2004 Inductee Karen Lepley
Few would argue that the greatest female athlete to ever wear the Bellevue red and white was Karen Lepley.
A three-sport athlete for the Lady Red, Irons excelled in volleyball, basketball, and track and field, earning a total of 10 varsity letters along the way.
In basketball, Irons helped the freshman team to a 10-0 record in 1982, leading the team in scoring, rebounds, and recoveries. She earned her first varsity letter the following year and was All-NOL honorable mention, leading the team in blocked shots.
In 1983, she helped guide the team to the NOL title, earning Most Valuable Player honors and All-NOL first team honors along the way. She led the team in scoring, rebounds, and blocked shots.
In 1984, Irons once again was chosen team MVP for the NOL runner-up Lady Red. She was All-NOL first team and All-Ohio second team.
In track and field, Irons was a member of the 1983 NOL championship team. She finished first in the 400-meter run at the regionals, finished fourth at the state in the same event, and was a member of the sixth place team at state in the 1,600 meter relay.
As a sophomore, Irons helped the team make it back-to-back NOL titles. She finished first in the 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, and high jump at districts, and was fourth in the 400 at state, third in the high hurdles, and sixth as a member of the 1,600-meter relay team.
During her junior year, the team was again crowned NOL champs as Irons was named team MVP. She was NOL champ in the 400-meter dash, and was also a member of the State Championship relay team that same season.
In her senior season, Irons once again guided the team to the NOL title and took home team MVP honors once again. She was NOL champion in the 400-meter dash and high jump events, took first in the district high jump and the 3,200 meter relay, and finished seventh at state in the high jump. Along the way, she set four school records and three Bellevue Invitational records.
But it was the sport of volleyball where Irons truly excelled. She was a member of the junior varsity squad in 1981 before joining the varsity in 1982. She was All-NOL first team in helping Bellevue to the NOL championship. The following year, Irons was team MVP for the NOL champs, All-NOL first team, All-District Six first team, and All-Ohio first team.
In 1984, Irons guided the team to the NOL title and took home team MVP honors once again. She was All-NOL first team, All-District Six first team, All-Ohio first team, and guided the Lady Red to the state semi-finals.
Irons was named the Gazette Award Winner as the top female athlete in both 1984 and 1985.