Inducted 1992. Three-Sport Standout. Played Football at University of Notre Dame. Class of 1961.
Jim attended both Notre Dame and Christian Brothers High Schools and graduated in 1961. During his four year high school career he compiled outstanding accomplishments as a four year letterman in basketball and track and a 3 year letterman in football.
Midway through his freshman year he was moved up to the varsity level in basketball and logged enough playing time to letter. His most memorable game was against QHS his freshman year when he played the entire 4th quarter and went 9-9 from the free throw line to help his team beat QHS in the regular final and that team went on to finish 2nd in the state. He was co-captain of the basketball team his senior year and was an All-state selection.
Jim lettered in track all four years and was captain of the track team his senior year. He qualified for the State finals in the 120 yard high hurdles in both his junior and senior years. During his senior year Jim finished 1st in the 120 yard hurdles in all six meets that he was entered in and was captain of the team.
On the football field is where Jim really excelled. He lettered three years, was the co-captain his senior year and was an All-state selection as well as an All-American special mention selection.
Jim attended the University of Notre Dame on a football scholarship. Freshmen weren’t eligible to play on the varsity league at that time but Rakers made his mark by playing both offense and defense his sophomore and junior years. An injury cut short his senior season and ended his hopes of playing professional football after he had already been contacted by NFL Cowboys, Rams and Cardinals.
Jim was a teammate of such stars as Nick Buoniconti, Jim Kelly, Daryle Lamonica, Jack Snow and his roommate was Heisman trophy winner John Huarte. Ara Parseghian was his coach during his senior year.
Jim lives in Scottsdale, Arizona now along with his wife, Pat, and their two children, James 19, and Cathy 17.