There were hard-fought tournament wins and well-earned league awards, varsity letters and school records, but it was the lessons these athletes learned on the playing field – not the accolades – that lasted long after they left Chaminade Julienne.
From state qualifiers, to collegiate scholarship recipients, to a man who spent decades promoting youth sports, this year’s Chaminade Julienne Hall of Fame class is varied and diverse, but they all know what it means to be an Eagle.
Mike Camacho ‘91, basketball
The three-year letterman played point guard on the state runner-up Eagles squad. Mike Camacho tallied 400 career points and held the single-game steal record with eight. He still vividly remembers the excitement of playing in the packed gym and the amazing community support, but it was the teammates he shared the floor with who he remembers most fondly.
“The relationships with my teammates is what I will always remember the most from my high school days,” he said.
“And the education that I received at CJ was invaluable. Staff members – teachers, coaches, administrators – were a huge part of my development as a productive, conscientious person.”
Emily Kauth ‘08, volleyball/swimming
Two sports and six varsity letters, Emily Kauth excelled on the volleyball court and in the pool. She helped lead the Eagles to a 20-3 record and a hard-fought GGCL championship title before losing in the volleyball district finals. Emily – who was also named an Academic All-District athlete – joins a few of her family members in the CJ Hall of Fame.
“I had a pretty unique situation in that I went to school with several cousins and siblings,” she said. “That, in and of itself, was memorable, but having four cousins playing on the same volleyball court wearing CJ colors together was something that I will always look back on and smile.”
Moving on to Bowling Green State University meant carrying many valuable lessons —many learned during her time at CJ.
“Appreciating uniqueness and understanding the positive impact that diversity brings to a team was emphasized at CJ through group projects and athletics alike,” she said. “Being able to bring that attitude to the workplace is a skill, and I value the emphasis and awareness that CJ helped to foster on that note.”
Zack Kauth ‘08, football/basketball/track
The three-sport athlete earned first-team, all-league honors in football, basketball and track. Zack was recognized as the All League Receiver of the Year in football and was also a member of the state runner-up team in the 800-meter relay. He went on earn an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy.
“CJ instilled in me the importance of hard work and, in the Air Force Academy, that was something I needed,” he said. “That work ethic and that grind were critical.”
Zack is quick to share the credit for his Hall of Fame induction with his teammates.
“It’s a tremendous honor but I played team sports and I was fortunate to play on good teams and have good people around me,” he said. “I wouldn’t be here without them.”
Erin Mullins ‘07, swimming
The two-time state qualifier was a four-year varsity swimmer. Upon graduation, Erin Mullins held several school records and earned an athletic scholarship to the University of Cincinnati.
Now a coach herself, at the University of South Carolina, Erin feels fortunate to join the CJ Hall of Fame ranks.
“I was very humbled and honored and definitely surprised,” she said. “Swimming wasn’t a big deal but, at CJ, they always made me feel pretty special.”
Learning how to work hard and budget her time were critical takeaways from her high school career – especially as she was often up at 4 a.m. for swim practice. She credits many of the lessons she learned over the years for making her the coach she is today.
“I am 100 percent a combination of all of those who influenced me over the years.”
Dwight Smith ‘00, track/football
The two-time state track qualifier earned seven varsity letters – four in track and three in football. When he graduated, he held the school record in the 100-meter event. But it wasn’t top finishes that were the fondest high school memory for Dwight Smith.
“I was very fortunate to have Sr. Damien for religion class and been placed at the Boys & Girls Club and Mulligan Stew for community service. To see those kids’ faces when they saw someone there who looked like them was so great,” he said. “You realize how small we are and how big we can be.”
He is both humbled and a bit overwhelmed to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“From day one, I knew about CJ’s long-standing tradition and once you leave, you carry that tradition with you – it’s amazing. I’m blessed and thankful.”
Chuck Szabo ‘72, special award
It wasn’t wins or state records that brought Chuck Szabo to the Hall of Fame ranks – it was a lifetime of service. The special inductee ran the Eagle Youth Football program for more than two decades – collaborating with administrators, garnering resources and providing for the future of Eagles football.
“My main goal was to run a program that would be fun for both parents and players and to have the players continue on to CJ,” he said. “So, to be honored by CJ for what I accomplished is something I never imagined.”
Chuck worked tirelessly to provide the best possible experience for the young players. The work was hard but the rewards were invaluable, “watching the players grow from the 3rd grade through the 8th grade then going onto CJ to continue to evolve into fine students, football players and young men.”
Dorian Vauls ‘08, golf
The GCL Golfer of the Year finished third as an individual on an Eagles squad that placed second as a team. The four-year varsity golfer went on to Tennessee State University on a scholarship and with him, some valuable life lessons.
“CJ taught the importance of valuing the individual and trying your best to understand people even if they are different,” he said. “At CJ, the greatest asset to our success was the diverse environment we were able to be a part of for four years, and the strong foundation of faith – letting God guide your path. The examples of excellence that came before me had a great impact on my growth and future.”
To Dorian Vauls, entering the Hall of Fame is truly a blessing.
“It feels good to be an Eagle!”
This year’s inductees are recognized on February 8, 2019 during halftime of the CJ vs. Fenwick men’s basketball game, and honored during the Induction Ceremony held the next day. Suggestions for the Class of 2019 are being accepted through August 2019, and can be submitted online here.
THE CJ HALL of FAME
Each year, the CJ Athletic Hall of Fame seeks to recognize those individuals who have made significant contributions to the athletic tradition at Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School as athletes, coaches or volunteers. Established in 1980, the Hall of Fame connects current students to the school’s proud athletic history; stories of sacrifices, struggles and perseverance leading to outstanding records of success; and greater appreciation for the rich heritage of the school.
Posted February 8, 2019