To celebrate the 25th anniversary of its opening — and as part of the week’s Homecoming festivities — Grandview High School has revealed the members of its inaugural Hall of Fame class.
The five members of its first class — three athletes, a coach and a thespian — were introduced at a pep assembly on Sept. 27 that included two of them in person in former football star Eddie Yarbrough and retired girls volleyball coach Patty Childress. Both will also be in attendance Sept. 29 at Legacy Stadium when the Grandview football team plays rival Eaglecrest at 7 p.m. for Homecoming.
The Hall of Fame members were nominated by the community and picked by a panel of current and former administrators and teachers, Cherry Creek Schools officials and a local media member. Those eligible for selection must have be graduated or concluded their service at Grandview at least five years prior, must have demonstrated high moral character and “made valuable contributions and had outstanding accomplishments” in their time at the school.
Grandview has an induction ceremony planned for February 2024.
Below are bios of the first Grandview Hall of Fame Class:
MICHAELA ONYENWERE, CLASS OF 2017
Arguably the most accomplished multi-sport athlete in Grandview history thus far, Onyenwere made a huge impact on the basketball floor and the track and played a big role on teams in both sports that captured Class 5A state championships. Onyenwere dazzled from the first minute of her first varsity basketball game as a freshman and in four seasons she helped coach Josh Ulitzky’s Wolves to a staggering 97-10 record and berths in at least the 5A semifinals three times, culminated by a state championship to cap a 27-1 season in 2016-17. Onyenwere averaged a double-double for her career with 21.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game in 105 games played and led Grandview in scoring and rebounding in every one of her seasons and topped the Wolves in steals three times as well. She went on to a standout college career at UCLA, played abroad representing USA Basketball and was drafted by the New York Liberty with the sixth pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft (since traded to the Phoenix Mercury). On the track, Onyenwere — whose father, Peter, was a sprint standout in the family’s native Nigeria — was part of a star-studded Grandview team for coach John Reyes that won the 2017 5A girls state championship by a whopping 37 points as she won her only two event state titles with the Wolves’ 4×200 and 4×400 meter relays. Individually, she finished as the 5A runner-up in the 100 meters in 2015 and 2016 (and was top six in the race all four years), while her 2016 season saw her place in the top five of four open events (2nd in 100 meter, 3rd in 200 meters and fifth in the 400 meters and long jump).
EDDIE YARBROUGH, CLASS OF 2011
Yarbrough is one of the most impactful football players, athletes and personalities that have passed through the halls of Grandview. On the football field, he was a game-changing linebacker who played on coach John Schultz’s varsity team for four years and had his best season as a senior in 2010, when he made the All-State first team and was rated as the No. 2 linebacker in Colorado (and 31st in the entire country) by Rivals.com. As a senior, Yarbrough helped the Wolves to a 9-5 record and a spot in the Class 5A semifinals and then chose Wyoming from a long list of Division I programs that offered him scholarships. He also made an impact with the Cowboys as he was chosen as a team captain and was a an All-Mountain West first team performer during a career that saw him amass 256 tackles and 21.5 sacks. He did not get selected in the NFL Draft, but signed by the Buffalo Bills and played in 31 games with the franchise from 2017-19 (during which he made six starts — including the Bill’s 2017 Wild Card game against the Jacksonville Jaguars — 62 tackles, a sack and two passes defensed). He also played with the Minnesota Vikings. More important even than his playing in his high school days, however, was Yarbrough’s role as a linchpin of the rapid growth of the Unified sports program at the school. He was a helper with Grandview’s Unified basketball team and continued his dedication to Special Olympics once he reached the NFL with the My Cause, My Cleats campaign, as Grandview students were involved in the design of the cleats he wore on game day. Yarbrough also lettered twice at Grandview in track & field.
KEVIN GAUSMAN, CLASS OF 2011
Grandview has great tradition on the baseball diamond and part of the fabric of that past success was Gausman, whose talent helped the Wolves to several successful seasons and put him on a path that has led him to a lengthy career in Major League Baseball. While with coach Dean Adams’ Wolves, Gausman was the ace of the pitching staff and the hard-throwing right-hander finished his career as the program’s leader in career wins (17) and strikeouts (174), owns the single season strikeout record of 76 (set in 2010) and shares the single season high of seven wins with three other players. Gausman pitched five compete games in both his junior and senior seasons and when he wasn’t pitching, he played in the field and was a talented hitter with a .322 batting average with seven home runs and 40 RBI combined in his final two prep seasons. He also played on Grandview’s varsity boys basketball for coach Gary Childress for two seasons and averaged 11.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game for a team that won 16 games and made it to the Class 5A quarterfinals in his senior season. After he graduated from Grandview, Gausman was taken in the sixth round of the MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, but went to Louisiana State instead and finished 12-2 with a 2.77 ERA and was a first-team All-American with the Tigers. The Baltimore Orioles picked him with the No. 4 selection in the 2012 draft and he went on to pitch in MLB with the Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays and has twice been selected to the MLB All-Star Game.
PATTY CHILDRESS, COACH, RETIRED 2015
Childress is the most successful prep girls volleyball coach in the history of the Aurora area with a career at Grandview that included 10 trips to the Class 5A state championship match and five victories. She coached previously at Otis, Palisade and Ferndale high schools and Colorado Mesa University before she came to Grandview in 1998 and joined the school’s original coaching staff — along with husband, Gary — where she coached until 2015 and amassed a career record of 493-169 with Class 5A state championship victories in 2004, 2005, 2007 (when the Wolves defeated area rival Eaglecrest to complete a perfect 31-0 season), 2013 and 2014. The Wolves also made it to the state final in 2003, 2006 (in another all-area final against Eaglecrest), 2008, 2011 and 2012 and also appeared in the semifinals two other times. Childress was selected as Colorado Coach of the Year eight times and was the Dave Sanders Award recipient in 2013. She was inducted into the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2015, the National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Hall of Fame in 2017 and the Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame in 2018.
ERIK C. PETERSON, CLASS OF 2018
Peterson is a 2018 graduate who excelled in the performing arts program at Grandview High School. His acting career at Grandview began with the role of The Little Boy in Ragtime when he was in seventh grade followed by numerous supporting and leading roles in his high school tenure. Peterson was a gold medalist at the International Thespian Competition in 2016, earned numerous superior ratings at the Colorado State Thespian Competition and was a part of the GHS award-winning improv team. After Grandview, he went on to study at The Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University where he graduated with a BFA in Acting in 2022. Six months later, Peterson landed one of the leading roles, Scorpius Malfoy in the Tony Award-winning Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway. Other professional credits include: Romeo & Juliet at Saint Louis Shakespeare, Othello and The Importance of Being Earnest at Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival, Romeo & Juliet at Great River Shakespeare Festival, and Spamalot at Breckenridge Backstage Theatre.
— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes