COLORADO SPRINGS. On Jan. 24, St. Mary’s Athletic Hall of Fame inducted Paul Weatherly, class of 1974; Lanny Whiteside DeRoeck, class of 1990; Andy Nigro, class of 2004; Rachael Broerman Friedrich, class of 2007; and Andrew Cornella, class of 2011. The St. Mary’s Athletic Hall of Fame honors those who have made outstanding contributions to St. Mary’s athletics.
Weatherly played three Pirate sports — baseball, hockey and football — excelling at each. During his senior year, he set the school’s record for most strikeouts in a season and was selected to the Will Rogers All-League First team. He earned three football letters playing both quarterback and defensive back. As a defenseman on the hockey team, he earned three varsity letters and was the team’s captain and MVP in 1974. Weatherly left St. Mary’s with 10 varsity letters and the title of the Most Valuable Male Athlete of 1974.
He received a baseball scholarship to the University of Northern Colorado, where in 1976 he helped the Bears upset Arizona State, the no. 1 team in the nation at the time. He was drafted by both the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals in 1979, and he went on to coach and officiate for 20 years.
DeRoeck was only the second female to play on the boys’ golf team (at that time, the Colorado High School Activities Association did not sanction girls’ golf), but that didn’t hinder her success. As a freshman she lettered and was given the Most Inspirational Player Award. In 1989, she played in the Girls Junior America Cup and qualified for the Junior World Girls Optimist Golf Tournament. In her senior year, she was named the KRDO Champions Outstanding Athletic for Golf and was the Colorado State Girls Match Play Golf Champion. DeRoeck received a golf scholarship to Oklahoma State University, where as a freshman she was selected to the All-Big 8 Golf and All-Big 8 Academic Golf teams. She turned professional in 1996 and was the Colorado Women’s Open Champion in 1997 and a U.S. Women’s Open medalist in 1998.
Nigro’s Pirate soccer career allowed him to achieve his dream of attending the U.S. Air Force Academy and becoming a pilot. He joined the St. Mary’s team as a sophomore and helped the team make the state playoffs that year when he scored the winning goal against Lutheran. He helped lead the team to the playoffs again his junior season. He played most of senior season with a fractured left shoulder but was determined to help the Pirates get back to the state playoffs. He finished his senior season with 21 goals and 10 assists, a St. Mary’s single-season record that still stands.
Nigro was a three-year starter at the Air Force Academy. He is now a major in the U.S. Air Force and is flying the C-17 Globemaster aircraft.
Friedrich’s Pirate volleyball career is filled with league titles and regional championships. She helped guide the Pirates to three top five finishes at the CHSAA 3A State Tournament and set CHSAA All-Classification records for digs in a set and digs in a match. She finished her high school career ranked third in Colorado history for career service aces and sixth in career assists.
She attended the University of Dayton on a volleyball scholarship and contributed to the team’s first round victory in the NCAA Division I Volleyball Championships. In 2010, she participated in the U.S. Women’s National Team Open tryouts at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Cornella was named Tri-Peaks Golfer of the Year as a sophomore, when he helped lead the Pirate team to a third-place finish at the state tournament. He finished second in the individual standings at the 3A state tournament twice, missing the title his junior year by only stroke. He finished his high school career holding 19 of 23 school records. He played at both the University of Nevada and the University of Texas Arlington before turning professional.
(Amy G. Partain is Director of Communications for St. Mary’s High School.