The Times-Gazette is announcing its 2018 Highland County Athletic Hall of Fame inductees. And they are: Gerald “Red” Armstrong, Kay Cummings, Will Parr Jr. and Mike Willson.
The late Armstrong is a 1923 graduate of McClain High School. He was the school’s first All-Ohio athlete. He lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track at McClain and in football, basketball and baseball at Wittenberg College. He was the football coach at McClain from 1929 to 1941 when his teams posted a 65-29-8 record. He left McClain to coach at Dennison University.
Cummings is a 1982 graduate of Fairfield High School. At the time of her graduation she was the all-time leading scorer in FHS girls basketball history with 1,054 points. She was also the leadoff hitter for the 1981 Fairfield softball team that was sectional and district champs and the 1982 team that advanced to the state tournament. She also played basketball and softball at Wilmington College. She was the point guard on the basketball team and at one time held the season steals record with 58. In softball, she was the center fielder and leadoff hitter on a WC team that was the 1983 Western Buckeye Collegiate Conference and NAIA District 22 Champions. She was named all-conference in 1986.
The late Parr was a 1962 graduate of Hillsboro High School where he was a football standout. He went on to play football at Ohio University where he was an All-American and considered a top NFL draft prospect until a knee injury ended his career after three years at OU. He returned to Hillsboro to coach football and baseball and also was a softball and wrestling official.
Willson is a 1955 graduate of Hillsboro High School. He played basketball and baseball and ran track at HHS, then went to Ohio State University and was captain of the 1958 Buckeye gymnastics team before becoming a collegiate gymnastics coach. He coached teams to seven national junior college championships, one Division I NCAA National Championship at Ohio State, and four national runners-up. He coached 85 national junior college All-Americans, three Big Ten Conference championship teams, and was on the U.S. Olympic Committee from 1968-72.
More in-depth feature stories on this year’s inductees will appear in upcoming editions of The Times-Gazette.
The inductees will also be honored during a dinner/banquet scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, June 21 at the Ponderosa Banquet Center in Hillsboro. Numerous senior scholar-athletes from Highland County’s public high schools will also be honored at the banquet. They have been nominated by their varsity coaches, and must have a cumulative 3.0 or above grade point average and have lettered in at least one sport their senior year. One of them will be presented with the 2018 Highland County Scholar-Athlete Award at the banquet and a $200 scholarship and plaque that goes with it.
Coaches who have not yet turned in a nomination form are being given until Monday, June 11 to do so. Forms can be emailed to [email protected] or can be mailed to or dropped off at The Times-Gazette offices, 108 Gov. Trimble Place, Hillsboro. Forms can be requested by calling Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522, and should be available from each school’s athletic director.
The June 21 dinner/banquet is open to the public. The Hall of Fame inductees, scholar-athletes and the coaches who nominated them will be the guests of The Times-Gazette. Tickets for all others are $16 each.
Reservations can be made by contacting Jeff Gilliland at the above number.
The scholar-athlete nominees will be announced next week.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or [email protected]