Mr. Marc Pendleton
Dayton Daily News
Sports Editor, High School Sports


Mr. Rick Cassano
Cox Media Company
Sports Editor

In 1991, the Ohio High School Athletic Association initiated a program entitled the Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity Program.  One aspect of the program was to honor those special individuals who bring great recognition to our high schools, coaches, and especially, our athletes through media's different forms.  Each of Ohio's six athletic districts was asked to put a process in place to gather nominations of individuals who fit this special category.  Our 2016 Media Award Recipients are Mr. Marc Pendleton and Mr. Rick Cassano.

Mr. Marc Pendleton.  Marc is the high school sports editor for the Dayton Daily News, Cox Media Group.  Prior to his start with the Dayton Daily News, he was with the Springfield, Fairborn, and Beavercreek papers as the Sports Editor.  He has covered high school sports in the Dayton area since 1977.  His main focuses are Football, Basketball, and Track/Field.  He has won Ohio High School Prep Writers and United Press International Awards.  One of his special honors happened when his high school track coach at Beavercreek, William "Buzz" Seilhamer, nominated him for a Distringuished Service Award given by the State Track and Cross Country Coaches Association in 2013.  He shares that the best part of his career has been to introduce young people to reading.  His reading of sport stories at a young age turned him on to writing and sharing the successes of young athletes.  Mr. Pendleton is married to his wife, Missy, and children Christian and Aidan who are both students, and Katie who is a practicing Registered Nurse.

Mr. Rick Cassano.  Rick is a graduate of Badin High School and earned his degree in journalism at Ohio University.  He remembers his early days stringing at the Hamilton Journal Herald while attending high school and college.  His first reporting job was in Watertown, New York.  In 1987, he was hired by Cox Media Company of southern Ohio.  He covers mostly high school sports and occasionally Miami University.  He has covered numerous NCAA Basketball and Hockey Tournaments.  He has won many Ohio Prep Sports Writer Association Awards.  He presently serves on the  panel that selects Basketball and Football All-District Teams.  Mr. Cassano lives in Fairfield with his wife Kriss and daughter Kelly, who is on track to graduate from Miami University this spring. His son is a University of Dayton graduate, lives in Chicago and works for AvePoint.


In 2013, the members of the Southwest District Athletics Board initiated an award entitled Friend of Athletics Award.  The objective of the award is to honor those individuals who have given much to their local school athletic programs.  Nominations are taken annually during the months of December.  School personnel can nominate, and the board chooses recipients.  Criteria is that the nominee must have given twenty-five (25) or more years of service.  Since 2013 thirty-one (31) individuals have been honored.

Mr. Al Evans

Mr. Ric Little

Mr. Marv Mason

Mr. Jeff McCulla

Nominated by Kenton Ridge H.S. Athletic Administrator, Kris Spriggs.  Mr. Evans has operated the game clock in both football and basketball at Kenton Ridge Higih School for forty years.  He has also served as the Booster Club President and was on the Booster Board for five years.  Also, in his spare time, he has volunteered to read to second graders at Northridge Elementary School.

Nominated by East Clinton High School Athletic Administrator, Jim Marsh.  Mr. Little has been on the chain gang in football for thirty-three years.  He has also been the official scorekeeper in Boy's and Girl's Basketball for nineteen years.


Nominated by Brookville High School Athletic Administrator, Mike Lindsey.  Mr. Mason has been the official statistician in football for thirty-eight years.  He can be seen walking up and down the sidelines regardless of the weather.  His stats become terribly important in determining end of the season awards.


Nominated by Graham High School Athletic Administrator, Jordan Shumaker.  Mr. McCulla's volunteering started by videotaping football games in 1981, sne some thirty-five years later, he still holds this position.  He also announces Girl's and Boy's Basketball games.  In his spare time, he might travel to away games and keep the scorebook.

