Aug. 21, 1989
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio --- Former Greenon High School principal Bill Roeth is one of eight Wittenberg University athletic greats to be recognized at halftime of the Wittenberg-Kenyon football game Sept. 23 and inducted into the Wittenberg University Athletics Hall of Honor at a special dinner on campus that evening. The other inductees into Wittenberg's five-year old Hall of Honor are: the late Gerald L. Armstrong '27, three-sport stalwart in the 1920s; Larry Baker '71, record-setting basketball player; Darryl Herring '71, standout football player; Joseph Keyser '29, four-sport athlete of the 1920s; Ron Klawitter '73, All-America football and lacrosse player; Claire Reis Longman '57, outstanding female athlete; and Bert Price '61, one of Wittenberg's earliest All-America basketball players.
Roeth earned 11 letters as a Tiger in basketball, track and baseball. He competed as a high jumper on the only undefeated track team in the school's history in 1948 and was named basketball MVP as a guard in 1948-49. He also was a pitcher on the baseball team for three years. Retired from the.Mad River-Green Local School District, Roeth served as a teacher, coach, high school principal and assistant superintendant during his 29 years in the system. He is a 1944 graduate of Enon High School.
Armstrong lettered four years in both football and basketball while playing four years of baseball. A centerfielder, Armstong was captain of the baseball team his senior year. He was a running back on the mid-1920's teams of the late Ernie Godfrey which compiled a 23-9 record in Armstrong's four years. In addition, Armstrong played forward for the basketball team and shared the front court his senior year with fellow inductee Joe Keyser, who was a freshman at the time. Be died May 7,1978.
Baker, a native of St. Paris, Ohio, was named Little All-America in basketball in 1971 by United Press International, setting several scoring records. As the highest scoring collegiate player in Ohio in 1970-71, he averaged 26.2 points in a Tiger record that still stands. He ranks fifth in career scoring with 1,627 points. In addition, his 48 point outburst against West Liberty State in 1969-70 remains a single game scoring record. Baker was named most improved as a sophomore and as a senior he was co-MVP with James Thrasher. Upon graduation, Baker was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers, and is now a financial and estate planner in Springfield. He will be presented for induction by former Tiger coach Eldon Milller, now head coach at Northern Iowa University.
Herring was a sparkplug on teams coached by Bill Edwards and Dave Maurer which were a combined 33-4 between 1967 and 1970. Herring was on Wittenberg's first Stagg Bowl team which defeated William Jewell 27-21 in 1969. Herring is the eighth leading rusher in Wittenberg history, gaining 1,570 yards, and holds the top career rushing average at 5.9 yards per carry. In addition, Herring is the fourth leading career scorer, with 168 points. .His 97-yard touchdown run against California State (Pa.) in 1970 is the longest recorded run from scrimmage in Wittenberg history. He was named to the All-Lutheran team in 1970 and was co-MVP. Since 1986, Herring has been director of development for the city of Springfield. Former teammate Jim Render will present Herring.
Klawitter earned the distinction as only the second two-sport All -America in Wittenberg history, in football and lacrosse. He remains one of the most honored Tiger linebackers. As a senior in 1972, he was a second team Associated Press Little All-America, Lutheran All America, Hank Critchfield Award winner as most valuable defensive back in the Ohio Athletic Conference, selected to play in the All-Ohio Shrine Bowl and was team MVP. Klawitter also also gained wide recognition in lacrosse, earning four varsity letters. As captain and team MVP, he was named All -America on defense in 1973. Former Tiger head lacrosse and assistant football coach Dick Fahrney will present Klawitter. Klawitter is currently a certified public accountant in Houston, Texas.
Keyser earned letters in basketball, football, baseball and golf while at Wittenberg. As a junior and senior basketball player, he led the Buckeye Conference in scoring and named first team all-conference. In 1927-28, Keyser scored 258 points in basketball which was a wittenberg record until 1941. Keyser made notice by scoring 22 points against West Virginia University in 1927, won by Wittenberg 54-42. Known as "Little Joe," Keyser's father, Joe Sr., coached at Wittenberg from 1911 to 1917. "Little Joe" was graduated from Springfield High School in 1925, where he served as captain of a state champion basketball team. He served as the Tiger team captain as a senior and was named honorary captain of the All-Buckeye Conference team. In baseball he was a two-year starter in centerfield and in golf he played two years, serving as captain as a sophomore. In 1986 he was inducted into the Fredonia State (N.Y.) Hall of Fame where he has served as chairman of the health and physical education department and athletics director for 31 years before retiring in 1968. He now resides in Moab, Utah. Classmate Byron Morton will present Keyser at the induction banquet.
Longman remains as one of Wittenberg's finest all-around women athletes. A four-year field hockey and basketball player, she was named the university's most outstanding senior woman athlete in 1957. She served as president of the Women's Athletic Association in 1956-57. She later became a professional leader in physical education, serving as president of the Ohio Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance in 1987 and taught at Centerville and Fairmont High Schools and the University of Dayton. In 1988 she was named Ohio Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year and in 1989 she received an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Montgomery County Schools. Wittenberg physical education professor Dr. Caroline Zimmerman will present Longman, who currently resides in Germantown, Ohio.
Price, a forward, led the Tigers to the NCAA College Division National Championship in 1961 and was named first team Little All-America by UPI. He received the Mike Gregory Award as the OAC's most valuable basketball player in 1959-60 and was twice a first team all-conference pick. Price lettered on three Tiger teams coached by Ray Mears which compiled an aggregate record of 66-9 and three OAC championships. The 1960-61 team set a school record for victories with 25. With 279 rebounds, Price remains fifth on the season list. Price, a resident of Washington, D.C., will be presented his daughter, Anne K. Price.