Norwalk Reflector: Confusion galore in New London
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Confusion galore in New London

By Don Hohler • Jun 19, 2019 at 12:00 PM

To say it was a strange end to the school year in New London would be an understatement.

Seemingly, no one, be it the school board, or the administration, could see eye to eye on anything.

Not sure what came first but for writing purposes we’ll start with New London High School principal Robert Wenner getting all out-of-sorts when charges were made against him by school board clerk Barbara Angle.

Ms. Angle, in a letter to the board back in March, claimed two board members wanted Wenner’s contract changed from one year to two years, a change opposed by the other three members which nixed that possible move.

Wenner, a New London resident for 26 years, has been on the school faculty for 11 years and principal for the last two years. A florist in the city, Wenner also served as a board of education member for 10 years.

He charged Mrs. Angle, the latter serving as secretary to New London superintendent Joseph Hurley along with being the board clerk, as being a person who is propagating disharmony between the superintendent and the principal’s offices

It was Edward O’Reilly who made the motion, one seconded by Hubert Snyder, to make the change to a two-year contract for Wenner. The motion failed when Bradley Koch, Robert Skillicorn and David O’Hara voted against the request.

Wenner faced charges of lacking discipline, of permitting Baptist students privileges denied other students, misuse of the resource center and failing to provide the clerk with inventories of every high school room.

One coach for all

That story was mild in comparison to what Hurley had in mind for his coaches. He wanted one coach for football, basketball and baseball and proved he was dead serious when the contracts were not renewed for football coach Red Nugent even though his team won the Firelands Conference football title the first year the school joined the FC and was still riding high on his team’s 7-0 win over state-ranked St. Paul. The same fate for basketball coach Lanny Repp although his team had struggled, winning just five of the 57 games he coached.

Wrestling coach Ken Thrasher beat Hurley’s order. He resigned.

Board member O’Reilly took Hurley’s action one step further when he made it known he wanted all high school coaches out.

It was later made made public that both Nugent and Repp could stay on as teachers if they so desired.

One of the first candidates for job as “Super Coach” was John Crecelius.

A 1966 New London graduate and now a teacher-coach at Sebring near Youngstown, Crecelius wasted no time in sending a letter to the board announcing he wanted $1,000 for every sport he coached plus another grand for being the athletic director, $500 for teaching special education classes, $500 for moving expenses and free housing rent.

Not sure if this one coach for all sports “flew” and/or just how many applicants the board interviewed for this unheard-of position.

Connie’s No. 1 high school team

Sharon Houghtlen smacked home runs in the third, fourth and fifth as Connie’s Laundry mauled Wolohan Lumber, 36-4 in the Girls’ High School League at McGuan Park. The Laundry Ladies flexed their muscles to the tune of nine homeruns and 25 total hits. Ellen Claytor, Pam Ream, Jan Waugh and Alexis Stoll owned the other four-baggers.

Janet Seitz hit two circuit clouts for the Fashion Shoppe in their 18-2 win over Norwalk Furniture. Maureen Mushett led the Furniture attack with a triple and single.

In the third game, A.J. Baltes got three hits from Jean Rospert and Mary Ann Kline as the Baltes gals out-slugged Hartland Speed Equipment, 30-15. Cindy Borgia and Vanessa Boyd paced the losers with two hits. The win went to Jeanette Mushett while the loss was charged against Arlene Slate.

St. Paul Catholic celebrates centennial

Bishop John A Donovan celebrated a noon Mass in commemoration of St. Paul’s 100th anniversary. Rev. Gerald Stein was the pastor. Also participating as con celebrants were Rev. William Bodart, Rev. Kenneth Kehres, Rev. Robert Ruffing, Rev. Early Loeffler (dean of Sandusky Deanery), Rev. Paul J. Hill and Rev. William Gies.

