Trumbull Hall of Fame banquet scheduled Sunday
The 14th annual Trumbull County Sports Hall of Fame banquet is slated for Sunday with 13 new members set to be enshrined during ceremonies at Warren’s DiVieste’s Banquet Center, 754 North River Road.
Jim Tressel, YSU president and former head football coach of both YSU and Ohio State University, will serve as guest speaker.
The 2016 class includes Jan Burns (track and field), Carl Capellas (soccer), Tim Davis (football), Matt Emch (football), George Fetchko, III (track and field/wrestling), Gerald Lenarcic (baseball/basketball/football), Pat Merrick (football), Bill Miller (football/track and field), Ray Muche (football), Vince Peterson (football), Col. Harris E. Rogner (basketball/football), James “Jimmy” Sanders (boxing) and Frank Supancic (swimming).
Tickets are $30 each with a table of eight priced at $210. Tickets can be obtained by calling Chuck Potashnik, organization president at 330-856-6219.
Following are this year’s inductees:
Jan Burns, track and field — A graduate of Howland High School, she excelled in both basketball and track and field for the Tigers. She set the record for most rebounds in a game and in the long jump, anchoring the school’s record-setting 400-meter relay team as well. She attended Bowling Green State University where she proceeded to set the Falcons’ heptathlon standard as well. She was honored as the second ever female to be enshrined in the Howland High School Athletics Hall of Fame.
Carl Capellas, soccer — One of the area’s top scholastic soccer players, he was a four-time Tri-County and Greater Akron all-star selection, earning “Player of the Year” honors in both conferences. He led Howland to its best ever Division I finish, that coming in 1991 when they were regional finalists. He still holds the Tigers record for most assists, earning a scholarship to Marshall University. A two-time captain for the Thundering Herd, we was an Academic All-American, the team’s “Student Athlete of the Year” in 1997 and led the team to their best ever best single season wins mark. Upon graduation he played for the Lexington Blue Grass Bandits, an affiliate of DC United of the MLS. He has served as an assistant men’s soccer coach at the University of Akron.
Tim Davis, football — A 1972 graduate of Western Reserve H.S., he excelled in both football and wrestling for the Raiders, earning all-state honors in both sports. A three-year letterwinner in football, he served as captain of the team and played in both the prestigious North-South All-Star game and Big 33 all-star contest. He was a two-year letter winner in wrestling, advancing to the state finals in his weight class. He played for the University of Michigan where he was a two-time All-Big Ten selection at middle guard, also earning second-team All-America laurels his senior year.
Matt Emch, football — He played scholastically at Ursuline High School where he earned first-team All-Ohio (AP and UPI), all-Northeastern Ohio and all-Steel Valley Conference honors. He was the Fighting Irish offensive “Lineman of the Year” and was both a preseason and postseason Blue Chip All-American honoree. He was a Mack Truck “Lineman of the Year” honoree and was inducted into the UHS Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004. Knee injuries curtailed his collegiate career at YSU, but he remained a part of the program and the four teams that advanced to the Division I-AA national championship game, winning titles in 1991, 1993 and 1994.
George Fetchko III, track and field/wrestling — A four-year letter winner in track and field, he also earned two wrestling letters for the Howland Tigers. A district qualifier in wrestling as a junior, he is the school’s record holder in the discus (174-5). As a senior, he placed fifth in the discus and earned All-Ohio honors in Division I, also winning the district and Trumbull County events. In the shot put, he was Trumbull County runner-up while winning both events at a variety of team tournaments his senior season. He played collegiately at the University of Buffalo where he served as captain his last two seasons. Upon graduation, he was listed in the top-10 in the indoor shot put and weight throw, and the outdoor shot put, discus and hammer throw.
Gerald Lenarcic, baseball/basketball/football — A 1970 graduate of Newton Falls, he earned four letters in three different sports (basketball, football and baseball) for the Tigers, started all four years in each sport and graduated with 12 overall letters. He set the scoring mark with 1,392 total points in basketball, a record that stood for over 40 years, while his 770 career rebounds is still the school standard. A tight end and defensive end in football, he set school marks in catches, yards and touchdowns as he earned All-District and Trumbull AA League all-star plaudits. A first baseman in baseball, he batted .388 for his career and was also an All-Trumbull AA pick. He earned a football scholarship to Purdue University, but injuries cut short a promising collegiate career.
