Track & Field 2015
A sensational high school performance in both track and cross country at Akron North set the stage for an outstanding three years at Ohio University. In 1963 at North—his first year running cross country—Tillman won both the city and district individual championships, leading the Vikings team to capture both crowns. One year later he repeated as individual champ in both contests. During his two year’s competing in cross country he was undefeated on the Goodyear Metropolitan Park two-mile course.
In track competition, he was 1963 city and district champ in the mile and half-mile. As a senior in '64 he repeated the performance and finished second in the mile at the state meet and third in the half-mile. At Ohio University he lettered in track and cross country in his first two years setting an OU indoor record in the 600 yard run with a time of 1:10. As a sophomore, Tillman is credited with pushing the nationally renouned Jim Ryun to a world record time in the 800 meters at the U.S. Track and Field National Meet in Terra Haute, Indiana. The Bobcats track coach reportedly said prior to the race that “Tillman was the fella Ryun had to catch.” And it turned out to be true. Tillman took the lead at the start clocking 52.5 seconds compared to Ryun’s 53.3 and led over the first half of the race. Ryun finally passed the tiring Tillman some 200 yards from the finish line as he blazed toward the record.
In 1966, Tillman received All-American honors in the half-mile at the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Indiana University. He left OU to join the Marines where he represented the Corps in the 1968 Olympic trials in Los Angeles. After he left the Marines he joined Goodyear where he worked for nearly 24 years before deciding to complete his college education. He entered The University of Akron and earned a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Education. He taught in the Akron School system, retiring in 2013.
Ron Reed always knew that he wanted to be close to the world of sports. He also knew that he was not likely to achieve that goal as an athlete. The Akron Springfield graduate participated in football, basketball and baseball for the Spartans but as graduation neared in the spring of 1960 he realized his playing days were probably numbered. It was then that he made a decision that would positively affect the rest of his adult life. He decided to become an umpire and a referee.
Over the next 50 years he established himself as one of the most recognized and respected officials in the Greater Akron Area and the State of Ohio. Along the way he developed friendships and relationships with players, coaches and other officials that remain strong to this day.
Perhaps best known for his baseball umpiring career, which started at the “H” League Level, Reed has been on the field for more than 1400 high school games and more than 500 games at the collegiate level. He was selected to umpire the OHSAA State Baseball Finals 21 times, the Stan Musial World Series five times, the Roy Hobbs World Series four times and the Connie Mack World Series. In addition, Reed umpired for 19 seasons (450+ games) in the Akron AA League including seven league All-Star contests to go along with four Roy Hobbs All-Star and World Series events.
At the collegiate level he worked NCAA games in the Mid-American Conference, Ohio Valley Conference and Ohio Athletic Conference and NAIA games in the M.O.C. He was selected to serve as a substitute umpire in the Eastern League (AA) during the 1989 season and counts among his memorable moments a game behind the plate with former Cleveland Indians star Bartolo Colon on the mound and Einar Diaz behind the plate.
Reed has been an instructor in the Akron Umpire School for 46 years and is enshrined in the Greater Akron Baseball Hall of Fame (2013), Summit Umpires Hall of Fame (2006), The OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame (2006) and the All-American Soap Box Derby Hall of Fame (2008). He was honored as the NFHS Ohio Official of the Year (2002).
In addition to his baseball umpiring career, Reed served as a football official for 32 years and as a basketball referee for 22 seasons. Retired from National Standard, he and his wife Sandra are the parents of three daughters (Leslie, Denise and Valerie) and reside in Mogadore.
Kathleen Jordan Hohl
The daughter of two Akron Public Schools educators whose careers spanned a combined six decades, Kathleen Jordan Hohl embodied the term “student-athlete.” After a successful multi-sport career at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, which included the 1984 AAA state softball championship under SCSHOF member Coach Merrylou Windhorst, Jordan joined the storied University of Akron softball program coached by another SCSHOF member, Joey Arrietta .
Jordan earned four varsity letters from 1986-89 while playing on four consecutive winning teams. Her freshman season was mostly a learning and adjusting experience, but she saw enough action to letter on a 31-14 -1 team. In 1987 she started in 61 games at catcher and had six game-winning hits and a .293 slugging percentage as the Lady Zips compiled a 43-14 -1 record during UA’s inaugural season as a NCAA Division I member. That record earned UA a post-season bid to play in the National Invitational Championship where it finished seventh with a 2-2 mark. Without a doubt, Jordan’s breakout year came in 1988 on a team that set 38 records on the way to a 47-19 season. In addition to batting a career high .340 in 66 games, she hit three doubles against Austin Peay, which still stands as the UA and NCAA Division I single-game records, had only four strikeouts in 200 at-bats and was voted UA’s co-MVP. Those stats, coupled with her 3.5 GPA in the classroom, earned Jordan her highest athletic honors when she was named the university’s first NCAA Division I Academic All-American.
