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St. Henry Honors '81 Volleyball Team, Former Principal

St. Henry District High School honored its 1981 state champion volleyball team and renamed the floor at its athletic complex in honor of a former principal.

The volleyball team was recognized during an alumni event between varsity and junior varsity games against Louisville Assumption late last month.

The team will also be inducted into the St. Henry Hall of Fame in the spring.

It was 40 years ago that the Crusaders won the title with a 32-7 regular season record. The team lost in the opening round to Our Lady of Providence Academy (now part of Newport Central Catholic), but bounced back to win six straight games, including a semifinal victory over Notre Dame Academy and a championship game rematch win with Our Lady of Providence.

Players, coaches, and managers for the 1981 state championship team being honored include Milissa (Zerhusen) Frondor, Coleen (Egan) Brockman, Lisa (Cahill) Casteel, Lisa Ann (Schwartz) Hartig, Mary (Weisenberger) Mullins, Kelli (O’Rouke) Gilbert, Kathy (Tepe) Bessler, Wendy (Tepe) Tobergte, Julie (Derks) Durstock, Lisa (Freihofer) Bockweg, Coach Katie Wesseling, and Managers Tina (Buttelwerth) Goodson, Marsha (Eifert) Mangine, and Julie (Whitton) Murphy. 

Additionally, in recognition of his more than 30 years of service to the high school, the St. Henry athletic department honored retired principal Dave Otte during a ceremony last month.

During his tenure as principal, Otte aided St. Henry in growing from a small campus on Dixie Highway in Elsmere to its 118,000-sq. ft. campus in Erlanger.

Former athletic director and current head volleyball coach and faculty member Maureen Kaiser spoke of MOtte’s devotion to St. Henry and the love and support he showed to his faculty and staff. 

“In 1991, I received a call from Dave asking me if I wanted to teach PE, health, psychology, and sociology, while also taking over as the head girls basketball coach and head volleyball coach,” said Kaiser. She was in the midst of finishing up her master's of education and, while it sounded like a good opportunity, it was also a bit overwhelming. She accepted the offer and said that Mr. Otte was supportive, encouraging, compassionate and understanding. 

“Dave was a rock for (our school) for 30 years, and one that I admired. SHDHS faculty and staff were lucky to have a leader who cared so much about them, not only as professionals but also as individuals and, for that, I am so grateful.” 

Otte was also instrumental in bringing the St. Henry Athletic Complex, commonly referred to as the SHAC, under the management of the school’s athletic department. The SHAC is located in the former Sports of All Sorts building, now adjacent to the Cristo Rey Parish, and boasts three full basketball courts, four volleyball courts, an indoor batting cage, concession area, and more. 

Now the floor of the SHAC is named for him.

“Mr. Otte has given his life to Catholic education. His three decades at St. Henry District High School provide us with proof of that. He has been committed to the Catholic identity of our schools as well as to providing each student with an excellent overall education. From the move from the old St. Henry High School site and the building of a new St. Henry District High School to the very recent addition to SHDHS he has been on the front lines. His guidance, his wisdom, his knowledge and especially his faith have served not only him well but also every student who walked through the doors of SHDHS,” Diocese of Covington Bishop Roger J. Foys said.

-Staff report

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