Thursday, June 7, the annual Rosary Athletic Wall of Fame Dinner was held in the Karcher Center. The six women who were honored came from graduating classes from 1978-2005. They came from different sports, and different occupations, but their acceptance speeches had recurring themes. They spoke of lessons learned from athletics, funny events that are treasured memories, and without fail they expressed their gratitude to their coaches, their teachers and most emphatically, to their families, for supporting them in achieving their dreams and goals.
During the evening, representatives of Rosary's current athletic teams were introduced by their coaches. Their presence provided a synthesis between our history and our future.
To understand why these alumnae were chosen for induction to the Wall of Fame, it helps to know their stories.
These are their biographies:
Lindsay Buckley Wandzilak ‘05
Lindsay is the third of Tim and Jennifer’s four children. She grew up in a busy Catholic family and ventured to Rosary High School following St. Norbert’s School. At Rosary, Lindsay found comfort and her sense of self through sports.
Always on the athletic side, Lindsay wanted to test her talents on various teams each season. She played volleyball and soccer, and ran cross country and track while competing on outside club soccer and volleyball teams. The athletic teams at Rosary allowed Lindsay the opportunity to develop her leadership skills as team captain, as well as connect with upper and underclassmen she wouldn’t have otherwise met.
After being named the top Athlete of the Class of 2005, Lindsay ventured to the University of Southern California, where she ran track and cross-country, joined a sorority, and met life-long friends. USC opened Lindsay’s eyes to a wide spectrum of people, experiences, and life lessons. While enjoying some good clean fun and enjoying some freedom, she was able to stay loyal to her roots because of the foundation established at a younger age.
Lindsay met her husband Scott as she was finishing college and they married in 2013. He ran cross-country and track at the University of Nebraska, achieved his graduate degree from USC, and currently works in the Athletic Department at USC. They have an amazing 3-year-old son, named Madden, who keeps them smiling and on their toes. They are also expecting their second child in August 2018.
Lindsay has worked in fitness since graduation, and currently runs her own fitness/lifestyle platform called "Mama You Sweaty". Scott, Lindsay, and Madden live in Manhattan Beach and love their community.
Darcie LaVonn McClelland ‘03
Darcie was a life-long product of Lutheran school before her mom had the crazy idea of sending her to Rosary. Darcie now sees God’s hand in the decision, and says, “Rosary went from being a foreign place full of strangers to a family that embraced and supported me in my quest to find myself and become the person I was destined to be.”
More than just a softball player, Darcie enjoyed choir and Tri-School as well as being a Red & Gold captain. She has a lifetime of Rosary memories including senior Red & Gold, Kairos 13, and every dance of her senior year – especially the one where her dad wore a tuxedo to match her dress and they danced the night away.
Darcie’s softball career began as the “4th best pitcher in the freshman class,” but by sophomore year she was the most effective pitcher in the program, beginning her domination of Santa Margarita and Mater Dei. As a junior, Darcie won 11 games – 8 by shutout – but it was during her senior year where she truly shined. Captaining one of the all-time great Royal teams, she won 21 games (16 by shutout) for a team that won 24. Those Royals captured their first Serra League championship with a 1-0 win over MD, and advanced to the CIF semifinals. Darcie was named All-County and All-State.
College was full of choices. Eventually, while at the University of San Diego, Darcie chose a career as a scientist over that of a full-time college athlete. With a bachelor’s degree in biology secured, she entered a PhD. program at UC Riverside in cell, molecular, and developmental biology. In between her highly enjoyable shifts at the Grand Californian Hotel and the Napa Rose, Darcie immersed herself into the life of an academic scientist.
Through many teaching and learning experiences, Darcie’s educational passions emerged: diversity among STEM faculty; educational policy; and mentoring young scientists. Rather than a research-track position, Darcie chose to apply for a position in the California Community College system where she could mentor first-generation college students. She is finishing her second year as an assistant professor of biology at El Camino College inTorrance, where she also serves on the Academic Senate.
Darcie has never been shy about using the gifts she’s been blessed with, and this season the Royal softball team was blessed to welcome back one of its most decorated alumnae as an assistant coach. Besides that endeavor, Darcie is a proud dog owner, wine collector, Steeler fan, and singer in her church choir. She says, “The Lord has blessed me richly with a wonderful life full of amazing people, and my goal is to use my gifts and talents to help as many young people succeed as possible. I work every day to live the 4th and share the values I was taught at Rosary with as many others as I can.”