A starting catcher in 184 games for UA, Kathleen closed out her collegiate career by helping Akron compile a 36-23-1 record in 1989. She holds or is tied for the lead in three single-season categories and ranks among the top 10 in four single-season lists. The culmination of that career earned her induction into the UA Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
After working four years as a student assistant in the Zips’ sports information office, the 1989 UA graduate earned a master’s degree at Kent State in 1991 and went on to serve eight years as the sports information director at Marquette University. Hohl, who resides in Franklin, WI with husband, Paul, and son, Jordan, is currently director of communications at Milwaukee Area Technical College.
Track & Field 2015
In 1969 when Mogadore’s Doug Watts became the head track and cross country coach at Edinboro State College (now Edinboro University), his first recruit was a tenacious runner from Walsh Jesuit High School named Dave Antognoli. According to the legendary Watts, a 1991 SCSHOF inductee who amassed 44 years of coaching at Edinboro, Antognoli is the reason that the Fighting Scots became relevant on the national level. “He helped lay the foundation for the successful program that exists today,” praised Watts, who guided over 200 Edinboro athletes to All-American honors and five teams to national cross country titles!
Antognoli enjoyed a stellar college running career. He has the distinction of being Edinboro’s first All-American and first national champion. Antognoli won numerous individual titles, including the 1971 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Cross Country Championship, the 1972 NAIA 10,000 Meter Run and the 1972 U.S. Track & Field Six Mile Run. In addition, he was the top collegiate finisher in the 10,000 Meter Run in the 1972 Olympic Trials.
In his outstanding collegiate journey, Antognoli finished all four seasons undefeated in dual collegiate cross country competition and earned six NAIA All-America honors, three each in cross country and track. He was voted a member of the Edinboro Men’s All-Time Cross Country Team and was inducted into the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1983.
At Edinboro, Antognoli earned his B.S. degree in education in 1973 and his M.A. degree in English in 1976. While coaching in Kirtland, OH and through the influence of Watts, he guided Mary Jean Wright to victory in the first two Ohio State Cross Country Championships for women (1978 & 1979). Currently, the Cuyahoga Falls native is a retired high school English teacher but remains as head cross country coach at Neshannock High School, where in 2006 he guided Kacey Gibson to a Pennsylvania State Cross Country Championship and Runner of the Year honors. He and his wife, Ann, also an Edinboro graduate, have two adult children, Erin and Jason, and reside in New Castle, PA.
An exceptional athlete who came to The University of Akron in 1997 out of Park Hill High School in Kansas City, MO, Cheryl Bowles would become the Zips’ women’s basketball program’s first-ever first-team All-Mid-American Conference honoree, the all-time leading scorer and was a three-year captain during her four-year career.
The 6-4 first team All-Missouri center didn’t waste any time by setting the stage for an outstanding career by leading the UA women in scoring, 12.7 ppg, and rebounding, 7.2 rpg, that earned her a spot on the MAC All-Freshman team and she also received Honorable Mention honors, as well! Bowles would go on to pace UA in scoring and rebounding all four years. As a sophomore in 1998-99 she led UA to a 16-13 record, the best season since entering the NCAA I Division in 1983 and a first ever post-season berth in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, by upping her averages to 16.6 ppg and 9.0 rpg. Her performance was highlighted by career highs in points, 33 in a 73-66 win over Cleveland State and 20 rebounds in the 79-70 victory over St. Louis. As a result, Bowles was selected second team All-MAC and was named to the MAC All-Tournament squad.
Her last two seasons, Bowles cemented herself as one of the premiere players in Akron history by becoming the school’s then all-time leading scorer. In 1999-00, she set a school record with 497 points in a season, finished fourth in the conference in scoring (17.8 ppg), fourth in field-goal percentage (.553) and eighth in rebounding (8.4 rpg). It gave Bowles first team All-MAC honors and she also was a Kodak Honorable Mention All-American. Although her senior year did not go as well, she earned Honorable Mention All-MAC accolades and ended her 115-game career with 1,712 points, surpassing the old mark of 1,544. She was also a perfect 10 for 10 from the field versus Central Michigan that remains today as the record to beat.
