EATON — The Preble County Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed its newest members Sunday, May 27, in front of a crowd of nearly 300 people.
The ceremony took place at the Preble County YMCA.
The evening provided a chance for the athletes, coach and administrator who were honored to look back on their career’s while thanking those who made it possible for their success.
A total of 12 individuals and three teams were recognized, bringing the total number to 209 individuals and 31 teams which have been honored over the past 16 years.
Gayle George, a 1963 graduate of Preble Shawnee High School, has been a friend and supporter of Preble Shawnee Local School District students and athletics for over 50 years. George has served as game announcer for over 35 years for varsity football, varsity and junior varsity Volleyball, varsity and junior varsity basketball, varsity softball, and varsity baseball. He served for 22 years as the Preble Shawnee assistant softball coach, and served as an Athletic Booster Club member for 53 years. He was president of the club for 10 years. He served 18 years as a Preble Shawnee Board of Education member, and also served as the board representative on the District Athletic Council for all those years. He served as district 4-H Leader for Preble Shawnee students for 40 years. Gayle George was responsible for updating softball and baseball fields, dugouts, and fencing at Preble Shawnee. The softball complex at Preble Shawnee High School was named “The Gayle George Softball Complex.”
Glen Mabry spent 30 years as an educator and coach at Twin Valley South. Although he coached several different teams at TVS, he is best known for developing the varsity girls track team into one of the best Division III track programs in southwest Ohio. In 28 years as their coach, his teams won seven county championships, 10 CCC championships and 16 District championships. His track program sent 28 individual event state qualifiers and 10 relay teams to the state meet. Many of those athletes reached the state podium, including two state runners-up and the first-ever Ohio girls state pole vault champion. Mabry received many coaching honors, including being name CCC Track Coach of the Year 10 times. As the varsity girls basketball coach, he was selected as District 15 Division III Coach of the Year in his first year. Mabry is a 1981 graduate of Preble Shawnee, where he earned varsity letters in cross country, golf, basketball and track.
Pam Deaton was a 1985 graduate of National Trail High School where she set the state record in the high jump her senior year. The jump of 5 feet, 8 inches remained a state record for 18 more years. She also held records for the 100- and 300-hurdles. In addition to track and field, she was a varsity letter holder for basketball, cross country and volleyball, earning 10 varsity letters. She was two-time All-Ohio performer, placing second and fourth at the state meet. She was selected for the All-County basketball team her senior year. She went on to compete in track and field her freshman year at Miami University, where she graduated in the fall of 1989.
Kevin Montgomery, a 1987 graduate of Preble Shawnee High School, earned seven varsity letters in three sports: basketball, tennis and track. In basketball, he was two-time All-State, two-time All-SWBL, two-time All-County and a two-time Dayton Daily News A-AA All-Star. In 1985-86, he the was the Preble County MVP, and in 1986-87 he was a District 15 All-Star. In tennis, he had a senior season record of 21-3 at No.1 singles. He was also the first Preble Shawnee athlete to win the A-AA OHSAA District Championship.
In college, Montgomery earned four varsity letters in tennis. At Sinclair, he was a two-year starter and was honored as a 1989 first team NJCAA Academic All-American. During his junior year, he transferred to Northern Kentucky University where he was on the Great Lakes Valley All-Conference team. In 1990, he won a GLVC championship in No.1 doubles and No.4 singles. Later in that same year, he was named second team College Division GTE Academic All-American and was one of two NCAA Division II players selected to the Volvo Tennis/Scholar Athlete team.
Chad Vorhis, a 1997 graduate of Twin Valley South, was All-District 15 Underclassman his junior year and he was All-District 15 as a senior. He was Second Team All-Ohio as a junior and was Special Mention as a senior, a season in which he missed 10 games due to a car accident.
