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Hall of Fame Induction at Rock Bridge High

Friday, February 12, 2010 | 11:14 p.m. CST
From left to right, ball boys Logan Reuter, 10, Luke Bley, 11, and Rock Bridge Booster Club Vice President Ron Schmidt present Steve Moore, Gary Tapp, John Donovan, Joan Pauly Upperman, and Jack Roach with plaques commemorating their induction into the Rock Bridge High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Friday night.

COLUMBIA — The Bruins put on a good show for some important alumni.

At the intermission of a Rock Bridge boy's basketball blow out against the Westport Tigers of Kansas City, five Bruin greats were welcomed onto the court to be inducted into the Rock Bridge High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

The Bruins sent the the Tigers home with an 87-46 loss Friday night.  Senior guard Ricky Kreklow finished with 14 points along with three other Bruins who scored double digits.  The win moves the Bruins to 18-5 overall while the Tigers fall to 2-10 on the season.

John Donovan, Gary Tapp, Jack Roach, Joan Pauly Upperman and Steve Moore came back to their alma mater to take their place among other greats in the Hall of Fame.  Donovan, who now lives in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, said the honor was especially meaningful to him.

"It means so much to me," Donovan, who graduated in 1975, said. "My dad just died in September. We were the first father-son wrestling champions. He's in the Missouri Military Academy Hall of Fame."

His father, Col. Timothy Donovan, was a scholarship athlete at MU, a Vietnam veteran, Purple Heart recipient but most importantly a father and inspiration for Donovan.

"Dad always wanted me to do what I wanted to do," Donovan said. "The unintentional parallels between he and I are odd. He never set himself as the goal."

Donovan's wife, Beth, was happy to see her husband recognized for his time as a Bruin.

"I'm really proud," she said. "We still have all the pictures hanging up on the wall from when John was here. It means the world to him."

When Rock Bridge High opened, Donovan decided to transfer from Hickman to attend the brand new school where he became a standout athlete.

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He was the captain of the football team and an all-conference, all-district and all-state player. As a wrestler, coached by his father, he was conference champion, district champion and regional champion before winning the first state championship for Rock Bridge his senior year.

"All my wrestling records have fallen, but I'm still the first state champion here," Donovan said. "Can't take that away."

After graduating from Rock Bridge he followed his father's footsteps once again and entered the Army.  Once he retired from the service, he started using his knowledge and love for the military to operate a military blog which receives 5000-7000 hits a month and is updated multiple times a day. The blog also got him invited to the White House to meet former President Bush in 2007.

With all the awards and recognition that Donovan has received throughout his life, he will always remain a Bruin.

"I'm very impressed with where Rock Bridge has come," Donovan said. "The school, the students, the programs."


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