BarbertonJournal.com is a news and entertainment provider with content by local writers, experts, and Community Leaders. Opinions are the writers.
Picking an all-time all star team is never an easy thing to do. And when you are pick from one hundred and sixteen seasons of football it becomes even more difficult. After all, the style of play changes, at times, dramatically from era to era. It’s safe to say that the position of quarterback played by Eddie Janiga during the 1941 football season was considerably different that the position of quarterback played by Chase Haywood during the 2019 football season. While there is no perfect formula or scientifically generated format to select such a team, I will forge ahead with my selections. This team is based on my opinion only and I am sure that some of those picks will be agreed upon while others will be debated.
Quarterback: In a December article that i wrote, it was highlighted the immense talent Barberton has produced at the quarterback position. Among the top contenders for this pick are Zane Ries who holds every passing record in school history; Kyle Snyder who saw all of his records broken by Ries; Ken Sennett who never lost a game he started; John Mackovic who played for Wake Forest; Dick Hunter and Tom Dimitroff who were both All-Mid American Conference selections at Miami Ohio; Scot Loeffler and Mark Scarr who both played for the Michigan Wolverines.
While all are worthy of selection, the pick for quarterback is George Izo. An All-State player, Izo took his talents to Notre Dame. Despite multiple injuries, Izo was still named All-American and was selected as the 2nd overall pick in the NFL Draft. He played seven seasons in the pros highlighted by a 99 yard TD pass against, not surprsingly, the Cleveland Browns.
Running Back: Without question, the most difficult position to pick. As with quarterback, Barberton has an embarrassment of riches at the running back position. But how to pick? Do you pick one true fullback and one tailback? Do you pick two tailbacks? Furthermore , there is a difference in the role played by a tailback in an “I” formation as opposed to that of a right or left halfback in the “Single-Wing” formation. With all that said, the contenders are: The legends Frank Goettge and “Jumpin” Joe Williams; hard charging fullbacks Albie Litwak, Milan Sellers and Pete Burroughs; Johnny Ries; Dick Goudy and Paul Gondor; Glenn “Jeep” Davis; Billy Taylor; Robbie Robertson and Larry Ricks. Again, all are worthy but the picks are “Jumpin” Joe Williams and “Touchdown” Billy Taylor. Williams is the all time leading scorer in school history, had a strong, though short, career at Ohio State and played in the pros. Taylor was an All-American at Michigan, was drafted by the Falcons and played a little in the Canadian Football League.
Wide Receiver: Not usually the first position thought of for Barberton football. Despite that, the Magics have produced fine athletes at the wide receiver position. The contenders are: Francis “Sonny” Izo; Rick Boley; Mike Pallija; Dave Peters; Bobby Hathaway; Mike Goodman; Daryl Owens; Keiron Smith; Terron Robinson and Garrett Turnbaugh. I believe that Pallija and Peters are among the most underrated players in school history. Both were all-conference players in college and Peters is in the Barberton Sports Hall of Fame. Owens and Hathaway were both all-conference while playing for Walsh College. My Picks are Boley and Turnbaugh. Boley was exceptional who would play for the Purdue Boilermakers. Turnbaugh reinvented the position while at Barberton. Not only does he hold every receiving record there is, but he also made near impossible catches seem routine.
Tight End: Three names really come to mind here. Bob Kapish, Gene Kapish and Bob Harris. Bob Kapish was a starting end on the 1947 state championship team and then played for Notre Dame. Gene Kapish helped lead the Magics to 8-1 records and top ten state rankings in both his junior and senior seasons of 1950 and 1951. He also played for Notre Dame and was drafted by the Cleveland Browns. Harris started opposite of Gene Kapish during the 1950 season and was named all-state that season. He played for Ohio State and looked to be a sure pro player but a broken leg ended his career. All three were great but my pick is Gene Kapish.
Offensive Line: Another position where the Magics are loaded with great players. Chuck Rowland, Joe Ries and Mike Peresta have much in common. All three are Barberton grads, all three were prep All Americans and all three played for Michigan. Rowland transferred to Toledo, was All-Mac and had a tryout with the Dallas Cowboys. George Toneff, Lloyd Taylor and Bob Whetstone all played for Ohio State. Going way back was Cliff “Farmer” Romig. Dick Johnson played for the Purdue Boilermakers; Paul Walker was the Beacon Journal player of the year in 1964 was a prep All-american and played for Cincinnati. Bo Schembechler was a tough lineman that played at Miami Ohio. For my picks, we will put Peresta at Center, Ries and Walker at Guards and Rowland and Whetstone at tackles. Put Jumpin Joe and Billy Taylor behind that line!
Kicker: Brian Brown and Griffin Brown had exceptional careers and both would be more than worthy of selection. But my pick is Freddie Johnson. Johnson was a booming kicker who went on to kick at the University of Miami. At one time he held the Tangerine Bowl record for longest field goal at 47 yards. Johnson is a member of both the Barberton and Summit County Sports Halls of Fame.
Kick Returner: Have to find a way to get the ball into the hands of Glenn “Jeep” Davis and kick returner seems to be the perfect opportunity,
RB-Jumpin Joe Williams
KR-Glenn “Jeep” Davis