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The Suburbanite
  • The Monday After: Boys Club event to bestow overdue honors

  • A state championship team that was never honored for its achievement a quarter of a century ago now will be recognized.

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  • A state championship team that was never honored for its achievement a quarter of a century ago now will be recognized.
    Canton’s 1988 Ohio Police Athletic League state championship basketball team will be given a Distinguished Service Award by the J. Babe Stearn Community Center — previously the Canton Police Boys Club — at a dinner May 11 during the H.O.F. Alumni All City Oldies Dance Party at Meyers Lake Ballroom.
    The event, organized annually by the Canton Police Boys Club & J. Babe Stearn Community Center Hall of Fame Committee, also will recognize two other individuals with distinguished service awards. And the committee will induct 17 new members into the club’s hall of fame.
    “We have a lot of guys going in who spent a lot of time at and who contributed a lot to the Boys Club,” said Jim Mitchell of the H.O.F. Committee.
    THE TEAM
    It was 25 years ago that Tim Haverstock, program director for the center, took a team of young Canton basketball players to the state capital to compete for a title.
    “In 1988, we put together a basketball team and played in a Police Athletic League,” explained Haverstock. “Around here, we played places like the Jewish Center and Indian River School.”
    There were eight players on that team — 10 to start, but two boys quit.
    “We didn’t have great uniforms,” said Haverstock. “We had T-shirts with a number and ‘Boys Club’ on them.”
    The team performed beyond the quality of its attire, so well that it earned the right to play the winner of a Columbus Police Athletic League for the state championship.
    “It was on a gray, cold Saturday when we went down to the east side of Columbus, without a lot of fanfare,” recalled Haverstock, who coached the team and helped Ron McConnell, then the center’s director, drive the team south in two cars. “As a coach, I knew we were in trouble when we went in and saw the rims were all bent up from dunking. I knew they had an athletic ball club. But, I also knew we had a pretty tough bunch.”
    Alanzo Perrin was “quick as a cat,” said Haverstock. C.J. Dinkins was a 6-foot-6-inch force under the basket.
    Pat Lyon, Corey Stevens and Ron Worrell were athletes established in other high school sports. Add Gary Meredith, Clarence Williams and Travis McCloud, and the Boys Club team became “a group of friends who all liked each other, who all worked together.”
    “We battled for four quarters and brought the basketball championship back to Canton,” said Haverstock.
    Then they simply drove home. Twenty-five years later the team is being given a Distinguished Service Award.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We never had any kind of a recognition back then. Never took a picture. Never had even a pizza party,” said Haverstock. “This will be it, this dinner will be our celebration.”
    ENSHRINEMENT AND AWARDS
    Among others to be honored with induction into the center’s hall of fame, noted Mitchell, are the late Ralph Miller and his son, Doug Miller, both of whom were active in the center’s Mitey Mite baseball program.
    Similarly father-and-son recipients are new hall-of-famer Joseph Hanood Sr., one of the original members of the Canton Police Boys Club in 1949, and his son, Joseph Hanood II, who will be given a distinguished service award.
    As is its tradition, the hall of fame enshrinement event will recognize a current serviceman who has been a member of the club. This year, the honoree is Jason Norris, who has been in the Army for 16 years and recently returned from a deployment in Afghanistan.
    “He grew up only about 15 houses west of the building,” said Haverstock, “and he was here every day.”
    Hall of Fame Inductees
    Charles Babcock
    Pablo Caripides
    Russ Carnes
    Pat Carroll
    Doug Gauze
    Joe Hanood
    Dave Kaiser
    Jim Lindensmith
    Dave Lyon
    Doug Miller
    Ralph Miller
    Bob Proctor
    Bill Robinson
    Virgil Stroia Sr.
    Richard VanBenthuysen
    Rich Venuto
    Gary Witts
    Distinguished Service Awards
    Individuals
    Jason Norris
    Joe Hanood II
    ABOUT THE EVENT
    WHAT  H.O.F. Alumni All City Oldies Dance Party
    WHEN  5 p.m. May 11
    WHERE  Meyers Lake Ballroom, 3218 Parkway St. NW, Canton
    WHO  Canton Police Boys Club & J. Babe Stearn Center H.O.F. Committee
    WHY  Dinner to induct new members in the Police Boys Club Hall of Fame and bestow awards on outstanding members of the Boys Club
    HOW  Obtain information by visiting www.babestearncenter.com or calling 330-455-3921
    DETAILS  Purchase tickets at the J. Babe Stearn Center ($30 individual and $225 for table of eight). Food will be by Mr. Mikes. Music will be by W.B.S.C. Good-Guys. Master of ceremonies will be Mark Milano from WHBC 1480-AM
    Reach Gary at 330-580-8303 or gary.brown@cantonrep.com.
    On Twitter: @gbrownREP