Skip Navigation


Counting Down to Our 50th Graduating Class: 1985-1989

February 27, 2023
By Lake Catholic

When the doors to Lake Catholic High School opened in 1970, 221 ninth graders walked through. It was the beginning of something new and exciting.

A few years ago, the school celebrated its 50th anniversary of those school doors opening. The celebration, however, was muted because of the global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus. 

Those 221 students, back then, eventually became the first graduating class of Lake Catholic. That was in 1974. One by one, year by year, students continued their march through high school and eventually across the stage to receive their diplomas, adding to the number graduating classes. So now, not slowed by the pandemic, we are able to countdown the months until we can celebrate Lake Catholic High School’s 50th graduating class – the Class of 2023.

As we move toward May 20, 2023, when this year’s seniors will turn their tassels and become alumni, we will look back at the decades of classes that came before them. 

We took a look at the 1970s (’74-’79) last month. And the early ‘80s earlier this month.

Today we highlight the second half of the 1980s (’85-’89). Images from all these memories can be found on the school’s Communications page.


Who remembers the Big Brother/Big Sister Committee and the Child Development Class? No one played a better pilgrim than the English Department’s Mr. Tomba! Kudos to State Wrestling Champion Mike Sullivan, 3-time state wrestling qualifier John Sullivan and 3-time wrestling sectional district champion Steve Prelock; and we can’t forget the “masters of mayhem” on the football field – the Sullivan brothers! Lake Catholic produced another outstanding musical in “Oklahoma”; and yes, even the seniors couldn’t wait to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas! And, the Class of ‘85 shared their Roses and Thorns – highlighting the good and the bad (as they saw it) during their four years at Lake Catholic.


The Class of 1986 included the Riding Club; outstanding performances by the Girls Varsity Basketball Cheerleaders, LC Singers and the outstanding Cougar Marching Band. Congrats to the Softball team for being crowned North Coast League Champions as well as Northeast Ohio High School Slow Pitch Champions. Lake Catholic athletics could not be as successful as they were without the riveting pep rallies or the comical antics of Coach Miley’s football track team! The faculty always supported the students, including the Ursuline Sisters at Lake Catholic - Principal Sr. St. Ann (Catherine) Waldron, OSU and Sr. Mercia Madigan, OSU. The Class of ‘86’s student body leaders, along with the other classes’ leaders planned unique programs such as the Clown ministry and events that celebrated Peace Week as well as the school’s big 15th Anniversary. If you can’t remember the winners of the senior poll, we’ve shared them all.


Highlights from the Class of 1987 included the outstanding performances by the Boys and Girls Track & Field and Cross Country Teams – sending team members to the State Championships; the Gymnastics Team enjoyed its second straight undefeated season, were crowned Sectional Champs and went to the State Championships; and the Boys Basketball Team was District Champions. Fr. Marty Polito joined Lake Catholic as its first Chaplain and the school produced another stellar musical in “Fiddler On The Roof”. The 1987 National Honor Society’s members represented the student body’s academic leaders, and the Prom Aide event proved to be a great success. Lake Catholic’s Homecoming Queen and her date kept the spark alive long after high school and sent their two daughters to their alma mater to continue the legacy! The senior poll’s Most Likely to Succeed pair really did just that – both becoming physicians in their own rights. The Class of ‘87 took a “Stroll Down Memory Lane” before they bid farewell to Cougar Country and topped it all off with one final group photo in the gym.


The Class of '88 included outstanding performances by the Boys Varsity Basketball Team; the Varsity Wrestling Team and the Girls Varsity Softball Team. Lake Catholic started its Mock Trial Team and had three National Merit Scholarship Finalists. Ricky Osborne and Mr. Grebenc had frequent discussions on academic topics throughout the school year as well. Lake Catholic produced a wonderful production of the Broadway hit, “Guys and Dolls;” and celebrated its annual Homecoming Nominees, Queen and King; the annual Turkey Day service event and the Senior Girls vs Faculty Volleyball game. Students enjoyed Career Week and capped off the year with Commencement. Tom Gibbons had a message for all regarding his Cougar Class – “Imitate 88!"


The Class of 1989 was the 16th graduating class, and was highlighted by the State Championship Wrestling Team, including individual state titles by Dave Kaprosy and Vic Voinovich; as well as the performing arts production of “The Pajama Game” and the LC Singers. Students were involved in service projects, participated in events and programs to help spread awareness for SADD and Teen Institute; and enjoyed a great Homecoming event. The Calm Before The Storm helped get the students and Spirit Rally committee excited to cheer the Cougars' athletic teams to success. Seniors excelled academically and received many awards, and students were also acknowledged for their performance skills in the Senior Poll. Who could have known then that the artistic talents of Thom Zahler would propel him into a renowned career as an artist/cartoonist/writer? And students capped off the year with Commencement activities that made 1989 a year to remember.

Be sure to check back next month as we continue our Countdown to the 50th Graduating Class with the first half of the classes from the 1990s (’90-’94).

Tags: Alumni

Discover Lake Catholic

Discover yourself, your faith, your future, your purpose. Become a member of the Lake Catholic Family.