Soap Box Derby 1958
As a 15-year-old in 1949 Derks won the All-American Soap Box Derby in competition with 146 other champions. He was graduated from Springfield Township High School and Ohio State University prior to becoming an employee of the engineering division of Cooper-Bessemer Corp. of Mount Vernon, O.
First swimming into the spotlight as a national AAU junior long distance performer for the Firestone Aquatic Club in 1944, McLane established a record of 1:08.8 for the three-mile course. He was selected by the New York Times national sports award committee as the outstanding swimmer of 1946 while at Yale University. In the 1948 Olympics he won the 1,500-meter freestyle and was second in the 400-meter freestyle. In the 1952 Olympics he swam anchor on the winning U.S. 800-meter relay team.
Harold "Harry" Minto
As a coach of the Firestone Aquatic Club from 1936 to 1948 and associate coach of the 1948 Olympic swimming team he produced Olympic stars Jimmy McLane and Jack Taylor plus 100 American record holders and 22 All-American mermen and mermaids.
Les "Swede" Olsson
After starring as a lineman for Central High School and Mercer College, Olsson played professionally for the Boston Yanks and the Washington Redskins, gaining all-pro honors at guard in 1937. He closed out his career as a successful football coach at Manchester High School.
Nicknamed “Flash”, Giffiths fought both as a professional lightweight and welterweight and scored victories over no less than three champions in non-title bouts. He defeated world’s lightweight king Freddy Welch on two occasions when the crown unfortunately wasn’t on the line. His victories also included bouts with welterweight champions Jack Britton and Ted Lewis.
Charles "Chuck" Chuckovits
From St. Vincent High School where he led Eddie Wentz-coached basketball teams to near-greatness in 1932 to Toledo University via Akron amateur ranks was no more than a long stride for Chuckovits. While winning All-Ohio and All-American laurels for the Rockets he established a national collegiate record of 1,149 points over his three playing seasons.
Track & Field 1958
As a B.F. Goodrich Company employee, Ray starred for the company's track team in industrial competition. He competed in the 1920, 1924 and 1928 Olympics, won eight national titles and held world records for 1,000 yards, three-quarter mile, mile, mile and a half, two miles and three miles.
Shute, later golf professional at Portage Country Club, was 1933 British Open champion and 1936 and 1937 PGA titleholder. Selected to the PGA Hall of Fame in 1957, he was a three-time Ryder Cup team member and 23-time qualifier for the National Open.
After winning national girls' singles championships in 1944 and 1945, Miss Fry teamed with Doris Hart to take the U.S. women's doubles titles in 1951, 1952 and 1953. She reached the zenith of her court career in 1956 when she made off with both the U.S. and Wimbledon singles championships.
Clifton "Lefty" Byers
Byers starred in basketball for Kansas State University, Babe Didrickson’s All-Americans and Olson Swedes in barnstorming circles and for the Goodyear Wingfoots before becoming a Goodyear coach. Twice he directed Goodyear to National Basketball League titles while cementing an enduring name for himself in Akron industrial cage history with classic performances against archrival Firestone.
Claude A. Smith·
Soap Box Derby 1958
Subsequently a Kenmore High School and Kent State University graduate, Smith in 1941 gave Akron its first All-American Soap Box Derby championship. In so doing Smith triumphed over a field of 117 champions in the event for which the city became international headquarters.
Young was co-holder with Chick Aston of the American Bowling Congress doubles titles in 1926. He rolled 705 in a 1,385 series to tie two Detroit keglers for first place and then in the final game of a roll off, hit a 257 to clinch the championship for his team.