Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Local School District will once again be honoring its own.  Graduates who have excelled in athletics, the arts, sciences, public service, national service will find a place on the Hall of Fame.  Each class year is different,  highlighting the various facets of accomplishment that the district seeks to foster and to recognize. The year 2016 is no different; the honorees will be briefly described here in the weeks leading up to the induction event on April 30 at the James A. Garfield High School.  The public is invited; for reservations, contact Sheri Johnson at 330-671-0228.

First in the line-up is Cory Johnson; he was familiar with that top spot in three sports—baseball (4 letters), football (3 letters), basketball (3 letters) and  a touch of track (When would he find time?). The G-Men won PCL football championships in his junior and senior years and qualified for the state play-offs in his senior year.  Those two years also saw him rack up over 1000 yards rushing.  He was voted PCL Player of the Year in  baseball and football in that senior year and made First Team All-County in football and baseball.  The Plain Dealer nominated him Northeast Ohio Player of the Week for hitting four home runs and a triple in a single game.  The class of 2005 went out with a bang!

Cory went on to earn a B.A. in athletic training…something he might have had some acquaintance with…from the University of Akron.

The next shrinking violet—athletics-wise—is Matt Pfleger.  A member of the class of 2006, Matt received 2 letters in football, freshman and sophomore years but the lights really went on when he got to track.

Matt held the school records for both shot(58’10.5”) and discus (173’6”), was a six-time qualifier for state competition in both events (3 each), two-time regional champ in the shot put, four-time district champion in the discus, two-time district champ in the shot put, two-time league champion in the discus and the shot put.  He held the State Runner-up position in the discus and was chosen a Plain Dealer All Star.  Then it was on to college.

Matt was on the Kent State University track team for 5 years.  In that time he won three Mid-American Conference titles—one in the 35# weight throw and two in the hammer throw (something that doesn’t appear in most high school meets—a new skill).  He became a two-time NCAA Division I National Qualifier in the hammer throw and holds the 10th position, all-time, in KSU hammer throw, 8th all-time in the 35# weight throw.

Now he does the really hard stuff; he teaches English/ Language Arts/Communication at James A. Garfield High School.

More on the other 2016 inductees next week.  Remember, if you wish to nominate any individual for the Hall of Fame—for accomplishment while in school or following graduation, in fields beyond athletics in any number of fields of expertise, or contributions to the district in general—obtain a nomination ballot from the high school or district office and get the information in for consideration.