He is a throwback to the early days of baseball when players were durable and earned the moniker "iron men." However, in contrast Roger Begue, a right-handed pitcher who throws somewhere between sidearm and submarine-style, has had longevity as well. This past year was his 34th consecutive season of playing "America's Game." At Waterloo High School he was a three-time MVP and a charter member of its hall of fame in 1991. He played two seasons at Lakeland Community College in Mentor, OH and then turned down a chance to play at Ohio State to sign a free agent contract in 1978 with the Kansas City Royals. Later he was with the Detroit Tigers and the New York Mets organizations. His best year was in 1980 when he posted a 10-1 record in the South Atlantic League. "I gave it (pro ball) my best shot, had good numbers in my five seasons, but never got the break to get me above Class A ball," Begue said. The Akron native returned to the area in 1983 to find tremendous success in amateur ball. His pitching paced the Field Falcons of the Greater Akron AA League to the Ohio American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC) titles in '83 and '84 and the same championships for Dr. Ferguson of the Canton A League in '85 and '86. The 1998-2003 years became banner seasons for Begue when he pitched the Canton Stallions to the AABC titles in Ohio all six years, the Regional in all but 2000 and the national AABC championship in '98, a first for the Akron-Canton area, and a second place finish in '03. In '98 he was voted MVP while going 4-0 as the Akron A's captured the Roy Hobbs (30 and over) AAA World Series title in Ft. Myers, FL. At the Ohio AABC in '99 Begue was 3-0, pitching 24 innings in four days to earn the MVP award, and with three days rest, pitched 31 1/3 innings in three days for another MVP award in the Regional. He was 4-0 as the A's won the 2001 Hobbs AAAA title. The 46-year old Begue, a league all-star for 19 of 21 seasons, has accumulated 230 amateur victories.
Pamela Arnold Davis
She was recruited to play at The University of Akron after averaging 23 points and 12 rebounds at Austintown Fitch High School and earning first team All-Ohio AAA honors in 1984. That recruiting effort paid off as Pam Arnold would have an outstanding 108-game career in which she would become UA's first All-American in women's basketball and the school's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, the first and only UA player, man or woman, to hold both records at the same time. Her four-year output produced 1,544 points, which now stands second on UA's all-time list, and 916 rebounds that currently remains as the record to beat. However, it did not start well for the 5-10 forward. In her first open scrimmage she fractured her fibula. Despite being sidelined for 10 weeks, Arnold saw action in all 27 games and started the last five. During the 1985-88 seasons Arnold made up for her slow start. She was the Zips' leading scorer, rebounder and MVP all three seasons. As a sophomore she averaged 15.8 points and 8.7 rebounds and netted a career-high 32 points against Tennessee Tech. It was in the 1986-87 that she was selected Honorable Mention by the U. S. Women's Basketball News Service by averaging 16.5 points and 10.1 rebounds as UA compiled a 14-13 mark for its first and only winning season as a NCAA I member. The Youngstown, OH native was voted UA's Caroline Pardee Female Athlete of the Year in '88 after she had scored a school record-breaking 490 points for an 18.2 average and grabbed 289 rebounds, including a career high 23 versus Oral Roberts. All told, she owned 11 UA records at one time and is still ranked in the top 10 in 22 categories. In 1999, Arnold was inducted into UA's Sports Hall of Fame.
Everybody watches the quarterback. He is the keystone that anchors his team's attack and his execution and direction is vital to winning football. In the early 1970's that quarterback at The University of Akron was the talented Eric Schoch. However, the 6-1, 180 pound All-Ohioan out of Kenmore High, first made a brief stop at Miami University in Oxford, OH before transferring to play for the Zips. "Plain and simple, I was homesick," Schoch explained. Miami's loss was surely UA's gain as Schoch would become the first UA player to surpass 4,000 yards total offense. Although sharing the starting job his first season, he still accumulated 1,070 yards to pace the Zips to an excellent 8-2 campaign in 1971 for Head Coach Gordon Larson. He again led UA in total offense as a junior with 1,317 yards and took the scoring title as well with 42 points. The 1973 season saw Jim Dennison as head coach and Schoch still the starting quarterback. Schoch made it the best of his career by passing for 1,316 yards and set a Zip record for quarterbacks with 468 yards rushing which gave him 4,171 yards total offense. During that senior campaign, Schoch completed 97 of 174 passes for a .557 completion percentage to establish another new standard that stood 28 years until Charlie Frye, the current UA quarterback, turned in a .588 completion mark in 2001. Schoch was paid the highest of compliments by Dennison, who said at the time, "Without him we wouldn't have been winners, it's as simple as that! He was the individual who made our offense go, inspired our defense to do well and was the player our opponents feared the most." Schoch went on to earn the MVP award while leading the East squad to an 8-6 win over the West in the All-Ohio Shrine Game in Columbus and was voted UA's Athlete of the Year. In 1993 he was inducted into UA's Sports Hall of Fame.
