Athletics, Local, Park Forest, Schools

ESCC Hall of Fame to Induct Eight on April 7

"Super-fan" Jack Heneghan will be honored by the ESCC
“Super-fan” Jack Heneghan of Marian Catholic will be honored by the ESCC. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Chicago Heights, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Standout athletes who excelled in the East Suburban Catholic Conference and continued their tremendous success at the collegiate and professional level highlight the 15th ESCC Hall of Fame class that will be inducted on Thursday, April 7 at Abbington Banquet Hall in Glen Ellyn. The class of eight includes an impressive array of athletes, coaches, and administrators.

A pair of legendary Joliet Catholic athletes highlight the class. Former Hilltopper All-State running back Joshua Ferguson parlayed his time as a team captain at the University of Illinois into a four-year career in the NFL with Indianapolis, Houston, New England, and Washington. The 2007 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year Kelly Murphy was a four-time All-American and also SEC Player of the Year at the University of Florida.

Multi-sport Notre Dame College Prep athletes also join the Class of 2022. After earning ESCC all-conference honors in football, wrestling, and volleyball, Brian Brosnan was a member of the University of Illinois football Big Ten champs and Sugar Bowl participant. Michael Rosengrant (also football) was a three-time ESCC wrestling champ and state finalist, winning the 130-pound state crown in 1994.

Great athletes don’t find success without outstanding leadership, proven by a pair of coaching inductees. In addition to being a leader at the organizational level of the ESCC, Benet Academy Tennis Coach Mike Hand has guided the men’s squad to three top 10 state finishes, as well as the 2016 IHSA state championship for the women’s team. Saint Patrick Swimming and Water Polo Coach Martin Gibson has guided the WP team to five top-three state finishes and mentored Swimming teams to four top-15 state finishes.

Upper-level administration highlights the 2022 class in prestigious fashion as well. Former Nazareth Academy Athletic Director Duane Buturusis founded scheduling programs Athletics2000 (now 8 to 18) and Meanwhile, Marian Catholic superfan and Assistant Principal Jack Heneghan (among several other titles) has represented the Spartans at athletic events since well before the Spartans joined the ESCC in 1990.

Longtime Notre Dame Football Coach and Athletic Director Mike Hennessey (the dean of the ESCC in both positions) will also be honored as the Dave Mattio Man of the Year.

Tickets reservations ($50) for the 7 p.m. dinner (6 p.m. reception) on April 7 may be made through any of the ESCC school athletic departments and more information and history are also available on the ESCC website at

Ten IHSA state champion anniversary teams (bolstered by a two-year Covid void) representing six schools will be recognized at the April 7 event as well, including 2010, 2011, 2012 Carmel Catholic women’s gymnastics, 2011, 2022 Benet Academy women’s volleyball, 2010, 2012 Marist women’s softball, 2012 Bishop McNamara poms, 2012 Marian Catholic baseball and 2012 Saint Viator cheerleading.

The 15th ESCC Hall of Fame class brings the number of current inductees to 153, representing nine of the current 10 member schools and former members Fenwick, Holy Cross, Providence Catholic and Saint Joseph.

More information about the ESCC Hall of Fame or induction dinner may be obtained by contacting Chair Mike Hennessey, Notre Dame College Prep Athletic Director, at 847-779-8652.