Five to be inducted into Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame 09/13/2019
Five members of the University Liggett School community, who exemplify the spirit of athletic excellence and character, will be inducted into University Liggett School’s Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 27. The class of 2019 includes four alumni athletes and the posthumous induction of Jim Schmidt coach/faculty emeritus.
This year’s inductees include:
- Heidi Henkel McGarry ’82
- JT Parks ’83
- Christopher Ford ’96
- Leython Williams ’03
- Jim Schmidt, faculty/coach emeritus (posthumous)
Heidi Henkel McGarry: McGarry was a 1982 University Liggett School graduate, who played field hockey, lacrosse and ran track and field. She played varsity field hockey for four years, including on the undefeated 1982 team and earned the most valuable player award for the 1982 season. During her senior year, she led the team to 15 wins, zero losses and one tie. As a four-year varsity lacrosse player, McGarry won four Midwest lacrosse titles. She playing field hockey and lacrosse at Pine Manor College.
JT Parks: Parks was a 1983 graduate who was a four-year varsity player in football, baseball and basketball. He was the football team’s MVP his junior and senior year and earned all-state honors. In baseball, Parks earned all-state honors and was the team’s MPV three out of his four years on the varsity team. He also earned all-conference honors his junior and senior years and served as co-captain his senior year. In basketball, he was a varsity player at point guard for four years, earned team MVP and all-conference honors his junior and senior years and earned all-state honorable mention honors his senior year. He served as co-captain for three years. After graduation, he played JV baseball and rugby at Central Michigan University.
Christopher Ford: Ford, a 1996 ULS graduate, was a three-year varsity athlete in soccer and a four-year varsity athlete in hockey and baseball, playing on championship teams in all three sports. As co-captain on the varsity soccer team for three years, Ford led the soccer team to the district championship in the 1992-93 season; the MHSAA regional championship and the Class C/D state finals in 1994; the MHSAA District and Regional championship in the 1995 season; and the final four of the state finals during the 1995-96 season. Ford was selected to the 2nd all-conference team and the MHSAA Coaches Association All-Regional Team in 1995. On the ice, Ford earned top defender honors in 1994, MPHL All-League Team and All-Academic Honor Roll in 1995 and all-state Class B/C/D defenseman in 1996 among others. As part of the MPHL, All-League Dream Team in 1996 his stats were 28 games played, 94 shots on goal and six goals scored. As a four-year varsity baseball player, Ford was selected for the Class C 1st All-District Baseball Team, the All-State Baseball team and earned a certificate of merit from the MHS Baseball Coaches Association. He also earned the Metro Conference Academic Excellence Award. Post-graduation, Ford went on to play baseball, as a starting in-fielder and first baseman at St. Lawrence University.
Leython Williams: A 2003 graduate of ULS, Williams was a three-season, varsity athlete for all four years of high school – participating in football, basketball and track and field. As a four-year varsity football player, Williams served as captain his senior year, earned the all-conference linebacker award in 2001 and 2002, all-state honorable mention in 2002, all-east honors in 2002, all state and all east linebacker honors in 2003 and was team MVP in 2002. He led the team in tackles his sophomore – senior years – setting a school record of 347 career tackles. His other football accolades include being invited to the University of Michigan Football Camp in 2002, where he was awarded “Best Linebacker;” named starting inside linebacker in the Michigan East vs. West All-Star game in 2003 and named as a top linebacker nationally by Grid Iron Greats and Rivals in 2002-2003. In basketball, Williams served as captain for three of his four years as a varsity player, earned two all-conference selections and was named team MVP his sophomore year. In track and field, he earned all-conference honors in 2001 and 2002 and was a state qualifier in shot put. Williams continued to excel on the football field at Central Michigan University playing linebacker. He was a four-year letter winner as an outside linebacker at CMU, serving as team captain his senior year and leading the team to a MAC Championship during the 2006-07 season.
Jim Schmidt, faculty/coach emeritus (posthumous): Jim Schmidt taught and coached at University Liggett School for 37 years, implementing many school traditions and activities that students still enjoy today. During his three decades as ULS, Schmidt coached middle school cheerleading, middle school girls basketball and middle school softball, high school junior varsity softball and varsity softball. He also coached middle school students in the technical and lighting aspects of the middle school drama and other auditorium events. He was known as the voice of ULS athletics, serving as an announcer and scorekeeper beginning in 1975 for the middle school boys basketball team. During the next four decades, Schmidt would continue to serve as the voice of athletics working as an announcer and scorekeeper for all home ice hockey games, boys football games and softball games. He co-created and managed the middle school outing club with the goal of introducing middle school students to a variety of athletic activities that they could continue to experience outside of school – including hiking, biking, cross country skiing, sledding, canoeing and camping. During this time, he also created the Treasure Hunt, which quickly spread to the Upper School and is still going strong to this day. Schmidt also coordinated and led students on outdoor education/geology trips throughout the 1980s. These trips were three or four-week excursions in Wyoming, Oregon, Utah, South Dakota and Alaska.
The Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame honors and celebrates the rich athletic history of University Liggett School and its predecessor schools. The award recognizes alumni who have displayed solid character and citizenship while at University Liggett School or one of its predecessor schools, had an exceptional athletic record while in school and have achieved distinguished post-graduate athletic competition or coaching.
The 2019 Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame inductees were reviewed and selected by the Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, which comprises inductees, past and current coaches, our athletic department staff and our alumni relations director.
The Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, with a cocktail reception followed by the induction ceremony at 6:30 p.m. in the school’s Boll Campus Center, 1045 Cook Road, Grosse Pointe Woods.