Ms. Arlene Poppe

Mr. Fred Stemmler

Mr. Ed Strelau

Mrs. Beverly Strelau

Nominated by Mt. Healthy High School Athletic Administrator, Tina May Tuck.  Ms. Poppe's volunteering finds her responsible for the concession stand in all sports.  She orders supplies, lines up workers, and makes sure that the stand is ready at all times.  She collects the ads for the football program.  She assists with the feeding of football players during two-a-day practices.  She heads up the ticket sales for the Booster's Club dance.


Nominated by Mason High School Athletic Administrator, Scott Stemple.  Mr. Stemmler has moved the chains up and down the football field for thirty plus years.  He has assisted with Mason students working during the ATP Tennis Tournament.


Nominated by Madeira High School Administrator, Joe Kimling.  Mr. Strelau works in conjunction with his wife to man the concession stnad on the visitor's side of the football field.  He started this volunteering service in the mid 1980s.  He enjoys accommodating the guests and making them feel welcome.


Nominated by Madeira High School Athletic Administrator, Joe Kimling.  Mrs. Strelau works closely with her husband manning the visitor's concession stand.  She has done this since the mid 1980s.  She feels it is very imortant to treat the guests cordially and hospitably.




Mr. Virgil Studebaker

Mr. Randy Winkler



Nominated by Tecumseh High School Athletic Administrator, Craig Eier.  Mr. Studebaker has been the clock operator at Boy's Basketball games for fifty years.  Likewise, he has kept football stats for twenty-seven years.  He has been a trustee in the Booster's club for forty years and for five of those years he served as President.  He has been inducted into the Tecumseh's Wall of Fame and Athletic Hall of Fame.

Nominated by Carlisle High School Athletic Administrator Mark Townsley.  Mr. Winkler has been a member of the chain gang since 1977.  He has served as the Booster Club President.  He often is called into service to watch locker rooms and to run the concession stand during baseball games and track meets.



Since the inception of this award, the following individuals have been honored as Media Service Recipients by the members of the Southwest District Athletic Board:

1997-98:        Ted Landis, Brookville Star; Warren Johnson, WPFB Radio, Middletown
1998-99:        Dave Long, Dayton Daily News; Duane Bachman, WPTW Radio, Piqua
1999-2000:    Don McDermott, Greenville Daily; Dave Schutte, Cincinnati Enquirer
2000-2001:    Mike Hartsock, WHIO TV, Dayton; Mark Huber, Wilmington News
2001-2002:    Kert Radel, WMOH Radio, Hamilton; Bill Liermann, WSWO Radio, Wilmington
2002-2003:    Jack Gordan, WPFB Radio, Middletown; Joe Neves, WPTW, Piqua
2003-2004:    Tom Gambel, DSA Sports, Cincinnati; John Popovich, WCPO Radio, Cincinnati
2004-2005:    Omar Williams, WHIO-TV, Retired; Ron Jackson, Dayton Daily News; Guy Fogle, WHIO TV
2005-2006:    Roger Barger, WKFI WSWO Sabina; Tom Groeschen, Cincinnati Enquirer
2006-2007:    Tom Archdeacon, Dayton Daily News; Ken Barhorst, Sidney Daily News
2007-2008:    Sonny Fulks, WPTW,; Jerry Nardiello, Middletown Journal
2008-2009:    Enos Pennington, ; Richard Crawford, The Clermont Suns Newspaper
2009-2010:    Chick Ludwig; Jack Pohl, WDTN-Channel 2 Sports Director.
2010-2011:    Mike Dyer, Cincinnati Enquirer; Ron Nunnari, Englewood Independent
2011-2012:    Scott Ward, WTGR, Greenville; Jack Kramer,
2012-2013:    Dirk Allen; George Vogel
2013-2014:    Mark Slaughter, WCPO-Channel 9; Rob Kiser, Piqua Daily Call.
2014-2015:    Matt Hammond, Bellefontaine Examiner; Eric Franz, J.J. Huddle
2015-2016:    Marc Pendleton, Dayton Daily News; Rick Cassano, Cox Media Group