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OHSAA to Recognize Award Winners During Boys Basketball State Tournament

March 17, 2022

News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association 

Executive Director Doug Ute 



For Immediate Release – March 17, 2022 

OHSAA Contact – Tim Stried, Director of Media Relations - [email protected]  


OHSAA to Recognize Award Winners During Boys Basketball State Tournament  

OHSAA Circle of Champions ceremony will take place Saturday evening 


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association boys basketball state tournament tips off Friday morning at the University of Dayton Arena and the OHSAA will recognize many award winners throughout the state tournament, including the induction ceremony for the OHSAA Circle of Champions. 


Entering the Circle of Champions is Dayton native and two-time Olympic Gold Medal hurdler Edwin Moses, former Major League Baseball umpire Larry Barnett, former Zanesville, Western Carolina and NBA basketball standout Kevin Martin, former women’s professional basketball championship coach Brian Agler, and Cleveland Central Catholic, Ohio State University and WNBA standout Jantel Lavender 


Lavender was honored last weekend at the girls basketball state tournament, along with Carolyn Bowers and Katie Horstman, who were saluted for being trailblazers in girls sports in Ohio after Title IX was passed by Congress 50 years ago.  


The Circle of Champions ceremony will take place Saturday evening at halftime of the first Division I semifinal game that begins at 5:15 p.m. The Circle of Champions program recognizes individuals who had prominent roles in the history of Ohio athletics. More information and past winners are posted at: https://www.ohsaa.org/AboutOHSAA/CircleOfChampions  



OHSAA Circle of Champions and Title IX Honorees  


Edwin Moses is one of the country’s all-time greatest track & field athletes, having qualified for four Olympic Games and winning gold medals in the 400-meter hurdles in both the 1976 and 1984 Olympics and a bronze medal in the 1988 Games. Between 1977 and 1987, he won 107 consecutive finals in the 400 hurdles – winning 122 consecutive races overall – while setting the world record four times and capturing several other world championships. A graduate Dayton Fairview High School, Dr. Moses has also been a lifelong advocate and has served on numerous national and international committees for athlete eligibility reforms, anti-drug policies and promoting participation and sport as a tool for social change. He holds a degree in physics from Morehouse College, earned his MBA from Pepperdine and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Massachusetts.  


Larry Barnett, a native of Prospect, Ohio, and graduate of Marion Elgin High School, was an American League baseball umpire for 30 years between 1969 and 1999 before spending two years as the league’s supervisor of umpires. Larry umpired in four World Series, seven American League Championship Series and four All-Star Games. He was the home plate umpire when Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games played record in 1995. In addition to his service to Major League Baseball, Larry spent nearly 45 years donating his time to visit retired veterans’ hospitals and homes across the country.  


Kevin Martin was a standout basketball player at Zanesville High School, where graduated 2001. He then played three seasons at Western Carolina University, where he ranks fourth in on the school’s career scoring list, was twice a first team all-conference selection and ranked second in the nation in scoring as a junior. Following that 2004 season, he was drafted in the first round and 26th overall by the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. Kevin played 12 seasons in the NBA with five different franchises, scored over 12,000 points and had a 17.4 career scoring average before retiring in 2016. 


Brian Agler, also a native of Prospect, Ohio, became the vice president and director of athletics and recreation in January 2021 at his alma mater, Wittenberg University, where, during his playing career, he helped the Tigers win the 1977 NCAA Division III national championship and was an All-American as a senior. He coached women’s college basketball for 15 years before moving to the professional ranks for the next 24 years, leading the Columbus Quest to a pair of ABL Championships and the Seattle and Los Angeles to WNBA titles in 2010 and 2016, respectively. 


