Lu David Wims
Football, Track & Field, Basketball 1971
A product of South High, Wims was a triple threat in basketball, football, and track. He entered the College of Wooster (1957-61) where he became one of that school's all-time great athletes, twice being named to the All-Ohio Conference football team, a second team conference pick in basketball and excelling in track. Two of his marks still stand in that discus and shot put for indoor track. Only one man ever won more varsity letters at Wooster College. In the 1970s he was further honored by being inducted into the Wooster College Hall of Fame. In 1969 he returned to his high school alma mater to coach the basketball team and his team won another City Series championship for South High. Wims has since coached at Wooster College and Central State.
Boxing, Bowling, Coach, Basketball 1971
Another outstanding product of the Akron schoolboy basketball ranks and of Akron U fame. A member of the great East High team that missed the 1930 State Championship by the thinnest margin - a tipped field goal. Estey is regarded by many as the greatest ball handler and greatest set shot to come out of East High. He later led the Zips to two Ohio Conference Championships including a 15-1 season in 1933-34. He was named to the All-Ohio Conference team three consecutive years. He had a brief fling with the old Firestone Non-Skids and then returned as head coach at his alma mater, East High, in 1937. His basketball teams won two City titles in Estey's 23-year career.
A great athlete in both high school and college. He played under his great friend and teacher, Eddie Wentz, at St. Vincent…then became a football star at Akron U. Under Bud Houghton on the hilltop he earned All-Ohio and All-Ohio conference honors and captained the teams in both 1949 and '50. Although a fine football player he ended up coaching basketball - first at his alma mater St. Vincent and then on to Akron U as an assistant to Russ Beichly. Laterza became head coach in 1959 on Beichly's retirement. Under Laterza Akron U basketball - under the glare of TV lights and national rating services - enjoyed glory, glory years: 178 victories, three Ohio-Conference Championships, a runner-up in the National Championship (1963-64), a third place in the Nationals (1965-66), and never a losing season! From 1963 thru '67 his teams won 113 games and lost only 26.
The Akron Area has turned out many great bowlers but none more colorful, more talkative and more confident. Potter began his athletic career playing baseball with the National ACs, then discovered bowling. For the next 42 years he brought further fame to Akron with his bowling prowess. Teaming with Buzz Fazio, Boss Bosco, Tony Galati and Andy Hernick, his M.O'Neil team won the State 5-man Title two consecutive years - in Dayton and Akron. He set a record in the Ohio State All-Events in Canton with 2061. He set another record of 2150 in the All-Events of the Eagles Tourney in Cleveland, including a 298 game. Potter has rolled four perfect games and one year he rolled an All-Events total of 2228 - second highest in the nation! He won the Beacon Journal Singles Classic four times - an honor shared with one other man - Dick Hoover.
An All-Ohio basketball player at South High who moved right ahead into a brilliant career at Louisville University where he immediately paced the freshman team to a record 22-1 mark and even got into some varsity games. Later, in his senior year, he was to score 36 points against Western Kentucky a school record at that time. Noble finished his collegiate career with 1281 points. Twice he was named All-Southern Conference and gained All-American mention in both 1953 and '54. He played in the NIT tourney three consecutive years and finished his brilliant career in college by scoring 483 points. In 1955 he joined the Ft. Wayne Zollner Pistons of the National Professional League where he played for seven seasons. The Pistons won two divisional championships and Noble played in the 1960 NBA All Star Game.
A man whose feats with baseball at old West High, the Akron Area sandlots and Toledo University are legendary. At West High he was a natural athlete - a star in baseball, football, basketball and track. But baseball was his great love. He pitched a no-hitter in high school, two more in the Akron sandlot leagues and three more while pitching for the Toledo U Rockets. Once for the old Smith Sheriffs AA Club he won 13 of 14 decisions, striking out 139 in 106 innings as well as hitting a .428! And in 1948, while pitching for the Borden Autos, he pitched 33 scoreless innings in the AABC Championships at Battle Creek and was named the outstanding player of the tournament.
Known as the "quiet man" he started out as a strapping 5-7, 130-pound sophomore fullback at Struthers High in 1929. The "Mighty Mite" then went to Wooster College where he starred in football, track, basketball and swimming. Evans was the miniature blocking back for the Scots, lettering three consecutive years. In 1935, he took his first coaching job at Cadiz High and then moved to Massillon High. He came to Akron in 1948 and possibly exerted more influence on UA students than any other man. He served as an assistant coach under four football coaches (1948-66). However, it was while serving as track mentor for 18 years until 1969 that he gained the most success. His teams captured five Ohio Conference titles, two NCAA Regional titles, had two undefeated seasons and put together a string of 27 straight victories. Under Tommy the Akron U track teams won 108 meets and lost 38 for an excellent percentage of .740.