Vorhis is the second leading scorer in TVS history, with 1,380 points. He scored the most points for a TVS junior with 491. He tops the TVS career list in steals with 197 and is second in career assists with 409 and second in three-point field goals with 149. He is the only player in TVS history to have a 50-40-80 season where he shot 50 percent from the floor, 40 percent from the 3-point line and 80 percent from the free throw line, which he did in his junior year.
Vorhis walked on to the University of Dayton basketball team during the 1997-98 season — the team’s overall record was 21-12 and they played in the NCAA National Invitation Tournament (NIT). He finished his basketball career and education at Mount Vernon Nazarene College. He was able to end his career on a victory as they were crowned the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Champions. Vorhis has been employed by the United States Air Force for 15 years and works at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He and his wife, Stephanie, have been married for 16 years and have four kids, Jaden, Gracen, Rosemary and Lilly.
Tommy Jones graduated from Eaton High School in 1998 as one of the most decorated athletes in school history. Jones earned 10 varsity letters in three sports (baseball, basketball and football.) He led Eaton’s football team to a 25-5 record in three seasons as quarterback, passing for 3,739 yards and 51 touchdowns. During his senior year he was the top-ranked quarterback in the state and ranked as one of the top 90 players in the country by Tom Lemming’s Prep Football Report. After high school, Jones attended Indiana University on a football scholarship and also played professionally. On the basketball court, Jones averaged a double-double for his career. He holds the Eaton and Preble County single-game scoring record with 48 points against Franklin in 1997.
Jonathon Dues was a two-sport standout while at Eaton High School who went on to play college basketball at Hillsdale College. Dues, a 1999 graduate, led the Eagles to back-to-back Southwestern Buckeye League titles in basketball. He earned second team all-Ohio honors while leading Eaton to a perfect 20-0 regular season his senior year. He set the school’s scoring record with 1,116 points. On the football field, Dues was a three-year starter at safety, while helping the Eagles to a 26-4 record. He earned All-Southwest District Honorable Mention honors as senior. At Hillsdale, Dues helped the Chargers to their first-ever Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference Championship in 2001, and the first two at-large bids to the NCAA Division II Tournament in the school’s history. The 2001 team was the first Hillsdale team in school history to win a NCAA tournament game.
Brad Statzer, Tri-County North Class of 2000, earned 10 varsity letters while at Tri-County North in three different sports: football, wrestling, and baseball. In football lettered all four years, earning 1st Team All CCC honors his senior year and compiling 309 career tackles as a defensive lineman and linebacker. 198 of those tackles came in his senior year and still holds the single-game tackle record with 33 tackles versus Arcanum. In wrestling he also lettered all four years, compiling 123 victories versus 40 losses, and was the first Tri-County North wrestler to place at the State competition. He was a GMVWA first-team selection and still holds the record for Tri-County North wrestling with 41 consecutive wins during his senior campaign. He finished third at state at the 171 pound weight class, with a season record of 48 wins and two losses. After high school, Brad lettered all four years in wrestling at Wilmington College and was also a two-time Academic All-American at the D-III level.
Lynsey Somers Buckingham is a 2000 graduate of TVS. She earned letters in basketball, volleyball and track. In volleyball, Lynsey was 1st team All-County and 1st team All-Conference. She was 2nd team All-Conference in basketball her senior year. In track she was a member of teams which won four district championships and three conference championships.
Lynsey won the league title in the high jump twice and the league title in the 300 hurdles twice. She was a five-time district champion. She won the high jump three times, the 400 meter once and the 300 meter hurdles once. Lynsey competed in the state track meet in the 4×200 in 1998, and the high jump in 2000. She still holds the TVS record in the high jump at 5 feet 4 inches. She has the 2nd best 300 hurdle time and the 5th best 400 time in school history. Lynsey was part of the 2nd best 4×200 relay and part of the 4th best 4×400 meter relays at South.
