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Like Father, Like Son: A Longhorn Football Story

Staff Reports | Tuesday, October 2, 2018

NaimsThere’s something special in the air on early September Friday evenings at Alumni Field. A new school year has begun, our community fills the stands to cheer on our Longhorns, the marching band plays the fight song, and our cheerleaders boost our collective school spirit.

But Friday evening, September 7th, 2018 was especially memorable for the Naim family.

Gary Naim '86 and wife Patti can be found in the stands at every Lutheran West football game. Gary and Patti are the parents of alumni Derek '14 and Kevin '16, and current senior Shawn, and Gary is a proud LW alumnus. He remembers fondly the Fall 1985 football season, when the team won the Inland Conference Championship and the Longhorn community enjoyed an exciting, one-of-a-kind season.

Fall 1985 was also the year that Gary's name was placed on the Lutheran West athletic record boards. He set a record for career catches (68) -- a record which held firm for thirty-three years.

On Friday, September 7th, Gary and Patti watched from the stands as his long-standing record was finally broken -- by their youngest son, Shawn. 

Shawn humbly stated, "It’s nice to break my dad’s record, but that couldn’t happen without my teammates and coaches. Our quarterbacks have done a great job throwing the ball to me, the offense is blocking well, and the entire is team pushing me to be better. It’s a team thing.”

Gary Naim says he's surprised the record stood for so long. "Since my three boys came to Lutheran West and played football, I guess I kind of dreamt that maybe one of them would break my records,” says Naim, “When my oldest son, Derek, was a senior, his teammate Brad Warnkin ‘14 came within a few catches of reaching my career record. I was really rooting for him because he was really good and it would be great if my son’s teammate broke the record. He ended up being a few catches short. So I’m beyond thrilled now that Shawn, the last of our sons to go through the 
program, was able to break that record. It’s been there too long.”

The Naim family are residents of Brecksville and attend Royal Redeemer. Gary is the president of Petros Homes, and Patti now works at Lutheran West as our library coordinator.  

Their eldest son, Derek '14, is beginning his career at Henkel Corporation as a product manager. Their son Kevin is a junior at Belmont University in Nashville, where he is studying business.  

Shawn will graduate from Lutheran West in 2019 and plans to play football in college while studying Biology or Environmental Science.   

We'll look forward to thirty years from now, when the next generation of Naims suits up in Longhorn uniforms.

The 1985 Lutheran West Football Team


Lutheran West
3850 Linden Road
Rocky River, Ohio 44116-4099

Phone: 440.333.1660
Fax: 440.333.1729

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