Jennifer Farner Perry ‘01
Jennifer Farner Perry graduated from Rosary in 2001 as the valedictorian of her class. Throughout her time at Rosary, she was a guard and forward on the varsity basketball team. In her sophomore year, she helped the team win a CIF championship, powered by her love of gum and aggressive, yet delicate, style of play.
Outside of Rosary, she played on her club soccer team as a goalkeeper. That team won the Sur Cup during her junior year (she thinks, though age and pregnancy has made the recall of memories more challenging).
After Rosary, Jen went to UCLA to study History and developmental disabilities. While at UCLA, she first coached and then ran the student-run Special Olympics program, where she coached special needs athletes from South Central LA in basketball, soccer, tennis, track and other sports. It was there she met another student and coach, Jim, who would later become her husband. Though Jim had been a swimmer, he lacked athletic prowess and interest in college or professional sports. She loves him anyway.
After college, they moved to rural Arkansas to teach with Teach for America for two years; while there, Jen taught 1st and 2nd graders. Following Teach for America, they moved back to the Golden State. Jen began to teach middle school Special Education and coach soccer at KIPP in San Diego, a charter school network focused on getting lower income and minority students to and through college. Her husband later dragged her to San Jose, which they now call home. Jen still teaches middle school Special Education at another KIPP school and is a mom to three energetic children (Jack 7, Claire 4, and Luke 2).
To unwind and escape from the chaos of life, she likes to bake cookies and eat the dough, get out and go for long trail runs and attempt not to injure herself in goal on her indoor soccer team. She loves exploring nature and visiting the National Parks with her family. She uses extreme-endurance hiking to mold her young brood and dad-bod husband, pressing on with relentless positivity in the face of snarky comments about elevation changes which were not fully disclosed prior to the start of these events. She has learned to appreciate the love and sacrifice her parents made as she now sits on the sidelines as a parent of a little soccer player.
Melissa Bellinder Parkin ‘00
Melissa began bowling at 2 ½ years old and quickly became competitive at a young age. She shot a record three perfect 300 games as an 8th grader.
During her attendance at Rosary High School, she competed in bowling, winning numerous prestigious events and breaking down barriers. In local youth events, she won several titles in the girls’ division, so much so that she was encouraged at age 16 to compete in the boys’ division. She then went on to win three titles against the boys during her high school years. At age 16, Missy won the biggest junior bowling event – the Junior Olympic Gold National Championships, thus earning a berth on Junior Team USA. She competed on Junior Team USA from 1998-2001, traveling to Guatemala and earning Gold and Bronze medals for a major Youth event during her sophomore year.
Just turning 18, as a senior in high school, she became the youngest bowler to earn a spot on adult Team USA. They had a week-long training camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts, she had to miss her Senior year of Red and Gold to attend camp. She was devastated, but it was one of many sacrifices she would make for the sport she loves. Missy went on to compete for Team USA in 2000, 2001, 2007 and from 2013 until present day and has earned several international gold medals. While attending Rosary High School from 1996-2000, she was part of the Royal Reporter Newspaper staff and became Assistant Editor during her Senior year. She graduated with a 4.5 GPA and attended CSU Fullerton, competing for the club bowling team. She competed for two years on the women’s team and two years on the men’s teams, as there were not enough women to field a team.
In 2003, she was voted the National MVP and Collegiate Bowler of the Year, the highest honor you can be awarded collegiately. In that same year, while competing on the men’s/mixed team, she was also voted MVP and to the All-tournament team at the Intercollegiate Bowling Championships in the MEN’S division, where the Titans finished 4th in the nation, the highest finish for a mixed team in college bowling history. She was a First Team All American for 3 out of the 4 years that she competed in college bowling. Missy graduated summa cum laude from CSU Fullerton with a B.A. in Communications, Public Relations, and a minor in Spanish Language. Just prior to graduating from college, the professional women’s bowling tour folded and thus her dreams were shattered as she always planned to bowl professionally after graduating college. Then, during her last semester of college, she broke another barrier, becoming the FIRST woman to join the men’s Professional Bowlers Association (PBA). She later went on to become the FIRST woman to win three PBA Regional Titles and she still holds the record for the highest finish ever by a woman in both the 2012 USBC Masters (9th) and 2012 PBA U.S. Open (23rd).
