Walsh Jesuit High School coach Pat Ritchie was inducted into the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame.
Ritchie completed his 33rd season as Walsh’s boys cross country coach this past fall and is entering his 34th season with the Warriors boys track and field team in the spring (15 as coach and 19 as an assistant).
Ritchie, a graduate of Tallmadge High School (1972) and the University of Akron (1976), is in his 34th year as a math teacher at Walsh. He competed in three NCAA Cross Country Championships and one NCAA Track Championship at UA.
Ritchie coached Mogadore High School for two seasons and led the Wildcats to a district title before heading to Walsh.
As the Walsh cross country coach, he has guided the Warriors to:
• 19 district titles.
• Eight regional titles.
• Two state championships and five runner-up finishes.
Ritchie has guided Walsh to 23 state meets in cross country. The Warriors have had 10 individual district champions, three individual regional champions, and 20 athletes have earned individual All-Ohio honors.
In track and field, Ritchie has won three district championships and three runner-up titles. Nine relays and 17 individuals have qualified for the state meet, earning All-Ohio honors 16 times and winning a state championship in the 3,200 meter relay.
He has also been involved in the Walsh Jesuit Tomahawk run, the Warrior Classic, the Walsh Jesuit Turkey Trot, the Bunsey Memory Run, the Akron CYO Championship Meet and a summer cross country running camp. In track and field, he hosts the Warrior Relays and the Akron CYO Championship Meet.
St. Vincent-St. Mary senior Clayton Uecker committed to Ave Maria University in Florida to continue his academic and football careers.
Uecker, a 6-foot-5 and 205-pound quarterback, helped the Fighting Irish win the Division II state championship.
“It is a good situation for him,” St. V-M coach Dan Boarman said. “They are a school that wants to continually grow and better their program. They will be Division II this upcoming year.”
Ford overcomes injury
Medina senior Chris Ford suffered a knee injury in the summer of 2012 that kept him off the football field this past season, but the University at Buffalo stuck by him.
Ford, a 6-foot-3 and 300-pound nose guard, signed a national letter of intent to attend and play football at Buffalo on scholarship. He tore his ACL during a summer camp.
The following seniors have made college commitments for football:
Highland’s Austin Adams, Hillsdale
Buchtel’s Elijah Bell, Morgan State
Green’s Ron Brant, Wayne State
Woodridge’s Tre’Von Burgins, Lake Erie College
Coventry’s Tyler Butler, Notre Dame College
Wooster’s Charles Cairnie, Colgate
Buchtel’s Taliaferro Claridy, Muskingum
Buchtel’s Erron Cosey, Notre Dame College
Medina’s Mitch Doraty, Mount Union
Buchtel’s Marnayre Drummond, Morgan State
Jackson’s Eian Elsass, Malone
Revere’s Paul Gabel, Alderson-Broaddus
Streetsboro’s Brandon Gency, Ashland
Buchtel’s Jared Hopkins, Central State
Nordonia’s Victor Hudson, Edinboro
Hoover’s David Johnson, Notre Dame College
Triway’s Kyle Kearney, Ashland
Archbishop Hoban’s Jimmy Martter, Harvard
Massillon’s Anthony McCarthy, Ashland
Wadsworth’s Nick Seme, Ashland
Firestone’s Cameron Sheppard, Edinboro
Perry’s JoJo Tayse, Ashland
Buchtel’s Malcolm Webb, Baldwin Walllace
Streetsboro’s Dorian Williams, Princeton
Canton South’s Terry Williams, Malone