Berkeley High School (BHS) has a rich and extensive history, and with that history comes numerous storied alumni. From hugely important political activists such as co-founder of the Black Panther party, Bobby Seale, to comedians such as Andy Samberg, we’ve had quite a few famous people come out of our school. Many of our students who have gone on to do big things in the public spotlight are athletes. With graduates from the 1920s to graduates as recent as 2015, Berkeley High continues to churn out professional athletes.
In past years a large number of former BHS students have found success at the professional level in the sports world. Franny Cerny, older sister of current BHS soccer player Lucca Cerny, played BHS soccer, is now playing professional soccer in Europe. Upon asking Cerny about her experiences as a high school, college, and now as a professional athlete, she spoke about her journey as a soccer player. After BHS, she went to DePaul University, and played for all four years. She loved the program there and just recently finished her last season.
After her final season, she was offered a contract by a professional soccer team, Slavia Praha, which is based out of the Czech Republic, where some of Cerny’s family is from. Cerny began playing with their team in the beginning of March. Due to this timing, she was eligible to play for the Czech Republic’s Champions League team.
The Union of European Football Association (UEFA) holds an annual Champions League competition, and the best European soccer clubs play in it. Cerny got a chance to compete for the Czech Republic, which was a very exciting experience for her, she said. She made her professional debut during the Champions League game against Bayern Munich, a professional German club soccer team. Her team is now finishing league play, which she has been active in, scoring six goals so far this season. She expressed excitement in approaching the end of her season, in the hope that her team might have a chance to win their league.
Carlin Hudson graduated BHS in 2014 and went on to captain the Yale women’s soccer team. She was already starting games during her freshman year, but unfortunately tore her ACL during the first game of her sophomore year, so she was out for the rest of that year. In her junior year, she came back and was a starter again, and then senior year she was voted captain. Shortly thereafter, she was drafted by the North Carolina Courage in January 2018. After graduation she moved to Raleigh full time. Her team won the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) championship last year. She returned to BHS in the offseason to coach girls’ BHS soccer. Just recently she moved teams and is now playing for the Washington Spirit.
While these are two very recent examples of BHS athletes who found success after their high school careers, BHS has other extremely well known athletes who went pro. One of the more famous people who graduated from BHS is Billy Martin. Martin played baseball at BHS, and then went on to play in the Major League Baseball (MLB) for a few different teams including the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins. However, Martin’s biggest claim to fame was his illustrious yet extremely controversial managerial career. While Martin became one of the winningest managers in MLB history, he was fired and rehired more than any other managers in MLB history. He is, however, widely regarded as an incredible manager, and is one of the more recognizable names to come out of BHS, as he managed the Yankees to a World Series championship, and was very popular as the manager for the Oakland Athletics. While BHS is certainly not renowned for its athletic department, these alumni are a testament to some of the deceptively strong programs at BHS.