The Summit County Sports Hall of Fame has selected eight new members for its Class of 2017. They are Roy Allen, football; Ryan Armour, golf; Ben Curtis, golf; LaTonya Hill, track; Harry Lester, wrestling; Dave Mariola, wrestling; Doug Sims, basketball; and Donald Toomer, sports official. Selected for the Phil Dietrich Senior Athlete Award was Sandy Smith and the Andy Palich Service Award will be presented to Jeff Sheeks.
Induction ceremonies will be held on October 3rd at the Tangier Restaurant in Akron. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased from any Hall of Fame Committee member or the Firestone Credit Union, 31 Hanna Parkway, in Akron.
Allen was an all-conference player at several positions during his four-year stint at Wittenberg University. His senior season he was named to the all-conference team.
Armour was a standout golfer at Walsh Jesuit winning the state individual crown in 1993. He was a four-year letter winner at Ohio State, twice making the All-Big Ten Team. He turned professional in 1998 and for the past three years has competed on the PGA Tour.
Curtis turned to the professional golf ranks in 2000. Three years later he pulled one of the major upsets in golf history by capturing the British Open, one of the PGA’s major championships. Also in 2003, he was voted PGA Rookie of the Year.
Hill earned All-Ohio honors as a hurdler and high jumper three consecutive years at Central-Hower High School. She attended Mississippi State, and though legally blind, won four letters in the heptathlon and was named an All-American in the event, earning an invitation to compete for the United States Olympic Team.
Lester flashed early brilliance in high school, capturing four straight state titles before graduating from Cuyahoga Chris an Academy. He went on to an outstanding wrestling career at Northern Michigan University, competing in every wrestling discipline. Eight times he has been selected to the U.S. World Team and in 2008 was a member of the U.S. Olympic Team at the London Summer Games.
Mariola was another state wrestling champion and played an integral role in Bedford Chanel High School capturing a team state title in 1983. He continued his wrestling career at Michigan State University, lettering all four years and earning All-America honors in 1986.
Sims starred for the Kent State Golden Flashes from 1963-67, making the All-MAC second unit squad in 1966. After graduation, he entered the professional ranks playing for the Cincinnati Royals of the PBA and also in Europe.
Toomer was a football official primarily working the PAC 10 from 1985-1990. During this same period, he officiated in Division II games in other conferences on the West Coast.
The Summit County Sports Hall of Fame was inaugurated in 1957 to recognize Summit County residents who have been outstanding in one or more organized sports. To be eligible for nomination, athletes must have resided in Summit County during some point of their lives and must have been a member of a championship team, recipient of an individual athletic reward or honor, or have been selected as a member of an honorary athletic team on state, conference, league, national or international levels above the high school rank.