Her No. 24 was honored in 2011 and now hangs from the rafters of Rhodes Arena on the UA campus and she was inducted into the UA Hall of Fame in 2012. Currently, Cheryl is Central Regional Director at EXOS/MediFit and resides in Kansas City, MO.
As a youngster, Thomas Lewis didn’t see himself as a football player. As far as he was concerned, track and basketball were his sports. But his uncle saw speed to burn for someone so young and Thomas was introduced to football at the tender age of eight. He proved on the PeeWee football fields he had skill for the game and proved it at Garfield High School. Under the eye of long time football coach and Hall of Fame member, Bill McGee, he blossomed, becoming a three-year letterman as a wide receiver and punt and kickoff return man. He also played defensive back and became the first football player in Ohio history to be named All-State for both an offensive and defensive position.
During his three-year prep career, he made 120 receptions and scored 14 touchdowns. He earned a scholarship to Indiana University where for two years he shined on the gridiron. He was named first team All Big Ten Conference in 1993 and Most Valuable Player for the Hoosiers that same year. In November of ’93 against Penn State, he tied one Big Ten record for a pass reception by traveling 99 yards for a touchdown and set one that same day with 14 receptions and 285 receiving yards. To help the family financially at home, he declared for the NFL draft in 1994.
The New York Giants selected him in the first round as the 24th pick and the 6 ft 1 inch, 195 lb Lewis joined the Giants as a wide receiver and return man. Lightening did strike twice when Lewis caught a kickoff for the Giants on the one-yard line and zoomed 99 yards for a touchdown against the Washington Redskins. He left the Giants in 1997 and completed his playing days with the Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers.
The promise he made to his mother that he would get his college degree came true in 1999 when he was graduated from Indiana University. He currently is an executive with Gatorade Sports Marketing in Phoenix, Arizona. He is married and he and his wife, Catina, have three daughters.
He was introduced to the world of golf by his uncle Tony at the age of two, started playing nine holes at Silver Lake Country Club when he was just six and played in his first tournament at the age of 12. Despite that early introduction to the sport that would later become his life’s work, Rob Wakeling still thought of himself as a baseball player with a little basketball thrown in during the off-season. As a teenager golf began to take up more of his time. He worked at Fox Den Golf Course making minimum wage and taking advantage of free golf. After winning Walsh’s team qualifier as a freshman, earning a spot on the Varsity, his future was becoming clearer. His game continued to improve and by the time he was a junior it became apparent that golf was going to be his calling.
In 1987, he won the Ohio PGA Junior Championship, the USGA Junior Amateur qualifier and the U.S. Open Sectional qualifier. He followed that up by winning the 1988 U.S. Junior Open qualifier and a solid senior season at Walsh and was all set to accept a scholarship to Ohio State when fate intervened. “I played poorly in the regionals at Windmill Lakes and lost in a playoff,” Wakeling said “Ohio State told me I wasn’t good enough to play there after that and I ended up coming to Kent State.” That decision turned out just fine, both for the Golden Flashes and for Wakeling. He played in all but one tournament during his collegiate career and helped lead the Flashes to an incredible 17 team tournament championships including the 1993 NCCAA Regional Title.
In 1992, following his junior season at Kent State, Wakeling had another big summer. He won the Summit and Portage County Open Tournaments, and was the Champion of the Ohio Public Links and U.S. Public Tournaments, as well as the U.S. Amateur Sectional Tournament. He qualified for the Ben Hogan Fort Wayne Open which is now the WEB.com Tour and turned pro following graduation in 1993. Wakeling earned four Varsity Letters and was twice the runner-up in the NCAA Men’s Golf Long Drive Competition. He helped lead the Golden Flashes to Mid-American Conference Team Championships in 1992 and 1993 and earned first team All-Conference honors in each of those seasons. As a senior and team captain in 1993, he was named to the All-District IV team. Individually he finished tied for 15th at the 1993 Regional Tournament and placed in the Top 50 at the NCAA National Championships.
After competing on the Pro Tour for several seasons he made a career switch and became a Stock Broker. He followed that up with a three-year stint in the golf industry and later as a BMW salesman before returning to the game he loved. He was the Head Boy’s Golf Coach for two seasons at Walsh Jesuit and since 2008 has been the Associate Head Men’s Golf Coach at Kent State. In 2013, also served as the Interim Head Coach of the Kent State Women’s Golf Team and led the Flashes to their 15th consecutive Mid-American Conference Team Championship. He and his wife, Nikole, live in Hudson and are the proud parents of daughters, Alexis and MacKenzie.