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DEDICATION Matthew 24:30
At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, And all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see The Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.

This painting of Jesus was created by the English artist, Simon Dewey and is used with permission. Click here to see more of his work.


Ashland High School, the home of the Orange and Black Arrows, has just completed 100-years of athletics. This is, also, the 5th year since Arrow Addendum, a history of their 19-sports, was published (June, 2002). This website is an update of the 19 sports for 931 seasons with 224 league championships in four conferences. This basic history of AHS athletics can be found on the four websites, which are linked on the top of the Introduction page. (Lincoln Highway Leagues and 100th football and basketball sites)

It all began in 1907 with four sports and a Senior class of 23 students, who would make up the 30th AHS graduating class. Their Class President, Leo “Colonel” Yearick scheduled the first football game with Savannah Academy. The Junior class would publish the second AHS Yearbook. An outstanding freshman class of 38 students would fortify the sports teams with 4-year athletes such as: Paul Ganyard, Brownie Spreng, Mart Moore, Glenn Miller, and Harry Pifer.

Over the first century football has been played every season, and the 100th year was celebrated last year during the Shelby game. Basketball missed only the 1914 season, while the new high school was being built on Cottage Street. The roundballers will celebrate their 100th campaign at the Willard game next Dec. 22nd. Twice AHS did not field a baseball team during the war years of 1918 and 1943. Unfortunately their early records are not very complete, and their season opener wasn’t until the first week in May. Finally, Girls’ basketball began with the Senior and Junior teams coached by Edna Houston. While mainly an intramural sport, the inter-class tournaments in the early years for the Silver Cup and the prestigious Army-Navy games over five decades were highly competitive, until 1970 when it became the first girls’ interscholastic sport at AHS. 

Actually track was the first sport at AHS, when they participated in “Field Days” with teams from Mansfield, Wooster, Shelby, Marion, and other schools. Dick Beer started the first squad in 1896, and the local event was held at the Fairgrounds near Wick and Sandusky Street. The always-popular single day event faded away until the Twenties, when the “modern” track team was started at AHS on the YMCA Field.

In the last five years since Arrow Addendum the biggest change in AHS athletics has been their new league membership in the eight-team Ohio Cardinal Conference. The most noticeable improvement in the facilities has been the new synthetic turf at Community Stadium for the 100th season. The new Weight Room was completed in 2006. Athletic Director Rick Brindley has spearheaded the Renovation Project for Community Stadium, which is a $1.2 million dollar vision to improve concession stands, restrooms, locker rooms, and the visitor’s bleachers.

With the OCC the focus of sports schedules the Arrows have won 19 titles in the first four years with Boys golf and Girls soccer each winning three championships. Overall the A’s have been the runner-up twice and third a pair of times for the All-Sports award. Nevertheless the Orange and Black had six titles last year for their best finish in the OCC. But clearly the most exciting single season was the 2006 football campaign, when the Arrows finished 10 and 0 and were voted the Division II AP State champs. (third time in AHS history with golf in 1962 and 1998). Coach Scott Valentine and MVPs Taylor Housewright and Shadron Starnes led the A’s to the regional finals. The eventual State champions Piqua and Brandon Saine ended the storybook season.

In the past five years two other AHS squads, the Boys and Girls soccer teams, made a run to the Elite Eight. In 2005 Boys soccer squad under Coach Adam Bracken with MVP Ross Ashley and leading scorer Bryan Henson (32 goals) reached the Regional finals. That same Fall Coach Jerry White’s Girls soccer team with five senior stars: MVP Kelly Usher, Nicole Arthur, Shannon Sullivan, Katie Matteson, and Daphne Boals, also, made it to the Elite Eight.

Sat. November 7th was Ashland’s great dual soccer achievement when both team played in the Regional finals. In the afternoon the Girls team lost at Ashland Community Stadium to Strongsville, the eventual State champs. Ashland soccer fans made a right turn and raced up Route 42 to Medina where the Boys team lost to the undefeated and No. 2 ranked Brecksville Bees in a 7:30 contest. Afterwards Bryan Henson and Kelly Usher were both picked first-team All-Ohio.

Over the past five years the most successful AHS individual in the post-season was wrestler Brent Weisenstein, who finished fourth in the 2006 State tournament. He was, also, the Sectional champ three times (2004, 05, and 06). Several other individuals won the first round (Sectional/District) titles. Lauren Locke won the Girls sectional tennis title twice in 2002 and 03. In Girls golf Sara Drozdowski (2004) and Alyssa Westfall (2005) were the Sectional medalists. Kalie Hauenstein was first for the District distance title in 2003 and 2004. Andrea Cornell won the 100-hurdles in 2004. Swimmer Jeff Montague finished first in the 500-freestyle in 2004. In 2006 Brock Weaver won the District Cross Country title at Galion. However, on a disappointing note last year 2006-07 the Arrows failed to send anyone to the State for the first time since the 1972-73 campaign. One factor may have been the $350 participation fee in 2004-05, which resulted in several sports not having a single freshman tryout that season.

AHS has had some notable post-high school careers in the last five years, too. Golfer Steve Paramore was four-times first-team All-American at Florida Southern (1999-2003).
He, also, was the champion of the Ohio Amateur (2003) and the Ohio Public Links (2005) tournaments. Beth Mallory was a five-time All-American for the Alabama Crimson Tide. In 2005 Beth was the top Female athlete at Alabama (the Paul “Bear” Award) and the SEC coaches pick for the Outdoor Field event Athlete of the Year. She, also, was the NCAA national women’s discus champion in 2005. The career of Jacob Howell on the Ohio State University baseball team has been well documented in several recent Ashland Times-Gazette articles by Mark Hazelwood. The twice Buckeye Captain has won several Big-Ten honors, including the Academic award four times. Numerous other former Arrows have, also, made marks in their careers, but I do not have a longer list.

Lastly, an explanation of a website as opposed to a re-print of the Arrow Addendum. The best reason is I can correct my errors and omissions. My biggest “mis-steak” on the first Arrow Addendum was Bob Springer, the astronaut, not Bill Springer’s picture which is now corrected on this website. Also, is the availability to all on the worldwide web. I’ve been told by several retired, former basketball players, that they went to the library and used the Internet for the first time to look up the 100th basketball website. Some would like a printed copy in their hands, and you can do that because this site is free to you. I was told that someone has already run off a copy of the entire basketball website.

Finally, and for the fourth time, all these websites and their design have been the terrific work of Cathy Buscher, the Webmaster at the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library and the mother of two AHS graduates. Words cannot express the joy of seeing my work put into the quality presentation that Cathy has created. I’m sure neither one of us ever envisioned the magnitude of four website covering the entire history of Ashland High School athletics, when we first met January 21, 2004 to discuss the Lincoln Highway Leagues website. But as the four projects evolved, we have shared a common bond in our friendship and our Christian faith. It has been our pleasure to make this history available to the Ashland community

Questions or comments? Contact: Paul Dienstberger


Researched by Paul R. Dienstberger, Web Design by Cathy Buscher
All rights reserved. Last modified- Sunday, July 16, 2023 2:32 PM
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