Six individuals and one team will be honored as the 30th class of the Hancock Sports Hall of Fame will be inducted on April 12th at 6 p.m. at Owens Community College’s Community Education and Wellness Center.
This year’s inductees include: Alan Baker, Andy Butler, Mary Schafer-Clayton, Bill Kotterman, Hobart “Doc” Schoonover, Nate Weihrauch and the 1952 unbeaten and unscored upon Cory-Rawson football team coached by Miller Fink.
In addition, area prep football official Joel Clay will be honored by the Findlay Area Officials Association with the Bud Gianetto Award.
Tickets $35 per person and available from any Hall of Fame committee member or at the organization’s website hancockhof.com.
Below are bios of this year’s inductees.
Al Baker began the University of Findlay women’s golf program and coached men’s golf and basketball at the school during a 40-year coaching career that began with high school basketball at Arcadia High School.
Baker joined the UF staff in 1990, teaching in the education department and coaching men’s golf (23 seasons) and serving as men’s basketball assistant for 13 years.
He fielded the first women’s golf team in 1994 with his 1998 squad finishing fourth nationally behind NAIA champion and four-time All-American Kiki Corliss.
He was voted Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men’s (2002, 2008) and women’s (2013) golf coach of the year and the 2007 men’s team won the GLIAC championship.
After graduating from Findlay (1973), Baker was hired at Arcadia as an English teacher and head boys basketball coach.
He was named Blanchard Valley Conference and District 8 Coach of the Year (1978) and his 1977-78 team was inducted into the Hancock Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
He went on to teach English and serve as a Findlay High boys basketball assistant for 11 years.
Andy Butler was a two-time all-Ohio performer in basketball and baseball at Liberty-Benton High School.
Butler led the 1994-95 Liberty-Benton boys basketball team to the Division IV state title. He was named Division IV Player of the Year that season and most valuable player in the state tournament, where he scored 31 points in the championship game. He holds the Liberty-Benton single-season scoring record, with 592 points, and ranks third in career scoring, with 1,434 points.
Continuing to play baseball after high school, Butler was a three-year starter at Bowling Green State University. He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins following his junior year at BGSU and played professionally in Elizabethton, Tenn., before a shoulder injury ended his career.
Butler resides in Columbus and is an assistant vice president for JP Morgan Chase.
Bill Kotterman was a three-year varsity basketball standout at Riverdale High School, earning all-Ohio honorable mention as a senior and became a three-time first-team all-conference and two-time NAIA District 22 cager at Findlay College.
Riverdale compiled a 56-14 record during Kotterman’s three years in the starting lineup, winning three straight sectional and district titles reaching the regional finals when he was a sophomore.
Kotterman was first-team all-Hardin County as a junior and senior, second-team all-North Central Conference as a junior, first-team all-NCC as a senior and earned all-Northwest Ohio and all-Ohio honorable mention awards.
He ended his high school career with 875 points (No.3 at Riverdale) and 653 rebounds (No. 3 all-time). Kotterman also collected three varsity letters in golf, two in track and one in baseball at Riverdale, where he was an assistant varsity boys basketball coach (1996-2004).
At Findlay College, he was a four-year starter, and scored 1,303 points. He played professionally in Iceland in 1982-83.
Co-owner/operator of Falcon View Farms since 1981, the Wharton resident has also worked at DTR Industries in Bluffton since 2007.
Hobart “Doc” Schoonover was born in McComb on July 12, 1918. He attended Findlay schools and later graduated from the Ohio State Veterinary College in 1942. His father, Roy Schoonover, was a farmer and veterinarian. Roy’s love of horses filtered down to his son, and at age 31, Doc drove in his first harness horse race.
Since then he has raced at Ohio and Michigan fairs and pari-mutuel tracks for 64-plus years. After Doc retired from his veterinary practice (1980), he began racing full-time.
The first horse Doc owned was four-year-old Prudence Yoder (Prudy). His first start with Prudy was at Scioto Downs in 1953. The purse was $400 and he placed first the race in 2:14 4/5 in a photo finish.
During his racing career, Doc had a good groom and partner to assist him, his wife, Ruth, of 71 years until her death in 2012. After his twin daughters, Sharon and Sandy, retired from Marathon Oil Company, they joined their dad in the business.
Doc trained horses at the Hancock County Fairgrounds until 1971 when he built a half-mile track on his farm east of Findlay. For years he worked as a timer at the Hancock County Fair and served on the fair board.
During the 2008 season, at age 90, Doc made 22 starts. He made it to the winner’s circle at age 91, 92 and 93.
In 2010, he was inducted into the Northwestern Ohio Colt Racing Association Hall of Fame and became the oldest driver in North America to win at age 93 in 2011.
Mary Schafer Clayton
Mary (Bair) Schafer Clayton was instrumental in returning competitive girls basketball to Hancock County in the 1960s.
She played on the county championship team at Liberty in 1938, the year before a state-level decision to discontinue interscholastic girls basketball because the games were too strenuous for girls health.
Twenty years later, teaching physical education at Arlington, she organized informal games with nearby schools. Attitudes toward competition were changing and, after she began teaching (1961) at Findlay High, varsity games were scheduled against college as well as high school opponents.
The Findlay team she coached for five years lost only one game, to then-Bluffton College where she became a health and PE instructor and women’s basketball, volleyball and tennis coach in 1967.
She retired from teaching in 1974 and, two years later, began playing competitive shuffleboard with her husband Eldon Schafer in North Fort Myers, Fla.
In 1990, she married Jim Clayton and they became active in national- and international-level shuffleboard, serving as team captains for seven years on U.S. national teams and were inducted into the USA Shuffleboard Association Hall of Fame in 2001.
They were elected to the international and Ohio shuffleboard halls of fame in 2007.
Nate Weihrauch was a two-time first-team NAIA All-American defensive back at the University of Findlay and helped the Oilers to the NAIA national championship in 1995 before being voted the top NAIA defensive back in the nation a year later.
The Liberty-Benton graduate was a 3-year starter at free safety at UF. He intercepted 15 passes during his career, which saw the Oilers compile a 36-9-2 record. He was NAIA Player of the Week three times, a two-time first-team all-Mid-States Football Association pick (1995 & 1996), a GTE Academic All-American in 1996 and was selected as a member of the all-time MSFA team in 2013.
Weihrauch holds UF records for most TDs on interception returns in a game (two), season (three) and career (five). His 476 interception return yards include UF marks for longest return in a game (100 yards) and return yardage in a season (219 yards).
At Liberty-Benton, he had five interceptions in one game (No.2 statewide) and 19 for his career. He earned 11 varsity letters and was first-team all-Blanchard Valley Conference in football (twice) as well as baseball and basketball.
Weihrauch currently serves as the Findlay High athletic director.
C-R 1952 Football Team
The Hornets finished 8-0 in 1952 for coach Miller Fink and is one of nine unbeaten and unscored upon teams in Ohio high school football history outscoring its opponents 284-0.
Opponents averaged less than 100 yards per game against Cory-Rawson that season as they allowed just 1.7 yards per rushing play.
Al Williamson, Don Blunk, Richard Amstutz, Amstutz, Bob Neff, John Gauss, Wayne Marquart and Ed Wolber were all-county selections in 1952 for the Hornets.
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