Lynsey attended Defiance College where she played volleyball and ran track. She received her BS in Secondary Education in 2004. She then went onto St Lawrence University and earned her Master’s in Educational Leadership in 2006. In college, Lynsey set track records in the 400 hurdles, 4×400 and Triple Jump. She won the 2003 and 2004 Conference MVP for Field Events. She was all conference in 2002,2003 and 2004. In volleyball she was named 2003 team captain and that same year was 2nd team all-conference. In 2004 she won the 2004 Distinguished Athlete Award. She coached track and volleyball from 2004 until 2012, first as a graduate assistant and then a full time assistant at St. Lawrence University, Colgate University and Quinnipiac University. Lynsey and her husband Zane have two sons, Zane Thomas and Grayson.
Dave Holtzmuller was a two-time first team all-Ohio pick in football for Eaton High School. The 2000 graduate helped guide the Eagles to a 25-5 record in his three seasons. He earned seven varsity letters in football (3), basketball (3) and baseball (1). For his career, he scored 26 touchdowns and passed for an additional 20, while accounting for 311 points. On the basketball court, he earned honorable mention all-Southwest District as a junior while helping the Eagles to a 20-0 regular season. He scored 659 points during his career. He was the Class of 2000 Salutatorian, an OHSAA Scholar-Athlete Scholarship recipient and National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete.
Jason Allen was a two-time all-Ohio selection while at National Trail. Allen, a 2000 graduate of National Trail, earned five varsity letters in three sports, but his main concentration was on basketball. Allen was a second team all-Ohio pick during his junior year, while leading the Blazers to a 19-3 record and state ranking as high as No. 5. He was a special mention all-Ohio selection his senior season. He also lettered one season each in baseball and football. Upon graduation, Allen was No. 1 in career 3-pointers made and No.3 on the Blazers’ all-time scoring list, with 971 points.
Fred Kerler was a long-time administrator at National Trail, serving stints as principal, assistant principal and athletic director from 1975-95. He got his start in education and coaching at Lanier, where he coached junior high football, basketball and track from 1964-75. While at Trail, he was responsible for moving the softball team’s home field from Eldorado to its current location at the high school, where the field is currently named after him. In addition, he helped run the Cross County Conference Junior High Boys Basketball tournament for many years. He was inducted into the National Trail Hall of Fame in 2016 for his years of service to the district.
Eaton’s 1985 volleyball team went 23-3 and was the first team in program history to reach a regional final. The team finished second in the Southwestern Buckeye League, but avenged its only league-loss that season by beating Brookville in the regional semifinal. Team members included Janet Bailey, Kara Benningfield, Susan Dunlope, Kelly McGuire, Christy Campbell, Amy Klips, Kathy Roell, Michelle Garrett, Heather Thompson, Laura Eby and Kristi Izor. The team was coached by Vanessa Garrett.
The 1991 Eaton baseball team wasn’t expected to do much after having lost several key players from the previous season. However, the Eagles surpassed expectations by winning a Southwestern Buckeye League title, sectional title, district title and finished the season as regional runner-up. Eaton went 8-1 in league play and was 17-6 overall. The league and district titles were the first in program history and the 17-win record was also the most in program history. Team members included Kazanori Sato, Joe Scholer, Steve Sarver, Bobby Barney, Jason Brower, Kevin Melling, Jason Robinson, Steve Walton, John Geeting, Jeff Schamel, Bart Davis, Jason Marion, John Newkirk and Casey Austin. The team was coached by Steve Johnson and Keith Shultz.
The 1998 Preble Shawnee volleyball team went 24-2 on its way to reaching the regional final. The Arrows were the Southwestern Buckeye League, Preble County Tournament, sectional, and district champions. Team members include Angie Proeschel, Lani Dennis, Adriane Oakes, Holly Rehmert, Shannon Brown, Amy Chamberlain, Jodi Robertson, Trisha Ward, Shawndra Thompson, Dawn Barker and Tina Fuchs. The team was coached by Michelle (Tewart) Woodard.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH
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