THE SOUTHWEST DISTRICT ATHLETIC BOARD
ANNOUNCES AND CONGRATULATES
THE 2017 FRIEND OF ATHLETICS RECIPIENTS

 

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. Steve Berryhill

Mr. Tom Leeds

Mr. Jim Leathley

Mr. Mike Melvin

Nominated by Mr. Tom Bean, Athletic Administrator, Bellbrook HIgh School.  Mr. Berryhill has volunteered to line the football field, served on the chain gang, and rrun the scoreboard when needed for 49 years.  He has been a member of the Sugarcreek Educational Foundation that organizes its Hall of Fame.  He has spent countless hours in researching the box scores of both boys and girls basketball since 1930.
 

Nominated by Mr. Eric Silverman, Athletic Administrator, and Dr. Phil Cagwin, Superintendent of Schools, Monroe Local Schools.  Mr. Leeds has been a member of the chain gang for 53 years.  during that time he lost one year due to knee surgery.  Mr. Leeds has logged a few miles trotting off and on the field to measure for a first down.

 

Nominated by Mr. Craig Eier, Athletic Administrator, Tecumseh High School.  Mr. Leathley has announced football games since 1982 and basketball games since 1994.  Along the way he has also announced track and soccer.  He announces at the local Hall of Fame induction ceremony and at girl's sectional basketball games held at Tecumseh High School.
 

Nominated by Athletic Administrator, Mr. Chuck Raterman, Urbana High School.  Mr. Melvin spotted for football games prior to him becoming the scoreboard operator.  He has also announced at both girls and boys basketball games.  In 1987, his employer was instrumental in donating land to eventually become the Urbana High School's track, soccer, softball and baseball fields.
 


Mr. Mark Richardson

Mr. Wayne Russell

Mr. John Smith

Mr. Bill Westfall

Nominated by Athletic Administrator, Mike Lindsey, Brookville High School.  Mr. Richardson has announced at Varsity Boy's Basketball since 1977 and Girl's Basketball since 1998.  He has been the statistician for football since 1984.  Mr. Richardson served on the Brookville Board of Education during the planning stages for the new school complex.
 

Nominated by Athletic Administrator, Mr. Coby Wilhelm, Mechanicsburg High School.  Mr. Russell has been a valuable member of the chain gang since 1991.  He has overseen many first downs, and he intends to see many more.



 

Nominated by Athletic Administrator, Mr. Coby Wilhelm, Mechanicsburg High School.  Mr. Smith worked the chains at Mechanicsburg High School football for 30 years.  He worked chains on the same field that he and his son played on.  He says that it was delightful to work with special friends.

 

Nominated by Athletic Administrator, Mr. Coby Wilhelm, Mechanicsburg High School.  Mr. Westfall has been running the chains since 1982 with one year off due to heart surgery.  He aims to continue in his role until he can no longer get up and down the field.  He says that he has seen many great players and an equal number of great coaches.
 


 

Mr. Jim Westfall

Mr. Tom Weaver

Judge Roger Wilson

Mr. Joe Huff

Nominated by Athletic Administrator, Mr. Coby Wilhelm, Mechanicsburg High School.  Mr. Westfall has run the chains since 1982 beside his brother.  He says that his task has been fun and enjoyable!






 

Nominated by Athletic Administrator, Kevin Alexander, National Trail High School.  Mr. Weaver has run the clock at boy's basketball games since 1969.  Mr. Weaver saw the start and continued growth of National Trail High School.  He was inducted to both the Preble County and National Trail's Halls of Fame.



 

Nominated by Athletic Administrator, Mr. Chuck Raterman, Urbana High School.  Judge Wilson has announced football games for the last 46 years.  He also announced boy's basketball games along the way.  He is known for his unique style of announcing.  He has a tremendous loyalty to Urbana High School.



 

Nominated by Athletic Administrator, Jason Thompson, Ripley Union High School.  More than 25 or more years ago he volunteered to keep the scorebook at the boy's basketball games.  He has served on the local board of education and has been inducted into the Ripley Union High School Hall of Fame.  He is an individual who will do whatever needs to be done to see that students get an opportunity to excel.

Mr. Robert "Bo" Bemmes
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Mr. Rick Bemmes
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Mr. Guy Bainum
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Ms. Joan Martin
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Nominated by Athletic Administrator, Jon Payne, Reading High School.  In 1985, Mr. Bemmes started a long career of keeping the chains at all home football games.  Thirty-one years later, he still keeps the marking for first downs for the Reading Blue Devils.



 

Nominated by Athletic Administrator, Jon Payne, Reading High School.  In 1985, Mr. Bemmes started his career by working the chains with his father and other brother.  His father passed away and he then brought his son on board in 2003.  He takes full responsibility in seeing that all equipment is in place at game time and stored at conclusion of the game.

 

Nominated by Athletic Administrator, Mr. Rick Healey, Williamsburg High School.  He has been the public address announcer for football since 2002.  Prior to this, he served in other roles including announcing at basketball, soccer, and volleyball games.  At away games one might find him running the sidelines to keep the officials supplied with dry balls.  He has often sung the National Anthem to start the contest.  He also has played an instrumental role in passing school levies.
 

Nominated by Athletic Administrator, Jon Payne, Reading High School.  Ms. Martin has spearheaded the Athletic Boosters for more than 25 years.  She has organized spirit wear sales, stocked concession stands, and headed up ticket sales.  She has played an integral role in supporting Blue Devil Athletics.


 

 

 

Mr. Richard Morgan

Ms. Debbie Simpson

Mr. John Slusher

Mr. Chas Veddern

Nominated by Athletic Administrator,  Jon Payne, Reading High School.  Mr. Morgan has announced football games and girls and boys basketball games since 1985.  At away football games he takes action shots of Reading players and gives pictures to players at banquets.  He raised money to construct an upper level to the press box.  He has a permanent plaque on the press box named after him.  He has been selected as Mr. Blue Devil and inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Nominated by Athletic Administrator, Mr. Scott Stemple, Mason City Schools.  Ms. Simpson organzies the ticket taking crew.  She regularly secures the servcies of 12-14 takers.  She gives up her Tuesday and Friday nights depending on the sport.  Her routine has lasted for 27 years.  Her responsibilities are setting up booths, managing cash boxes, and assisting spectators when the call arises.

 

Nominated by Athletic Administrator, Jon Payne, Reading High School.  Mr. Slusher has manned the chain gang for 25 years.  This duty has been a true labor of love.







 

Nominated by Athletic Administrator, on Payne, Reading High School.  Mr. Veddern has been a member of the Blue Devil Boosters Club since 1982.  He shares that he has held every leadership position in this group and his contributions have been many.