Congratulations to our 2008
Hall of Fame Inductees!
Thank you for your hard work and dedication to your sports.
We appreciate the opportunity to honor the legacy you have left for the East Noble Community.
Amy Yoder Begley (1992-1996)
Amy is a 1996 graduate of East Noble High School. Her accomplishments during that time and after have been extensive. While at East Noble she ran in track and cross-country. In 1993, she became a Footlocker All-American for the first of 3 times. In 1994 she was the Indiana State 3200 Meter Champion in track and the Indiana State Cross Country Champion. In 1995 she repeated as the Indiana State 3200 Meter Champion and we were not surprised when she completed a three-pete with the title in 1996. She still holds that record. This accomplishment along with placing 4th as a team in cross country is what Amy considers her most memorable sports moments at East Noble.
In 1996 Amy also won the Indiana Track and Field Mental Attitude Award and began some quests at longer distances. She was the 1996 USATF Junior 5,000 and 10,000 meter champion and a member of the USA Junior Olympic Team at the 5,000 meters.
Following her career at East Noble, Amy attended the University of Arkansas where again her accomplishments were extensive. In 2000 she was the first Razorback to win a national title on the new indoor track in the NCAA National 5,000 meters. She was a 15 time NCAA All-American in cross country and track and 16 time Southeastern Conference Individual Champion. She was a 2 time NCAA Champion, once in 2000 in the Indoor 5,000 meter and again in 2001 in the 10,000 meter.
Her post college career has continued with numerous accolades including 2 time Olympic Trials qualifier in 2000 and 2004. In 2004 Amy was the USATF 10K Road National Champion and in 2006 received the honor of being inducted in to the University of Arkansas Hall of Honor for Track and Cross Country.
Amy now resides in Beaverton, Oregon with her husband Andrew and runs for Nike as a member of the Oregon Project Team. She is coached by Alberto Salazar. Her current goals are to make the Olympic Team this summer in the 10, 000 meters and will be competing in the Olympic Trials on June 27th of this year.
Amy could not be present today to accept this award as she will be racing in the U.S. Cross Country Nationals in San Diego. Accepting this award for Amy will be her sister Marcia Yoder Presser.
Ben VanRyn (1986 - 1990)
Ben was a 1990 graduate of East Noble High School where he was active in both basketball and baseball.
In basketball Ben still holds the East Noble record for rebounds with 670, is second in points scored, and 8th in assists. He was a member of the 87-88 and 88-89 NEIAC All Stars 1st Team and a member of the 89-90 NHC All Stars 1st.
Ben was a standout in pitching for the East Noble baseball team. In 1990 he was ranked 2nd in the state for pitched strike outs. The left-hander still holds the East Noble career records for RBI’s, most starts, most strike outs, and most innings pitched. He also holds the East Noble record for strike outs in a season with 157 and is co-owner of two records; for most strike outs in a game with 17 and most RBI’s in a game with 7. In his junior year he was named to the U.S. Junior Olympic Baseball team.
Ben mentioned several memorable moments of East Noble athletics. One was playing against Sean Kemp of Concord and almost beating him. Another was the 1990 semi-state baseball game against LaPorte.
Following high school, Ben was drafted by the Montreal Expos as 37th pick in the first round of the 1990 draft. He debuted in the Major leagues in May of 96 with the California Angels. Over his career he played with 4 major league teams ending with the Toronto Blue Jays and pitched in 26 games. After his pro career he received a degree in Kinesiology from UTSA. Presently he resides in San Antonio, Texas where he is President of the SA Wranglers, a team which emphasizes the development of the player in all aspects of the game. He is in the process of building Prospect Park for young baseball athletes from all over Texas.
Darinda Gres Smith (1980 – 1984)
(Dindy) was a 1984 graduate of East Noble High School. She was involved with swimming and diving and gymnastics during her high school career.
At a diminutive 5 feet, Dindy returned to her previous gymnastics career as a sophomore at East Noble. She promptly qualified for state in the floor exercise where she became the fourth East Noble gymnast to ever reach the state level of competition. She placed 9th. Her junior year she won the All-Around competition at the East Noble Sectional and again qualified for state where she placed an impressive second in the floor exercise. In the 1983-1984 gymnastics season, Dindy now a senior won the State Championship in the floor exercise in Indianapolis. This honor made her the first female State Champion and second State Champion ever to walk the halls of East Noble High School. She also placed 5th in the vault.
Even more valuable to her, Dindy was awarded the prestigious IHSAA Mental Attitude Award at that same meet. This award is given annually to the gymnast who combines the utmost in athletic and scholastic ability on a state level.
Dindy also was a diver for East Noble High School. Her name still appears on the East Noble Swimming and Diving record board at the Cole YMCA for the 6 dive record held since 1983 and the 11 dive record since 1981.
Dindy kept up her athletic career when she attended Indiana University. She was a member of the IU Swimming and Diving team, was a member of the Gymnastics team and was a Crimson Squad Cheerleader in for the 1986-1987 season.
Dindy’s most memorable sports moment while at East Noble was “participating with teammates at the State gymnastics meets and accepting the Mental Attitude Award on behalf of my family, coaches, and East Noble.”
