Coach – Al DeCola
Al DeCola was an a long time coach at Western Reserve and was responsible to for coaching many of the athletes who are being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Al was the head football coach for 4 years with a .500 record. He was better known for starting the cross country program at Western Reserve in 1973 and 4 years later in 1977 the boy’s team won the Inter County League, the sectional, the district and was the first team from Western Reserve to qualify for a state tournament
Al was also the boys track coach for 3 decades and during that time his teams won 4 Mahoning County championships, 3 Inter County League championships, 1 district championship and defeated 66% of all opponents they faced. Also, he had 15 individuals qualify for the state track tournament with 3 placing at the state meet.
Contributor – Ray Schaffer
Ray was a member of the Berlin Ellsworth Athletic Boosters for 15 years from 1983 until 1998 as President or Treasurer. He was a co-author of the booster club by-laws which are still being used today. Ray was an integral part of athletic facility construction projects throughout his tenure. Playing significant roles in the design and construction:
- home concession stand
- concrete curbing of the track
- installation of the scoreboards
- jump stretch poles in the weight room
- built trophy cases in the Reserve building
- built handicap ramp for stands so 2 fathers could watch their sons play football.
In his 15 year tenure with the Booster club he helped to raise over $250,000 to assist in helping the student athletes of Western Reserve.
Howdy was known as “The voice of the Blue Devils”. He announced the football games for over 35 years. He was an avid golfer and loved to be around sports and the kids. The Young family has been outstanding members of the community for many years. Howard was a medical corpsman Army Air Force, Badge 657 during WWII for which he earned 3 medals. Good Conduct Medal, Victory Ribbon and American Theater Ribbon. He as honorably discharged after serving 2 years and 5 months on March 4, 1946.
Howdy was a member of the
- Berlin Ellsworth Athletic Boosters
- Ruritan’s for 20+ years
- Ellsworth Township Trustee for 12 years
- Member of the Ohio Township Trustee Association
- Feternal Order of Odd Fellows for 60+ years
Howdy was married to Sally (Rhodes) Young for 67 years.
Team – 1989 Boys Basketball Team “State Final Four”
The 1989 Western Reserve Boys Basketball Team entered the Struther’s District seeded third behind an undefeated Sebring team and the Windham Bombers. A 72-56 sectional win over Southington was followed up by 88-71 route over the Windham Bombers. After the Leetonia Bears upset the Trojans, the Blue Devils earned the District Championship when they downed the Bears 61-48.
The regional semi-finals paired the Devils up against Mogadore. Hot shooting propelled the Devils to an enormous 19-2 lead, which they held onto with a 72-62 win. The Devils faced the 22-2 Newbury Blacknights in the regional final at the Canton Fieldhouse. Trailing 46-39 entering the fourth, the Bomb Squad delivered with two quick three pointers and made huge free throws down the stretch to pull out the come from behind victory 61-59. This sent the team, the school, and a huge following of community members to Columbus to St. John’s Arena on the Ohio State Campus.
A seven man rotation was usually utilized by Head Coach Tim King. Balanced scoring made this team difficult to defend. Over 120 three’s made on the season at over 45%, made this team exciting to watch. An open motion offense and a man to man defense was what they hung their hat on.
The Devils fell to Lima Central Catholic in the state semi-final game, but their run in 1989 places them in the WR Hall of Fame.
Team Members included: Head Coach Tim King, Assistant Coach Mike Leone, Assistant Coach Paul Wyss, Mike Bettross, Chris Brown, Kevin Coy, Christian Habeger, Scott Harrison, Dan Ewing, Jason Knapp, Robert Kritter, Robbie Lester, Jason Lude, Greg Marsh, Steve Miller, and Derek Rexroad.
Jackie was and exceptional volleyball and track athlete at Western Reserve as she earned 4 varsity letters for each sport and set Mahoning County Records in the following events.
– 100 meter dash (13.2)
– 200 meter dash (27.0)
– 400 meter dash (60.8)
– 1600 meter relay team (4:21.5) Team members included:
Karen Greasel, Debbie Greasel, Joyce Williams, Jackie Boyle
Jackie amassed 769 career track and field points, 201 points were from invitational tournaments and 27 points were from the State track and field finals. She was a state qualifier all four years of varsity competition.
– 1980 State track Qualifier 100, 200, finished 3rd place in the 400
– 1981 State Track Qualifier 5th place in the 400 and 6th place in the 200
– 1982 State Track Qualifier 3rd place in the 200 and 4th place in the 400
– 1983 State Track Qualifier in 200 and finished 2nd in the 400
Jackie is currently coaching cross country and track and field at Little Miami High School.
Joy (Brown) Eichert
Joy was a well-rounded athlete in high school participating on the basketball and track and field teams. While playing basketball she was named to the All Salem News team all four year, 1st team ICL sophomore and junior seasons, Honorable mention ICL her senior year and was named All-Ohio Honorable mention as a Junior. Joy was a state qualifier in track her junior and senior years. Her senior year she was the District and Regional Champion for shot put and set the school record at 39’9 ½”. She was selected as the MVP at Mahoning County Track meet her senior year.
