Sept. 11, 1990
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Former Tiger football All-America running back Dave Merritt headlines the list of nine to be inducted into Wittenberg University's Athletics Hall of Honor Sept. 22. Also to be inducted are Gilbert Dickerhoof '38, Earl Fisher '43, Dr. Bill Fisher '64, June Daniels Holland '51, Joseph Keyser 1900, Rod Miller '68, Lee Ann Sadler '60 and Coach Bill Stobbs.
Merritt, who holds virtually every Tiger rushing record, gained 4,696 yards between 1975 and 1978 and led Wittenberg to two appearances in the NCAA Division III championship game. Merritt's greatest day may have been in his freshman year when wittenberg defeated Ithaca 28-0 in the 1975 Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl. He rushed for 186 yards on 22 carries and scored on runs of 57 and 81 yards and was named the offensive player of the game by ABC Sports which covered the game. Amazingly, 937 of Merritt's 4,696 career rushing yards came in six NCAA Division III playoff games, an average of 156.2 yards per game. Merritt, who gained 1,351 yards rushing in 1977, was twice awarded the Mike Gregory Award as the Ohio Athletic Conference's most valuable offensive back and was a first team all-America in 1978. During his four-year career, Merritt topped the 100-yard mark 23 times, including two 200 yards performances: 217 against Muskingum in 1977 and 222 against Minnesota-Morris in 1978. He still holds Wittenberg records for career rushing attempts, season and career rushing yards, career points (228) and career touchdowns (38).
Dickerhoof, now a retired physician in Bay Village, Ohio, participated on Wittenberg's first wrestling team and also played football, ran track, and was an OAC diving champion. As a football player, Dickerhoof earned all-OAC honors as halfback and missed only one varsity game in three years.
The late Earl Fisher participated in basketball and baseball. He was the first Wittenberg basketball player voted most valuable player for two years. After setting the field house scoring record with 34 points, he won all-Ohio honors. A World War II hero, Fisher was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously after he was killed leading a charge at Iwo Jima.
Bill Fisher, now a physician in Muncie, Ind., participated in basketball and golf. As a four-year basketball letterman, he received the Mike Gregory Award as the OAC most valuable player in 1964. In addition, Fisher was named to the NCAA Mid-East Regional and the NCAA finals all-tournament teams. During Fisher's Wittenberg career, the basketball team won the OAC championship three times and the NCAA championship in 1961 and was the NCAA runner-up in 1963.
June Daniels Holland of Springfield played field hockey, volleyball, basketball and softball. During her senior year, she coached the New Carlisle girls' basketball team. She was also involved with the Miami Valley hockey team.
The late Joseph H. Keyser, '00, played football. In the late 1890s, he is reported to be the first Wittenberg player to score using the drop kick. He later became Wittenberg's first full-time athletic director and coach.
Miller, now of Kettering, Ohio, participated in football and baseball. In football he earned four letters, was most valuable player twice, and received the Mike Gregory Award as the OAC's most valuable offensive lineman in 1967. Miller, who was also Little All-America and Lutheran All-America, still holds Wittenberg records for catches in a season (49), catches in a career (143) and yards receiving in a career (2,288). He also earned three letters in baseball and received all-OAC honors three times. He gained the batting title one year with a .433 average.
Sadler, of Pataskala, Ohio, earned four varsity letters in field hockey, volleyball, and basketball. She also played softball for two years. Playing on nine Great Lakes teams, Sadler participated in the national USFHA Tournament in competitions against teams from Germany, Australia, Trinidad/Tobago, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, and Great Britain. She also played in two USVBA national championships, an AAU basketball national competition, and the Region All-Star team.
Stobbs coached Wittenberg's football, basketball, and baseball teams from 1929-1941. In 1931 and 1940 he had undefeated football seasons; the 1940 season ended with a conference championship. Stobbs had two more conference championships, basketball in 1937 and baseball in 1938.