Seven Inducted into Kennedy Hall of Fame

Kennedy Varsity Dance Team seniors accompany seven hall of fame inductees

Kennedy Varsity Dance Team seniors accompany seven hall of fame inductees

Lizzie Dennis, Writer

On Friday, February 3, seven inductees met at Kennedy High School to be accepted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. These people were chosen because they have been successful alumni that we are proud of.

Haley Brightwell – Class of 2010. Haley was a three-sport athlete for the Cougars, participating in volleyball, basketball, and tennis. She competed in state tournaments in all three sports, advancing to the semifinals in all three. Brightwell’s accomplishments are highlighted by earning 1st team All-State honors and being selected for the All-Tournament team in volleyball and being selected to the 1st Team All-State Academic team in basketball. She went on to play volleyball at Drake and then at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she had a very successful career, earning the Athletics Leadership Award for demonstrating leadership within the athletics department, given to one female athlete annually. Haley is now the assistant coach for the UMSL volleyball team.

Kristen Hahn – Class of 2010. Kristen was a four-sport athlete at Kennedy, participating in volleyball, basketball, softball, and track & field. She earned 11 varsity letters in the Green and Gold. She earned all-conference awards in basketball, softball, and volleyball during multiple seasons. Hahn was a two-time Elite 1st Team All-State selection in volleyball, a member of the All-Tournament team, and holds the record for most digs in a match at the state tournament (50). She was inducted into the IGHSAU volleyball Hall of Fame last year. She continued her volleyball career at Iowa State, earning All-Big 12 honors and was a 3-time All-American libero. She has competed professionally in Europe and has competed on Team USA in a World Championship qualifying tournament. Kristin is now a volunteer coach at Denver University, training for the next quad for Team USA.

Ashley Leonard Holland – Class of 2005. Ashley was a two-sport athlete as a Kennedy Cougar, competing in basketball and softball. She was the point guard as a junior on the 21-0 undefeated regular season basketball team of 2003-2004 and earned All-State honors her senior year. She was a five-year letter winner in softball, starting at shortstop as an 8th grader, and a three-time 1st team All-MVC selection. She also earned 3rd team All-State honors in softball her senior season. Ashley was the 2005 Female Athlete of the Year. She continued her softball career at Coe College, leading the Kohawks to the Division III World Series on two different occasions and was selected Coe’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2009. Ashley now lives in Mississippi, working as a massage therapist.

Jade Rogers – Class of 2010. Jade was a two-sport athlete while attending Kennedy High School, competing in both volleyball and basketball. She was a four-year letter winner in each of these sports. She shined on the basketball court as one of the best players in the state of Iowa all four years. Rogers averaged a double-double in each of her four seasons and a career average of just over 18 points and just under 12 rebounds per game, earning 1st team All-State her sophomore, junior, and senior seasons. She was also a two-time selection to the All-Tournament team in Des Moines. Rogers continued playing basketball for the University of Iowa for two more seasons before seven knee surgeries finally sidelined her for the Hawkeyes. She did participate in one more season after receiving a medical hardship, playing for Maryville University in St. Louis. She is now on the basketball coaching staff at Webster University.

Adam Hairston – Class of 2006. Adam was an outstanding distance runner for Kennedy, competing in cross country and track & field, earning seven varsity letters. He placed 16th at the state cross country meet as a junior, helping lead the Cougars to a 4th place finish overall as a team. Hairston’s senior campaign saw him finish 10th and the team finish as the state runner-up. He still holds the 3rd fastest time in Kennedy cross country history. On the track he was a multiple state meet and Drake Relays qualifier. His junior season provided the highlight of his career, running the Drake Relays 1600 meter run in a driving rain, winning a photo finish by .02 seconds, bringing home a Drake Relays title. He continued his track and field career at the University of Iowa, focusing on the 800 meter run. Hairston earned All-Big ten honors eight times, won five medals in Big-10 Championship competitions, and earned the Larry Wieczorek “Silver Hawk” Award for the Hawkeyes. Hairston now lives and works in Australia for Society, Australia’s largest social media advertising agency.

Mike Russell – Class of 2004. Mike was a four-sport athlete for the Cougars, participating in football, wrestling, track & field, and baseball. He earned ten varsity letters in the Green and Gold. A strong competitor and leader in football, track & field, and baseball, it was the wrestling mat where Mike excelled. He was a three-state qualifier and a three-time podium award winner. Only an injury that ended his sophomore season kept him from being a four-time place winner. He placed 6th at 119 lbs. as a freshman, 7th at 135 lbs. as a junior, and was a state champion at 140 lbs. his senior season. He ranks 5th all-time with 128 wins and holds two school records for most wins and most pins in a season. Russell now lives in Cedar Rapids, working for Van Meter, Inc. and volunteering for United Way and Camp Wapsie.

Coach Randy Feuerhelm – Randy Feuerhelm coached and taught for over 30 years in the Cedar Rapids School District, starting in the 1980-81 school year; after three years at West Central Maynard. He taught at Harding Middle School through 1986 before returning to his alma mater, Jefferson High School, where he taught social studies until he retired in 2011. For the Cougars, he was an assistant wrestling coach from 1980-2010, when he retired from full time coaching at the high school level. He is still coaching at Harding Middle School in retirement. Randy was an advocate for the beginning and junior varsity level wrestler and he loved the challenge of teaching the sport and developing these athletes into the next varsity competitor. For this reason, the junior varsity wrestling tournament, which celebrated its 30th year of competition this past season, will forever be known as the Randy Feuerhelm JV Wrestling Invitational.