Tina Mayreis Smith
The achievements in the women's intercollegiate athletic program at The University of Akron in the 1980's was dominated by the softball team that was under the direction of Hall of Fame coach Joey Arrietta. One of the players who were very instrumental in the success of those teams was Tina Mayreis. She arrived on campus in 1981, after a three-year career at the tradition-rich Springfield High School program, and would go onto earn four letters and be voted a first team All-American catcher twice. During her career the Lady Zips were big winners, compiling records of 30-11 in 1982, 34-7-2 in '83, 48-6 in '84 and 51-10 in '85. Mayreis, who caught UA pitching greats Dani and Renee Vance, both previously inducted into this hall of fame, batted .319 her freshman and sophomore seasons. In 1984 Mayreis was voted a team captain and she responded by erupting for a team-leading batting average of .410, which ranked her 11th in the nation. It couldn't have come at a better time as UA earned its first berth into the NCAA II Softball Tournament where it captured the Mid-Atlantic Regional and ended with the Lady Zips losing to Cal State-Northridge, 1-0, in the national championship game in Sioux Falls, SD. Mayreis' performance earned her the team's co-MVP award and first team All-America honors. Again as a team captain she would end her college career by repeating those All-America honors in '85 as she batted .366, second behind Hall of Famer Kay Piper, and had a fielding percentage of .994, with only two errors in 323 chances, as the Zips again finished national runner-up at Northridge, losing 2-1 to the Matadors, in the NCAA II. In 1987, Mayreis was inducted into the Springfield High Sports Hall of Fame.
For certain Dick Zaveson will be thanking Dick West tonight. It was West, an Otterbein College baseball coach, who introduced the game of handball to Zaveson. "He had us playing handball off-season as a good exercise," Zaveson said. That began a life-long love of handball for Zaveson, an Akron native who played football and baseball at both Ellet High School and Otterbein. After getting his degree in math from Otterbein in 1957, Dick spent two years in the U.S. Army at the Walter Reed Institute of Research in Washington D.C. It is where he honed his game and captured the handball singles title at Reed for both years. It would be the first of several championships he has won in 50 years of playing the sport. Many of his successes in handball have been forged at the Akron Central, now Canal Square, YMCA where he won the Akron City Singles eight times and the Akron Doubles title 10 times. Some of his other impressive wins came in the Ohio State Doubles, which he captured in 1966 and '70, and the Ohio Super Singles that he won in '95 and '96. In addition, Zaveson finished runner-up at the YMCA National Super Singles in '94 and runner-up at both the U. S. Handball Association Mid-America Regional Singles in '69 and the Doubles in '77 and '81. It is also at the YMCA where Zaveson started and organized the Akron Open Handball Tournament that has now gone on for 27 years. When not playing handball, Zaveson was a teacher of math for 32 years and an assistant football coach at Kenmore High School. Over the 25 seasons, he coached such quarterbacks as Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and Hall of Fame inductees Eric Schoch and Dave Buckey. In 1993 Zaveson got a big surprise, literally, when he was inducted into the Ohio Handball Hall of Fame.
During the 1950's, Frank Wharton 's trophy collection grew by leaps and bounds as the golfer from Dallas, Texas, won a number of titles and championships. In 1954 he won the Texas state high school individual title and then entered the University of Houston. Beginning in his sophomore year, the Cougar golf team won three consecutive NCAA golf crowns. Add to this, the Texas PGA title and you can see that the '50's were extremely rewarding for Wharton. His golf prowess then took him to the next logical step, the pro tour. During the '60's, Wharton competed on the tour but found his niche when he served as an assistant golf pro at the famed Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, NY, while working under the legendary teacher, Claude Harmon. Wharton quickly learned the area of pro golf he wanted his career to take and in 1967 accepted the head professional's position at Fairlawn Country Club where he has become a fixture. After taking over at Fairlawn, Wharton became very active as a member of the Northern Ohio PGA. He captured the Ohio Open in 1968 and won the 1981 NOPGA Match-Play tournament, an event he went on to win two more times. He was named the Northern Ohio Player of the Year in 1971 and captured the Senior Player of the Year title in 1999. In addition to his teaching duties at Fairlawn, Wharton has been active in various community groups, serving as President of the Dapper Dan Club in 1986.The crowning achievement in his long and distinguished career was being inducted into the Northern Ohio PGA Hall of Fame in 2001. In a Beacon Journal interview, Wharton had this to say about his induction. "There are a lot of great players in there and I am proud to be in there with them." At age 67, Wharton has no plans for retiring and would like to continue his teaching as long as the members will have him.
John W. Scott
This Akronite did not decide what he wanted to do in life until he was 31 and there are well over one thousand students and athletes that are extremely happy he did. The year was 1979 when John Scott decided to return to college to pursue a teaching certificate at The University of Akron. A year later, Scott, a former runner at Kenmore High and Long Beach City College, volunteered to join the legendary Bill Heideman as an assistant track coach for the Buchtel High School boys and girls. He helped Heideman produce 14 straight boys City Series championships, eight District championships, seven Regional championships and state runner-up in 1993. On the girl's side, this successful coaching duo had 11 City Series and seven District titles. Meanwhile, Scott had got his degree in '83 and began teaching English and physical education at Buchtel one year later. In '93 he became head coach of the Griffins' girls track team, and after Heideman's untimely death, the boy's track and field program one year later. He has not missed a beat. Scott's girl teams have captured all 11 City Series championships since and the boys have won all but the '98 and '03 title. During his coaching tenure at Buchtel he has directed the boys to the '96 state championship, coached 148 All-Ohio athletes and 24 state champions. His girls were District champions in '95, '96 and 2001 and Regional champs in '95. Unlike most high school coaches, Scott is busy the year round- cross country in the fall, indoor track in the winter and track and field in the spring. Scott has directed the boys cross country squad for 18 seasons, with 12 teams capturing the City Series title. On eight occasions Scott has garnered coach of the year awards in track and field and six times he earned the award in cross country.
