On Friday, October 22, 2021, Kentucky Country Day School inducted its newest members of the Athletic Hall of Fame and Royal Bearcat Society. The ceremony took place at halftime during the Homecoming football game against Eminence High School.
The unique and impressive class of inductees, includes our first ever Royal Bearcat Society "Team," as well as the first "Notable Individual' inducted to the Hall of Fame.
Royal Bearcat Society Inductees
*Royal Bearcat Society is the highest KCD athletics honor providing retired jersey status.
Will D. Smith ’13 (Baseball)
Mr. Smith is the most accomplished baseball player in KCD Bearcat history. Will was a two time All-State, and Region 7 Player of the Year along with being Kentucky Prep Baseball Player of the Year. He broke nearly every hitting and pitching record for the Bearcats while leading them to KHSAA regional semifinals. He advanced his baseball career at the University of Louisville, where he was named Regional All-Tourney, All-ACC, and team captain for the Cardinals. In 2016 after his junior year, Will was regarded as the sixth best catcher in the draft and was selected as a first round Major League Baseball pick with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After the draft, Will initially spent time in development leagues, including the Double A Tulsa Drillers and Triple A Oklahoma City Dodgers. In 2019, Mr. Smith was elevated as the starting catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers and was named to the Major League Baseball All-Rookie Team.
1974 Field Hockey Team (with Margaret Cregor Bell, the team's chief organizer)
The 1974 Field Hockey Team was first league or state regular season field hockey champion for KCD. In its third season since the co-ed merger of the Kentucky Home Tigers with Louisville Country Day, the Bearcats were unstoppable. The 1974 KCD squad completed an undefeated season, sporting 12 wins to 0 losses. KCD Hall of Fame Head Coach Barbara Tway Beam and Jean Bade were able to win the preseason Apple Tournament and coast to twelve straight victories. The 1974 team allowed only 2 goals with 83% of their games being shutouts (both figures are school records), while possessing a strong and effective offensive line. Because of their balance and total dominance on the field, the 1974 Field Hockey team will receive the highest KCD athletic honor, becoming inductees into the Royal Bearcat Society.
Hall of Fame Inductees
Brian Heil ’90 (Baseball)
Mr. Heil is recognized as being the top pitcher to the outstanding 1990 Bearcat baseball team which won 17 games against 7 losses. Brian collected a career total of 15 pitching victories against a mere 6 losses during an era with fewer scheduled games than today. Some other notable achievements include pitching 41 strikeouts in 1989 (including 12 strikeouts in an individual game), a no-hitter in 1990, and a 1990 season ERA of 1.72. All three seasons of varsity play, Brian had winning records as a pitcher. Mr. Heil was named All-District and awarded the Lowry Watkins Baseball Award (the top KCD baseball award) in 1990. Brian took his right arm to Davidson College to pitch for the Wildcats. After a successful stint at Davidson, Mr. Heil signed to compete in professional baseball. Brian pitched for Minneapolis Millers in the Great League and Jackson in AA baseball and the Braton Grey Owls in the Great League. Mr. Heil has served some years helping as a pitching coach for the Bearcats. Today, Brian lives in Louisville as an owner of a custom woodwork company.
Mike Schoenbeck ’90 (Baseball)
Mr. Schoenbeck was a slugging star for one of the most successful baseball teams in school history, the 1990 season with a record of 17 wins against 7 losses. Although there were far fewer recorded statistics recorded during Mike’s baseball days at KCD, Mr. Schoenbeck does share or own three school records today: 12 doubles in season (1988), three doubles in an individual game (1988), two triples in an individual game (1987). Some other notable baseball highlights include a .480 season batting percentage (1988), 14 season stolen bases (1990), 23 season RBIs (1988), and 9 career home runs. He was twice named All-District (1989, 1990), and he received the 1987 Lowry Watkins Baseball Award which is the highest award presented to a baseball player at Country Day. Mike continued his baseball career competing for Elon College in North Carolina.
Dick Aylor (Voice of the Bearcats, Notable Individual)
Mr. Aylor was known for being the “Voice of the Bearcats” for over three decades announcing at Bearcat home football, boys and girls basketball games. Being the longest serving faculty member with 45 years of service, Mr. Aylor never spent a year without helping the athletic program. He initially served as an assistant basketball coach and team bus driver for away games. But for the last thirty years, Dick would announce games for Bearcat athletics. His dignified tenure and commitment to Bearcat athletics are unmatched with his years of notable service. Today, Mr. Aylor is retired and living in Louisville.