News & Events

Waubonsee Honors Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

four former athletes pose in front of a backdrop
Dr. Tara (Tormey) Parks, Alex Rodriguez, Omi Acosta and Scott Walter Kawall (clockwise from top left) were recently inducted into Waubonsee Community College’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Waubonsee Community College inducted four new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame during the college’s annual Athletic Banquet on May 7. Omi Acosta, Scott Walter Kawall, Dr. Tara (Tormey) Parks and Alex Rodriguez were chosen to form the ninth class of the Waubonsee Athletic Hall of Fame for their involvement in sports, dedication to Waubonsee, athletic successes, and contributions to the community or career accomplishments earned after leaving Waubonsee.

“We are proud to recognize the success of our student-athletes, as well as the coaches, administrators and community supporters who helped to foster that success,” Waubonsee Athletic Manager Dave Randall said. “Waubonsee athletics has a rich history in contributing to the total development of our students and to the campus community as a whole.”

Omi Acosta was a stand-out wrestler for the Chiefs, finishing fifth in the NJCAA National Tournament and earning All-American status as a freshman in 2008-09. He only improved his sophomore year, winning the National Title, leading the Chiefs to a fourth place finish in the nation among Division III teams and being named Waubonsee’s Male Athlete of the Year.

Acosta went on to Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he had similar success, winning the National Title his senior year and leading the school to its first ever NAIA National Championship. He now serves as an assistant wrestling coach for the United States Coast Guard Academy while pursuing his master’s degree in sports science at Ohio University.

Scott Kawall played baseball for the Chiefs from 1985-87, and during that time, he earned a reputation for and broke records with his speed on the base paths. In his sophomore year he led Region IV with 51 stolen bases, a Waubonsee record that stood until 2013. Kawall still holds the Chiefs’ records for most career stolen bases and walks.

He attended the University of San Diego on a baseball scholarship, earning a bachelor’s degree there in 1992 before going on to earn a master’s degree in adult and continuing education from Northern Illinois University. Over the past two decades, Kawall has built a career in educational advising and admissions work, currently serving as the College Director at ITT Technical Institute.

A cross-country runner, Dr. Tara (Tormey) Parks was the consummate student-athlete, excelling both in the classroom and on the trail. Attending Waubonsee as a Gustafson Scholar, she took first place at the Skyway Conference meet and was named the conference’s Runner of the Year as a freshman. She repeated as conference champ the following year and went on to finish 40th in the nation, being named Waubonsee’s 1996-97 Female Athlete of the Year and earning Academic All-American honors in the process.

She transferred on to Southern Illinois University, where she ran cross-country and earned her bachelor’s degree in physiology. Having earned a doctorate at the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at the Franklin University of Medicine and Science, Parks now serves as the foot and ankle specialist in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at the Boulder Medical Center in Colorado.

Just as Parks was leading Waubonsee’s female cross-country teams from 1995 to 1997, Alex Rodriguez was leading the men’s teams. After taking All-Skyway honors his freshman year, Rodriguez went on to become the Skyway Conference champion, the league’s Runner of the Year, Region IV champion and Waubonsee’s Male Athlete of the Year his sophomore season.

Like Parks, Rodriguez went on to run at Southern Illinois University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in automotive technology. Rodriguez also holds a master’s degree in workforce education, and has taught automotive, metals and welding at Oswego High School for the past 13 years. He has also coached cross country and track at the high school.

The Waubonsee Athletic Hall of Fame honors former Waubonsee administrators, faculty and staff; athletes; coaches; community supporters; and specific teams who are five years removed from their involvement with Waubonsee athletics.