Cardinal Conference Post Season Successes 1960-1987

Larger obstacles always surrounded the roads for post-season advancement by the seven Cardinal Conference schools. With mostly mid-size schools in the large classifications (Class AA or Divisions 1 and 2) even the CC champions found the tournament trail a shortened path. The OHSAA had only two classifications until the State football playoff appeared in 1972. Nevertheless during the league’s 28-year history seven teams were crowned State champions.

Every direction had roadblocks. To the Northwest, if Ashland, Madison, or Malabar could get by Mansfield Senior, then they faced a powerful Buckeye Conference team or a Toledo school. Wooster had to get by a Stark County or an Akron school to gain a chance just to get in the Regional tournament, which then included the Cleveland schools. Dover and New Philly were challenged by Steubenville, Zanesville, and sometimes the Canton-Massillon area schools depending on the OHSAA alignment. Coshocton, the league’s smallest school, encountered the vast Southeast region from Columbus to the Ohio River. Nevertheless, the Redskins had five of the CC’s seven State team champions.

Five of the winners were golf teams. The first team to win the State was Ashland’s 1962 golf team of Jim Nordstrom, Dick McConaghy, Dave Deever, Bob Miller and Terry Castor was the alternate. Rex Benton was their coach. Coshocton had three State champion golf teams: (1970) Coach John Ayres with Kim Miller, Lee Richmond, Bob Krebs, Mark McConnel, and Tim Miller; (1975) Coach John Dunlop with Tom Seward, Charles Kidwell, John Crater, Rich Davis, and Ed Beach; (1982) Division AA Coach Craig Cramer with Kelly Maxwell, Scott McIntyre, Bill Fuller, Brent Hart, and Mark Landschultz. The final golf winner was Wooster in 1980. The coach was Jack Schubert, and his players were: Mike Collins, Jeff Stewart, Chris McCormack, Scott Collins, Scott Nye, and Mike Chirdon was the alternate.

The CC had four individuals, who were State golf medalists, also. Ashland’s Tom Castor was low in 1968. Coshocton had two low individuals: Kim Miller in 1970 and Kelly Maxwell in 1982. Wooster’s State medalist was Jeff Stewart in 1979.

The sixth team championship was won by the 1971 Coshocton Cross Country team coached by Bill Bowman. The harriers were: Mike Gross, Kevin Honnald, Jack Winters, Wendell Skelly, Joe Smith, Bill Young, and Mark Ostler.

The seventh championship team was the 1978 Coshocton baseball team under Coach Jim Shamel. They defeated Cleveland Benedictine in the AA championship game. Pitchers Glen Head and Mark Schlarb carried the mound duties, and Dave Zeigler was the leading hitter with a .451 batting average. The Redskins finished second to Ashland in the CC race.

Track had the most medal winners at State and Malabar had the most first-place winners (eleven). Rick Evan won the 1964 State Cross Country race. The Falcons had four pole vault champs: John Linta in 1964, Adrian Davison in 1965, and Jeff Linta in 1969 & 70. Andy Johnson won the 880 in 1973. Mike Hallabrin won the mile in 1979 and the 1600 in 1980. The Malabar Girls had three first place finishes. Carol Hursh won the 1978 long jump. Also, that year two relay teams won the State. The 440-relay team was Carol Hursh, Sharon Hursh, Kathy Hamilton, and Mary Hamilton. The 880-relay team was Carol and Sharon Hursh, Amy Orson, and Mary Hamilton. The Falcon Girls teams were second in 1978 and 1980.

The other track championships included Madison’s Jeff Jenkins was a double winner in the high and low hurdles in 1975, Coshocton’s Bob Urey won the 1976 discus, and the Ashland Girls’ 4 by 100 of Kim Carmen, Gail Sarkel, Jenny Glaze, and Mary Sterle were first in 1986.

The tennis had several State champions. Ashland’s Girls’ doubles team of Amy Schmitz and Tammy Eisel won in 1978. Clearly the most prolific winner in the history of the Cardinal Conference was Wooster’s Vicki Nelson. During her four years of high school tennis she lost once. She won the State singles title her first three years 1977, 78, 79. In 1980 her senior year she lost in the State semi-finals, but finished with a career record of 134 and one.  

The last CC individual winner was Anne Sigenthaler from Malabar, who won the State diving title in 1983. That makes the overall Cardinal Conference total of OHSAA State champions: seven teams, 20 individuals, three relay teams, and one doubles team.

In one of the favorite sports football the State playoffs didn’t begin until 1972. Only three schools made the post-season: New Philly in 1974, Dover in 1980, and Wooster in 1986. The Generals were the only winners. In Division II they defeated Steubenville and Columbus Mifflin before losing to Cincinnati Marion-Purcell in the State semi-finals. The highest ranked teams in the State polls were Dover 4th in 1979 and 5th in 1967. New Philly was, also, ranked 5th in 1974. Ashland’s 1963 undefeated team (9-0) was ranked 10th. On an individual note Ashland’s Roosevelt “Rosey” Robinson was twice the Ohio Player of the Year 1964 and 1965.

In the other popular sport basketball only two boys’ team made it beyond the District tournament. The 1965 Coshocton team led by John Dunlop, the leading scorer in the CC, made it to the first game of the regionals. In 1987 Wooster, also, lost in the regional opener to Canton McKinley.

In Girls’ basketball two schools made it to the regional tournament Ashland and Mansfield Malabar. The Arrows led by Joy Robert under Coach Gary Guemelata made it to the regional finals in 1978 and 1979. The Falcons were led by the famous Francine “The Machine” Lewis. She was one of the first girls to pass the 2,000 career point level in Ohio Girls‘ basketball history. The Falcons lost once in her junior and senior years in the Regional tournament. Although they were not in the CC in 1981, her senior squad lost in the regional finals by one point to the eventual State champs Toledo Libbey.

In other sports Wooster’s 1985 baseball team was ranked No. 1 in the final AAA poll. Wooster’s 1984 soccer team made it to the State championship game. Tom Williams’ Ashland girl’s softball team was a regional runner-up in 1984. The highest finish in wrestling was Wooster’s Jim Kobilarcsik third in 1975 while only losing to the State winner. Although not a CC sports the Wooster girls’ gymnastic team ended Shelby 53-consecutive win streak in 1982. In boys swimming Malabar’s Jeff Horvath was 3rd in 1968-70. While girls’ swimming was not sponsored by the OHSAA until 1977, a Madison girl Lisa Deems won the 200-yard freestyle in the YMCA State championships the year before in 1976.

Researched by Paul R. Dienstberger, Web Design by Cathy Buscher
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