Like his brothers, George George worked his way up the weightlifting ladder from Northeastern Ohio to state to junior national to national level. As a Kent State sophomore, after being graduated from Akron East High, George won the national intercollegiate 148-pound championship in 1947. Thus encouraged, he made a bid for membership on the U.S. Olympic weightlifting team. George was eliminated in the finals and had to settle for second place.
Akron-born Gene Woodling has stayed in the public eye through his long, successful association with organized baseball dating to 1940 when he batted .398 in 85 games with Mansfield in the Ohio State League. That was his first of four minor league batting titles. He also led the Michigan State in 1941 (.384), the Eastern in 1943 (.344), and the Pacific Coast in 1948 (.385). After his latter hitting title, Woodling was purchased from San Francisco by the New York Yankees where he played on a record five consecutive world championship clubs from 1949 through 1953. He batted .318 in five World Series. Subsequently Woodling closed out his major league career with Baltimore, Cleveland, Washington, and New York Mets.
A 5-9 basketball magician at Akron South High, Jimmy Darrow was All-Ohioan (AP, UP, and INS), two-time captain of the All-City team, and top Northeastern Ohio scorer. At Bowling Green U, his marks included most points (52 against Toledo and Marshall), most field goals made (22 against Marshall and Hillsdale), most field goals in a single season (149 in 1959-60), and most career field goals (715 from 1957 through 1960). A three-time All-MAC first team selection, Darrow scored 1,740 points for a Bowling Green career record which has since been broken
Earl W. Burgner
A graduate of Akron South High where later he was to be the team physician for 28 years, Earl W. "Puss" Burgner starred in both football and basketball at Whittenburg College. However, his greatest claim to fame took place on the gridiron as a fullback for Coach Ernie Godfrey's undefeated Wittenberg teams of 1918, 1919, and 1920. Burgner was named to the All-Ohio team in his junior and senior years. Before he entered the medical profession, Burgner played professional football with the Dayton Triangles.
From Akron Central High where he starred until graduation in 1920, "Andy" Anderson went on to earn All-Ohio honors in both football and basketball at Otterbein College. Later, as head basketball coach, he boosted Toledo U to national glory winning 142 of 183 starts in eight seasons. In 1942 Anderson began a 23-year association with Bowling Green U where the Falcons blossomed into a six-time NIT performer. He produced 21 All-Americans, among them Wyndol Gray, Jim Gerber,
Carol Heiss Jenkins
Ice Skating 1968
It was only a matter of time before Carol Heiss Jenkins was inducted into the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame following her marriage in the early 1960s to Hayes Jenkins and residency in Akron. As a 13-year old, she stood second among North American women skaters. During 1956 in Germany, Carol won the first of five world championships. In addition to victories in the nationals at Seattle and the world championships at Vancouver, she won the 1960 Winter Olympic women's figure skating title at Squaw Valley, Calif. Thus she emulated the figure skating exploits of her husband and his younger brother, David Jenkins.
Henry "Hank" Vaughn
His basketball and softball feats have been dwarfed by those in the coaching field where "Hank" Vaughn has taken teams to the Middle and Far East, through Russia and Europe, and into South America. Vaughn has been head coach or assistant coach of amateur quintets in upward of 125 international games, climaxed in 1964 and again in 1968 when he helped Hand Iba with the U.S. Olympians. Early exponent of the one-handed basketball shot, Vaughn, starring for Central High, set what was then an Akron prep scoring record by pumping in 34 points in a single game. In the armed service, Vaughn acquired stature as a softball pitcher who would sparkle on an industrial and independent level for many years. In his senior year at Akron U, his 418 points in 25 games earned him All-American honorable mention. In the early 1950s, Vaughn began a long and successful coaching career of the Goodyear Wingfoots.
Akron native Elwood "Red" Woodling began a one-man assault on backstroke and distance swimming championships and records in 1935. That year he won the national junior AAU mile, established a new district AAU record in the 100-yard backstroke, and was selected to the All-American prep swimming team. Before starring at Ohio State U, Woodling made a shambles of a six-mile event at Atlantic City. Only five swimmers finished, including the record holder - and he was almost a half mile behind Woodling who shattered the old mark by almost 27 minutes. During his Ohio State career, the Buckeyes were 1938 AAU, 1938 and 1939 Big Ten and 1938-39 NCAA champions. Elwood was selected on the All-American long distance teams in 1936, 1937, and 1938.
Track & Field, Basketball 1968
One of the finest all-around athletes Akron has ever had, Alex Adams was a four-year letterman in football, basketball and track at Garfield High. He, along with Benny Averiette, in 1953 were the first black basketballers to play at The University of Akron. Adams became UA's all-time high scorer with 1,442 points. The 6-4 forward won the Mike Gregory Award as the Ohio Conference's Most Valuable Player in 1961 and was voted honorable mention on the United Press Little All-America squad. In his senior year Adams was the All-Ohio and Ohio Conference sprint champion and the NCAA Mideast Regional high jump champion.