Joy’s excellence in athletics is only one of many things she has accomplished. She had to overcome not one, but two serious knee injuries to continue her athletic career. Her love of the game is what drove her to recovery.
Joy had to work even harder in the classroom as she suffers from dyslexia. Joy always struggled with school, but never let that stop her living her dream. She has that “never say can’t attitude”. That attitude was what helped her earn her Bachelor’s Degree from Clarion University.
While earning her Bachelor’s Degree Joy played Basketball and threw for the track team. She earned 7 varsity letters, 3 in basketball and 4 in track and field. Joys played a significant role on her basketball team her freshman season playing in all 30 games and helping her team advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals Elite 8. She played various roles through her basketball career being limited by knee injuries. While participating on the track and field team Joy threw the discus, shot put and javelin and was named captain her junior and senior seasons.
Mike was a well-rounded athlete in high school earning 14 varsity letters. He was 2 year letterman in cross country, and a four year letter winner in football, basketball and track and field. While playing football Mike earned 1st team All-league, 1st team Northeast Ohio, 1st team Salem News, 1st team Alliance Review high junior and senior years. He was selected 3rd team All-State his senior season.
While playing basketball Mike earned 1st team All-league, 2nd team Salem News and 2nd team Alliance Review his junior and senior seasons. He also earned 2nd team Northeast Ohio and All-State Honorable mention his Junior season and Honorable Mention All-Northeast Ohio his Junior year.
Mike set school records in the 100 meter dash at 11.4 and in the 400 meter dash at 52.3. His junior year he earned MVP honors in both the League and County. His senior year he earned MYP honors at the County meet. Mike scored 720 points in track and field in his 4 year career.
Mike has coached for 20+ years at West Branch coaching football, golf, basketball and track and field. He was the Varsity Boys basketball coach at West Branch High School for 6 years.
Chris (Grace) Hrovatich
While attending she participated in track where she qualified for state, placed 9th in the mile relay and 6th in the 200 sprint, was awarded MVP, as well as earned a 4-year letter. Basketball she was honored with all-state, class A and team ICL accomplishments and was a part of the team that was the 1st to play in the district finals. Volleyball she earned MVP, ICL, all-star and 1st team. She also held positions with the student council, national honor society and the yearbook staff.
After high school she furthered her education at Mount Union College, where she played basketball.
Michelle (Morrison) Fleming
Michelle participated in 4 sports athlete participating in volleyball, cross country and basketball and track and field. While playing volleyball at Western Reserve she earned 4 varsity letters and was selected Special Mention All State her sophomore year, 1st team All-State her Junior and Senior year, and selected district player of the year her senior season. She was invited to play in London, England and Belgium, France. Michelle was a three year letterman in basketball and was special Mention All State.
Michelle advanced to the State Track and Field meet in the 300 meter hurdles her Junior and Senior year. Her junior year she placed 6th and in her senior season she placed 3rd in the 300 meter hurdles. Michelle earned a track and field scholarship for the University of Cincinnati where she continued her track career. She participated for 2 years at Cincinnati in the hurdles and heptathlon. She earned a varsity letter and participated in the National meet in the hurdles.
Currently, has a doctorate of pharmacy degree from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and is the Pharmacy Manager at a Walmart located in Charlotte, NC.
Gary was an athletic quarterback on offense and a terrific safety defensively. His presence was never felt more than when he dislocated his finger and was sent to the hospital during the teams’ playoff game vs. Mingo Junction. Gary returned in the second half to throw a Touchdown pass in the 4th quarter to win the game.
Gary earned 7 varsity letters while playing football, basketball, and track and field. While playing football he earned 2nd team All-State, 1st team All-League, 1st team Northeast Ohio, 1st team Salem News, 1st team Alliance Review and was selected to play in the Penn-Ohio game. Gary was an integral part of the first ever undefeated football team and first team to advance to the playoffs. He still holds a school record 5 touchdowns in a single game.
While running track, Gary was a school record holder in the 200 meter dash and Long Jump. He was a regional Qualifier in the 4×100 meter relay and the 200 meter dash.
Chris currently lives in Long Island, New York with his wife Ellen of 16 years. They have 3 children, Samantha, Nicklaus and Gabrielle. Chris is currently a Director of Taxes and Certified Public Accountant at Crowe Horwath LLP, an international accounting firm, located on Madison Avenue in New York City.
Chris was a great athlete and an exceptional golfer. His Junior year he participated in the Ohio High School Golf Championships and was the individual champion and earned All-State honors. His senior year Chris made is back to the Ohio High School Golf Championships and placed 3rd individually earning him All-State honors for the second time. He as a 4-time Sectional golf champion and a 2-time Regional Golf Champion. His Junior year season average was 37.2 strokes and his Senior year season average was 37.1.
