Central Catholic sets hall of fame inductions


Central Catholic will induct four athletes, one coach, two teams, and one distinguished citizen to its athletic hall of fame Sept. 14 at the Stranahan Great Hall at 5 p.m.

The athlete inductees are Dick Szymanski (Class of 1959; football and wrestling), Don Whiting (1977; basketball and baseball), Katherine (Mang) Carter (1991; volleyball, basketball, and track), and Lamar Chears (1999; basketball).

All four continued their athletic careers in college — Szymanski at Michigan, Whiting at Toledo, Carter at Capital, and Chears at Chicago State. Whiting and Carter are each members of the college athletic halls of fame. Chears was the 1999 Blade boys basketball player of the year.

Also joining the hall will be former wrestling coach Mitch Naufel, who guided the Irish for 24 seasons and is a member of the Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association hall of fame.

Inducted as a team will be the 1958-59 Central wrestling squad, which won the first City League wrestling championship, a regional title, and placed third in the state meet.

The other team inducted will be the 1982 football squad, which posted a 9-2-1, claimed the City League’s Red Division title, and won the CL championship.

Inducted posthumously to Central’s citizen’s award will be Tom Bensman (1975), who served as a basketball official for 32 years, as a football official for 30 years, and a lacrosse official for 25 years.

Also honored at the ceremony will be former volleyball coach, Melissa Belcher, and the late John Murphy (1962).

Belcher, who guided Central to the 2007 Division II state championship, was inducted into the school’s hall of fame in a special ceremony last September. Murphy, a standout in cross country and track, was to be inducted in 2011, but could not attend due to health reasons. He was officially inducted at a basketball game in February. He died in June.

The 2013 induction class will be introduced at halftime of the football game Sept. 13 against Perrysburg.

For tickets, contact Tracy Koralewski at 419-469-8757 or

Napoleon hires Vannettas athletic director

Mike Vannett, who retired from Bowling Green City Schools in June, is expected to be hired on Monday as an interim athletic director at Napoleon.

He will succeed former athletic director Brad Musgrave, who took the AD post at Wadsworth after the 2012-13 school year. Napoleon has been unsuccessful in hiring a replacement for Musgrave, and called on Vannett, who has 31 years in education as a teacher, coach, and administrator.

He was the Bobcats’ boys basketball coach from 1990-2002, and served as Bowling Green’s dean of students and athletic director from 2002 until his retirement there.

"They laid out what the situation was and I decided I’d be willing to help them out for the year," Vannett said. "It’s a good school, good community, good people, and they were in a tough situation. As of right now it’s an interim, one-year thing. Next spring they will open the job up again. It’s a play-it-by-ear thing."

The hiring is subject to approval at the Napoleon school board meeting on Monday.