CLAYTON — A total of eight people Saturday were inducted into the Northmont Athletics Hall of Fame between the girls and boys varsity basketball games at the new high school basketball arena.
“We are honoring those who laid the foundation and built the tradition of excellence that we bring to this new Thunderdome,” said emcee Greg Behrens. “It is with great pride that I now individually and collectively introduce the newest class of the Northmont Hall of Fame.”
The first inductee of the evening was Baseball Coach Chuck Harlow, who is still the Thunderbolts active head coach despite his retirement from teaching. A 1975 Northmont graduate, Harlow also coaches junior varsity golf, and served as past freshmen boys and varsity girls basketball coach. As baseball coach Harlow has amassed a career record of 662-300-2 including 12 league titles, 11 sectional titles, and two district titles. He built a reputation for being a great motivator who believes in the core values of commitment, cooperation, and communication. He has dedicated his life to preparing students for their future and developing them into good citizens. Harlow has earned the respect of those he teaches and those that have played against him. He was inducted into the Miami Valley Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2013.
Tyler Horner was the evening’s second inductee. A 2005 graduate, Horner re-wrote the Northmont record book during the two years he served as starting quarterback for the Thunderbolts in 2003 and 2004 leading the team to a 19-3 record during that time. Northmont won league championships both years and won its first football playoff game in school history. Horner continues to hold almost every Northmont passing record, including most touchdown passes in a game (eight), season and career; and completion percentage for a season. He is also the all-time career total offensive yardage leader. He earned 1st Team All-Greater Western Ohio Conference, All-Area, All-Southwest District, and All-State. Horner was voted the National ‘Red Zone’ Player of the Year and was selected by Fane File Magazine as the Ohio Football Player of the Year for fall 2004 and Ohio Athlete of the Year in spring 2005. He also played second base for the baseball team and had a career batting average of .304.
Aaron Lewis was the third inductee of the evening. Lewis earned eight Varsity Letters over four years at Northmont, four in football, three in wrestling, and one in baseball and graduated as Valedictorian with a 4.2 grade point average. A 2003 graduate, Lewis owns the career tackling record of 461 well ahead of the second place total of 302 and holds the single game record of 28 tackles. He was named Division I First Team All-Ohio, 1st Team All-Conference and All-Area, named Conference MVP and All-Area Defensive Player of the Year. He also wrestled and as a sophomore helped the team win the league tournament and placed third in his weight class. The team repeated as league champions his junior year when he placed in the sectional tournament and qualified for district. His senior year ended with a knee injury after his third match. Lewis went on to attend Carnegie Mellon University where he graduate with a 3.93 GPA and played football and earned several post season awards. He finished his career as the school’s all-time leading tackler and interception leader. During his senior year CMU went undefeated in the regular season and with a Division III playoff victory to finish with the best record in school history. Lewis was named a Division III All-American in both his junior and senior years and was named to the Academic All-American Team both years.
The fourth inductee was Doug P. Longenecker, MD. Longenecker graduated from Phillipsburg High School in 1957. In the mid-1950s, basketball was the school’s only active sport. Freshmen played only freshmen ball. The norm was that seniors were the varsity team. Sophomores and juniors served as the reserves. Doug dressed for the Varsity team all three years and was a starter halfway through his junior season, earning All-Tournament Team Honors. His senior year, Doug was Honorable Mention All-State, MVP of the County, named again to the All-Tournament Team, and listed as a Journal Herald All-Star. He averaged 24 points per game in league play, 19 points per game in non-league play; all of which occurred prior to the 3 point shot and expanded foul shot rules. In the spring of his junior and senior year, he also ran the sprints in track. Dr. Longenecker was going to play basketball at the Defiance College; however, a dislocated right knee ended his career. After earning his degree as a doctor he opened a family practice in Englewood. He also was the director of various Family Medicine Residencies, Chief of Staff at Good Samaritan Hospital and Vice President of Medical Affairs. Now retired, he still is supportive of the entire Northmont Community and has been previously named to the Northmont Roll of Recognition.
