An outstanding football player at Akron U, but a man who made a greater name as a coach in Akron high school circles. He was good enough to make the All-City center at East High and in the late 30's played football for Akron U. His high mark has to come in 1952 and 1953 when, as East High football coach, his teams won back-to-back City Championships. In 1952 his team defeated South 26-19 and the following year the Orientals again beat South 13-6.
After becoming the all-time scoring leader at his high school in Montgomery, W. Va., Swyers became a legend at West Virginia Tech where he helped the team become the top scoring team in the nation with a 107.5 points per game average. Swyers, who averaged 30.2 per game that season finished his collegiate career with 2149 points. He was chosen for a berth on the 1955 Helms Foundation Little All-America team and nine years later was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame. He went on to play for the Goodyear Wingfoots where he was twice named to the AAU All-American Team. Swyers led the team in scoring in 1958 with 614 points and set a team single game record with 37 against the Phillips Oilers.
Swimming, Coach 1973
An outstanding swimmer and coach, he got his start at East High School. Along with Elwood Wooding and Pete Royer, the trio shattered distance records across the land. But Stewart at one time during his career held or shared 140 area pool, school and state records. During an outstanding career at Kent State he held Conference marks in the 200 and 400-yard freestyle. He later coached the Cuyahoga Falls YMCA team to a perfect 9-0 mark in the 1960-61 season. In the late '60s he came out of coaching retirement and led Akron U to its greatest season - eight straight victories and a 9-2 season.
A major leaguer for nine years, he played in five World Series games with the Yankees in 1957. Nicknamed "Suitcase," he started his career playing softball in Dalton, Ga., his hometown. Signed on as a pro with the old Philadelphia Stars of the Negro National League. In 1949 he was signed out of the Puerto Rican Winter League by the Cleveland Indians and he moved in as a regular with the Tribe in 1951. He played with Cleveland until 1955 when he was traded to Kansas City where he hit .293 batted in 105 runs as hit 21 homers in 1956. The following year he batted .296 with the Royals before moving on to the Yankees. In, all, he played 888 major league games and finished with a .266 batting average.
Once known as a battering-ram halfback at Miami of Ohio, Pagna twice won Little All-America and All-Ohio honors and earned All-Conference honors three times. He was the first player in the school's history to gain over 1000 yards in a single season. After a brief fling at pro ball with the Green Bay Packers and the Cleveland Browns, Pagna served two years as head coach at North High and then rejoined his coach and idol, Ara Parseghian, at Northwestern as freshman coach. In 1962 he became backfield coach of the Wildcats and then on to Notre Dame where he served as an assistant coach during the Parseghian era.
One of the top bowlers in the Akron Area and Ohio, Dotty's biggest claim to fame is teaming with Donna Zimmerman in winning the Ohio State Doubles Title in 1956. She first started rolling doubles with Ruby Loy in the old PBA Traveling League as was a member of what bowling buffs consider the greatest five-lady team in the history of Akron. Seven times a member of the Beacon Journal All-Star team and three times named Bowlerette of the Year. A founder of the 600 Club's Happy Time Tourney for the retarded children.
Football, Basketball 1973
An All-Stark County football and basketball star at Canton McKinley in the 1920's, Ferrall enrolled at Ohio State where he earned three varsity football letters as an end and was a second team All-Western Conference selection in both 1931 and '32. IN 1945 his Canton Lincoln team won the mythical state football championship. He was head coach at Barberton High from 1949 until he retired in 1958 - winning 49 games.
Although he never reached the top cherished by all boxers - a world championship - Delaney's record reads like a Who's Who in the boxing business. As an amateur he was unbeaten, winning the City and the state Golden Gloves championship. When he turned pro in the early 1950s he was a welterweight. He defeated Jonny Saxton, then the welterweight champion of the world in a non-title fight on February 11, 1955 at the Akron Armory. As a middleweight, Ron won the state championship by defeating Jimmy Welch in 10 rounds and defeated nationally ranked Holly Mimms in Madison Square Garden. During his career Delaney lost just three professional fights in 60 bouts.
An athlete and a teacher all of his life, football became his forte ... but he got a late start. Chapman was a 6'3", 245 pound non-football playing sophomore at Akron U until Coach Otis Douglas talked to him. He joined the Zip footballers and became a real demon on defense - good enough to be selected All-Ohio Conference. He became the first black assistant coach in the Akron School system at East High and until his death in 1986 was still directing students as principal of Garfield High School.
Teaming with Dotty Focht to win the Ohio State Doubles Title in 1956, this lady literally scaled the heights of women's bowling in the nation. She was a finalist in the World's Invitational Tourney seven times, finishing runner up to Marion Ladewig in the National All-Star in 1959. After leaving her native Akron for California, Donna teamed with Janet Harmon to win the National Doubles title in 1965 and was an active participant in the Women's Professional Bowling Association from its inception.