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The Buddy LaRosa high school Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1975 to recognize outstanding athletes from area high schools. Each year, nominees are considered based solely upon high school accomplishments. Collegiate, professional, or other amateur achievements have no bearing on the selection process. The nominee must have graduated high school 10 years before eligibility may begin.

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Six outstanding area sports legends are the latest inductees into the Buddy LaRosa's High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Angela Bizzarri

Angela Bizzarri
Mason High School Class of 2006

The finest female distance runner in Greater Cincinnati in the last 25 years, Mason High School's Angela Bizzarri was the first female track athlete in Ohio history to win the Ohio state 3200-meter run four straight times. For this and other remarkable achievements, Angela was a two-time LaRosa's High School Athlete of the Year nominee and was named LaRosa's Co-Female Athlete of the Year in 2006. She is only the 16th athlete in LaRosa's history to be inducted in her first year of eligibility.

Bizzarri finished her Mason high school career with an outstanding eight Ohio Division I state championships and two city records. She then went on to the University of Illinois where she became a three-time NCAA running champion.

What she accomplished as a senior was truly remarkable. Bizzarri was the first athlete in Mason High School history to qualify in four events in track (3200-meter run, 1600-meter run, 3200-meter relay and 1600-meter relay). She broke a 21-year-old city record in the 3200 (10:39.55) and shattered a 24-year-old city record in the 1600 (4:51.19). Her 1600 time earned her the Division I Ohio State championship in her first-ever attempt.

Bizzarri's athletic excellence garnered her a slew of honors. She was named first team All-Ohio in track four times and three times in cross country. She was first team All-City in both sports four straight years. She won the Ohio state title in cross country in both 2002 and 2004. She was twice named The Cincinnati Enquirer's Runner of the Year.

Bizzarri went on to enjoy a stunning collegiate career at the University of Illinois, where she graduated with a BS in Molecular & Cellular Biology. She won five Big Ten titles and was a nine-time All-American. She was a three-time NCAA Champion as a senior (cross country 19:46; 3K run (8:57.40) – both UI school records -- and the 5K run (16:07.50). She set six Illinois school records.

Upon graduation, Bizzarri competed professionally for six years. She placed in the top three in the nation at the USA Track & Field Championships in 2009 and 2011. She ran in three U.S. Olympic Trials in the 5000-meter run.

Currently, Bizzarri and her husband, Karl, live in Vallejo, CA where she is in medical school at Touro University.

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Dr. Rodney Geier

Irv Goode
Boone County High School Class of 1958

You have to be a pretty special player and individual to have a football stadium named after you, and Irv Goode was both at Boone County High School. He is one of the two greatest football players in the history of Boone County High School football (along with Shaun Alexander). The stadium was subsequently re-named in honor of LaRosa's Hall of Famer Owen Hauck, and the field is now Irv Goode Field.

Goode is unquestionably the finest offensive lineman in the history of Northern Kentucky football. As a senior, he was selected honorable mention by the Wigwam Wisemen of America to The Sporting News High School All-America team. He also played basketball and ran track (hurdles and discus).

Goode went on to be a college All-American at the University of Kentucky and a first round draft pick in the National Football League. He played 14 seasons in the NFL, including as a member of the 1973 Miami Dolphins' Super Bowl championship team.

Though high school statistics are rarely kept on offensive linemen, Goode's prowess was clearly evident during his college career at UK. He was three-year letterman at center and linebacker and named team co-captain in 1961. He recorded a remarkable 23 tackles vs. national champion Ole Miss as a junior. He was a first team All-American by Time Magazine and third team All-Southeastern Conference (UPI). He played in four post-season all-star games, including the East-West Shrine Game.

In the spring of 1962, Goode was the first round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the NFL (12th overall) where he went on to become a two-time Pro Bowl selection in 1964 and 1967. He played for St. Louis until 1971, played in Buffalo in 1972, then played for the Miami Dolphins in 1973 and 1974. The 1973 Dolphins won the Super Bowl 24-7 over the Minnesota Vikings.

So highly regarded was Goode during his career, he went on to be selected by the Lexington Herald-Leader at center for UK's All-Time Team for the Wildcats' 100th Year Anniversary. He was inducted into UK's Inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame Class in 2005. He received the honor of Legend in the SEC in 2008.

