By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
Ravenna High School celebrated its inaugural “Athletes of Honor” class on Aug. 19 at a ceremony that was hosted at the Ravenna Elks Club.
The selection committee is made up of John Davison, Hank Gibson, Leslee Keegan, Jon Lane, Jim Lunardi and Ben Ribelin.
Here is a look at the honorees:
Gilcrest graduated from Kent State University in 1936, and became a teacher and football coach at Ravenna in 1943, including undefeated teams in back-to-back seasons in 1964 and 1965.
He retired in 1971 and ranks 15th in Portage County history with 77 career wins as a football coach.
The Ravenna Stadium was named in his honor immediately following his retirement. He was also a world-class archery champion and was captain of the United States team at the 1967 World Championships.
Livingston graduated from Ravenna in 1953 and continued his education at Heidelberg College.
He was a three-sport standout for the Ravens in football, basketball and track, where he was known as the “Runnin’ Raven.”
Livingston set multiple records on the football field and won third overall in the 1971 OHSAA track and field state championships in the 440 yard dash.
Livingston played baseball at Heidelberg and set numerous records and has since been inducted into the Heidelberg Hall of Fame.
He was drafted by the Baltimore Colts, but never played for them after he began a career in the military.
He did play professional football for the Boston Patriots.
Ruggieri graduated from Ravenna in 1960 and from Kent State University in 1965.
She became a high-school teacher in Cincinnati.
With a background in swimming, Ruggieri coached several club teams before pioneering the discipline of synchronized swimming and creating the first program at Ohio State University.
Her Buckeyes teams went on to win 11 national titles in her 13-year coaching career. She also coached 46 All-Americans and several United States National teams, as well as being the coach of the 1988 Venezuelan Olympics team.
Carnes graduated from Ravenna in 1964. He excelled in basketball as a high-scoring forward.
He led the Ravens in scoring his final two seasons, averaging 23.2 points per game during this senior season, and held the school record for most points in a single game (36) for more than 10 years.
He was named a Beacon Journal All-District player, along with earning several All-Star selections during his senior year.
Carnes played collegiately at Ohio Wesleyan University, where he graduated in 1968 with several program records to his name and 1,250 career points.
Carnes is a member of the Ohio Wesleyan and Portage County Sports Halls of Fame.
Carnes is now retired, but served as the Portage County Public Defender, Portage County Municipal Court Judge and the Portage County Common Pleas Court/Probate/Juvenile Division.
He also is a former girls basketball head coach at Ravenna.
Heisler played football, golf and basketball, while also serving as his class president during his sophomore, junior and senior school years.
He won back-to-back state championships in golf during the 1965 and 1966 seasons.
After he graduated, he attended Harvard College and later became the President of Key Bank, as well as creating a portfolio of extensive business and philanthropic involvement.
He also went on to have an extensive amateur golf career.
Heisler died in 2017.
Nottingham graduated from Ravenna in 1967 and was a dual-sport lettermen in football and wrestling.
He played football at Kent State University and served as a team captain on the Golden Flashes’ 1970 team.
He played in the NFL for eight seasons, playing for the Baltimore Colts for three years and five more with the Miami Dolphins. He was drafted in the 17th round by the Colts.
He earned the nickname “The Human Bowling Ball.”
Nottingham ran for 2,496 yards and scored 34 touchdowns in his NFL career.
Reedy graduated from Ravenna in 1977 and continued his education and wrestling careers at Kent State University.
He graduated from KSU in 1982.
As a wrestler for the Ravens, Reedy played as a runner-up his sophomore year, third place as a junior, then won the state championship in 1977.
During his college-wrestling career, Reedy placed sixth at the NCAA Championships to earn All-American status.
He returned to coach the Ravenna wrestling program and is a retired principal and educator from the Berkshire school district.
Rock graduated from Ravenna in 1977 and was a three-sport standout, lettering three times each in volleyball, basketball and softball.
She was also an All-Metro League award winner in all three sports in both her junior and senior seasons, while also earning the Metro MVP award during her senior season.
Rock attended Kent State on an athletic scholarship for basketball and played two seasons as the Golden Flasehs’ starting point guard. She was also the Flashes’ starting centerfielder for four seasons.
Wilmington graduated from Ravenna in 1979.
The basketball standout was an All-Metro League selection as a junior asd senior and was the unanimous Metro League Player of the Year in 1979 after leading the Ravens to the 1978-79 league championship.
As a senior, Wilmington averaged 22.5 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and four blocked shots per game.
He earned a scholarship from George Washington University, where he was a three-year starter. He finished his college playing career at Walsh University, then embarked on a professional career in Europe.
Parshall graduated from Ravenna in 1995 and was a member of the soccer, tennis, cross country and basketball teams.
She was a four-year letterwinner in basketball and still holds school records for most points scored in a season (402), in a single game (34), season scoring average (20.1), career assists (336), career steals (441) and single-season steals (152). She was named All-Ohio and received a scholarship from Youngstown State University. She finished college at the University of Akron.
Stefansic graduated from Ravenna in 1998.
She was a three-sport standout in volleyball, basketball and track and field.
Twice, in her junior and senior seasons, she was named the Western Reserve Conference’s Most Valuable Player.
She played in college at Malone University, where she still ranks top-10 in scoring and rebounding. She graduated from Malone in 2002, with a degree in physical education.