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SMCC 2013 HOF class announced

Seven individuals and the 1939 Class B state runners-up basketball team make up St. Mary Central Catholic's Athletic and Achievement Hall of Fame Class of 2013.
Butch Wagner
Oct 22, 2013

They will be inducted Jan. 19, 2014 at the annual banquet at the Sandusky Yacht Club.

Selected by the committee to be enshrined are with the category for the individuals also listed.

Coach Lee Zierolf’s 1938-1939 squad consisted of Art Link, Joe Riccardi, Charles Stanley, Kenny Smith, John Thompson, Howard Thompson, Leroy “Socket” Riedy and Wayne Stamm. Stanley is the lone living member of that group, and committee members Dave Mehling and Gary Erney are looking for any contact from a member of the Stamm family.

Toni Wierzba Majer, 1987 graduate, athlete.

Mona Barrett Rutger, 1968 graduate, professional.

Ron Baum, 1998 graduate, athlete.

Derek Guerra, 1993 graduate, athlete.

Rev. Jeremy Miller, 2003 graduate, athlete.

Dennis Rectenwald, service.

Jim Smith, 1951 graduate, athlete.

The Panthers posted a 21-2 record which included seven tournament wins before losing in the final 29 seconds of the championship game to North Canton, 24-23.

 Link was an all-Ohio first-team choice and produced 336 points in the 23 games for St. Mary’s, which beat Nova Glenford and Dennison in Columbus to reach the finals. Majer had an outstanding track career for SMCC.

 She guided the Panthers to their first perfect regular season (11-0) and first Sandusky Bay Conference girls championship her senior season in 1987 with four first-place finishes — the 100- and 200-meter dashes and as a member of the winning 400- and 800-meter relay teams.

She finished the regular season unbeaten in the 100 and 200 three years in succession and compiled a 32-0 record.

Majer went on to place third in the 200 and ran the anchor leg on the 400 relay team that finished second in the state meet.

When she graduated, Majer held the school record in the 100, 200 and 400 and also as a member of the 400 and 800 relay teams.

Rutger has spent most of her adult life relating to the treatment of wildlife in need of help and is the owner/operator of Back to the Wild, a Wildlife Rehabilitation and Nature Education Center on Bardshar Road in Castalia.

Each year, the center treats over 2,500 wild animals and presents education programs to over 70,000 students and member of youth groups.

She has been nominated as Top 25 CNN Heroes for 2013 and earned the American Red Cross Firelands’ Hometown Hero Award in 2007, as well as the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet 2006 Hero of the Year.

Baum was a four-year letter winner for the SMCC wrestling team. He compiled a 138-30 career record for a winning percentage of.885, highlighted by winning the Division III state championship in 1998 in the 140-pound class with an exciting 2-1 victory in the title match that also enabled his team to secure a runner-up finish in the team standings.

In football, Baum was the team’s MVP his senior year and earned first-team All-SBC honors on defense. He led the Panthers in rushing and scoring as a senior and had a career-high 224 yards rushing in one game.

Guerra is one of three SMCC Hall of Fame athletes to receive three first-team All-SBC honors in one year.    He was honored as a receiver and a punter in football in addition to making the first team in basketball and baseball in his senior seasons.

Also in football, Guerra earned three letters and played an integral part on the 1992 SBC championship team.

As for baseball, Guerra was the leading hitter as a senior with a.488 average and had just one error in the field and also led the team in strikeouts (63) and ERA (1.60).

On the court, Guerra was the top scorer in the 1992-93 season with 17.1 points a game.

Fr. Miller is the only Erie County high school tennis player to win an individual state crown (2003). He finished the junior season with a perfect 38-0 record on his way to a remarkable career mark of 130-2.

He was runner-up in the Division II state tournament singles play as a sophomore and suffered his lone loss in 36 matches in the finals.

Fr. Miller continued his tennis career at Xavier University, where he was a four-year scholar athlete and earned Atlantic 10 first-team all-conference recognition as a junior and senior.

Upon graduating from Xavier with a BA in Philosophy, he entered the Mount St. Mary Seminary School and was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest on June 22 of this year.