The Professional Women’s Bowling Tour has since been reestablished. She currently holds 3 titles and 1 Major title. Missy and her husband Drew Parkin took over her father’s bowling pro shop business in 2011. They have since expanded their business – Parkin’s Bowling Supply – from one location to now six locations throughout the Southern California area. They also just welcomed their first child, a baby boy – Drew Parkin, Jr. in December of 2017. She is still competing professionally on the PWBA Tour and will be competing in Louisville, KY, the day of the Wall of Fame ceremony. Look for her on CBS Sports Network this summer!
Jennifer Schilling Jasinowski ‘92
Jennifer began her sports career at the age of 7 when her Dad signed her up to play Little League Baseball in her hometown of Orange. She was the only girl in AA baseball that year.
Appropriately, as a life-long fan, her first team was the “Angels.” She also played competitive softball for the Orange County Classics and soccer for the Orange Ladyhawks during her youth sporting career.
Jennifer is one of seven Schilling girls to have attended Rosary and played athletics—Leslie (’85), Stacey (’86), Kate (’89), Rachel (’93), Liz (’96), and Elissa (’02). While at Rosary, Jennifer played varsity soccer (4 years), varsity softball (3 years) and ran varsity cross-country (3 years). She was selected to the Angelus League First Team for Softball as a sophomore, and selected to the South California Olympic Development Soccer Team as a junior.
Following high school graduation and being named the top athlete in her class, Jennifer attended the University of Denver and played soccer for the Pioneers. She graduated from DU with a degree in Biology and Spanish. After college, she played for the Colorado Women’s Select Soccer Team and coached both club and high school soccer. She holds a USSF “D” Soccer license and a United Soccer Coaches Regional Diploma.
Jennifer holds her MBA from the University of Colorado, Denver, and currently works for the State of Colorado Career and Technical Education Office where she is the Program Director for Skilled Trades & Technical Sciences. She is married to her wonderful husband, Paul, and they have three beautiful girls, Lily, Abbey and Paige - all soccer players. A nine-time marathon finisher, she still plays soccer, still coaches, and still loves the Angels.
Eileen O’Keefe-Kearns ‘78
Eileen O’Keefe-Kearns is one of twelve children. Eileen grew up in Anaheim, and attended St. Anthony Claret Catholic School prior to attending Rosary. Five of the six O’Keefe girls attended Rosary High School. Eileen played volleyball, basketball, and softball in elementary school but chose to focus on volleyball and softball here at Rosary. Eileen lettered in volleyball and softball.
During her freshman year of high school, Eileen played her final year of Bobby Sox Softball, joining the Royals
Varsity team in her sophomore year. Under the watchful care and guidance of her coach, Mrs. Carol Munsey—herself a member of the Orange Lionettes, a professional softball team—Eileen played third base and received Most Improved and Most Valuable Player awards in her sophomore year and Most Valuable Player in her junior and senior year at Rosary.
Eileen also played on a travel team during high school where she was coached by Bob Vincent, and her brother, Jimmy O’Keefe. Eileen grew tremendously as a player during those four years; she was blessed to have exceptional coaching during her high school career.
Eileen never planned to play softball in college as very few students played college sports. Eileen was recruited by Ms. Margo Davis to play at Fullerton College; she was reluctant, but said yes. Eileen was grateful for those two years at Fullerton where the team won both Conference and State Championship titles. Eileen was awarded 1st team All Conference in both her freshman and sophomore years at Fullerton.
Eileen was offered opportunities at Cal State Northridge, UCLA, and Long Beach State to play her final two years, but athletic scholarship money was tight in the pre-Title IX days. Eileen chose to dedicate her time solely to school. Eileen transferred to California State University at Long Beach where she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree.
Eileen continued her love for softball by joining a coed softball team. Eileen also accepted a coaching opportunity here at Rosary; she coached our JV Softball team for eight years. Eileen was fortunate and blessed to work alongside her friend, Theresa Cronin, who served as the assistant JV coach. Our JV Softball program was extremely successful here at Rosary. Eileen has been and continues to be blessed by Rosary! She bleeds Dodger Blue and Rosary Red!
Congratulations to these newest members of our Wall of Fame!
Photos to the right:
1) Five of the six honorees
2) Linsday Buckley Wandzilak '05
3) Darcie LaVonn McClelland '03
4) Jennifer Farner Perry '01
5) Sisters of Melissa Bellinder Parkin '00 (Accepting on her behalf)
6) Jennifer Schilling Jasinowski '92
7) Eileen O'Keefe-Kearns '78
Also included are additional photos of the festivities!
All photos courtesy of Donna Reinbold