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Hall of fame induction big for Ironton fans

Published 9:29am Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I remember well, at age 13, visiting the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the first time. It was 1979 and we were headed toward Akron for the State Football Championship game.

I remember seeing the great George McAfee’s Hall of Fame bust and remembering all the times I had passed the sign dedicated to him for being from Ironton and being enshrined in the hall.

That very weekend I watched Bob Lutz lead the Ironton Fighting Tigers to their first state football title. Right next to him was Mike Burcham.

That same year Ohio State was led to an undefeated season by All American Kenny Fritz. Pretty exciting watching a hometown hero on the Bob Hope All American Special. Oh, all Coy Bacon did that year was record 15 sacks for the Washington Redskins.

What a year 1979 was.

Skip ahead to 2013 and Ironton High School’s Athletic Department will enshrine Mr. McAfee into it’s inaugural Hall of Fame Class. Joining Mr. McAfee in the first class will be the winningest football coach in the state of Ohio, Bob Lutz, OHSAA hall of famer Mike Burcham, Ohio State All American Kenny Fritz and NFL great Coy Bacon.

This group of Hall of Famers will be introduced Saturday at the Conley Center before Irontons basketball game vs. Akron Buchtel. Immediately following the game at 7:30 p.m. there will be a reception and induction in the Ironton High School cafeteria.

Come out and be a part of a huge day for Ironton sports fans. You can attend the game and the Hall of Fame reception for $10 presale or $15 day of game.

You may purchase tickets at Iron City Hardware or the Ironton High School auto shop.

Go Tigers!


Jay D. Zornes is an Ironton resident and member of the city schools’ board of education.

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  • 79Tiger

    Good article Jay. Couldn’t have chosen a finer inaugural class. They all are certainly worthy of being honored. I only wish it could have occurred before 12-22-2008 when Coy died. Then all of them could have appeared together for the celebration.

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  • 79Tiger

    Poor Richard should educate himself on the amount of money spent on education in this country and question why, after throwing billions of dollars at improving education, the results remain the same or get worse. Throwing money an anything does not solve the problem Poor Richard. The money spent on athletics pales in comparison to the money spent on education. Education begins in the home. If the parents are not going to hold their children accountable then how can you expect the educational system to succeed in educating them. Money, regardless of the money spent, is not the issue. It is dedication to educating oneself and becoming an informed citizen that makes a difference. It is the parent’s responsibility to instill that importance in their children. It is the educational system’s responsibility to enhance and expand knowledge. There has to be a seed before it can be nurtured and able to grow.

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  • Poor Richard

    Football certainly has not made Ironton a destination spot, has not helped with the state of jobs or the economic outlook, has not increased the budget, has not inspired education or even created the best schools in the state.

    Schools that spend elaborate funds on sports rather than education speak volumes of their priorities and values. Chesapeake schools showed their true colors last year by spending millions on a new football field and track they did not need.

    No wonder this area is depressed financially and culturally – every school invests elaborate time and funds into something that will never help the majority of students prepare for the future.

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