NEW PARIS — National Trail recently honored one of its finest athletes along with a man who has done a little bit of everything for the district.
Lori (Stegall) Grant and Fred Kerler were recognized by the school in December during halftime of a boys’ basketball game.
Grant graduated in 1997 and earned 10 varsity letters, four in volleyball, four in softball, and two in basketball.
In her senior year, she was named first team All-state in both volleyball and softball. In volleyball, she was named District and CCC Player of the Year.
As a junior, she also garnered All-state honors, being selected to second team in softball and third team in volleyball for a total of four All-state selections.
She was awarded All-CCC honors seven times — four in softball and three in volleyball.
In addition to her athletic accomplishments, she was class valedictorian, named eight times Academic All-CCC, elected three years as class president, and served as the school mascot.
She still holds career school records for good sets and good saves in volleyball and numerous top ten rankings in softball statistics including a .450 career batting average.
Kerler was an administrator with National Trail Schools for 20 years, holding several different positions.
He served as high school vice principal from 1975 to 1980, high school principal from 1980 to 1982, Administrative assistant and athletic director from 1982 to 1990, and elementary principal from 1990 to 1995.
Always a consistent supporter of the National Trail athletic programs, he could often be seen helping maintain and line the athletic fields.
One major project spearheaded by Kerler was the development of the softball field, now located at the high school. Prior to that the team played at the park in Eldorado.
As athletic director, he got permission from the school board to put in a field at the school and almost like in “The Field of Dreams,” he laid out the field and used his farm equipment to construct it.
In 1990, the softball field was dedicated as Fred Kerler Field in his honor.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH