Cruiser Athletic Hall of Fame inductees named

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By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

Messenger photo by Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Madison Cruiser varsity softball pitcher Emma Johnson fires in a pitch during a Division I tournament game against Westland on May 12, 2011. Johnson pitched a no hitter in the Cruisers’ 4-0 victory. Johnson finished her senior season in 2011 leading the area with an earned run average of 0.41 and tossing 262 strikeouts. She also won 20 games during the season. Johnson is one of five athletes and coaches being inducted into the Groveport Madison High School Cruiser Athletic Hall of Fame this year.

Four athletes and one coach will be inducted into the Groveport Madison Cruiser Athletic Hall of Fame this year.

The inductions will take place on Aug. 25 in the gym at Groveport Madison High School, 4475 S. Hamilton Road.

The event begins with an invitation only reception at 4:30 p.m. At 5:30 p.m. the public will be welcomed into the gym for the public induction ceremony.

The inductees will also be presented to the fans in Cruiser Stadium before the varsity football game.

“We will introduce our honorees prior to the varsity football game that night followed by the dedication of the new synthetic field,” said Athletic Director Steve Petros. “The game versus Westerville North will kick off at 7 p.m.”

The new synthetic turf field at Cruiser Stadium was made possible by a donation by Le’Veon Bell, a 2010 Groveport Madison graduate, who is now a star running back with the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. Bell is also one of this year’s hall of fame inductees.

“We are very proud to introduce the sixth Groveport Madison Athletic Hall of Fame class,” said Petros. “This class was not only successful at the high school level, but went on to great things at the college and professional levels. This is an exciting time to see alumni come back to celebrate the inductions and then enjoy another Friday night in Cruiser Stadium for high school football. This year is especially exciting because we will be dedicating Le’Veon Bell Field. We think our hall of fame celebrations are important because it ties our past to our present. There has never been a more exciting time to be a Cruiser.”

Messenger photo by Rick Palsgrove
Le’Veon Bell, a star running back with the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, who also excelled as a running back with the Groveport Madison Cruisers, is one of five athletes and coaches being inducted into the Groveport Madison High School Cruiser Athletic Hall of Fame this year. Bell is shown here talking to players at his summer football camp he holds in Groveport each year.

This year’s inductees are:

•Jeremiah Gunn, class of 1977. Gunn excelled in football and basketball. He was named Central Ohio Lineman of the Year and was All Metro and All Ohio Capital Conference (OCC) as well as All State and AP honorable mention in football. He was all OCC in basketball for two years.

•Donald Seymour, class of 1980. A cross country and track star, he also ran cross country and track at The Ohio State University. He graduated from Groveport Madison as the record holder in the OCC for cross country. He holds the Central District record for the 2 mile and held eight school records in the 800, 1500, 1600, 3000, 3200, 2 mile and cross country.

•Emma Johnson, class of 2011. Johnson was a hard throwing standout as a softball pitcher at Groveport Madison. She was named All State twice and was All OCC for four years. She amassed 63 wins, 36 shutouts, 12 no hitters, and one perfect game. She was eighth in Ohio for career strikeouts. She was a four year starter at Kent State University compiling 73 wins, and a 1.73 ERA. She was drafted in fifth round of NPF by Pennsylvania Rebellion.

•Le’Veon Bell, class of 2010. Bell rushed for more than 3,000 yards in high school and scored 43 touchdowns. At Michigan State University he ran for 605, 948, and 1,793 yards in his three years there. He was named first team All Big 10, first Team All American, and was the 48th pick of 2013 NFL draft.  He is a two time NFL Pro Bowler. In 2014, he was named Co-AFC offensive player of the year. He has gained more than 4,000 yards rushing in the NFL so far.

•Coach Craig Shade served 31 years as a teacher/coach at Groveport Madison compiling a 213-93 baseball record. His teams won an OCC title in 2004 and were district champions in 2003. In 2003 he was named District Coach of the Year.

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