The Brookfield Warrior Hall of Fame inducted seven new members at a banquet on Oct. 16, but it was clear that one of the new inductees stood out from the rest.
Current school athletic director and long-time coach Tim Taylor called this inductee “our loyalist and truest Warrior forever.”
“She has more heart and soul for the Lady Warrior program of all the players I’ve coached,” said former coach Tim Filipovich.
They were speaking of Nicole Economides, who was inducted as a contributor to Brookfield athletics.
The 1994 Brookfield High grad is long-time manager of the girls basketball team, but is ever present at
many other Warrior sporting events.
“Back in high school, we all loved Nikki,” said inductee Paula “P.J.” Vrankovich, a 1993 grad who
excelled in basketball, cross country and track. “Nikki used to write me these little notes, when we had a
game, to wish me luck, and she would always thank me for being her friend. She truly has a heart of
“One of the most humbling aspects of this is being inducted alongside Nicole Economides,” said inductee
Kaitlyn Nasci-Lang, a 2004 grad who holds two school records in hurdles and also ran cross country and
played basketball. “She is a pillar in this community. I can’t imagine a better person with whom any of us
could share this stage.”
Nasci-Lang recalled the long, quiet bus rides home after a basketball road loss.
“Without fail, Nikki would always make us laugh,” she said. “She always sat in the last row of the school
bus with a bag of candy. She would holler out encouraging words. We’d be riding in the bus for 15
minutes and all of a sudden Nik would shout something up at us to make us feel better.”
Former girls basketball Coach Shawn Hammond, who now coaches the boys, recalled that Economides
used to work in the school cafeteria.
“She knew every athlete,” he said. “If you had your jersey on on Fridays, and Nikki was passing out
pizza, you might get the big piece. If you went through with your girlfriend, she might get the corner
piece with no cheese on it.”
In her acceptance speech, Economides said: “I love all the kids, all the coaches. I love all my friends, my
family very much, and I really love Brookfield. Thank you for being my friends.”
Aside from their fondness for Economides, many of the inductees spoke of how grateful they were to
have had the experience of the induction, which included a tailgate party and attending a football game
the day before the banquet. They said they appreciated the opportunity to meet people they knew only
through a list of accomplishments.
Speaking to inductee Charese Conyers Wright, who played basketball, volleyball and track, Vrankovich said,
“Charese, I used to look in the trophy case to see the team picture, and that tall girl in the back. I was like,
‘I hope I’m in that trophy case one of these years.’ To actually put a face with a voice in those pictures was
amazing. Kaitlyn, I saw on that record board your name, I was like, ‘Wow, she’s still got those records.’”
“This whole weekend was awesome and it was awesome because it was great to be back home,” said
Wright, a 1988 grad who lives in Lorain. “Yesterday, I got a chance to catch up with former teachers,
coaches, teammates and classmates. I got to see everyone sitting alongside parents and their children. I
got a chance to take in once again and experience first hand the rich tradition and strong community
support that only the Warrior Nation could offer. I really appreciated getting to take it in one more time.”
“It’s been quite a few years since I, probably many of the inductees, have been within the halls of
Brookfield High School,” said Trenton, Ohio resident Nasci-Lang. “And, even though this isn’t the exact
building that we attended, it somehow manages to still feel like home. That’s because of all of you. Thank
you. It’s good to be back.”
Inductee Garrett McMullin, a 2007 grad who played baseball but excelled at football and now owns and operates Yankee Run Golf Course in Brookfield, with his dad, Gary, said, “Brookfield has this really special thing here, and it’s a close-knit family. The family that is there, it’s so united to the fact that they all want the same thing for Brookfield – its success.”
“Growing up in Brookfield, it was the best thing I could ask for,” said inductee Tristan Thompson, the
2007 grad who was a state runner up in wrestling in 2006 and had an astounding career record of 165-24.
The hall also posthumously honored John Georges, whose four-year tenure as head boys basketball coach
from 1964-68 included the basketball program’s only undefeated regular season in 1967-68.
Georges, who also taught physical education, made his mark on many students – including Taylor and
“He was a great, great coach, a great motivator, and he was one of those guys that, ah, you didn’t want to
mess with,” said Taylor, who noted that “things were different back then.”
Georges’ daughter, Jolia Georges, said the induction notification started a process in which she and her family members learned many things about her dad.
“We had no idea of the achievements that my dad had as a young man, and feel so very blessed to have
had the opportunity to learn about them,” she said. “He never talked about them. In fact, the only
coaching I saw from dad was from the stands when my brother played basketball at Chaney High School
in the ’80s. My dad may or may not have been escorted out of a few games (due to) comments to the
referees, who had to remind him that he was there as a spectator.”
Over the years, the Georges family has met former players who have expressed his impact upon them,
Jolia Georges said.
“At my dad’s funeral back in 2003, many of his former students came to the wake to share condolences in
person,” she said. “He had made such a lasting impression on these fine men and women that they felt
compelled to stop by.”
The induction was the hall’s 10th in 11 years.
“We have a lot of great people in the community, great athletes, great coaches, and we are very, very
fortunate,” said Taylor, a committee member. “If you have a chance to look at our hall of fame wall,
outside the gym, you can see that we have many, many outstanding people there that we’ve honored. We
have a great group here. This is very thrilling for us to be able to do this.”