The next inductee was softball standout Carrie Sigler, second basemen for the State Ranked, District Runner-up, league championship fastpitch softball team. Sigler provided solid defense and sparked T-Bolt bats that pounded out the hits all season long. She still owns the school record for on base percentage and total number of doubles. She earned the first of four Varsity Letters her freshman year, 2nd Team GMVC honors her sophomore and junior year, and 1st Team GMVC, 1st Team All District, and 2nd Team All State her senior year. Her softball career overshadowed her four years as a high school guard on the Girls Basketball team which demonstrated her overall abilities as an athlete. Carrie earned a scholarship to play softball at Walsh University, but then transferred to Urbana University her junior year and then earned honorable mention and 2nd Team All-Conference Honors her Senior Year. She became a Graduate Assistant Softball Coach after her playing career ended.
The sixth inductee was Dee Dee Schutte-Snyder. Her athleticism was recognized quickly during her freshman year as coaches pulled her up during league and tournament soccer, as well as in basketball. The 1988 girls soccer team won the state championship and the girls basketball team achieved a District Championship. As a sophomore, Schutte-Snyder played an even bigger role in helping the girls soccer team win their 3rd State Title in a row, as well as helping the basketball team repeat as League and Sectional Champions. During her senior year the girls soccer team advanced to the state semifinals, losing to the eventual State Champions St. Ursula. Her individual honors included: 1st Team All-League, Dayton Defensive Player of the Year, 1st Team All-Region, and 1st Team All-State. She was also team captain for the basketball team and was one of the team’s leading scorers and was awarded the MVP on a team which eventually lost to State Champion Beavercreek Beavers. Her graduating class got it correct when they voted her “Most Athletic Female” for the 1991-92 school year. Schutte-Snyder then set a University of Cincinnati record by playing in 85 straight collegiate soccer games.
Next to be inducted was community supporter Jim Weaks. In 1950, James and Patty Weaks purchased a small nine-acre farm that included a large barn on State Route 49, now known as Southway Road in Clayton. Jim was very athletic and loved sports, including basketball. In 1958, “Coach” Weaks decided to convert the barn into a basketball court so that he and his sons could play “round-ball.” After that, “The Barn” became legendary as a place for kids at Northmont and surrounding schools to gather during the evenings and weekends throughout the year. Despite its popularity, it was technically not open during school hours because Coach didn’t allow kids to “skip” school to play ball. Thousands of local kids played in “The Barn” for close to 30 years until it finally closed. During its time, “The Barn” had become such an integral part of the basketball program at Northmont High School that Jim was awarded an Honorary Northmont Varsity Letter and both Patty and Jim were recognized with a “Citizenship Award” for outstanding service to the community. Jim was once quoted as saying, “I think sports are very important to kids. It helps them get along in later life.” Simple rules were posted, which included: Don’t hang on rims, don’t use foul language, don’t use the back of the barn for your toilet, any player using the barn does so at his own risk and finally, last person out lock the door. Jim “Coach” Weaks passed away on January 6, 2002; yet, the impact of “The Barn” still echoes on. Accepting the award on his behalf was his son Gary Weaks.
The evening’s final inductee was baseball standout John Young. He played for Englewood Post 707 Legion Baseball when he wasn’t helping Northmont High School’s baseball team win back-to-back Miami Central Conference Championships. His batted .515 his senior year with an on base average of .672, and 31 of 35 stolen bases resulted in him being named Northmont’s Offensive Player of the Year as well as the Team MVP. Young was then named 1st Team All-Conference, All Dayton Daily, All Journal Herald, and finally 1st Team All-State. He then continued to set records at the University of Cincinnati, being named 1st Team All-Metro Conference, UC baseball team’s 1987 Most Valuable Player; as well as UC’s Athlete of the Year. In 1987 Young was drafted and signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Young has continued to give back to the game he loves by previously coaching the JV baseball team at Alter High School and serving as the varsity baseball coach at Indian Hill High School. Young has already been inducted into the Dayton Area Baseball Commission’s Hall of Fame in 1999.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind