Although Karen Hyland wasn’t the first female athlete of note at Marysville High School, she was one during a time in which girls sports were beginning to gain prominence.
Hyland was an all-conference athlete in three different sports during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Her career will be recognized Friday evening when she is inducted into the Marysville High School Athletic Hall of Fame, along with Chase Blackburn and Keith Slone.
The ceremony will mark the 20th anniversary of the Hall of Fame.
Hyland earned Central Buckeye League honors in volleyball, basketball and softball.
She ranks 13th on the school’s girls basketball scoring list with 549 points and is ninth in both field goals (215) and free throws (119) made.
Hyland also had a big softball season in 1983 when she posted a 4-2 pitching record and batted .351.
“I was shocked and overwhelmed when I learned I was going into the Hall of Fame,” said Hyland. “How could you not be?
“It’s a nice honor to be recognized as a Hall of Fame member and it’s amazing to me.”
Hyland said she has seen a huge evolution in girls sports since she played for the Lady Monarchs more than 30 years ago.
“The fitness and conditioning programs have greatly improved,” she said, adding that equipment for girls teams has greatly improved and that girls sports in general have grown by “leaps and bounds.
“Marysville school officials were quick to recognize Title IX,” she said. “That’s what gave us (females) a start.”
Title IX is the federal law that was passed in the early 1970s that mandated equal athletic opportunities for females.
She remembers a time when girls sports were very modest in stature.
“We didn’t have a girls basketball team when I was in middle school,” Hyland said. “I started playing in the YMCA’s YBA (Youth Basketball Association) under the direction of Steve Youmans when I was in the fifth grade.”
Hyland began her ball diamond career by playing baseball in the Marysville Junior Baseball Association. She went on to play for three years.
Hyland said her favorite sports memory at MHS was winning CBL basketball championships under Hall of Fame coach Tom Edgar during her sophomore and senior seasons.
Dawn Burns, another Hall of Fame member, was a teammate in the Lady Monarch hoop program.
Following graduation, Hyland went to The Ohio State University, where she played softball for the Lady Buckeyes for four years.
She was the starting third baseman and earned All-Big Ten Academic accolades.
“It was an awesome experience,” said Hyland.
Upon graduating from OSU, Hyland spent two years as a math teacher at Hamilton Township. She also helped coach the girls basketball team.
She has been a teacher at Marysville High School for the past 28 years and currently serves as the chairman of the math department.
Hyland also helped fellow Hall of Famer Larry Fox coach the Lady Monarch softball team for a year.
Going into the Hall of Fame during the same year as Blackburn and Slone is special to her.
“I taught both Chase and Keith when they were in high school,” she said.
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