On Dec. 15 2017, the Mark Morris Hall of Fame grew by six names. These inductees are former Mark Morris athletes as well as staff who work to support student athlete success at Mark Morris.
Laura McInnis, Class of 1983
While attending Mark Morris High School, Laura participated and excelled in volleyball, basketball and softball. The sport at which she was most successful is basketball. During her senior year, Laura was named the Most Valuable Player at the District tournament. In addition she led the state of Washington in scoring. Those who remember watching Laura play reminisce that her scoring average would have been much higher with the three-point shot line as she was an outstanding outside shooter. After high school Laura played one year of volleyball and two years of basketball at Lower Columbia College. As at Mark Morris, Laura set scoring records in basketball while playing at Lower Columbia College. From 1988 to 1992 Laura served in the United States Air Force. While serving in the Air Force, Laura was selected to play basketball for the Pacific Air Force Team. Laura presently resides in Salem, Oregon.
Shawn Merz, Class of 1989
From 1986 to 1989 Shawn was a three-year starter in both football and basketball. Shawn was another mainstay on the 1987 and 1988 Mark Morris football teams. During his junior and senior year, Shawn was honored as the GSHL defensive lineman of the year. He excelled on offense as well, and in one game he had 13 receptions. The basketball teams that Shawn played on finished 2nd in state, first in state, participated at state and 4th in state. Shawn is the third all-time leading rebounder in Mark Morris history. After high school Shawn participated at the University of Montana in football and college rodeo. Shawn was a four-year letterman in football and was a defensive starter as an upper classman. He is on the all-time lists for career sacks at Montana. In rodeo, Shawn twice qualified for nationals in bull-dogging.
Carol (Smith) Ruiz, Class of 1988
Carol was a three-sport athlete at Mark Morris, earning eleven varsity letters in soccer, basketball and track. Her senior year, Carol was named the GSHL Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year. Later that spring Carol finished 4th at the state track meet in the javelin. Carol was a captain in each sport season during both her junior and senior year. Throughout her high school career, Carol participated in marching band and pep band and, as a senior, she was honored as an all-state trumpet player. Smith-Ruiz attended Washington State University from 1989 -1993, earning her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. In 1995 Carol earned her Masters of Science at WSU in Civil Engineering. Carol was an outstanding college student, graduating Cum Laude and was named to the Pac-10 Track and Field All-Academic team in 1991, 1992 and 1993. While at W.S.U., Carol participated in Track and Field and was captain her Senior year. Her career-best javelin throw at W.S.U. was 153’2” in 1991. This mark met the NCAA provisional standard. Carol presently resides in Longview. Both of her daughters have attended Mark Morris.
Lisa Verage, Mark Morris Head Volleyball Coach 1993 to 2012
During her twenty-year tenure as head volleyball coach, Lisa Verage’s overall record was 352-172, a 67% winning percentage. Nine times Lisa’s teams won the league title. In 1995, 2001 and 2004 Mark Morris won District titles under Lisa’s direction. Twelve of Coach Verage’s teams qualified for the state tournament with her 1995 team and her 2002 team finishing 3rd at state. On eleven occasions, Lisa was recognized as Coach of the Year by her peers. A number of Lisa’s former players have gone into coaching, including the present head coaches at Mark Morris High School and Woodland High School. Lisa is a 1983 graduate of R.A. Long High School. Lisa participated in Volleyball, Basketball, and Softball for the Lumberjills. Lisa earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education at Western Washington University and Master of Arts in Education at the University of Portland. This is her twenty-ninth year as a teacher in the Longview Public Schools. Ms. Verage is the Physical Education Specialist at Kessler Elementary School.
Jocelyn Schauer, Mark Morris Teacher 1982 to the present
Jocelyn has been a fixture at Mark Morris High School for thirty-six years. Since her first year at Mark Morris, Ms. Schauer has been the scorekeeper for the girls’ basketball teams. From 1987 to present, Jocelyn has been the scorekeeper for the boys’ basketball teams. In the fall Jocelyn is the gym supervisor for volleyball and in the spring she is the clerk of the course at track meets. When not working in an official capacity at an event, Jocelyn has been a loyal and avid supporter of all Mark Morris athletic teams. In addition, Ms. Schauer has been the FBLA advisor during her entire tenure at Mark Morris. Jocelyn is a 1974 graduate of Curtis High School. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Washington State University and her Master of Arts in Business Education from Central Washington University.
Andy Mason, Class of 1989
Andy was an outstanding two-sport athlete at Mark Morris during the late 1980’s. In track and field, Andy combined speed and strength. He was a member of the school record 4 x 100 relay team which ran a 43.17 in 1988. His school record in the javelin of 203’11” was set in 1989 and still stands today. As well as track and field, Andy excelled in football. During his junior season, the Monarchs were league champions and qualified for the state quarterfinals. In Andy’s senior year, Mark Morris went to post-season play. Andy’s abilities were recognized by those at the collegiate level where he was offered a scholarship to play at the University of Washington. Andy was a four-year letterman at the University of Washington between 1990 and 1993. He was a three-year defensive starter for the Huskies, including the undefeated 1991 team, that many pundits claim was the greatest defensive team ever in the Pac-10. Andy was selected team captain his senior year. Andy still ranks 6th in UW history in career sacks and career tackle for loss yards. He ranks 8th in UW history in career tackles for loss.