By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, Staff Photographer | Published March 5, 2015
ROSWELL—Two members of the 2004 graduating class at Blessed Trinity High School became the first inductees into the school’s new Athletic Hall of Fame on Jan. 30.
Brooke Alexander and Tyler Flowers were honored at the inaugural ceremony before 150 people, including current student athletes in baseball, football, girls golf and volleyball.
Alexander played four sports her freshman year, but eventually focused on two—golf and volleyball. In her junior year she helped lead the girls golf team to its first state championship, which was also the first state title in any sport for the fledgling high school. They repeated as champions her senior year. In volleyball she led the team to its first playoff appearance and was captain of the Final Four team as a senior.
She now works for golf specialty retailer Golfsmith, as manager of regional field marketing events and promotions in the Midwest, and is married to Brian Nooney.
Also a two-sport athlete, Flowers was a four-year starting fullback and linebacker for the BT football team. He was named All-County linebacker his junior and senior years and holds three defensive records. In baseball, he played catcher, infielder and pitcher and was All-County and All-Region four consecutive years. He holds the school record for single season batting average (.518) and highest on-base percentage (.710).
Now a catcher for the Chicago White Sox, Flowers made his major league debut in September 2009. Last season he had a .241 average with 15 homeruns and 50 runs batted in.
The Hall of Fame is the culmination of more than two years of work by the school principal, Frank Moore, the athletic director, Ricky Turner, and Jim Kelleher, who became a selection committee member. Kelleher’s high school, St. Francis in Buffalo, New York, and Moore’s in New Orleans, Archbishop Rummel, each had halls of fame, so they studied the requirements and policies at their alma maters and surveyed local schools with halls.
The purpose is to recognize athletes “who have brought recognition, honor and distinction to Blessed Trinity Catholic High School through outstanding contributions to the athletic program” and “coaches and athletic directors who have shown many years of dedication to the young men and women in their charge.”
Once the purpose was established, the criteria for nomination were outlined, the selection committee was formed, the Hall of Fame logo and wall were designed, and the first two inductees were selected.
Kelleher said there was little debate about who they would be.
“They were great athletes, great people and clearly great choices,” he said.
Coaches praise character of inductees
At the ceremony, former coaches introduced Alexander and Flowers.
Social studies instructor and former golf coach Michael Henry spoke of how amazed he was by Alexander’s skill and carefree approach to the game the first time he saw her play.
“During the season I saw Brooke as a great leader and teammate, and I learned under that carefree approach was a tremendous competitor,” said Henry.
He also shared stories that characterized how Alexander was a leader and put the team first.
“Like many great athletes she stood beside her teammates and built up their confidence, which helped them get better,” said Henry. “It was obvious her teammates looked up to her and followed her example as an athlete and leader.”
Varsity baseball coach Andy Harlin spoke about Flowers, recalling how he played the game and how he remains humble and extends kindness to friends and strangers alike. Harlin said he and Turner went to Chicago in 2013 to see Flowers play in a series against the Oakland A’s.
“It was the first time I had a chance to go see a player I was blessed to coach play in a major league game and hit a homerun,” said Harlin.
Flowers gave them a tour of the White Sox clubhouse, locker room and training facility, and after the Saturday game they attended Mass together.
The final story by Harlin was the most emotional for him. He recalled how he contacted Flowers about the tragedy surrounding the murder-suicide of former Blessed Trinity freshman Mary Kathleen Wilkins’ parents. When Harlin found out Mary Kathleen was moving to Chicago to live with her uncle, he asked Flowers if he could arrange to provide White Sox home game tickets for them, “just to bring a smile to Mary Kathleen’s face” and create a happy diversion. With no hesitation Flowers said he and his wife, Nancy, also a 2004 graduate of Blessed Trinity, “were all in” to make it happen. It had a huge impact on the family, and over the Christmas holidays when Harlin spoke to them, they were still bringing up the game.
“They’ll remember that their whole life. It’s amazing what generosity does and the effect it has on people,” said Harlin.
‘Role models of excellence’ for current students
Alexander and Flowers each spoke to the gathering. Expressing their gratitude for the recognition, they both thanked Moore, Turner, their coaches, teachers, spouses and parents.
Dean Alexander, a central Indiana native and golf professional for more than 30 years, said Brooke’s induction filled him with pride and he felt happy for his daughter.
“I’m appreciative that the school thinks enough of its students to create a hall of fame,” said Alexander.
Dale Flowers Sr. said he was extremely proud of Tyler. He spoke of his son’s competitive nature, but he emphasized that Tyler has a very strong faith.
“When you put all that together, that’s who he is. His faith is what has helped guide him through life,” he said.
The Athletic Hall of Fame is located on a wall in the school lobby. The plaques honoring Alexander and Flowers are among 88 other blank spots to be filled with the names of future Hall of Famers.
“The Athletic Hall of Fame provides the ability for current athletes to see and meet some of the best who preceded them, alumni who were a combination of the best as athletes and as articulate, contributing members of society,” said Moore. “Brooke and Tyler exemplified that. We set the bar high in making our first selections, and we hope that all our student-athletes use these and future inductees as role models of excellence in athletics and in life.”
For more information, visit www.btcatholic.org/Athletics-HallOfFame.