Six new members inducted into St. Mary Catholic Central's Hall of Fame in Monroe

Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central has inducted six new members into its Hall of Fame. Holding their trophies (left to right) are Julia (Stofka) DeLand, Mara (Rendina) Eppler, Rudy Kominek (coach of 1968 football team), Rachel Rendina, Paul Haddix, and (behind Haddix’s right shoulder) Jack Giarmo. All the others are members of the 1968 football squad. (Courtesy photo)

MONROE — Six new members were inducted into the St. Mary Catholic Central Hall of Fame during the 14th annual ceremonies highlighting alumni weekend Sept. 5-7.

Mara (Rendina) Eppler (2005), tennis: She was a four-time Huron League champion and recognized as first-team All-State in 2002, 2003 and 2004. She posted an overall high school record of 92-19.

At Albion College, she was a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletics Association conference championships in 2006 and 2008.

Eppler attended the University of Toledo College of Law, served as executive managing editor of the law review, and graduated summa cum laude in 2012.

Currently, she is senior counsel with ProMedica Health System, headquartered in Toledo.

Rachel Rendina (2007), tennis: She was named to the first-team Huron League all four years. During her junior year regular season, she had complied a 70-0 record. She was named first-team All-State her junior and senior years.

At Grand Valley State University, Rendina compiled an impressive record in singles and doubles and was instrumental in GVSU’s league championships. She majored in hospitality and tourism.

She is currently general manager of her family’s restaurant business.

Julia (Stofka) DeLand (2003), soccer: She was named all-Huron League four years, and first-team All-State her senior year. She set a then-school record of 104 career goals and 54 assists. In her senior year, Julia was selected captain of the Michigan Olympic Development team.

Due to injuries, she played collegiate soccer only her freshman year at Central Michigan University. She transferred to the University of Toledo and graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science.

DeLand returned to SMCC as head girls soccer coach from 2012-14.

For the past seven years, she has worked as an escrow specialist at Lawyers Title Agency of Monroe.

Paul Haddix (1981), football, wrestling: He was a three-year starter on the varsity football team, rushing for more than 2,700 yards, and a two-time All-State running back.  

In wrestling, Haddix was a state qualifier, won numerous tournaments, and was undefeated during most of his senior year.

He attended Eastern Michigan University on a football scholarship and graduated with a bachelor of science in industrial technology.

He lives in Georgetown, Ky., where he owns a home building company and rental company.

Jack Giarmo (1981), football, wrestling: He was a three-year starter on the football team. He was a three-time defensive first-team Huron League and first-team offense as a senior. Giarmo was Associated Press All State his senior year and was selected to play in the first state All-Star game. He was the only player to play both offense and defense in the game.

In wrestling, Giarmo qualified for the state meet his sophomore, junior and senior years. He recorded a school record of 90 wins. He also was a member of Joe’s Boxing Club, where he won the Toledo Golden Gloves.

At Western Michigan University, he played fullback, linebacker, and nose guard. He graduated in 1985 with a business administration degree. He is owner/broker of Coldwell Banker Haynes Real Estate.

Jack was head varsity football coach at SMCC for 17 years, winning the Division 6 state championship in 2014. He is currently in his third year as head football coach at Gibraltar Carlson.

The 1968 Falcon football team was honored for its undefeated season (9-0-1), winning the school’s first Huron League championship, and finishing ranked seventh in the state at the end of the season. The Falcons were coached by SMCC Athletic Hall of Famer Rudy Kominek, assisted by SMCC Hall of Fame member Tony DiFiore and Art Enderle.

The Falcons posted five shutouts during the season and a school-record defense of 36 points.

The inductees were introduced at halftime of Friday’s game between SMCC and Carlton Airport, won by the Falcons, 42-21, and attended alumni reunions on Saturday.

The formal induction happened Sunday in the Brother Gerontius Memorial Gymnasium. School president Sean Jorgenson (1991), Fr. Kevin Roelant (2007), associate pastor at St. Mary and St. John the Baptist parishes, and athletic director Chad Myers (2002) led off the program.

Historical footnote: The church’s educational mission in Monroe began in 1846 when the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary founded St. Mary Academy.

Brother Gerontius was one of three Brothers of the Holy Cross who comprised the entire faculty to staff Monroe Catholic Central, a new all-boys Catholic secondary school, in 1944.

St. Mary Catholic Central High School is the result of a merger in 1986 of St. Mary Academy and Monroe Catholic Central.