1/2/2013 11:53:00 AM
Eaton Community Schools welcomes first HOF class
Eaton Community Schools welcomed five individuals, six teams and one coach into its first Athletic Hall of Fame class last weekend, honoring the inductees at a ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 29, at Eaton High School.
The former players, teams and coach were from Dixon-Israel and Eaton High School, and participated in athletics from 1936-1952.
“Each inductee has had a brush with athletic competition at the state and/or professional level. As a sign of the times this first induction class is all male. The OHSAA tournament was in its infancy at the time. Professional teams were rare,” Master of Ceremonies Jeff Kiracofe said.
“Both organizations during the 30s, 40s and 50s barely resemble what we know them to be at this time. In the years between the Great Depression and the Korean Conflict, extra curricular activities were a luxury to schools, not a mainstay. Dixon-Israel and Eaton High Schools were blessed with talented individuals willing to sacrifice for excellence in athletics. We honor those individuals today.”
Inductees included Jim Samuels, Earl “Pinky” Bennett, Bill Green, Darrell Rinehart, Gene Neff, the 1936, 1948 and 1950 men’s basketball teams, the 1950-52 men’s 4x440 track teams and coach Gene “Duke” Ellington.
Samuels was a 1936 Eaton graduate. He was the 1936 Class B State MVP Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, and helped lead the Eagle basketball team to a 17-3 record and a state semifinalist finish. He also scored 52 of 109 team points for the 1935 Eagle football team, and was awarded a football scholarship to the University of Tennessee.
Bennett graduated from Eaton in 1940. He earned 11 varsity letters in three sports (football, baseball and basketball), and held the Eaton High School scoring record for men’s basketball in a single game and season. He was All-Ohio Honorable Mention in 1939, and All-Ohio Second Team in 1940.
Green is a 1947 Eaton graduate. He was an all-district performer in football, basketball and baseball, and is no stranger to hall of fame honors, having also been inducted into the Dayton Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in 1957 and the Dayton Amateur Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978. He was also a member of the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Browns minor league organization.
Rinehart is a 1948 Eaton graduate. He placed fourth in the shot put at the state track meet in 1948, and also qualified to the state meet in the discus and high jump. He was an all-state track performer in 1947 and 1948, in addition to earning all-county basketball honors those same years. Rinehart also hit over .300 as a three-year varsity shortstop.
Neff graduated from Eaton in 1950. He earned 14 varsity letters for the Eagles, and was a standout in multiple sports on several of the teams inducted in this class. Neff was a member of of 1948 and 1950 men’s basketball teams, and ran on the 1950 4x440 track team. But he was most known for his basketball prowress, earning All-Ohio First Team honors in 1950 and a basketball scholarship to the University of Kentucky.
Ellington coached the 1950-1952 state champion men’s track team in the 4x440, as well as the 1948 and 1950 men’s basketball teams. He was a teacher at Eaton High School from 1947-56, was principal from 1956-80, and began Eaton’s men’s varsity track program. He was also a member of the Southwest District Athletic Board of Control.
The men’s basketball team from 1936 was a state semifinalist, Southwestern District champions and went 18-3 overall. Players were Bob Bennett, Eugene Bowers, Lloyd Geeting, Glenn Harris, Ralph Horine, Vance Ketron, Bob Krintzline, Bob Rust, Samuels and Bill Welsh. Coaches were Rex Settlemire and Chuck Swartwood, and the manager was Harley Benner.
The 1948 men’s basketball team won a state championship and finished 23-2. Players were Gene Christman, Dale Eson, Harold Hart, Bob Johnson, Bob “Spud” Moore, Neff, William Pence, Charles Rutherford, Lloyd Sharp and Jack Tipton. The coaches were Ellington and Everett Marcum, and managers were Carl Beyer and George Fultz.
The 1950 men’s basketball team was a state runner-up, in addition to district and regional champions. Players were Bob Bourne, Tom Charles, Christman, Gene Cullers, Allen Hiestand, Charles Kelly, Jim Longnecker, Delano Mann, Neff, Sharp, Ed Sliver and Bob Weadick. Ellington and Marcum were the coaches, and managers were Edison Engstrom and Lloyd Newton.
The Eaton Men’s 4x440 Track team from 1950-1952 all won a state shampionship. All were coached by Ellington.
The 1950 team included Ramon Dunlope, Charles Kelly, Gene Neff and Robert Weadick.
The 1951 team included Herd Bennett, Dunlope, James Michael and Weadick.
The 1952 team included Bennett, Dunlope, Bill Garner and William Sadler.
Nominations for future induction classes are being accepted. Entry forms are available on Eaton Community School’s website at www.eaton.k12.oh.us. To download the form, point to “Athletics” on the left side of the page, and click the link labeled “Eaton Athletic Hall of Fame.”