Jantel Lavender helped Cleveland Central Catholic win the 2007 OHSAA Division III girls state basketball championship before enjoying four outstanding years at Ohio State, where she was Big Ten Player-of-the-Year four straight seasons, was a three-time All-American and ended her career as the school’s career scoring and rebounding leader. Besides playing overseas, she has played in the WNBA since 2011, helping the Los Angeles Sparks win the 2016 WNBA title, was a 2015 WNBA All-Star and is currently a member of the Indiana Fever. 


In 1969, Carolyn Bowers presented developmental plans to the OHSAA for the first girls gymnastics meet. Through her persistence, the OHSAA conducted that initial state meet in 1973, the first state tournament in any girls sport in Ohio. Carolyn was involved as an OHSAA official, rules interpreter and meet director for 42 years and has been inducted into both the OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame and the National Federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame.  


Katie Horstman returned to her alma mater – Minster High School – in 1972 to start the girls athletic program and coached six sports with unprecedented success during the next 25 years. In track & field, she led the Wildcats to eight state championships and four state runners-up, and her cross country teams also won a state title and finished second three times. A member of both the Ohio Track Coaches Association and the National Federation of State High School Associations halls of fame, Katie also gained notoriety for playing with the Fort Wayne Daisies of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League and served as a consultant and made an appearance in the movie “A League of Their Own.”  



Additional OHSAA Award Winners 

Other awards will be presented during various times at this year’s boys state tournament and, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many will recognize recipients from 2020, 2021 and 2022. The honorees are as follows: 


•  The OHSAA Naismith Meritorious Service Awards are presented annually to two people for their contributions to the sport of basketball or interscholastic athletics. The 2020 winners were selected from the OHSAA Northeast and Northwest Districts, respectively, and are Howard Friend and Bill Axe. Howard Friend spent 26 of his 39 years in education as a teacher, coach and administrator with Sebring Local Schools, with other stops at United Local and Lisbon. He served as superintendent of the Sebring Schools for 13 years before retiring in 2012. Howard served on the OHSAA’s Northeast District Athletic Board and also served on the OHSAA Board of Directors. Bill Axe spent 36 of his 41 years in education at Toledo Central Catholic High School before retiring from the school in 2014. Originally hired as a teacher and the boys basketball coach at Central Catholic, Bill was the school’s athletic administrator and assistant principal his final 29 years. He previously coached and taught at two northwest district high schools. Bill was a member of the OHSAA’s Northwest District Athletic Board, served two terms on the OHSAA Board of Directors and was president of the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.  


The 2021 winners were selected from the OHSAA Southeast and Southwest Districts, respectively, and are the late Dave Young and Mary Jo Huismann. Dave Young, who died at age 57 in 2012 after a lengthy illness, was a basketball coach for 27 years and had a career record of 403-189 before retiring after the 2010-11 season. He coached two years at White Oak and one at Minford before moving to Seaman North Adams, where he took the school to unprecedented heights during his 24 years there and led the 1995-96 team to the OHSAA State Basketball Tournament. Dave will be represented by his wife Nancy and other family members and friends. Mary Jo Huismann began coaching girls basketball at her alma mater, Cincinnati Mother of Mercy, in 1972 and remained there through the 2017-2018 season, winning 696 games, leading the school to the 1980 Class AAA OHSAA state championship and taking two other teams to the state tournament. Now the head coach at Oxford Talawanda High School, Mary Jo became the third Ohio coach to win 700 career games in January 2020. She is a member of the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. 


The 2022 winners were selected from the OHSAA Central and East Districts, respectively, and are Dave Butcher and Kim Clifford. Dave Butcher was the head girls basketball coach at the original Pickerington High School for 20 years beginning in 1983, then took over at Pickerington High School North when that school opened in 2003. Retiring after the 2017-2018 season and 35 total years as head coach, he led Pickerington to six big-school state championships, led teams at both schools to the state tournament and amassed a career record of 747-146. Dave has been inducted into both the Ohio Basketball and the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association halls of fame and is currently an assistant girls basketball coach at 2022 Division I state champion Reynoldsburg High School. Kim Clifford retired as the head boys basketball coach at St. Clairsville High School following the 2017-18 season and won 371 games and had a career record of 461-128 in 27 seasons that included 90 wins in five years at Cadiz. While at St. Clairsville, he led the team to the school’s only state tournament appearance in 2012. 