Keeping up an athletic life style, Dindy has been running and placed 9th in the YMCA Lake City Run-Marathon and also placed in the 500 Festival mini-marathon.
Dindy now resides in Auburn, Indiana with her husband Kreigh and her daughters who are here with her today.
Gary Thrapp (1965 – 1968)
In 1968, Gary Thrapp graduated from East Noble High School leaving behind some indelible marks in its football and track history. In football, Gary played a skilled position in the backfield and his senior year proved to be phenomenal year for him. He was the Conference Rushing Champion, the Conference Scoring Champion, a member of the Conference 1st Team and was named as halfback to the Second Team All-State. Gary was second in scoring in 1967-68 in the State of Indiana.
Gary’s saw success in track and field his junior year by placing 5th in the pole vault at the State High School Track Meet in 1967. In 1968, he returned and took home 1st place with a vault of 15’ ½ ”. With that vault he had the distinction of being the first Indiana high school athlete to break the 15 foot mark in the pole vault. He was inducted into the Indiana High School Track and Field Hall of Fame for his efforts. He was also the first East Noble athlete ever to hold a state title. In 1968 senior Gary Thrapp was also named to Scholastic Magazine’s All American High School Track and Field Team. In June of ’68, Gary took first place in the pole vault at the Golden West National High School Track and Field meet in Sacramento, California.
Thinking back to his high school years, Gary says “clearly my most memorable moment was clearing the pole vaulting cross-bar at 15’ ½”. I had won the competition at around 14’4”. The meet was over and a large portion of the stadium crowd had squeezed down to the vaulting pit end of Tech stadium. It was on my 3rd attempt at being the first high school boy in Indiana to attempt and clear 15’ with a vault of 15’ ½”. My motivation was to represent my wonderful parents, my incredible track coach Dave Bowers, and my beloved Kendallville.”
Gary continued his track career while attending Indiana University on a Track & Field scholarship.
Gary has owned and operated G. Thrapp Jewelers since 1984 in Indianapolis, IN where he now lives with his wife Barbi. Gary has one son G. Ryan Thrapp who assists him in the family business.
Jay Grate (1978 – 1982)
Jay was a 1982 graduate of East Noble High school where he played basketball and baseball and was the 1982 Pop Guyman Outstanding East Noble Boy Athlete. Jay left behind some impressive marks in the East Noble baseball program including being a member of the 1st team All Conference for 3 years. He also was on the 1st team All State and named the MVP of the Indiana All-Star Game. During his high school baseball career, Jay holds the record for most Shut Outs in a career with 15 and with the most Shut Outs in a season with 7. Jay holds the baseball offensive records for most Home Runs in a season and most At Bats in a career. He is co-owner of the most hits in a game at 5. His pitching stats still list him as a record holder as most starts in a season and most wins in a career. He still has the lowest ERA for a season and for a career. In 1982, Jay was a member of the Sports Festival Midwest team of which he was voted MVP. Jay was also named Baseball America All-American.
In basketball Jay is yet ranked as 6th in East Noble assists. He was also named to the 79-80 and 81-82 NEIAC All Stars second team.
Following high school, Jay was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 7th round as a pitcher and short stop. He was a member of Cotuit Kettleers Cape Cod All Star League and was invited to the 1984 Olympic Team tryouts. He is currently listed in the top 5 ERA at Indiana University. Jay graduated from the School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin in 2006 and has spent the last 20 years with People’s Federal Savings Bank as Vice President of Lending Operations. He currently resides in Auburn, Indiana with his wife Sherry.
Jay’s most memorable moment as an East Noble Knight was “beating DeKalb in the 1981 Sectional to end their Sectional Reign.”
Susie Thrapp (1975 -1979)
A 1979 graduate of East Noble, Susie Thrapp was a multiple sport athlete participating in basketball, tennis and volleyball. She was a 4 year varsity starter on the basketball team and coupled that with being on the All-NEIC Conference Team all four years too. Her basketball career also included News-Sun All Area Team and the Journal Gazette All Area Team for her sophomore through senior years. As a senior, she was named by the News-Sun as Co-Player of the Year. One of her most outstanding accomplishments in basketball was the honor of being named to the Hoosier Basketball Magazine All State Team.
Susie was the first East Noble female basketball player to score 1,000 points in her career. In 2004, she was inducted into the Indiana Girls Basketball Hall of Fame for the Silver Anniversary Team. During Susie’s senior year the girls basketball team got on a roll and won 14 straight games including their first ever conference and sectional titles. They advanced to regional in Ft. Wayne. Says Susie, “My biggest thrill came at regional. I ran out for pregame warm-ups and looked into the stands and saw one whole side of the gym all the way to the rafters filled with Big Blue fans-1500 people to see a girls’ game. It was at that moment I realized East Noble Girls Basketball had arrived!”
Susie was also an accomplished tennis player and was No.1 single all four years of her East Noble career. She was the MVP all four years and compiled a record of 46-9. Her sophomore year she advanced to semi-state in singles and advanced to regional her senior year in doubles. Susie was nominated to the News-Sun and Journal Gazette All-Area teams her sophomore through senior years.