Woodmore HS to induct 15 into first athletic Hall of Fame class

Press Sports Editor

As one might expect, Woodmore High School’s inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame class will feature some of the best Elmore, Woodville and Lindsey has had to offer for the last 60 years or so.
The class includes 12 athletes, two coaches and one special contributor.
The 15 will be inducted at a ceremony on July 22 at Ole Zim’s Wagon Shed in Gibsonburg.
The two most notable inductees are Jon Giesler (class of 1975) and Jeff Little (`73), both of whom made it to the professional ranks. Giesler, who played for Bo Schembechler at the University of Michigan, was the left tackle for the Miami Dolphins for 11 years and played in two Super Bowls, while Little played baseball for 12 years, mostly in the minor leagues while seeing brief stints with the St. Louis Cardinals (`80) and the Minnesota Twins (`82).
“I think the achievements of Jon and Jeff just go to prove that it doesn't matter what size school or city you might attend or live in, if you are dedicated and work hard toward your goals, they can be attained,” said Woodmore Athletic Director Steve Barr. “And, again, because of their high level of achievement, would certainly serve as someone who younger athletes could look up to. As with anything athletically related, some God-given talent doesn't hurt. All of the athletes in our first class, and future classes, will have achieved at a very high level.”
The other inductees are Dave Fegley (`70, track), Steve Burner (`80, golf), Andy Johnson (`83, wrestling, golf), Jeff Haar (`84, basketball), Lori (Kuhlman) Arnston (`86, basketball), Beth (Parkins) Peck (`93, track), Lindsey (Hamilton) Argraves (`96, track, cross country), Rupa Narra (`96, softball, basketball, volleyball), Emily (Pendleton) Edgerton (`07, track & field throws), and Mikayla Baer (`13, golf).
The coaches being inducted include James Smithey (track and field, cross country) and Mike Lee (football, softball) while the contributor is Dave Robenstine (1970 grad), who has been the public-address voice for Wildcats football and boys and girls basketball for 45 years.
“I have always said in talking about athletics that it is important to honor and recognize the past before you move forward. The Hall of Fame will honor the ‘best of the best,’ and these are all athletes who excelled at a high level that, hopefully in some small way, serve as people who current athletes want to emulate, follow and strive to achieve the same sort of success,” Barr said.
Pendleton won four Division III state championships in the discus and went on to a very successful career at Michigan, winning two Big Ten titles in the discus. She was a four-time NCAA qualifier and competed in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.
It’s no surprise to see Lee in the first class.
“I found out during last football season from Steve (Barr). I was at a Woodmore game at Lake High School, and he came over and talked to me and he said, ‘Do you have a minute?’ and he dropped it on me. I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’”
Lee coached the football team from 1992-97, compiling a 49-17 record and a 34-6 mark in the Suburban Lakes League. His teams qualified for the playoffs in each of his last four seasons and won the SLL in his last three years. Woodmore won 19 straight league games as part of a 23-game, regular-season winning streak.
In softball, he compiled a 97-35 record, including 42-15 in the SLL from 1994-98. The Wildcats lost in a regional final in `94 and `96 and won league titles in `94 and `95.
Lee credited his assistants, Jeff Lee, his brother, and Lou Bosh, Dan Weirich and Joe Ziebold for being loyal to him for all seven of his years coaching the Wildcats.
“We were together, all those guys, for seven years,” said Mike Lee. “There were no interruptions, and that was the magic to it.”
Lee has 347 career softball wins, including 141 at St. Wendelin and 109 at Fostoria. He was inducted into the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2005.
“In softball, we pretty much had the mainstay that was Dan and Tina Sandwisch and Dave Robenstein with the JV and varsity program,” said Lee. “I coached on the softball team for five years.”
The community support was tremendous for the programs.
“My fondest memories are the parents and the kids. The community was so supportive of everything that went on there, even during the bad times. When I first took over, it was pretty neat to see people come around after the first year, which was rough,” said Lee. “Everybody came around for us, and obviously winning changes everything. The kids believed in what the staff did; the parents believed in what we were doing. My coaches were outstanding, for softball and football. It was a coach’s dream.
“I just want to emphasize, after seven years of tremendous experiences, my family did not want to leave. We loved that community, and it’s going to be so good to go back and take part in this inaugural year in the hall of fame. Anytime we go back to Woodmore, it’s so good. There was the Gibsonburg-Woodmore game last year that I went to, and I talked to people more than I watched the game,” he said.
The idea for a hall of fame came about 13 years ago.
“It started as a Wall of Fame concept around 2010, and then we discovered that concept would not work, so we started working on the hall of fame concept just before COVID,” Barr said. “COVID held things up a couple years and now we are where we are.”


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