Wayne County Sports HOF announces latest class

Wayne County Sports HOF announces latest class

The Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame has announced its Class of 2024, which will be inducted at a ceremony on Saturday, June 22 at the Greystone Event Center in Wooster.

The 24th WCSHOF class consists of Nick Bellanco, Mike Breckenridge, Barb Davis, Terry Dilyard, Brad Doty, Beth Green, Mason Monheim, Erica (Short) Baker, Rhonda Schaffer-Smith and Harold Weaver.

Also voted into the WCSHOF was Kara (Koch) Kornowski, but she’s unable to attend the ceremony and is eligible to be inducted with the Class of 2026.

The late Mary Kay Hajek will be honored with the Harold Oswald Special Contributor Award for her longtime support of area athletics.

The WCSHOF Board of Trustees had more than 100 individuals to consider who have been nominated, as well candidates selected from an old-timers list.

“This is one of the best Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame classes ever,” said Aaron Dorksen, board president. “Congratulations to all of the honorees. We’re looking forward to a great banquet in June.

“The last time our board voted on a hall of fame class was 2020, but due to COVID, the banquet was postponed to 2022. For the Class of 2024, we had four years of outstanding new nominees to consider, plus our existing list.”

Bellanco participated in football, basketball, track and lacrosse at Wooster before graduating in 2005 and continuing his football and track careers at Ashland University. Bellanco was an all-conference quarterback for the Generals and became one of the top wide receivers in Eagles’ history and a six-time Division II All-American in track.

When someone thinks of Wooster radio, Breckenridge is usually the first name that comes to mind. During a long and distinguished career that started at Wooster’s WQKT 104.5-FM/WKVX 960-AM in 1989, Breckenridge has announced high school and College of Wooster sports and is the assistant general manager/sports director.

Davis lettered in basketball, track and volleyball as part of the Wooster H.S. Class of 1982 and also excelled in those sports at The College of Wooster. She graduated No. 2 in COW history in career scoring and rebounding and was a standout on North Coast Athletic Conference title teams in basketball and track.

Dilyard holds a record that will probably never be broken — from 1951-58 the Northwestern graduate never played in a losing basketball game. He was an All-Wayne County League guard on the Huskies’ 29-0 1958 Class A state title team. He also was a standout third baseman for Huskies’ teams that won 48 straight games.

Doty was one of the nation’s best sprint car drivers from 1982-88 before his car crashed and he suffered a spinal injury that confined him to a wheelchair. However, the Wayne County native continues to participate in the sport he loves as a national television announcer, writer and race promoter. He’s in the National Sprint Car HOF.

It’s rare just to play two collegiate sports, but Green was the NCAC Player of the Year in basketball and volleyball for Wittenberg. The 1990 Wooster H.S. graduate excelled in volleyball, basketball and track for the Generals.

Monheim became one of the top football players in area history as part of Orrville’s Class of 2012 and went on to become one of the best linebackers in Illinois history. He was a two-time Div. IV Ohio Defensive POTY for the Red Riders and finished seventh on the Illini career tackles list (ahead of the legendary Dick Butkus) and started the final 47 games of his career.

Erica (Short) Baker led Orrville to a state title in volleyball in 2004 and was a first-team All-Ohioan. The 2007 OHS graduate also excelled in basketball. At Indiana, Short earned first-team All-Big Ten honors as a senior in volleyball and at the time of graduation was the Hoosiers’ career kills leader. She played volleyball professionally in Puerto Rico, Spain and Germany.

Rhonda Schaffer-Smith was Wooster’s career scoring leader in basketball at the time of her graduation in 1982. She went on to become a two-time All-American at Conners State and then transferred to SW Oklahoma State, where she was a first-team All-American and led her team to the 1987 NAIA national championship.

Weaver led Triway to a state runner-up finish in baseball as a senior in 1974 and was selected as a first-team All-Ohioan. He went on to become one of the area and nation’s top fastpitch players, hurling 22 no-hitters and being picked as an All-American in 1989.

Follow the website at www.waynecountysportshof.com, Facebook or Twitter pages for future announcements. Anyone with questions about the WCSHOF or the induction ceremony should email waynecountysportshof@yahoo.com.

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