Jefferson College 2013 Hall of Fame Inductees
May 20, 2014
2013 JEFFERSON COLLEGE ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES (12-20-13)
The Jefferson College Athletics Hall of Fame Selection Committee is pleased to announce two inductees as the Athletics Hall of Fame class of 2013: Geri Lawson-Brown, Volleyball 1980-1982 and Ross Koenig, Baseball 1998-2000.
Geri Lawson-Volleyball As a Jefferson College freshman Geri Lawson got national attention from the NJCAA All-American committee and was selected to the Volleyball All-American team. In that 1980 season Lawson led her team to a 48-12 overall record, a first place finish in the MCCAC Conference, a Region XVI Championship and a 6th place finish in the NJCAA National Tournament. Lawson’s encore was just as impressive as she was again selected to the MCCAC All-Conference team and selected as NJCAA Volleyball All-American in her sophomore season. The 1981 team anchored by Lawson logged a 44-9 overall record and a 6th place standing at the NJCAA National Tournament where she was the first Jefferson College volleyball player ever selected to the NJCAA National Tournament All-Tournament team. After the 1981 season the Viking volleyball team voted Lawson team MVP. Lawson was also widely recognized as one of Jefferson County’s finest high school players upon her graduation from Windsor High School but will undoubtedly be forever remembered as one the most remarkable players in the Jefferson College volleyball legacy.
The University of Texas at Arlington recruited Lawson after her stellar junior college career and it was there that she made the Southland All-Conference team and set a school record for most digs. After playing NCAA Division I volleyball Lawson returned home in 1986 to assist nationally renowned Jefferson College volleyball coach Jo Ellen Stringer, helping develop fellow Jefferson College Hall of Fame inductee Rita Fisher and the 1987 Jefferson team that finished as the NJCAA National Tournament runner-up. Stringer had this to say about Lawson: “Geri was one of those great players that you can still visualize playing. She was dynamic and intense and had one of the best vertical jumps of all of my players. She was a strong leader as well as a tremendous player, but most of all, she was, and still is a person of great character. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach and work with Geri and lucky to have her in my life.”
Today, Lawson-Brown is a special education teacher in the Desoto School District and serves as the indistrict autism consultant. Lawson and her husband Dennis reside in Barnhart, Missouri. Lawson is particularly proud of her two children, son Ryan and daughter Rachel. Daughter, Rachel Davis, is an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher at Windsor Elementary School and son Ryan Weik, is a math teacher and football coach at Crystal City High School. Rachel also followed in her mother’s footsteps and played volleyball at Jefferson College in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Ross Koenig-Baseball During Ross Koenig’s Jefferson College freshman baseball season, Spring 1999, Koenig made certain that Albert Pujols would go 0 for 2 at the plate against him. At the time Pujols was a member of the MCCMaple Woods baseball team and Koenig was an up and coming, starting right handed pitcher for the Vikings. While that particular game is not the sole reason Koenig has been inducted into the Jefferson College Athletics Hall of Fame it is indicative of the pitching performances he had throughout his career as a Jefferson College Viking and as a pitcher in the Detroit Tigers professional minor league baseball system.
Prior to joining the Jefferson College baseball program Koenig was a standout performer for the Crystal City Hornets where he played multiple positions. Upon enrolling at Jefferson College Koenig’s role was more defined and his coach, Dave Oster, helped Koenig make the permanent conversion to the pitching mound. Koenig’s progress his freshman year earned him an opportunity to play for NJCAA Team USA in the summer of 1999 when he pitched against the best players of Canadian national team, Team Canada.
Armstrong Atlantic State University also recognized Koenig’s pitching potential and Koenig accepted a scholarship offer and pitched for the Savannah based university in Spring 2001. That year at Armstrong Atlantic was all Koenig needed to impress professional scouts and it became clear that the Detroit Tigers were interested. In 2001 Koenig reported to Oneonta, NY for “A” ball with the Tigers organization. From there he advanced to the Lakeland, Florida based Tigers minor league affiliate in 2002 and in 2003 reported to Michigan where he played for the West Michigan Whitecaps of “A” ball.
Upon retiring from professional baseball Koenig returned to college to complete degree requirements from the University of Missouri-St. Louis where he earned a teaching certificate in secondary education in 2005. Koenig’s first job after graduation was an account executive position with the St. Louis Rams professional football team. A return to Crystal City High School was the next stop on Koenig’s career ladder and it was there he taught social studies and discovered coaching was in his future. Today Koenig can also count five years of experience at Jefferson R-7 high school as a social studies teacher and varsity baseball coach among his many achievements.
Koenig resides in Festus, Missouri with his wife Jenny and two children and in addition to spending time with his family he also enjoys time on the golf course.