2023 Hall of Fame Inductees

Read about the entire class to be inducted for spring 2023

Quinn Fuerst, Cardinal Nation Contributor

After many years of not being able to induct people into the Mentor High School Athletic Hall of Fame, MHS will be inducting two classes on March 25. They will then induct another class in the fall of 2023. The induction will take place on March 25 at 6 p.m. in the Mentor high School Fine Arts Center with a reception at the St. John Vianney Social Center. This year they will induct the 2012 and 2013 Football teams, 2012-13 Boys Basketball team, 1990 Volleyball team, coaches Steve Trivisonno and Nestor Janiak, alums Katie Hine, Kristin Koval, Mitch Trubisky, Conner Krizancic, and Brandon Fritts, and superfans Joe Miller and Karl Paul. Read on for a brief profile of each of these new inductees.

2012 Football Team

Led by head coach Steve Trivisonno, the 2012 Mentor Cardinals finished the season with a 12-2 record.  They were Northeast Ohio conference champions, Region 1 champions reaching the State Final Four. Led by Mr. Ohio football quarterback Mitch Trubisky, the team racked up over 7,000 total yards for the season and scored 650 points. The team averaged 46 points a game, holding the opposition to 27 points per game. They defeated Warren Harding in the playoff opener, then had back to back thrilling games defeating St Edward with a 28 point 4th quarter comeback and then a 57-56 triple overtime win over St. Ignatius by completing an all-or-nothing 2-point conversion to win the game. They fell short in the state semifinal, losing to eventual State Runner-Up Toledo Whitmer.

2013 Football Team

Led by head coach Steve Trivisonno, the 2013 Mentor Cardinals finished the season with a 13-2 record. They were Northeast Ohio conference champions, Region 1 champions, and state runner up. Led by Division 1 All-Ohio Player of the Year Conner Krizancic, the Cards racked up almost 7,000 yards of total offense. They scored 620 points for the season, averaging 41 points a game while holding their opponents to a 16 point per game average. The Cards opened the playoffs with wins over Brunswick and Stow before dominating St. Ignatius to head to the  Regional Final. In the State semifinal they battled St. Edward, coming out on top 41-38 to head to the State Championship. The Cards lost a back and forth battle 55-52 to Archbishop Moeller to end the season as State Runner-Up.

2012-13 Boys Basketball Team

Led by Head Coach Bob Krizancic, the 2012-2013 Boys Basketball team won the Division 1 State Championship with a 23-5 season record. Mentor reached new heights as All-Ohio guard Jeff Forman led a balanced scoring team of six players with 200 plus points to gain a sixth consecutive District Title with a victory over East Technical. The Cardinals moved on to the regional round at Cleveland State University and defeated North Canton Hoover in the semi final game, avenging two earlier league losses to Shaker Heights in the Regional Title game to earn their second Final Four berth in Columbus. After upsetting #1 ranked and previously unbeaten Columbus Northland in the semi-final game, the Cards defeated Toledo Rogers in the final to earn the right to cut down the nets and bring home the program’s first boys basketball State Title and Championship trophy.

1990 Volleyball Team

Led by Head Coach Rich Woodman, the 1990 edition of the Mentor Cardinals Volleyball team advanced to the state volleyball tournament for the 2nd consecutive year. They advanced to the State Final Four with a Regional Championship victory over Magnificat. Considering the team only had three returning non-starters from the previous state team, their accomplishment was phenomenal, ending the season as greater Cleveland Conference Champions, District Champions and Regional Champions posting an overall record of 23-5.

Joe Miller

Joe Miller was a member of the Class of 1984. He never played a down for Mentor High School Football but was the pride of the Cardinals, roaming the sidelines for 35 years as a defining and consistent staple woven and developed through Mentor football traditions. Joe’s journey started in 1982 as a sophomore when he was the team water boy, continuing his junior and senior years as the team manager and his longevity as a supporter lasted through five head coaches. He encompassed all the accolades and customs found in the motto “Once a Card, always a Card” and bled Cardinal red and gray throughout his whole life. He witnessed some of the most highlighted football seasons and was always loved by all coaches and players that walked through the tunnels of Mentor High School. Over time he was seen as the team’s biggest supporter at Mentor and he was always willing to help and contribute in any way needed.

