WAUSEON - The season-opening boys basketball contest between Archbold and Wauseon always is an exciting event for both schools.
This year, that contest will hold even more significance for fans of the Indians.
Before this year's varsity game tips off, the Wauseon athletic department will induct the inaugural class into its newly formed Athletic Hall of Fame. The game is scheduled for tomorrow, with the ceremony to begin shortly after the 6 p.m. junior varsity game ends.
Ken Baumgartner, one of seven members of the Wauseon Hall of Fame committee, said the idea for a hall of fame at his alma mater is not a new one.
"We first talked about the need [for a hall of fame] three or four years ago," Mr. Baumgartner said. "When we first met in September of 2006, we didn't talk about who should go in; we talked about ideas for the hall, such as guidelines to choose inductees, when to hold the ceremony, and things like that.
"We were creating a hall of fame from scratch," he said.
Mr. Baumgartner said the Wauseon committee - which also includes Tracy (Hanson) Beck, Larry Burt, William Drummer, Andy Roth, Marvin Stoll, and Bree Wood - began by soliciting ideas from other schools that have halls of fame such as Napoleon, Archbold, and Swanton.
Eventually the group, with help from school superintendent Marc Robinson, principal Joseph Sevenich, and athletic director William Gase, decided to announce the inductees at the first home football game of the season, then introduce them at the boys' basketball home opener.
Each honoree will receive a plaque that lists his or her accomplishments, with a duplicate plaque to be displayed by the concession stand in the northeast corner of the gym.
The criteria for selection to the hall of fame included a wait of 15 years after graduation. Athletes will be selected based on outstanding performance as well as good citizenship, while coaches will be chosen based on displaying positive teaching and guidance as well as serving as a positive role model.
The committee also created a category for citizens who have helped the school's athletic department with time and effort.
Former Michigan and Baltimore Colts football star Rick Volk (Class of 1963) headlines the list of eight inaugural inductees. The list also includes Red Doane (1932), Vic Keller (1943), Hal Robinson (1947), Jack Baker (1954), brothers Jim (1945) and Joe Gype (1959) as well as former coach Charlie Meyer.
Mr. Volk received 13 letters in four sports at Wauseon, then won All-American honors as a defensive back at Michigan. He joined the Colts in 1968 and received All Pro honors in the NFL in 1968, '70, and '72; he also earned a Super Bowl ring by helping Baltimore win Super Bowl V.
Mr. Doane received four letters in football for the Indians, playing both fullback and linebacker. After graduating in 1932, Mr. Doane was offered a scholarship to play at Ohio State but turned it down to work at home during the Great Depression. He later earned a Bronze Star in World War II and worked for the postal service before passing away in 1981.
Mr. Keller received nine varsity letters in football, track, and basketball. He starred on the court, where he set Northwest Ohio Athletic League records for points in a game (37), season (177), and career (438). He twice was voted first-team all NWOAL and was honorable mention All-Ohio in 1943.
Mr. Robinson received 10 varsity letters in football, basketball, and track, helping the Indians win their first NWOAL football title in 1944. With Mr. Robinson's help, Wauseon also won NWOAL titles in basketball in 1944-45 and in track in 1945. In track Mr. Robinson, who later became a top U.S. Seniors competitor, finished second in the long jump and fourth in the high jump in state competition in 1945.
Mr. Baker received three letters in basketball and two in baseball at Wauseon. As a senior pitcher, Mr. Baker threw three no-hitters, including back-to-back no-hitters against Swanton and Bryan as well as a perfect game against Fayette. He later pitched at Wilmington College, posting a 21-6 record for the Quakers.
The Gype brothers both played on Wauseon's football and basketball teams, but they are being honored primarily for their longtime work on the school's football "chain gang," moving the first-down markers. Jim Gype has spent more than 50 years on the chain gang, while Joe Gype spent 43 years on the chain gang before passing away in 2006.
And Mr. Meyer spent 31 years as the track coach of the Indians, helping Wauseon claim 13 NWOAL titles as well as a pair of sectional/district titles. Mr. Meyer also served as an assistant football coach for 16 years, cross country coach for three seasons, and was assistant commissioner of the NWOAL for 14 years.
A reception to honor the eight-member inaugural class will be held at the school after the basketball game.
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