Rectenwald, a 1965 graduate of Fremont St. Joseph, was the high school principal at SMCC from Sept. 1975 until Aug. 1981, and headed up the 1978 accreditation by the North Central Ohio Association of College and Secondary schools, which proved that St. Mary met high education/academic standards and showed a steady increase in enrollment.

He was also instrumental in getting the school’s Chapel project constructed, and brought to fruition — in addition to working with the Toledo Diocese — the ground breaking for the new high school wing addition, and presided over the $1.7 million expansion project.

It was during his tenure as principal that SMCC won the SBC All-Sports Trophy for the only time in the 1979-80 school year, the same year the Panthers had a perfect boys basketball team and won the state championship.

Smith excelled in basketball, and was a junior member of the undefeated 1949-50 basketball team (17-0), He earned honorable mention All-Ohio as SMCC wound up with a 21-1 record, losing to Troy Luckey in the district.

In his senior season of 1950-51, Smith was the scoring leader with 378 points and averaged 18 points a game for the Panthers, who were 15-1 in the regular season and 18-2 overall.

Smith set the school’s individual game scoring record at the time with 37 points against Fostoria St. Wendelin, and scored 30 or more points on three other occasions as a senior. He earned first-team All-District and All-SBC honors and was also the leading scorer in the conference.

In football, Smith played a tackle position and earned two varsity letters. He is deceased.



Wierzba, Guerra, and Smith? All above average athletes, but not great, and DEFINITELY not Hall of Famers. At least not before some of the other options that are out there.

It's called the Hall of Fame, not Hall of Above Average. In my opinion, you should have EXCELLED in 3 sports and/or made it to a state championship or been a state champion. Once you honor those athletes, then you can "water down" the Hall with some of these people going in this year.

Dan Hallock is one name who comes to mind. Oh wait, he sent his kids to Perkins and is proably an outcast at SMCC now. And what about Butch Weyer before Rectenwald? Or Toby Hammond? All he did was take the football team to the state championship game and turn around the program. Speaking of which, what about Tim Lamb, Brett Bilgen or Yon Roth from that team? All three of them excelled in 3 sports. Speaking of Roth's, what about Al or MAYBE even Troy (I think Bryan and Aaron are already in)? And what about Jeff Lamb or Jim Lamb? Oh, wait again...most of these guys went to Sts. Peter and Paul for grade school.

I would like to nominate the water boy from the 2008 football team for induction into the 2014 class.

Castalia Gal

Butch Weyer is a charter member of the HOF. He was inducted in the 1st class. What many people need to understand is a person has to be nominated before they can be voted into the HOF.


I agree with Denny on the above comments and Hallock lit it up at the Rock if I remember correctly. Roth and the boys ran into that buzzsaw in the state finals named Bobby Hoying. Wasn't Jared Oliver a helluva Cross Country runner at SMCC ??


Thanks for the information Castalia Gal. I hope the committee members read this and consider it formal nominations for those guys listed in my original post.

As for Deb's comments: At the state championship game, they ran into officials who refused to throw penalty flags on St. Henry for holding the entire game...especially in the second half. Rod Scott, Andy Wolf and the rest of the front 7 (or 8) dominated that game.

It's a shame the officials (along with a few mistakes down the stretch) took the state title away from them, because St. Henry had at least 3 players who went on to play in the NFL. Anyone who watched the game knows who the better team was that day. And almost 25 years later, those guys still have a lot to be proud of.

Not sure how Dan did in college, but I do believe he played well for Slippery Rock. I'm also not sure how good Jared did in CC, but he was never a state champion, and maybe not even a state placer. He is a great detective however.

By the way, my moniker is in honor of Denny Faber...THE WORST basketball coach in the history of SMCC. Mansfield St. Pete's (1984 or 1985) tournament game ring a bell? That team (Lamb, Armstrong, Roth, Youskeivicz, etc.) was better than the 1980 state champs and definitely the best team in the state. I hope he isn't in there, but imagine he had some pull getting his son-in-law in this year.