A number of area priests were also present as were three representatives of the cities protestant churches, Rev. Paul Bailey (Methodist Church), Rev. Jesse Bradford (Way of the Cross Church) and Rev. Eldon Smith (Episcopal Church).

New seating at Whitney Field

It’s ironic that on June 13, 1972, the Norwalk board of education announced plans to build a 2,000-seat bleacher section. Playtime Equipment got the bid for $19,680.

The board will pay for the bleachers and the 48-foot platform for a new press box, the entire package estimated at $20,910. The two boosters clubs will split a cost of $1,710 for the press box.

The construction package for both the bleachers and the press box is estimated to be $6,300.

The new bleacher section will be located on what is now the visitors side. The new bleachers will become the home side. The bleachers there presently will be moved to the junior high.

The Norwalk committee members are Jim Seitz, Ron Albright, J.W. Kelley and Jim Heyman while St. Paul is represented by Al Koontz, John Frank, Larry Bresson, Clyde Rekart, Jack Weisenberger and Bob Fish.

Interesting was the fact that at the same board meeting Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Corrigan declined an offer of a colored television set as a boosters club gift for the highly successful wrestling season.

Toole whales away

Bill Toole whacked out three hits in leading Norwalk Furniture to a 10-4 Mens City Slo-Pitch win over Connie’s Laundry.

In other games that night, the Hartland Independents, with the help of a home run by Ron Berner, bested Culligan Soft Water while Plastic Molders crushed Key Estates, 26-13, scoring seven in the first and 10 in the fourth as Bob Kaatz hit for a rarity, tripling twice in the same inning.

NHS hires 10 teachers

Dr. Albion Gotaas told board members he has been deluged by teaching applicants. Those hired for next year included Mrs. Richard Albright, Mrs. JoAnne Cooperrider, Marilyn Bradow, Ann Kemmery, Ron DeLuca (social studies), Miss Mary Verman, Terry Goodsite, Beverly Coe, and Louis Paxton.

Among those who resigned were Robert Knoll, Harry Shadle and his wife, a secretary at the junior high, and Howard Hershey, who resigned as the track coach so as to spend more time as the athletic director.

Buckeye Girls reps

Among the area girls that will attend Buckeye Girls State at Capital University will be Cheryl Bauer, Marlene Leber and Deborah Hopkins from South Central, Linda Brothers and Ellen Claytor from Norwalk, Paula Zannieri and Kim Zimmerman from St. Paul, Judy Cox, Margaret Harris and Dana Schlatter from Willard, Linda Jennings, Sue Lash and Polly Ann Zimmerman from New London, Katherine O’Brien from Bellevue and Sue Stackhouse and Rita Wiles from Western Reserve.

Joe Widman returns to Boys State

It was 1970 when Joe Widman represented Norwalk High at Boys State. He returns this year as a counselor, a position that has him virtually babysitting with 50 boys. His main job, however, is to make sure everyone is involved in a government position.

His motto echoes that of Teddy Roosevelt, “Speak softly and carry a big stick”.

Grandmothers tournament

Mrs. William Bader was pictured with 15 other grandmothers who teed it up in their tournament at the Elks Club. She won the 9-hole tournament with a net 30, receiving the traveling trophy given by Mrs. Wes Preston.

Hug comes a long way

Tom Hug is said to have started business with a wheelbarrow and two employees. That was back then. This story had him as the chief negotiator for the Ohio Contractors Association. Hug, 48, spent much of the last 15 months at a Columbus hotel, trying desperately to settle a dispute that could shut down all highway construction in the state. Hug Paving has 10 of those jobs.

Everhart resigns

On June 29, 1972 one of Monroeville’s most successful coaches, Jerry Everhart, resigned. He had been at the school for 10 years, long enough to win four conference titles and three sectional championships.

Everhart reasoned that taking the head basketball position at Bucyrus High School makes for a new challenge, that of coaching at a bigger school, moving from Class A competition to Class AA.

Don Hohler is a longtime Reflector sportswriter.

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