Elyria Sports Hall of Fame

ESHOF Class of 2024

The Elyria Sports Hall of Fame will induct our 2024 Class into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 4 at the Spitzer Center on the campus of Lorain County Community College. Congratulations to this year’s class. 


Ricky Lewis, Elyria High School, Wrestling
Lewis didn’t just win a wrestling state championship his senior season at Elyria High, he helped guide the Pioneers to their first team state championship in any sport. Elyria’s Class AAA state title in 1973 is still the only wrestling team title won in Lorain County history.

Lewis was the sectional runner-up that year, then went on to win the district championship before finishing on top of the podium in Columbus.

He joined older brother Wilbur Lewis as a state champion – Wilbur won the 138-pound title as a senior in 1967 – and joins Wilbur as an Elyria Sports Hall of Fame enshrine – Wilbur was inducted in 2006.

Ricky was previously inducted into the Elyria Sports Hall of Fame with the 1973 Elyria High wrestling team in 1993.

He reportedly put a scare into Elyria wrestling coach Bill Pierson by weighing in 2.5 pounds over the night before the state meet, then weighing at 2.5 under during the day of competition.

Lewis went on to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps, wrestled during his freshman year at Lorain County Community College before injuring his knee and went on to be an assistant coach under Skip Fair for the Elyria West wrestling team in 1979.

Alexis McCall, Elyria High School, Track
McCall put her stamp on the area track and field scene and is considered one of the greatest even when it comes to girls shot put at Elyria High or in all of Lorain County.

McCall was a four-time conference champion, a four-time district champion, a four-time state qualifier and captured the 1999 Division I shot put state championship. She was also a two-time conference champion in discus, qualifying to the state tournament in that event and placing fourth her senior season.

McCall won the final Erie Shore Conference shot put title during her freshman season with a throw of 36 feet, 3 inches. She won her last three titles in the Lake Erie League, as well as her two discus crowns.

McCall won district and regional shot put titles as a freshman – winning the regional title at Oak Harbor with a throw of 41-1 – and then finished ninth at state with a throw of 38-5. She repeated the performance as a sophomore – winning the Amherst district title with a throw of 40-6 and the Margaretta regional title with a throw of 42-8 – before placing third in the state with a throw of 43-8.

McCall finally broke through during her junior year. She once again swept the first two postseason stages – winning the Amherst district title with a throw of 46-5 and the Amherst regional title with a throw of 47-4 – before earning her spot on top of the state podium with a throw of 44-5. She placed third in the discus at the district with a throw of 128-2, and seventh at the regional with a throw of 117-3.

McCall wrapped up her high school career with a fourth straight district shot put title (45-9), was the regional runner-up (46-5) and finished as the state runner-up (45-8). She also captured the district discus championship that season with a throw of 121-11, took third at the regional with a throw of 133-6 and placed fourth at state with a Lorain County-record throw of 140-10.

McCall also excelled at The Ohio State University, setting the school indoor record in shot put multiple times, winning a Big Ten indoor championship in 2002 and qualifying for the indoor and outdoor national championships that season. She was named an All-American during the 2002 season.

McCall graduated with a degree in criminology from Ohio State.

PJ Mahone, Elyria High School, Football
While Mahone wasn’t the first Elyria High player to win the Golden Helmet Award as Lorain County’s top senior football player, he was the top player on the first Pioneers team to earn a spot in the Ohio High School Athletic Association playoffs.

Mahone had a prolific senior season in 2005 to capture the area’s top individual honor and help his team make history.

During that season, Mahone rushed for 1,676 yards, added 805 receiving yards and set school records with 30 touchdowns and 184 points.

Under the direction of coach Mark Solis and with Mahone’s cousin Roger Smith, who transferred from Clearview, as the quarterback, the Pioneers became just the second Division I program in the county – joining the 1984 Admiral King Admirals – to qualify for the playoffs. Elyria’s 21-9 win over Toledo St. John’s Jesuit in the first round was the county’s first playoff victory by a Division I team.

He rushed for 268 yards against Medina as Elyria came from 21 points down to defeat the Bees 44-21 to conclude the regular season with an 8-2 record and earn a share of the Pioneer Conference crown with Brunswick.

Mahone, who was also a three-year letterwinner for the Pioneers baseball team, was named the Offensive Player of the Year in the district, the Player of the Year in the county, the MVP of the Pioneer Conference and an All-Ohio first-team selection.

Mahone went on to play defensive back for at Bowling Green, where he led the team in tackles (95) while grabbing three interceptions and finishing with seven pass breakups in 2008. During his sophomore season, he was named to the All-Mid-American Conference second team after leading the league with seven interceptions and finishing third on the team with 90 tackles.

Emily Taylor, Elyria Catholic, Basketball
Taylor was part of a senior class that helped lead Elyria Catholic girls basketball to its first state tournament appearance in 2011. The point guard was named to the All-Ohio second team after the breakout season – her third straight year earning All-Ohio recognition as she was given special mention as both a junior and sophomore.

Reaching the 1,000-point plateau during her career with the Panthers, Taylor was an All-Lorain County first-team selection all four years and was named the Division III Player of the Year as a senior. She was also a three-time first-team all-district and All-North Coast League selection.

Playing for coach Eric Rothgery, Taylor finished with 12 points, three steals, three assists and seven rebounds during a 53-49 loss to unbeaten and top-ranked Oak Hill in the Division III state semifinals. The Panthers finished a program-best 24-3 that season.

Taylor went on to play at Walsh University for a season – appearing in 29 games and making six starts while averaging 3.8 points per game – and then transferred to John Carroll University, where she became a full-time starter and averaged 10.9 points and three rebounds in 27 games her senior season. She connected on a team-high 48 3-pointers while leading the team with 80 assists.