Steve Trivosonno

Steve Trivisonno was the head football coach from 1997 to 2019. Over 22 years he had a record of 209-70. He had 13 conference tournaments, 16 playoff appearances, 6 time Region 1 champion, 4 time region 1 runner up, and 4 time state runner up. His many honors include the Varsity Gold Ohio Coach of the Year (2007), the Ohio North/South All-Star Game Head Coach (2004), the National Football Foundation Paul Brown Coach of the Year (2006), the Cleveland TD Club Coach of the Year (2002 & 2007), the Dr. Lee Tressel Award (2003 & 2006), Plain-Dealer Lake County Coach of the Year in (1998, 2002-3, 2006-7, 2013 and 2017), the Cleveland Browns Coach of the Year (2002 & 2019), the News-Herald Coach of the Year (2002, 2013, 2017, and 2019), the Lake County Touchdown Club Coach of the Year (2002-3, 2006-7, 2010-14, 2017-19) he won, and District Coach of the Year and State of Ohio, Division 1 Coach of the Year (2019).

Kristin Koval

Kristin Koval played volleyball and graduated in 1999. She was a three-year varsity letter winner. Kristin earned Lake Erie League 1st team (1997-98), 2nd team News-Herald (1997), the News-Herald Player of the Year (1998), 1st team All-Lake County (1997) and the Mentor Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year (1997). In 1998 she was 1st team All-District. Over her career at Mentor Kristin had 88% serve percentage with 28 aces, 323 kills, 94% serve reception, 161 digs, and an 82% hitting percentage. She went on to receive a Division 1 scholarship to play volleyball at Ohio University.

Conner Krizancic

Conner Krizancic played football and basketball at Mentor and went on to play football at the University of Minnesota. In football from 2011 to 2013 he was a varsity letter winner with a 36-6 team record. In 2011 he was 1st Team All NOC, 2nd Team News-Herald, and 2nd Team Northeast District. In 2012 he was 1st Team All NOC, 1st Team Lake County, 1st Team All News-Herald, 1st Team All Northeast District, and Honorable Mention All-Ohio. In 2013 he was Mentor High School Offensive MVP, NOC Offensive Player of the Year, Lake County Offensive Player of the Year, 1st Team News Herald, 1st Team Northeast District, 1st Team All Ohio, Tony Fisher Award Winner, Northeast District Offensive Player of the Year, and Division 1 Offensive Player of the Year in the State of Ohio. His career stats: Passing: 228/377, 3,222 yards, 32 TD. Receiving: 115 receptions, 1,840 yards, 26 TD, 16.0 avg. Rushing: 295 car, 1,971 yards, 33 TD, 6.7 avg. In basketball he scored 961 career points. Over his four years of playing he was All Northeast Ohio Conference 3 times. In 2014 he was 2nd team All Northeast District and in 2013 was on the State All Tournament Team. 

Brandon Fritts

Brandon Fritts played with Krizancic on both the basketball and football teams. He was the 2013 football captain. On the football team in 2011 he was 1st Team All NOC, 2nd Team News-Herald, 2nd Team Northeast District. In 2012 he was 1st Team All NOC, 1st Team All Lake County, 1st Team News-Herald, 1st Team All Northeast District, 1st Team All Ohio. In 2013 he was 1st Team All NOC, 1st Team All Lake County, 1st Team News-Herald, 1st Team All Northeast District, 1st Team All Ohio. Over his 4 years he had 195 receptions, 3,245 yards, 38 TD, 16.6 avg. In basketball he was All Northeast Ohio Conference and All Ohio Special Mention in 2013. He played college football at University of North Carolina.

Karl Paul

For nearly 55 years Karl Paul was an ardent supporter of Mentor High School Athletics.  He was a regular at football, basketball, wrestling, ice hockey, baseball, softball as well as track and field competitions. It is an understatement to say that Karl was involved with and a supporter of his four daughters and their activities at Mentor High, whether it was marching band, choral music, academic or athletic. When he was in his mid 90s, Karl (and his two buddies- who made up the Terrific Trio) could be seen in the stands at various home and away sporting events. Karl was still attending games a few months before his death in April 2021 at the age of 97. He never wavered in his support of Mentor Cardinal Athletics.