•  The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) affords each state the opportunity to annually honor an individual for their outstanding contributions to interscholastic athletics. During the state tournament, the OHSAA will salute 2020 state service award winner Dale Creamer, 2021 state service award winner Dan Brisker and posthumously recognize 2022 state service award winner Dale Gabor. 


Dale Creamer served for 16 years as a teacher, coach and administrator at five different high schools in Ohio before spending 22 years as the principal at Brookville High School. Dale was on the OHSAA’s Southwest District Athletic Board for 14 years and is a  


former president and vice president of the OHSAA Board of Directors. After his retirement in 2004, he spent 16 years as secretary of the OHSAA Southwest District Athletic Board. Dan Brisker spent 36 years in education as a teacher, coach and administrator and retired in 2006 after six years as the superintendent for the Wellston City School District in Jackson County. He was on the OHSAA’s Southeast District Athletic Board for 22 years and served three terms on the OHSAA Board of Directors, where he was president during the 1996-97 school year. Since 2004, Dan has been the secretary of the Southeast District Athletic Board. Dale Gabor worked at his alma mater, Cleveland St. Ignatius High School, for nearly 50 years, serving as a teacher and coach before a 25-year tenure as athletic administrator beginning in 1983. After retiring from that position in 2008, he continued to teach at St. Ignatius and served as the director of summer school for 12 years. During his time as athletic administrator, Dale served on the OHSAA’s Northeast District Athletic Board for 10 years and served on the OHSAA Board of Directors during the 2007-08 school year. Beginning in 2009, Dale was named the OHSAA’s director of officiating development for the sports of cross country and track & field, and he became the OHSAA’s administrator for both sports a year later. He remained in those dual roles through the fall of 2020 before becoming ill. Dale, who died this past October, was also an accomplished cross country and track & field official, and he received numerous awards over the years, including selection to the OHSAA Officials’, state athletic admin-istrators’ and the St. Ignatius Athletic halls of fame. Dale will be represented by his wife Linda and her daughter and son. 


•  2020 inductees into the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Hall of Fame to be recognized are Craig Dunn ofTheLogan Daily News and Mark Huber of the Wilmington News Journal. Recognized posthumously will be Pat Galbincea, a Cleveland Plain Dealer sports reporter for nearly 45 years before retiring in 2013. Pat died this past May. 


•  The OHSAA Coaches Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Awards for both girls and boys basketball will be presented to five individuals covering three years. The 2020 recipient for boys basketball was Alan Januzzi; the 2021 recipient was Amy Taylor-Sheldon for girls basketball and Aaron Elwer for boys basketball, and the 2022 recipients are Sam Davis for girls basketball and Kris Spriggs for boys basketball. 


Alan Januzzi has been a head boys basketball coach in Northeastern Ohio for over 20 years and has won over 250 games. He recently completed his seventh season at Oberlin Firelands and has also had stops at Lutheran West and Open Door Christian, where he helped the team reach the OHSAA state tournament in 2003. Amy Taylor-Sheldon has been the head girls basketball coach at Bucyrus Wynford for over 25 years and has won nearly 400 games. Her teams have won seven district championships and reached the OHSAA state tournament in 2003. Amy has held various positions with the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association, and she is currently an assistant principal at Wynford Elementary School. Since 2007, Aaron Elwer has been the head boys coach at Delphos St. John’s, where his teams have won over 200 games, captured three district championships and his 2017 squad reached the OHSAA state tournament. Aaron is also the assistant athletic director at St. John’s, and he is active with the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association. Sam Davis is in his second stint as the head girls coach at Columbus Bishop Watterson. He coached the Eagles from 1978 to 1986; was a men’s assistant at Otterbein for two years, and served as the boys head coach at Columbus Bishop Hartley, Gahanna Lincoln and New Albany between 1988 and 2020 before coming back to his alma mater – Watterson – last season. Sam has 569 career wins. Kris Spriggs recently completed his 29th year as a head boys basketball coach. He spent six years at Greenon and the last 23 at his alma mater, Springfield Kenton Ridge, where he also is the school’s athletic administrator. His teams have won 337 games, and he is an active member of the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association. Unable to attend is 2020 girls recipient Bob Bell, an assistant coach at Mentor after serving several years as the head coach at Kirtland. 


