Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame announces 2020 class

Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame announces 2020 class

The Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2020, which will be inducted at a ceremony on Saturday, June 20 at the Greystone Event Center in Wooster.

The 23rd biennial WCSHOF class consists of Tommy Brenner, Paul Dodez, Mike Gallagher, Whitney (Hooley) Hofstetter, Kyle Kauffman, Matt Palm, Josh Piatt, Shelton Riffle and Dr. Jared Zwick. Also voted into the WCSHOF was Nicole Camp, but she’s unable to attend the ceremony and will be inducted with the Class of 2022.

Jack Miller will be honored with the Harold Oswald Special Contributor Award for his longtime support of area athletics.

Brenner, a 2005 graduate of Orrville High, is known as one of the Red Riders’ best all-around athletes and leaders, starting in basketball for four years and three years in football, a sport in which he earned first-team All-Ohio honors twice and Ohio Cardinal Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 before lettering four times at Ashland University.

The late Dodez, a 1931 graduate of Mount Eaton High who passed away in 1984, was a baseball and basketball standout for the Pirates. Despite Mount Eaton not having a football team, Dodez started on the gridiron for The College of Wooster and earned All-Ohio Conference honors for a league championship team in 1934. As a teacher, administrator and official, his many roles included working as the Wooster High head coach for football, basketball, baseball and swimming at various times during the 1940s and '50s.

Gallagher, the Wooster High girls basketball coach from 1986-2005, compiled a 356-90 record at Wooster, coaching his teams to two state runner-up finishes, nine district titles and 11 conference championships, landing in the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame after retiring with 418 wins over 26 seasons. He also coached three Wooster golf teams to the state tournament and was a longtime football assistant.

(Hooley) Hofstetter, a 2004 Wooster High graduate, put the Generals’ girls swimming program on the state map. She was a seven-time Div. I All-Ohioan, swimming at state in the 100-yard butterfly and 100 backstroke all four. In an incredible senior season, Hooley was the state runner-up in the 100 backstroke, fourth in the 100 fly and became the first WHS girl or boy to earn All-American status, doing it in both events. She earned a scholarship to Div. I Gardner-Webb (Georgia) and set four individual program records.

Kauffman, a 2003 graduate of Smithville High, was a football standout, earning first-team All-Ohio honors on offense as a junior after rushing for 1,937 yards and 29 TDs in 2001 and being named to the defensive first team as a senior. If that wasn’t enough, he also was an extremely accurate place-kicker, helping him score 317 points in his final two seasons. Kauffman led the 2002 Smithies to a 14-1 record and Div. V state runner-up finish.

Palm, a 1991 graduate of Smithville High, was a three-year letterwinner in baseball and basketball and lettered twice in golf, then played baseball at The College of Wooster, where he was a four-year letterwinner and helped the 1994 Scots to the Div. III College World Series. Palm went on to coach Heidelberg to a 459-207-2 record including a CWS trip in 2010, six NCAA tourney trips and four OAC tourney titles. He was the OAC Coach of the Year six times, and he’s now the athletic director for The ‘Berg.

Piatt, a 1995 graduate of Norwayne High, was one of the area’s best basketball players in the 1990s. He led Norwayne to WCAL titles in 1994 and 1995, helped the Bobcats reach the regionals in 1994, and finished with 1,042 career points. After taking his talents to Kentucky Christian College, Piatt led the team to a 108-38 record and three NCCAA Div. II titles. He scored a school record 2,569 points and had his jersey number retired in 2000.

Riffle, a 1994 graduate of Orrville High, won state pole vault titles in 1993 and 1994. His season-best jump of 16-0 in 1994 was fourth in OHSAA history at the time and ranked sixth in the nation. Riffle went on to pole vault for Kentucky and ranked among the NCAA leaders with a jump of 17-5 3/4 to qualify for the Junior Olympics in Europe. He finished his track and field career at Kent State. Riffle also earned three letters in football and two in basketball for the Red Riders.

Zwick, a 1996 graduate of Orrville High, played quarterback on the Red Riders’ 1994 Div. IV state runner-up team and helped them to the Final Four in 1995. He threw for 2,238 yards and 28 touchdowns in 1995 en route to earning second-team All-Ohio honors. Zwick then lettered for four years at Youngstown State, where he played on the 1997 Div. I-AA national championship team. Zwick was a three-year letterman in basketball for Orrville, and the all-around athlete had the fastest time in Wayne County in the 100-meter dash as a senior while also helping the 4-by-100 relay team win All-Ohio honors.

Camp, a 2004 graduate of Norwayne High, is one of the top distance runners in area history. In cross country she placed third at the Div. III state meet in 2003 and seventh in 2002 while in track she earned All-Ohio honors in the 3,200 run and 3,200 relay. After earning a scholarship to Toledo, Camp earned All-Mid-American Conference honors in both sports. She recently completed her third and final U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon with her best finish a 37th in 2 hours, 39 minutes in the 2012 Houston Trials. Her many accomplishments also include winning the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon in 2010 and 2011.

Miller, a 1970 graduate of Triway High, has always looked to find ways to support athletics, with his biggest contributions lending financial support to Triway, his alma mater Ashland University and most recently the Ohio State wrestling program. The retired president of Ken Miller Supply was the Triway Little League commissioner and a coach for many years. Ashland’s Jack Miller Stadium and Triway’s Jack Miller Field are named after him.

The June 20 banquet will begin with a dinner at 6 p.m. with the ceremony to follow dinner. The cost is $35 per person with children 12 and under at $20. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

Reservations must be made in advance of the event, as there will be no tickets sold at the door. To reserve a spot, checks payable to the Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame can be mailed to WCSHOF, P.O. Box 1193, Wooster, OH 44691.

Anyone with questions about the WCSHOF or the induction ceremony is asked to email waynecountysportshof@yahoo.com. The WCSHOF also needs information on how to contact one of Dodez’s relatives.

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