A 1967 graduate of Elyria High, Jack was named 2nd team All-Ohio and first team All-Buckeye Conference as an offensive and defensive lineman on the Elyria’s 8-1-1 state ranked team that featured fellow ESHOF’s Jack Beidleman. The Pioneers only loss came to undefeated Sandusky. Legendary Ohio State coach Woody Hayes personally visited the Marsh family in Elyria and gave Jack a full-ride scholarship to play for the Buckeyes where he earned a letter in 1970. Jack was the Chronicle-Telegram’s co-player-of-the-year with Beidleman in 1966, earning player-of-the-week honors three times during the season. He teamed with Carl Leslie to give Elyria an outstanding tandem at defensive end. Jack was singled out by a number of opposing coaches during the season for his defensive prowess. As an offensive guard, Jack helped open holes as four different backs – including two other Hall-of-Famers (Al Robinson and Tim Johnson) gained at least 100 yards on the ground led by Beidleman, who set a then school record 1,160 yards. Elyria finished with nearly 2,400 yards rushing and over 3,000 yards total while holding its opponents to half that total. The Pioneers scored 251 points and relinquished just 69. After graduation from Ohio State, Jack married his high school sweetheart Paulette and recently retired after a successful business career with Worthington Steel in Michigan.
PEGGY FORTUNE YETMAN
Peggy, an Elyria High grad, earned 16 varsity letters at Baldwin-Wallace and is a member of B-W’s Hall of Fame (Class of 2001) for excellence in track, cross country and swimming. Peggy, known by her maiden name of Fortune at Baldwin-Wallace, was a D-III All-American in the 10,000 meter race where she set the school record. She a 4.0 student and three-time All-Academic All-American for the Yellow Jackets and still holds B-W’s indoor 3,000 meter record of 10:11.5. As a youngster, Peggy was rated as an outstanding gymnast and just recently competed and finished fourth in the World Triathlon in Kuilua-Kona Hawaii. The Triathlon consists of 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and 26.2 miles of running.
The name Gilbert has been synonymous with athletic excellence in Lorain County and Elyria starting with Jerry Gilbert Sr., a 1957 EHS grad. Jerry Jr., a 1974 graduate Elyria High in 1974 led a dramatic tournament run during his junior year that saw the Pioneers come within a whisker of knocking off eventual state champion Cincinnati Elder at the state semi-finals. His sister Ann is already enshrined in the ESHOF and his step-brother – Eric Gilbert – was Mr. Basketball at Clearview in 1997. Jerry was named to the All-State tournament team as he led the Pioneers’ valiant effort with 22 points. It was Jerry that caught fire in leading Elyria to regional victories over Cleveland powers Kennedy (56-55) and defending state champion East Tech (72-61) the week before in a memorable tournament at John Carroll. As a senior, Jerry led Elyria is scoring (18.7) and he shot a sizzling 140 of 173 (81 percent) from the foul line for his varsity career. As a junior varsity pitcher, Jerry was 5-0 with an earned run average of 0.46 – fanning 50 hitters in 31 innings. On the varsity, Jerry was a key hitter and pitcher on two Buckeye Conference championship teams, hitting .326 as a senior and 5-0 as a pitcher. Jerry walked only three batters in 33 innings of work and had an ERA of 0.64 while striking out 32 hitters. Elyria won 37 games and lost only three in those two seasons. Jerry played both basketball and baseball at Ashland College after graduating at Elyria before enlisting in the Air Force. Jerry lives in Sacramento, California.
Brad became Elyria Catholic’s first track state champion by winning the 880 in 1978 with a school record 1:56.0. Jim Rattay, an Elyria Sports Hall of Famer as EC’s successful football coach, also handled the track team and sighted Brad for his role in running both the 440 and 880 for the Panthers’ North Central Conference champions – giving the Panthers NCC titles in football, golf, boys’ basketball, wrestling and track in their final year competing in the conference. The track championship ended Bedford Chanel’s four-year grip on the title. Brad also was a member of the 3200-meter and two-mile relay teams. As a freshman, he ran on the 1974 state championship Cross Country team and came back from a tonsillectomy that kept him on the sidelines the first two weeks of his senior season only to come back to help the Panthers to another crown in 1977. Brad finished 13th overall at the state meet by trimming 1:40 off his best time. He earned a scholarship to the University of Toledo.
Suzanne, a 1970 EC graduate, returned to her alma mater to help organize and build a successful women’s sports program for the Panthers. She was EC’s first women’s coach in basketball, tennis, track and volleyball as well as Women’s Athletic Director, a position she held for many, many years. As a volleyball coach, Suzanne won over 300 games and directed the Panthers to the 1993 state tournament. The Panthers were 21-4 that season. She won a number of conference coach-of-the-year awards.
1977 & 1978 ELYRIA CATHOLIC STATE CHAMPION CROSS COUNTRY TEAMS
Joining its predecessors from 1973 and 1974 as members of the Elyria Sports Hall of Fame will be Elyria Catholic’s back-to-back state champion cross country teams. Under the direction of Steve Currier, EC won the 1977 championship. Two runners – junior Bill Kukucka and senior Brad House – finished in the top 15 as the Panthers won with a score of 106. The following year, Hall-of-Fame coach Dick Elsasser returned after a two-year hiatus to lead the Panthers to an incredible winning score of 43 which remains the lowest in the history of cross country state meet. All five Panther runners finished in the top 15 at the meet. Sophomore Ron Rick finished fourth, sophomore Mike Wirscham sixth, senior Adam Rick seventh, senior John Murphy 12th and senior Kukucka 14th as EC finished in front of runnerup Navarre Fairless by an incredible margin of 84 points. Only 22 seconds separated EC’s top five runners in 1978 and all five turned in their best times of the season at Columbus.
Doug has been a fixture on the Ely Stadium chain gang for football for over 30 years. He has been very faithful and has missed just a handful of games over that span. The Hall of Fame presented Doug with his very own set of first down markers in honor of his service to Elyria.