Pat Merrick, football — A 1959 Warren G. Harding graduate, he was selected to play in the Mercer-Trumbull County All-Star football game. A four-year letterwinner at Newberry College, he was a three-time All-Carolina Conference selection while twice earning All-NAIA District 26 honors. A two-time Wolves’ “Outstanding Lineman” honoree, he was Honorable Mention Little All-American in 1965 and a two-time All-Lutheran All-America pick. A co-captain of the team in 1965, he earned the Duval Award his senior season, emblematic of the school’s “Most Outstanding Athlete.” He has served as a football coach at Warren Harding, Warren JFK, Niles McKinley and LaBrae, also serving as Red Dragons athletic director from 1987-94. He was inducted into the Newberry Athletics Hall of Fame in 1989.
Bill Miller, football/track and field — A 1958 graduate of Warren G. Harding High School, he earned two letters in football and track and field, also playing basketball and summer baseball. He rushed for 813 yards and 13 touchdowns while leading the Panthers to a 9-1 mark his senior season. The team finished ranked third in the state that season. He helped the track team to a third-place finish at state, placing fourth in the 100-yard dash (9.9) and fifth in the 220 event (22.3). He also won district titles in the 100, 220 and 880 relay. The “Offensive MVP” of the post-season all-star game, he garnered track “MVP” laurels as well. He accepted a football scholarship to Northwestern University, playing for the Wildcats for a season before transferring to Clemson University where he earned two letters in football and another in track.
Ray Muche, football — A 1966 graduate of Niles McKinley High School, he was a running quarterback and safety who earned All-State third-team and honorable mention honors according to AP and UPI wire services. A member of the 1963 state championship team as a sophomore, he earned two letters his junior and senior campaigns where in addition to playing quarterback and safety, he also punted, returned punts and kick-offs and led the team in scoring. He accepted a scholarship to the University of Cincinnati, but a broken ankle sidelined him his senior campaign. He played semi-pro football locally with the Youngstown Hardhats (1972) and Penn-Ohio Blasters (1973).
Vince Peterson, football — A two-way starter on both the offensive and defensive lines for Western Reserve High School, he recorded 100 tackles and 12 sacks his senior season. He was an All-State, All-District, All-Trumbull County and All-Steel Valley Conference selection and a defensive starter at the Annual North-South All-Star Classic. He received a scholarship to YSU where he started all 44 games during his collegiate career, first under the late Bill Narduzzi (1983-85) and his final year under then first-year head mentor Jim Tressel (1986). He was an All-Ohio Valley Conference selection, “Defensive Lineman of the Year” and served as co-captain of the team. During his Penguin career, he recorded 240 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, recovered seven fumbles and had an interception.
Col. Harris E. Rogner, basketball/football — One of two posthumous selections this year, he is a 1931 Brookfield High School graduate where he played both football and basketball for the Hill Toppers — the forerunner to its current Warriors’ moniker. He served as captain of the hoops squad as a senior and was a three-year letter winner for the cage team, earning All-County his final season. He received an appointment to West Point from congressman John Cooper of Youngstown, playing three years of varsity football for Army. He also earned three basketball letters and was captain of the 1938 team, still considered one of the finest teams ever produced by West Point. He earned the Sabre Award that same year, presented to the most outstanding athlete in the senior class.
James “Jimmy” Sanders, boxing — A Warren native, he is this year’s other posthumous selection. An outstanding local amateur and professional welterweight, he compiled a 54-29-5 overall pro mark, winning his first 12 professional fights while posting a 29-2-1 overall mark in his first 32 pairings. The founder of the Warren Athletic Club, he was also a highly-acclaimed trainer and amateur boxing show promoter.
Frank Supancic, swimming — A graduate of Hempfield High School in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, he enjoyed great success as the swim coach for Warren G. Harding High School where he posted a 428-196 overall record. Under his tutelage, he developed 36 All-Americans, 15 Academic All-Americans and a multitude of state meet qualifiers. Among his many awards, he is an eight-time Northeast Aquatic Conference “Coach of the Year,” has been named All-American Conference “Coach of the Year” on four occasions and three times, has been named Northeast Ohio District Swim “Coach of the Year.”