Currently, Goode and his wife Anne live in St. Louis, MO where he is Vice-President of Employee Benefits for Associated Insurance Group. They have eight children (Conrad, Tracy, Elizabeth, Janelle, David, Craig, Chris and Curt) and 16 grandchildren.

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Jared Lorenzen

Dominick Goodman
Colerain High School Class of 2005

Arguably the finest football player to graduate from Colerain's vaunted football program, Dominick Goodman was clearly the best all-round athlete in Cincinnati as a senior. He was selected as the LaRosa's Male High School Athlete of the Year in 2004-05 and went on to enjoy a stellar college and professional career.

His senior season will go down in Cardinal football history as one of the best – if not the best – ever. He directed an overpowering offense in leading the Cardinals to a 15-0 record and the Ohio Division I state championship.

Goodman accounted for 41% of the school's record-setting 6,275 yards total offense for what regarded as the No. 3 team in the nation. As a senior, he rushed for 1,985 yards, passed for 584 yards (28-for-44), scored 30 touchdowns and passed for six more. He set an Ohio Division I state title game record with 259 yards rushing and four touchdowns in Colerain's 50-10 victory over Canton McKinley, and was named MVP of the state championship game. He was named All-America by and played in the PNC Big 33 Classic Ohio-Pennsylvania game.

Goodman actually had to choose between playing football or basketball at the University of Cincinnati. He is the Cardinals' all-time leading scorer in basketball (1,175 points) and set a school record with 121 3-point field goals made. He was named first team All-City by The Cincinnati Enquirer in both football and basketball.

Goodman went on to UC as a wide receiver where he ranks No. 1 all-time in receptions (204) and had 2,512 receiving yards. He is fourth all-time in kickoff returns (55) for 1,199 yards. He is No. 2 all-time in single-season receptions (84).

Following college, Goodman became a star in the Continental Indoor Football League with the Cincinnati Commandos, where he led the CIFL in receiving yards and TD receptions. He was named the league's Offensive Player of the Year in 2010. Goodman was a star wide receiver with a Cleveland Arena Football League team. He is the Gladiators' all-time receiver with 7,470 yards with 135 touchdowns.

Currently a free agent in the AFL, Goodman has a son, Ayden, and lives in Cincinnati. He is a substitute teacher in the Northwest school system where he is the wide receiver coach for the varsity football program.

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Robert Hite

Robert Hite
Winton Woods High School Class of 2002

There are more than a few basketball historians who will insist Robert Hite is the best basketball player to come out of Cincinnati in the last 25 years. Clearly there was no one better in Greater Cincinnati during his four-year career at Winton Woods High School.

Hite was rated as one of the top 100 players in the nation as a senior, went on to a stellar career at the University of Miami (FL) and played in the NBA and in Europe. He is Winton Woods' all-time scoring leader with 1,384 points. As a senior, he averaged 18 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He was the driving force behind the Warriors' three-year regular season record run of 59-1. Winton Woods went undefeated during the regular season during Hite's junior and senior years.

His stellar play was recognized with numerous honors. He was the Ohio Division I Co-Player of the Year as well as the MVP in both the Nike-Jordan Brand Classic All-Star Game and the Ohio North-South All-Star Game, in which he scored 35 points. Hite was named Cincinnati Division I Player of the Year by The Cincinnati Enquirer, Southwest District and the Fort Ancient Valley Conference.

Hite went out for track as a senior and helped lead the Winton Woods 4 x 100 relay team to an eighth place finish in the Ohio Division I state meet.

Hite went on to star in basketball at the University of Miami (FL), where as a four-year starter he ranked. No. 2 all-time in games starts (109) and wound up as the Hurricanes' No. 5 all-time scoring leader (1,717 points), No. 4 in steals (187), No. 3 in 3-point FGs (228) and No. 2 in free throw percentage (84.9). He was selected third team Atlantic Coast Conference as a senior.

Though not selected in the NBA draft, Hite signed with the Miami Heat, where he played one season. He has played for seven different teams in Europe and the Middle East. After tearing an Achilles tendon in 2012, Hite has had to do extensive rehabilitation and plans on returning to professional basketball within the coming year.

Currently, Hite lives in Miami, FL. He and a former AAU teammate started an academy in 2014 to work with youth in basketball and life skills. He has also started two non-profit organizations – I bel13ve and NuHites – to assist young athletes in education, mental and physical well-being and life preparation.

