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First 10 inducted into OHS Hall of Fame

Front Row (from left): Mike Goodfellow, Roslyn Van Guilder-Chapman, Andy Vascassenno, Joanne Smith (Ian Smith’s widow) and Jim Bates. Back Row (from left) – Elmer Ball, Mike Lantry, Chris Gambol, Helen Smith and Dr. Edgar Meads. (click for larger version)
September 22, 2010 - On Saturday night, 10 legendary Oxford High School sports stars, coaches and boosters were inducted into the school's new Athletics Hall of Fame as the first of two charter classes

For the past 10 weeks, the Leader has profiled a different inductee. The last profile, Andy Vascassenno, is featured this week on Page 8. Here's a quick recap of them all:

Elmer Ball – Head Cross Country Coach for the Wildcats for 11 years, Ball led his teams to a stellar 123-21 dual meet record. In all, Ball coached 12 individual state champions and won the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association (MITCA) Coach of the Year Award twice (1983, 1991).

Jim Bates ('64) – After a solid playing career with the Wildcats grid team, Jim Bates became one of the most influential defensive coaches in American Football. Bates has been a head coach in the USFL and NFL. He has coached football for over 35 years.

Chris Gambol ('82) – Most notably a track athlete at Oxford, Gambol earned all-state honors in the shot put and set the OHS discus record – a mark that would stand for 20 years.

Mike Goodfellow ('89) – One of the most accomplished runners in OHS history, Mike Goodfellow captured back-to-back Class B state cross country titles in 1987 and 1988. In track and field, Mike won the 3200m MHSAA regional event in all four years of high school and captured both the 1600m and 3200m titles at the 1989 MHSAA Class B Finals.

Mike Lantry ('68) – Lantry had a stellar career for the Wildcats in which he set placekicking records and a shot put record that still stands more than 40 years later, Lantry then walked onto the University of Michigan football and track teams.

Dr. Ed Meads ('52) – This Oxford Cup winner was one of the brightest stars to ever grace the halls of Oxford High School. Meads won 12 letter awards in four sports for the Wildcats and captained four teams.

Helen Smith ('52) – Matriarch of the Oxford Wildcats Athletic Booster Club (OWABC), Helen Smith is one of the most loyal Wildcats supporters. Class vice-president, member of the glee club, cheerleader and actor in both the junior and senior plays, Smith was very involved in school activities as a student. As an adult, Smith chaired the senior athletic banquet for over 30 years, was a member of the Board of Education and has missed just one homecoming game since 1948.

Ian Smith – The greatest basketball coach in Oxford High School history is Ian Smith. In addition to coaching an undefeated boy's JV team, Smith etched his names in the Michigan record books by winning nearly 500 games as the leader of the Wildcats girl's basketball program. Currently ranked 7th in state history in coaching wins, Smith led his teams to 13 league titles, 16 MHSAA District championships and six regional titles. The Wildcats made it to the Class B semifinals in 1981 and 1986 under his direction. Ian Smith coached six all-state first team players and saw the gymnasium at the high school named in his honor before losing his battle with cancer in 2006.

Roz Chapman (Van Guilder) ('87) – One of the finest female athletes in OHS history, Roz Van Guilder was a four sport athlete, but left her biggest impression on the basketball court. Van Guilder set OHS records in six different statistical categories and twice earned all-state honors. She finished 8th in the "Miss Basketball" voting her senior season and finished her high school career as the Flint Metro League (FML) all-time scoring leader with 1,258 points – a mark that would stand for 20 years.

Andy Vascassenno – Since 1966, "Andy" has been a fixture at Wildcats football games where he served as an equipment manager for decades. At other contests, visitors were greeted with a warm smile, and regulars were often met with a hug while Vascassenno manned the ticket counter. Vascassenno is an honorary Oxford letter winner.

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