Taylor started all 27 games her junior season, too, finishing fifth on the team at 9.7 points a game and knocking down 41 3-pointers and averaging 3.1 assists per game.

After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Criminology, Taylor stayed at JCU for three years earning her Master of Education degree in Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services while also serving as a graduate assistant coach for the women’s basketball team.

For the last four years, Taylor has served as a full-time assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Merrimack College women’s basketball team in North Andover, Massachusetts.

Ron Traut, Elyria Catholic, Football
Traut was a three-sport star at Elyria Catholic and even within those sports he often showed his versatility and ability to compete at an elite level.

It was the football field where he was one of the shining stars for the Panthers’ defense, helping EC roll to a dominating 45-20 victory over Cincinnati McNicholas in the Division III state championship game in 1984.

Traut, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior defensive back, intercepted a pair of passes in the title game and returned both for touchdowns. He was also part of the Panthers squad that captured the state championship in 1983.

“Traut was unbelievable,” EC linebacker Paul Yeager, Traut’s cousin, was quoted as saying after the 1984 state final. “He was like the heart of our ‘D’ this whole playoffs. He’s been the star.”

In a 7-6 win over Lima Bath, Traut was credited for helping the Panthers advance with his punting skills. In a 14-13 win over Orrville, Traut gave EC the edge with his rushing skills and another momentum-stealing interception.

Traut’s big season, which included a school record-tying eight interceptions, paid off in big postseason accolades. He was named to the All-Ohio, all-district, All-Lorain County and all-conference first teams, and was selected to play in the prestigious North-South All-Star Game in 1985 – his North squad won 31-10.

Traut also played basketball and ran track for EC. He advanced to the state finals in the long jump in 1984 and was a member of the Panthers 400-meter relay team that advanced to the state finals in 1985. Traut also competed in the Lorain County decathlon in 1984 and ’85.

Traut eventually earned a full scholarship to the University of Cincinnati.

2009 Elyria High School Softball Team
Elyria Softball Coach Ken Fenik, ESHOF Class of 2013, had the best line in the post-game interview room following Elyria’s third straight championship loss at Akron in 2008.

“Do they give you a cake or something for losing three in a row,” he dead-panned following a heartbreaking, 10 inning, 1-0 loss to North Canton Hoover, marking the third straight shutout loss for the Pioneers in the state title game.

It wouldn’t happen again in 2009 when Elyria took on Hudson, a team that handed Elyria one of those three stinging losses. In the fourth inning, the Pio-neers broke a scoreless state title game 28 inning drought by batting around and scoring six runs, capped off with a grand slam home run off the bat of then sophomore Kristen Boros. Tess Sito, the All-Ohio senior pitcher, took care of the rest, striking out 11 batters, walking none and allowing only two hits. Elyria (29-3) won, 10-1.

“It feels like a weight has been lifted,” said Fenik, sitting at the same table in the post-game press conference. “I thought if we could score just once, we’d win.”

Sito, who was inducted into the Elyria Sports Hall of Fame in 2022, had a splendid year on the mound. She finished with 26 wins. Hudson’s only run came on a home run to centerfield that freshman Alanna Williams tried to reach by knocking down two sections of the temporary home run fence.

Even though the final score might not indicate as much, the Pioneer’s de-fense played a huge role in the win. Junior Ashlee Stolarski made two splendid plays at third base. Boros made a leaping grab of a liner at shortstop and Sito herself made a bang-bang stab of a hard liner right back at her.

It was Stolarski that got the offense untracked in the fourth inning. She led off with a single to center and freshman Alyssa Barker and senior Kristen Fyffe followed with infield singles, scoring Stolarski. Sito was walked intentionally and Barker scored on Williams’ single to right.

Boros crushed a 1-1 pitch over not one but two fences in left field more than 200 feet from home plate to clear the bases and give Elyria a 6-0 lead.

The mob scene at home plate lifted three years of frustration for Fenik and the Pioneers along with over 300 fans that made the trip to Akron.

“Finally,” said Sito. “I feel relief.”

The roster included Williams, Alexis Cross, Barker, Taryn Hershberger, Darien Ward, Cynthia Woodard, Boros, Stolarski, Fyffe, Sito, Paige Pileski, Sa-rah Bracy and Alesha Mahone. Assisting Fenik were Joclyn Fada, Caroline Loomer, Julie Sito and Gordy Cohagen. Ann Hamker, this year’s DSA winner, was the team’s trainer.

Ann Hamker, Elyria High School, Distinguished Service 
It’s funny how things turn out sometimes. If it weren’t for an injury when Ann Hamker was a freshman softball player at Keystone, who knows where she might have ended up.

“I got injured my freshman year in softball,” Hamker once said. “I met the Athletic Trianer. He came out and checked my shoulder and told me what to do. I thought this is kind of cool. My sophomore year, I was asked by the local Athletic Trainer if I wanted to go to a camp over at the old Lorain Catholic High School. I went and thought this was really cool.”

The rest as they say, is history. Hamker graduated from Ohio University in 1994 and got her Master’s degree in 1995. She started at Elyria High in the summer of 1998 along with working at Jaworski Physical Therapy. She’s been on EHS’ training staff for over 25 years, impacting countless athletes and their minor – and sometimes major – injuries and pain. She’s helped thousands regain their mobility and strength through her work at Jaworski’s.

Ask any Elyria coach and they’ll tell you, Ann goes above and beyond working with athletes across all sports to improve their strength, conditioning and rehabilitation from injuries on a daily basis. Her impact is immeasurable.

The Elyria Sports Hall of Fame would like to thank all our sponsors for their generous support.

2024 Scholarship Winners

Winners will be announced on Saturday, May 4 at this year’s banquet.