The Athletic Circle of Honor is a program that is dedicated to honor the alumni athletes that performed tremendously during their time at Wesleyan. Each year since 2007, athletes have been inducted after holding a rigorous process. Inductees must be a graduate of at least five years, earned a varsity leader in each of the sports they participated in and must have exhibited excellent abilities in their sports during their time at Wesleyan. Freshman Kaylynn Kirklen said, “The Circle of Honor is for the alumni who have shown honor and dedication to Wesleyan through athletics and have impacted the community through their sports by winning state championships or breaking records.”
This year, three athletes were inducted: Chris Duvall, Katie Frerking and Holli Wilkins. T coach inductee was Bob Worthington.
This award is given to students with outstanding athletic abilities and outstanding character. “It shows a lot about their character, not just their athletic ability,” said senior Liam Coxhead. Former MLB player for the White Sox and Blue Jays, Samuel Ewing said this phrase throughout his career, “Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” These athletes have put in the hours of hard work, sacrifice and commitment to get to where they are today.
Duvall (’10) was a part of the cross country and soccer teams during his time at Wesleyan. “Soccer was my preference. I have always considered myself a soccer player first,” said Duvall. After Duvall’s time at Wesleyan, he played soccer at Wake Forest before being drafted to the MLS. Duvall said, “I am currently entering my sixth season of professional soccer in MLS. I played three seasons with the New York Red Bulls. I was then traded to the Montreal Impact, where I played for two years. Finally, I was traded to the Houston Dynamo this winter and our season begins Monday, Jan. 14.”
Throughout Duvall’s time in the soccer program he shared to have “several amazing memories,” but a favorite memory when “We beat GAC in soccer in penalty kicks my senior year to win in Region.” Duvall was the captain of the soccer team his senior year. Athletic Director Marc Khedouri said, “[Duvall] is incredibly special and humble even with all of his accomplishments.”
Frerking (’13) is known for being athletically outstanding in softball, basketball and track. According to the Gwinnett Daily Post, “After winning numerous state championships, Frerking played basketball at Auburn and then professionally in Sweden. She is now coaching basketball at the University of Missouri.” Frerking is a gifted athlete that is well-known throughout the Wesleyan community.
“I’m inspired by them because they left a good mark on Wesleyan sports,” said freshman JC French. These athletes have accomplished state championships and breaking school records while being great students. These alumni were well-rounded by the JOY motto, serving the Lord, their teammates and peers before themselves.
Wilkins (’12) played alongside of Frerking in all three seasons: softball, basketball and track. Wilkins was an excellent athlete during her time at Wesleyan earning several state championships. Gwinnett Daily Post said, “Wilkins played basketball for Furman University where she earned honors as a consensus first team All-Southern Conference player.” I signed to play professionally for a team in Romania, but ultimately stayed here in Atlanta and coached,” said Wilkins. “She now coaches’ basketball for Holy Innocents’ in Atlanta.” Holy Innocent’s is now known to be one of the biggest rivals for the Girls’ basketball team. Senior captain Callie Weaver said,” It an honor to play against someone that has been a huge impact on the Wesleyan basketball program.”
“I loved playing in games obviously, but my favorite memories are the things that happened off the court (or field), the time I spent hanging out with the team on road trips, or funny things that happened in the locker room and dug out will always be my favorite,” said Wilkins. Wesleyan sports are more than the successes on the field or court, but the memories that the team and coaches share together. Wilkins said, “There were too many [memories] to count.” One of Wilkins’ favorite memory was when, “I caught the most accurate fly ball from Coach Lisson in centerfield without moving.” “It was awesome,” Lisson added.
Junior Michael Mele said,” ‘The circle of honor is a group of Wesleyan alumni athletes that have used their athletic skills in the professional level.” The common denominator in these three athletes is that their sports career didn’t end after their time on Wesleyan. Each of them went on to play at the collegiate level, performing so well there that they continued even past their college years. Frerking and Wilkins are now sharing their passion to the next generation of basketball players by coaching what they have learned. Sophomore Katherine Graddy said, “These alumni athletes inspire the students because we are able to see what you can do even beyond our high school and college years.”
Worthington was the first community coach to be inducted in the Circle of Honor. According to the Gwinnett Daily Post, “Worthington headed the middle school baseball program. Worthington’s positive impact was greatly felt by the more than 150 players who went through the program during his tenure.”
Khedouri said, “[Bob Worthington] coached for thirteen years for the [Wesleyan] middle school basketball team. He made a really big impact on our players, which of whom still talk about him today and his impact on their lives.”
These athletes have shown great commitment to working hard to get better in what they love. Their dedication has inspired several high school students to continue to pursue what they love. Freshman Druw Jones said, “What inspires me the most is how much they worked to reach their goals.”
The Circle of Honor is an outstanding accomplishment that these alumni and Coach Worthington have been awarded. They are an ongoing legacy of athletes with great discipline, teamwork and putting others before themselves.