honored as one of Newark Academy’s Distinguished Faculty Members.
The morning’s final honoree was Bob Kosower. Bob Hendrickson paid tribute to Mr. Kosower for his ongoing commitment to the School after 32 years, although he included plenty of good-natured teasing in his remarks. “Bob has been compared to the Vice President of the United States,” Mr. Hendrickson joked. “No one has been able to figure out what he does, either.” When the talk turned serious, Mr. Kosower received the highest praise: “There are many reasons why we have Kosower Field and Kosower Fitness Center, but the primary reason is the character of our coach,” said Mr. Hendrickson. Paul Schweikher then detailed Mr. Kosower’s many awards and achievements, including 2A Athletic Director of the Year honors from the Arizona Interscholastic Athletics Administrator’s Association and his induction into the state Athletic Directors Hall of Fame. Under his leadership, PCDS has received the Blue Cup award (for excellence in Pursuing Victory with Honor), AIA School of Distinction honors (for excellence in providing educational athletic programs to young people), and the Girls’ Athletic Program of the Year award.