There is an exciting buzz going around Taylor University athletics which involves certain athletes being inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame takes in the sports that Taylor has had, both past and present, there at the school in the athlete’s time.
In the 2022 Hall of Fame class, there are six inductees whose sports range from track and field to baseball. The former Taylor athletes are Germania Bedon, a tennis player who graduated in the class of 2012. She was the only woman in the school’s history in tennis to be named an All-American. Bedon was a three-time ITA Midwest Regional Singles Champion.
Denny Ladd played baseball and graduated in the class of 1970. He was on the first team in Taylor’s history to make it to the World Series, which was in 1969. He pitched in Taylor’s first ever win at the World Series and hit a home run in the win.
Rod Shafer played football and graduated in the class of 1975. At the end of his four years playing quarterback, he became the all-time school leader in passing yards, finishing with 2,326.
Steve Wit played basketball and graduated in the 1997 class. He was a MCC Player of the Year and a two-time NAIA All-American. He finished his tenure with the Trojans ranking top 30 in points and rebounds.
Among these athletes, head men and women’s cross-country coach and track coach Quinn White shares input about one of the inductees, Henrietta Carey.
“We have had some very special athletes that have had a special impact on the program. Henrietta was very special,” White said.
Carey, graduated in 2013, had a prolific track career. She was an eight-time NAIA national championship qualifier, a five-time NAIA All-American and set records in the sprinting events and in the jumping events for the team. From her freshman year to her senior year, Carey was the standout athlete for the women’s team.
White, now in his 13th year with the track team, has seen many athletes come through the program with accolades that could possibly have them end up in the Hall of Fame.
White has chosen not to list any names for the future from either the men or women’s teams. Hopefully in the next couple of years, those names will be a surprise to the student body and be recognized in the hall of fame.
Going from track to the field, and now onto the mound, inductee Josh DeGraaf was a stellar pitcher for the Trojans. In his four years as a player, the right-handed pitcher was a key part of success for the Trojans during his time on the mound. He set records in earned-run-average (2.95), wins (29), and strikeouts (258) while playing a little over 271 innings. The two-time top male student athlete of the school was also named a two-time All-American as well as playing in the minor leagues for the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
DeGraaf held many single season records as well. This included innings played (89.2), strikeouts (93) and starts (15).
In his four years playing at TU, DeGraaf was led by head coach and athletic director Kyle Gould. Gould has been the head coach for 19 seasons. Gould has a lot to post on his résumé as he led the Trojans to eight Crossroads League championships and claimed five straight Crossroads League titles as well. Gould has also led the men’s team to the NAIA national championship opening round.
Just last year, Gould led the Trojans to a Crossroads League Tournament championship, marking the first time since 2016. Within that historic run, he garnered the 1500th program win and his 600th career win. Three of his players took home Crossroads League Player of the Year awards and four were named First-Team All-Crossroads League Honors. Gould’s success speaks for itself.