The Saint Stephen’s Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1998. By December 2009, 146 alumni and 3 coaches had been inducted (see complete list here).
In 2016, after a 6-year hiatus, the criteria for nomination were revised and the AHOF was reinstated. The tradition’s roots remain intact, the AHOF henceforth continuing to honor Falcon student athletes and coaches who excelled in their respective sports or coaching roles and who brought recognition and distinction to the School through their conduct both on and off the fields, courts, courses and track. This recognition celebrates and promotes the spirit, pride and sense of community at Saint Stephen’s and serves as an historical account of the many outstanding athletic participants at the School through the years.
Cassidy Whidden Springmann ’11 (Softball)
Cassidy was a five-sport varsity letter winner at SSES recruited to play softball at the University of Notre Dame. Considered one of the best catchers in Notre Dame Softball program history, Cassidy played all four of her college years and was a member of the final Irish BIG EAST Conference championship team in 2013. The following season, her team was conference runner-up in its inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference play.
Cassidy appeared in 184 games for the Irish (146 starts), splitting her time between catcher and designated player. She was a career .286 hitter with 23 doubles, 35 home runs, 120 RBI, a .597 slugging percentage, a .406 on-base percentage and 100 runs scored! Cassidy remains Notre Dame’s career leader in hit by pitch (32) and ranks in the top-10 of all-time Irish players in slugging percentage, home runs and fielding percentage. As a junior, Cassidy was named National Fastpitch Coaches Asssociation Mid-Atlantic All Region 1st Team. She is one of only eight Notre Dame players ever to hit 10 or more home runs in consecutive seasons.
Cassidy composed a beautiful letter that was read aloud at her induction that included the following:
“It is my firm belief that I would not be the person I am today without the support and love I received while a student at Saint Stephen’s. Thank you to the faculty and staff who invested more than time in students like me. Thank you for embracing my uniqueness, recognizing my individual strengths and giving me the confidence to pursue my goals. Even though I’ve graduated, Saint Stephen’s will always be in my heart.”
Sean P. Kelly ’11 (Golf)
Sean attended SSES throughout high school and was both a leader on the Falcon golf team and a Leadbetter First Team All-American (Sean also trained at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy). In middle school and early high school, Sean was ranked the #1 junior player in the State of New York, a top-50 player in the American Junior Golf Association and Golfweek rankings, and was a 2010 U.S. Amateur participant. Sean accepted a scholarship at NCAA Division I University of South Carolina where he enjoyed a stellar golf career spanning five years (an injury having sidelined him for his junior year season).
As a college freshman, Sean was cited among the top SEC players to watch and made the SEC Academic Honor Roll. (He maintained his Honor Roll status from 2012-16.) As a junior in 2014-15, Sean recorded five top-20 finishes, a top-10 showing, had an impressive 72.71 stroke average and was named a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-American Scholar, a recognition he again earned as a senior.
In his senior season, Sean’s 69 (-1) in the NCAA Championship stroke play fourth round helped the Gamecocks surge from 12th to 7th place and qualify for the match play portion of the tournament for the first time. Sean grabbed his third top-10 finish at the Tuscaloosa Regional and was Carolina’s top performer at the SEC Championship. Sean’s career-best, 5-under par 65 at Camden helped cinch the tournament title.
The capstone of Sean’s college career was his receiving the prestigious University of South Carolina Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award in 2016. Advancing through the Canadian Tour School as an amateur in spring of senior year, Sean turned professional in June 2016. He joined PGA Tour Canada and played two seasons there. In May ’17, Sean “Monday” qualified for the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas with a round of 67. He advanced through a 4 for 3 playoff with YE Yang, the winner of the 2009 PGA Championship. Sean ultimately missed the cut by 3 strokes, but gained valuable experience.
In fall ’17, Sean was a medalist in both of the early stages at Web.com Q School, but just missed receiving exempt status in the final stage. Sean has conditional status for the 2018 season and is playing to qualify for events and improve his standing. He did just that on March 4, 2018, winning the qualifier for the El Bosque Mexico Championship outright and making the cut for tournament play. Of special note, Sean has been a type-1 diabetic since early childhood, a condition he never allowed to hold him back from striving to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a PGA professional. He is indeed an inspiration to those playing sports with physical limitations.
Carolin Pinegger ’09 (Golf)
Carolin played golf at Saint Stephen’s while training at IMG Academy and was recruited by the University of Central Florida. She turned professional immediately upon college graduation and joined the Symetra Tour (“the road to the LPGA”). She is currently taking a year off from Symetra play to get her MBA at Rollins College.
Prior to college, Carolin was a 5-year member of the Austrian National Team, finishing 3rd in the 2008 Austrian National Championship. She excelled on the Future Collegians World Tour (FCWT), winning the championship in 2008 and named FCWT All-American. College highlights include Carolin's being named All-Conference USA in '10 and helping lead the Knights to their first tournament championship since 2002. In 2012, she was again named All-Conference USA and was top-finisher for the Knights in NCAA East Regional competition. She was elected captain of the UCF ladies’ golf team in 2013, after having been selected to UCF’s prestigious Captain’s Council in ’10 – an organization teaching members how to be better leaders and how to facilitate teammates becoming leaders in their own right. While much of her undergraduate years were spent in the classroom and on the links, Carolin still found time to give back to the community through volunteer work in a variety of community service projects including Habitat for Humanity, Autism Walks and Junior Achievement programs.
In 2014, Carolin was a cast member on Big Break Myrtle Beach, the 22nd season of the Golf Channel's popular television series. She is also co-creator of a social network called GLBrain.com, an internet platform providing users with the ability to start their own blogs about vital issues like politics, finances and the environment.
David Wheaton ‘87 (Tennis)
David won the US Open junior title in ‘87 and was ranked No. 1 junior player in the USA. In 1988, he enrolled at Stanford and his team won that year’s NCAA Division I title. David turned professional later that year, winning his first top-level singles title in ‘90 and finishing as men’s doubles runner-up at the US Open. In 1991, David won the Grand Slam Cup in Munich, beating Michael Chang in straight sets; reached the semi-finals in men's singles at Wimbledon, beating Andre Agassi in the quarter-finals before losing to Boris Becker; and was a men's doubles runner-up at the Australian Open with partner and former Stanford teammate Patrick McEnroe. In July ’91, David reached his career-high singles ranking: World No. 12. Retiring from the professional tour in 2001 due to recurring injuries, David continued playing in professional tournaments on the senior tour, winning the Wimbledon men's 35 doubles championship title in ’04 and achieving runner-up status in ‘05. He served on the Board of Directors of the United States Tennis Association through 2006.
Today, David is a radio host on The Christian World View, a nationally-syndicated 1-hour talk show. He has also written two insightful and acclaimed books: University of Destruction: Your Game Plan for Spiritual Victory on Campus (published in ’05), and My Boy, Ben; A Story of Love, Loss and Grace,which beautifully chronicles his 9-year relationship with his yellow Labrador retriever.