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Donna Mechley

Coach Donna Mechley
Turpin, St. Xavier, Mount Notre Dame High Schools 1993-2008

It is rare when the LaRosa's Hall of Fame Coach could make a serious case for a Hall of Fame Athlete as well, but Donna Mechley clearly falls into that category.

A three-sport star in volleyball, basketball and softball, Mechley earned nine varsity letters at Roger Bacon High School. She was a first team All-City selection in volleyball and softball and second team in basketball as a senior. She was named the Girls Greater Cincinnati League Scholar Athlete in 1988. She went on to a stellar collegiate career in volleyball at Xavier University, where she was team captain for three straight years.

Yet, her accomplishments as a coach overshadowed her own athletic prowess. In her 16-year career as volleyball coach at three different schools, she compiled a 438-181 career record, including four Ohio Division I state championships at Mount Notre Dame.

As the girls' and boys' volleyball seasons are at different times of the year, Mechley actually coached St. Xavier's team (1994-2001) during her tenure at both Turpin (1993-95) and MND (1996-2008). After reaching the state quarterfinals in 1996, she led St. X to the state finals in 1997 and semifinals in 1999. She was named Ohio Boys Coach of the Year in 1997.

It was at Mount Notre Dame, however, where Mechley garnered her greatest recognition, establishing the Cougars' program as one of the power teams in the GGCL – reaching the state tournament seven times in 13 seasons. She posted a 246-100 record at MND.

Taking over in 1996, Mechley led MND to three consecutive state championships from 1998-2000, then won her fourth in 2006. The Cougars reached the state Final Four in volleyball in 2005 and 2008, and the state championship game in 2007. Mechley, who coached future U.S. Olympian Rachel Adams, was named both The Cincinnati Enquirer and Women's Sports Association Coach of the Year in 2000, and the Ohio Girls Coach of the Year in 2007. She has been inducted in to the Roger Bacon Hall of Fame as an athlete, the MND Hall of Fame as a coach and the Southwest Ohio Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Currently, Mechley teaches math at Turpin High School, where she is the department chair. Her husband, Ted, teaches art at St. Xavier. They have two children, Marie and Ted.

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John Popovich

John Popovich
WCPO-TV - Lifetime Media Achievement Award

He hasn't shot a basket, swung a bat or, drawn up a winning play on the sidelines to win a big game, yet Ch. 9 legendary sports' anchor John Popovich has likely done more for Greater Cincinnati High School sports than any one athlete or coach over the last 40 years.

A true advocate and champion of high school sports throughout his professional career in Cincinnati, Popovich becomes only the second member of the sports' media to be inducted in to the LaRosa's High School Hall of Fame. It is an honor much deserved.

A true sports pioneer, Popovich launched a Sunday-night feature called “Sports of All Sorts” in 1980. He was told it wouldn't last more than 13 weeks. Thirty-seven years – and hundreds of high school sports' features – later, it is still going strong.

A native of Struthers, Ohio – just outside of Youngstown – Popovich realized at a young age that his athletic talents were best served behind a microphone. At 15, “Popo” joined WKTL – the first student-operated radio station in Ohio – where he read the news and “played polkas.” He was the Struthers High School play-by-play announcer as a junior and senior and it eventually led him to Ohio University, where he earned a degree in Telecommunications.

Popovich began his professional career with WDBQ in Dubuque, Iowa and later moved to Davenport where he made a transition from the news side to sports' reporter. He was hired by Cincinnati's WCPO-TV Ch. 9 in 1979. He has been there ever since and Cincinnati sports – and high school sports in particular – have been all the richer for it.

In addition to “Sports of All Sorts,” which he hosted for 33 years, he produced and hosted “The Sports Rush” for six years – a Saturday night sports' show totally dedicated to high school sports.

“Popo” has won six regional Emmy Awards for reporting, as well as numerous recognitions from Sigma Delta Chi, the Radio-TV News Directors Association and the Ohio High School Athletic Association. He was honored for his contributions to amateur football in 2007 by the National Football Foundation's Greater Cincinnati Chapter. In 2011, he was inducted into the Silver Circle of the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

“Popo” has been the Sports Director at WCPO since 1981 and has been the primary sports' anchor since 2013. He, and his wife of 43 years, Kathie, live near Aurora, IN. His son, Matthew, is a newspaper reporter in Hampton, South Carolina.

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