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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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Five outstanding area sports legends are the latest inductees into the Buddy LaRosa's High School Sports Hall of Fame, along with a remarkable Kentucky running coach and two fabled high school sports' teams.
1984 Forst Park Girls Basketball

Forest Park
1984 Girls Basketball Team

The trailblazing 1984 Forest Park girls' basketball was the first girls' basketball team from Cincinnati to win a state championship at any level. Blessed with seniors Nina Fields, Nisey Gordon and Cheryl Lackey, it was juniors Gaby Downey and Alesia Davis who garnered the most recognition. After losing 44-40 to Sycamore in the District finals the previous year, the Lady Chargers came out with a sense of determination the following year. They blew through the regular season – with a close 50-47 victory over Class AAA State semifinalist Columbus Watterson, and a 71-61 victory over eventual Class A state champion, Newark Catholic. On Senior Night, coach Mark Ehlen deliberately scheduled Sycamore for the home finale – and his team responded by jumping out to a 26-4 lead and an eventual 84-45 thumping. It set the stage for a district tournament that they won by a margin of 27.5 points. After capturing the regional title, the Chargers faced Mentor Lake Catholic in the state semifinals with a 54-29 victory which pit them against Canton McKinley in the state championship game. Interestingly, Ehlen never substituted the entire game as his team never led until the 1:59 point in the game. Forced into overtime, Gaby Downey hit a jumper with 1:50 left to play in OT to cinch a 44-41 victory. Downey, who would be named Tournament MVP, scored 20 points. Downey was named The Cincinnati Enquirer's Player of the Year, while Davis was tabbed first team all-state guard by UPI and second team by the AP. The Chargers finished 13th in the country in the USA Today Super 25.

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Mother of Mercy
1977 Volleyball Team

The only Cincinnati Public High School team to win the Ohio Division I state championship, the 1988 Woodward Bulldogs – coached by Larry Miller – dominated opponents throughout most of the season. The Bulldogs certainly put their offensive prowess on display in the state title game against Columbus Linden McKinley when they raced out to a 34-13 first quarter lead. Woodward never looked back from that overpowering start in racking up a 107-70 victory. In winning the state title, Woodward also set a school record for most single season wins. The 34 first-quarter points still stand as an Ohio state tournament record for most points scored in a quarter. The final total points scored (107) also stand as a state record. The Bulldogs were led in scoring by D.J. Boston (27 in championship game, 51 in the state tournament), Chip Jones (24) and Orlando Berry, Sr. (17). The team captains included Jones, Troy Long Sr., and Kevin Andrew. Woodward wound up ranked No. 4 in the nation in the final USA TODAY rankings. Both Boston and Jones were selected first team all-Ohio. Most of the players on the team wound up playing college basketball. Boston, who averaged 22.3 points and 12 rebounds, was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the major league free agent baseball draft and wound up playing professional baseball. Jones, (23.1 points) enjoyed an outstanding career at the University of Dayton. The team's "sixth man" was Berry who went on to be a starter at the University of Tennessee; Katara Reliford (13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds) went on to start at Butler University; Melvin Bostic (9.8 points, 7 rebounds) started at St. Francis (PA); and, Andrew was a starter at Denison University."These were great kids with a tremendous work ethic," Miller says. "Our practices were like our toughest games of the year ... These were outstanding young men who developed into outstanding men." Miller also puts a lot of credit on his assistant coaches – Jim Leon, the late Dennis Bettis, Dave Hammer, Larry Flinner, Scott Owens and Ed Teubner. Principal Michael Brandt went out and hired Martha Gellar from Procter and Gamble to mentor and tutor the athletes and Athletic Director Tex Meloy also played key roles in Woodward's success. "These two men built this program financially and academically," Miller noted. "It could not have happened without them."

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