•  Ohio Athletic Trainers Association (OATA) award winners to be recognized are 2022 Trainers-of-the-Year Megan Scott, who has been an athletic trainer for the last 16 years Licking Valley High School in Newark, and Scott Mullett, the director of athletic training and ergonomic services for Ergonomic Consultants Incorporated. Unable to attend are 2022 OATA Hall of Fame inductees Robin Lensch, the athletic trainer for Kettering Fairmont High School from 1998 through 2018 before moving to her current position as an athletic trainer and practice manager for Kettering Physician Network – Far Oak Orthopedists, and Paul Sparling, the head athletic trainer of the Cincinnati Bengals since 1991.  


•  The Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association (OHSBCA) will recognize several coaches from 2020, 2021 and 2022 who have hit certain milestones in victories and/or consecutive years in the profession and several service award winners, and the OHSBCA will also honor 2022 Paul Walker Award winner Greg Nossaman, head boys coach at Olentangy Liberty High School, and Dave Close, head boys coach at Stow-Munroe Falls High School, who is the Ohio nominee as the National Federation of State High School Association’s coach-of-the-year. 


•  Additionally, the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association will recognize several athletic administrators for winning Bruce Brown Awards of Excellence, and Randy Tevepaugh, athletic administrator at Streetsboro High School, will be honored as the first athletic administrator in Ohio to win the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrator Association’s Quality Program Award. 


OHSAA Boys Basketball Tickets 

Tickets for all OHSAA tournament contests in all sports are available at http://www.ohsaa.org/tickets 

Tickets for Sunday’s boys basketball state championship games will go on sale after both the semifinal sessions for each division. A limited number of state championship game tickets are already available.  


2022 Boys Basketball State Tournament Pairings 

All games at University of Dayton Arena.  

Home Team Listed First 

Division I semifinals and all championship games televised live by Spectrum News 1.  

All games on the OHSAA Radio Network and OHSAA.tv. 


Division III 

No. 4 Columbus Africentric (23-5) vs. No. 2 Ottawa-Glandorf (24-2), Friday, 10:45 a.m. 

Cleveland Heights Lutheran East (16-9) vs. No. 9 Cincinnati Taft (17-8), Friday, 2 p.m. 

Championship game, Sunday, 10:45 a.m.  


Division II 

No. 2 Kettering Archbishop Alter (25-2) vs. No. 1 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (23-4), Friday, 5:15 p.m. 

No. 8 Waverly (23-4) vs. Gates Mills Gilmour Academy (22-5), Friday, 8:30 p.m. 

Championship game, Sunday, 2 p.m. 


Division IV 

No. 3 Richmond Heights (23-4) vs. No. 10 Berlin Hiland (23-4), Saturday, 10:45 a.m. 

No. 5 New Madison Tri-Village (25-3) vs. No. 3 Antwerp (26-1), Saturday, 2 p.m. 

Championship game, Sunday, 5:15 p.m. 


Division I 

No. 5 Pickerington Central (24-2) vs. Lakewood St. Edward (21-5), Saturday, 5:15 p.m. 

No. 1 Centerville (26-0) vs. Cleveland St. Ignatius (17-11), Saturday, 8:35 p.m. 

Championship game, Sunday, 8:30 p.m. 


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