Cruiser athletic hall of fame announces its 2015 inductees

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By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

The Groveport Madison Cruiser Athletic Hall of Fame features six inductees this year including four athletes, a coach, and a basketball team that reached the state tournament in 1935.

The inductions will take place Sept. 11 at Groveport Madison High School, 4475 S. Hamilton Road, Groveport, prior to the home varsity football game.

The event begins with a closed reception in the high school gym for invited guests from 5-6 p.m. At 6 p.m. the public is welcomed into the gym for the public induction ceremony. The hall of fame inductees will be introduced to the crowd in Cruiser Stadium around 7:10 p.m.

“We are excited about inducting our fourth Cruiser Hall of Fame Class,” said Groveport Madison Athletic Director Steve Petros. “Every class has its own twist and this year is no exception. We have Tom “Tink” McClure from the 1960s and Steve Groves from the 1970s who were three sport stars. I’m selfishly excited about Patrick Flomo, who I got to coach for a couple of years and who is still playing professionally in Germany. Our last two are unique because we are inducting Tiffany Gorby and Steve Cunningham whose relationship started as player/coach and eventually coached the program together. It could be argued that Steve is our most successful. We love to recognize teams of the past. This year we are inducting the 1935 basketball team who made it to the state basketball tournament. As always, we are  proud to induct these great Cruisers.”

The 2015 hall of fame inductees

•Tom “Tink” McClure, class of 1964 – A three sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball, McClure played for the undefeated 1963 Mid-Eight League football champions where as a powerful running back he  had 166 carries for 877 yards for a 5.3 average, and 12 touchdowns. He was a member of the 1963-64 Mid-Eight League basketball championship team. He earned all Mid-Eight honors. He also played football for Ohio University.

•Steve Groves, class of 1975 – He earned nine letters in football, basketball, and baseball. He was All-Mid Eight League in 1973, All-OCC in 1974, All-district in 1974, All-Ohio third team in 1974 in football. He was All-Mid-Eight League in 1974,  and All-OCC in 1975 in basketball. He was All-Mid-Eight League in 1974, All-OCC in 1975, All-district in 1975 in baseball. He was voted Most Athletic in his senior class and is a Mac Sims Award winner.

At Ohio University he started 41 games at defensive end and was named All-MAC first team in 1976 and 1979, All-MAC academic team in 1979, and All-American honorable mention in 1976 and 1979.

•Tiffany Gorby, class of 1990 -She earned six varsity letters in basketball and softball and two team MVP awards. She was named the Lucinda Doersam Award winner as the top female athlete. She earned All-OCC and All-district in softball and All-OCC and honorable mention All-district in basketball.

•Patrick Flomo,  class of 1998 – He was a first team OCC as a junior and senior basketball player and All-district second team and all-Ohio honorable mention. He was also OCC Scholar Athlete. He was a four year letterman at Ohio University from 1998-2002 where he nearly averaged a career double-double and finished as a top shot blocker in school history. He plays professionally in Europe and has won two European championships.

•Steven E. Cunningham, coach – He coached at Groveport Madison from 1984-2015 serving as head varsity softball coach from 1989-2015. His softball teams had 453 wins, which is 10th all-time in the history of the OHSAA. He was inducted into the Ohio High School Fast Pitch Hall of Fame in 2015 and inducted into the Central District Fast Pitch Hall of Fame in 2015.

•1935 Cruiser boys basketball team – This Franklin County League champion and Central District tournament champion boys basketball team is the only Cruiser basketball team to make it to the state basketball finals tournament and might have won the state title had they not been defeated 37-22 by the famed Waterloo Wonders, a team known for its flamboyant playing style, in the state tournament. The Spring 1935 edition of the Groveport Madison High School student newsaper, “The Voice,” wrote, “Despite the score, the game was not a pushover for the Wonders who were unable to treat the crowd to any of their sensational antics because they were pressed too much by the Cruisers.”

The Cruisers finished that season with an overall record of 20-4. Team members were Paul Miller, Paul Weaver, Dan Burkey, Wilbur Stevenson, Gene Spence, Davis Ward, Coach Rex Percelle, Gerald Swayer, Mac Sims, Harrison Fortney, Lester Erlenbach, John Dalgarn (manager).

On a side note, in the 1934-35 school year athletic seasons, every Cruiser team won a Franklin County League title in the sports offered at the time including football, boys basketball, girls basketball, baseball and track, an accomplishment that is believed to not have happened again since that year.

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