He started bowling at the age of eight and 27 years later he became the youngest person ever inducted into the Tri-County Bowling Hall of Fame in 1999. Along the way Billings has won numerous titles in Summit, Cuyahoga, Stark and Belmont Counties, had 62 perfect 300 games, 28 sanctioned including one in the American Bowling Congress national tournament in Albuquerque and one at the Michigan Tournament in Jackson. He has rolled 12 sanctioned series of 800 or better. Since 1989 he has teamed with Summit County Sports Hall of Fame member Mike Turnbull to win the Akron Open doubles four times. In 1998 he had a top 48 finish in the ABC Masters in Reno, NV. Billings has also been the Ohio Major Bowling Federation Champion nine times, three in singles and six in doubles and won the Cleveland Tournament Bowler's Association twice, once each in singles and doubles. He's been the Beacon Journal Bowling Classic singles champs with a three-game series record of 844. To put it in perspective "Any time I can win, I'll take it," said Billings. His greatest bowling accomplishment was winning the 1990 Petersen Classic Singles championship in Chicago. The prestigious Petersen, an amateur event, was rolled in a less than ideal site. "There must have been 100 buckets to catch the rain," Billings said. "It was a mess, not your conventional lanes." Maybe that's why Billings tells young bowlers to "have good fundamentals and bowl on as many different lane conditions as you can." His last four shots were strikes to give him a 1702 total and the victor's $45,000 first prize. Bowling has been a big part of Billing's life "because I've always enjoyed it and you meet such nice people. I'm still hyped up on it!"
Martial Arts 2003
This Akron native becomes the SCSHOF's first inductee from the field of martial arts. Alfonso Petrosino has turned his love of martial arts into the business of educating anyone and everyone in the art of self defense. "My goal in life is to be able to teach as many individuals as possible to be able to protect themselves and their loved ones," explains Petrosino. Petrosino is a former two-time, 1996-97, Professional Karate Commission (PKC) national champion in self defense and a four-time Ohio PKC Champion. His state championships came in self defense in 1994-96 and in '95 he also won for forms. A fourth Degree Black Belt, Petrosino became a Certified Ohio Instructor in Compliance Direction Takedown (CDT) and also a Certified Counter Terrorist Tactics Specialist in '99. CDT is a system that justifies the use of force for personal protection. He has conducted self defense seminars around the state as well as for the Akron Police Department, the Summit County Prosecutors' Office and the Summit County Board of Mental Retardation. In addition, he received commendations from the Ohio State Senate for his contributions to martial arts in 1994 and '95. In 1998 Alfonso was inducted into the U.S.A. International Black Belt Hall of Fame, was the Ohio Martial Artist of the Year in '99 and was the Ohio CDT Instructor of the Year in 2001.
A rebounding machine---that's the label teammates and opponents gave to Jerome Lane during his basketball career. From his prep days at St. Vincent/St. Mary, where he helped win the 1984 state title, through his college and professional career, Jerome Lane was always among the leaders in rebounding. In 1987, during his sophomore season at the University of Pittsburgh, Lane led the NCAA in rebounding. What made this feat so outstanding was Lane stood only 6' 6", but he was a broad body and knew how to get position under the boards. During his three-year tenure at Pittsburgh, the Panthers were a dominant team as they captured the Big East basketball crown twice. Lane was named to the All-Big East team in both his sophomore and junior years. He opted to forgo his senior year and enter the NBA draft. He was selected in the first round as the 23rd pick overall by the Denver Nuggets, becoming the first basketball player from St. Vincent/St. Mary to enter the NBA. He played nearly four seasons with the Nuggets doing what he does best-rebounding. In his first year he hauled in 200 rebounds in 54 games, an average of 3.7. Lane continued his assault on the boards throughout his four seasons with the Nuggets, culminating in his final year with 578 bounds, averaging 9.3 per game. Highlight of Lane's Denver years was a game in 1990 against the Houston Rockets. He scored 19 points, grabbed 27 rebounds against two of the best rebounders in the NBA-Hakim Alajawaun and Otis Thorpe. He ended his NBA career, playing his final year in 1992 with the Cleveland Cavaliers. But Lane wasn't finished with professional basketball. He joined the Continental Basketball Association (CBA), playing with four teams in five years. In one CBA game, he cleared the boards with 35 rebounds, a single game record for the league. Lane then completed his pro career with a one-year stint in Spain. Lane left his mark in both Spain and the CBA, as he holds game and season rebounding records for both leagues.