Chris received a Division I Full Athletic Scholarship to continue his golf career at the collegiate level at Georgia State University. He was a 4 year letter winner and at Georgia State University and earned All-Academic Honors in 1991.
He was a 4 year letter winner in track – team captain his senior year. He was a 4 year letterman in Varsity Basketball – also team captain his senior year. Although he was an all-around athlete, he excelled at football. He was a four year letterman and team captain his senior year. Some of his other awards were:
1rst team All AAA
1rst team ILC
1rst team NEO
1rst team All Ohio- First All Ohio player to ever come out of WR
After graduation Harry went to Mount Union College and played football. He was a four year letterman for the league winning Purple Raiders and earned All-Conference honors.
He played baseball his senior year at Mount earning All-Conference honors. Mount Union asked him to play after finding out he was playing Double A baseball with the East Side Civics in Youngstown who won 5 straight titles.
Harry returned to Western Reserve after graduating from Mount Union to teach for 36 years and coach for 39. Over the years, he
Lorraine (Ramhoff) Metzka
During her years with the high school she participated in basketball where she was a 4 year letterman, honorable mention-ICL, all district, second team-ICL, district IV all Ohio. In track she was a 4 year letterman, and placed in multiple placements to be proud of, one of which is the division II county record in 100 hurdles received her sophomore year. In volleyball she was a 3 year letterman with honorable mention 1st team all-ICL,1st and 2nd team all-area, 1st team all-district, co-player of the year, class A district player of the year and state-all-star.
After graduation she continued earning college honors at Bethany, in the sport of volleyball these include ACES 62 tied 8th (1991), DIGS 863 3rd (1991), Kills in a Season 387 10th and career DIGS 1498 6th (1990-1992).
Anna Marie Ricciardi
While participating in Basketball and Track and Field Anna Marie earned 8 varsity letter. While playing basketball she garnered many honors, highlighted by her 2003 season in which she earned 1st Team All-Ohio, Northeast Inland All-District Player of the Year and Salem News Player of the Year. Anna Marie hold the single game scoring record with 39 pts and scored 1,249 career points.
While competing in Track and Field at Western Reserve she appeared at the state meet all 4 years of high school. Her junior and senior years she was a two-time district, regional, and state high jump champion. Her sophomore year she finished 8th while her freshman year she finished 10th. She hold the schools high jump record at 5’9” and also the state regular season record at 5’9”. She also made appearances at the stat meet in the 100M hurdles. She is the schools current record holder in the 100M women’s hurdles with a time of 15.53 seconds. Anna Marie was named top female track athlete in the Mahoning County in 2003
Due to her many accomplishments she earned a full ride athletic scholarship to play basketball and run track at East Tennessee State University. Anna Marie was the 2007 East Tennessee State University Female Athlete of the Year, recorded several conference high jump titles, 2-time regional qualifier in High Jump, 1-time provisional national qualifier.
Anna Marie also participated on the Cross Country team (1 yr.), Volleyball team (2 yr.), was a member of the band, National Honor Society and graduated top 10% of her class.
Diana was a 4 year letter winner in Volleyball, Basketball, and Track and Field.
As a member of the volleyball team Diana earned ICL honors, All-Area honors and All Northeast Ohio honors for 3 years.
As a member of the girls’ basketball team she was the first player to score 1,000 career points (1,258 Career Pts), was selected ICL, Northeast Ohio All Area Associated Press teams 3 years. She earned special mention All-Ohio her Junior Season, and 2nd team All-Ohio her senior year.
Diana continued her basketball career at the collegiate level playing at Muskingum University. She was a member of the 1991 National Runner-Up Team.
She is currently working as an Assistant Principal at New Albany Elementary School.
Diane (Williams) Krumpak
Diane’s leadership, dedication and knowledge of sports, especially track and field, can be noted in her career accomplishments. She was 4 year letter winner and 2 year state qualifier in Track. In 1978 she placed 3rd in the 800 meters and 8th in the 1600 relay. In 1979 she qualified in the 800 meter run. She is the current school record holder in the 800 meter run and the team she ran with in 1980 won a District Title. Diane was a two-time high point runner award recipient and received the MVP Award.
Diane recognition’s for volleyball included 2 varsity letters, 1st team ICL, and MVP Award. She was also a 2 year letter winner in basketball.
Diane continued her athletic career at the collegiate level at Ohio State University. She participated in Track and Field where she received the OSU Scholar-Athlete Award.
As a track coach she was selected as the recipient of the Fred Dafler State of Ohio Track Coach of the Year award. As a track coach she has coached:
42 Individual State Qualifiers, 4 State Champions, 6 State Runner-Ups, 12 All-Ohio finishers.
26 Relay Team State Qualifiers, 3 State Champions, 1 State Runner-Up, 4 All-Ohio finishers.