Remembering the Youngstown City Series

Do you think Gary and Larry Robbins should be on the list?

I would think so, especially Larry. Larry Robbins scored over 1,500 points in his career at Kent St. and averaged just under 20 PPG as a senior. Garry averaged over 15 PPG in his sr. season at YSU.

@tiger76 and @Shady Run Hoops may I ask if either of you ever played a game at South's gym, not the Field House but the high school gym? Thank you in advance.
 
I would think so, especially Larry. Larry Robbins scored over 1,500 points in his career at Kent St. and averaged just under 20 PPG as a senior. Garry averaged over 15 PPG in his sr. season at YSU.

@tiger76 and @Shady Run Hoops may I ask if either of you ever played a game at South's gym, not the Field House but the high school gym? Thank you in advance.
Only The Field House. Did play at Princeton and Hillman in Jr High. Princeton had the track overhanging the court. Played at both Struthers and South and The South Field House was in a class of its own
 
I played in several games at the SOUTH FIELDHOUSE, and years later I coached a bunch of games there ,too ! Of course, the FIELDHOUSE is not connected to the old SOUTH HIGH SCHOOL, so perhaps they had a small gym somewhere in that building ,but I never played a basketball game there,.........................I do remember PRINCETON JR.HIGH and ADAMS JR. HIGH having the track above their gym. A smart defense at those gyms were a 1-3-1 zone defense , because even though the corner shots are very vulnerable to that defense - they were impossible to shoot , because the overhang in the corners would block your shot everytime ! LOL
 
Although Youngstown Ursuline may have been in the City Series only briefly, if ever, one of their most celebrated athletes Bennie Allison passed away last week. This was noted in the Football Forum in the Mooney-Ursuline thread, but I thought I would post the basketball part of his lengthy obituary here:

Basketball
If it was not baseball, then basketball was his sport. The man could play!
Perhaps it was the backyard basketball court on Bennington Avenue that gave him his edge. Trying to get a last-minute ticket to a game was impossible when Dr. Bennie Allison was playing.
Kena was pulled from class at Ursuline to be asked, “Are you Bennie Allison’s daughter” and to have Mr. Beck (Bennie’s high school basketball coach) show her video of Dr. Allison in action on the court. Ashley’s most vivid memory from history class is Mr. Beck’s picture of her dad (Bennie) in his Ohio State uniform, watching over her all year from a nearby bookshelf.
When getting his final jersey made for his funeral, the Wharmby’s sales representative shared his memory of watching Dr. Bennie Allison single-handedly beat Liberty High School.
When Ursuline entered the Steel Valley Conference, Dr. Allison became the first athlete from Ursuline to make All-Steel Valley for any sport. He helped Ursuline win the first AA District Championship in school history, leading to the school’s first appearance in the regionals, Ohio’s Sweet Sixteen.
Dr. Allison was heavily recruited to play basketball in college. The family can recall the head coaches Fred Taylor (The Ohio State University), Bobby Knight (Indiana University) and Lefty Driesell (University of Maryland) visiting their Bennington Avenue home to recruit Bennie. With so many offers on the table, Dr. Allison decided to play basketball for The Ohio State University; he was the first person from Mahoning Valley to receive a basketball scholarship to The Ohio State University.
He proudly wore the number 24 and celebrated his basketball accomplishments by displaying his Ohio State team picture at the entrance of his home.
Where he shined brightest seems irrelevant with such an impressive athletic resume. He was inducted into the Ursuline High School Hall of Fame in 1977 and the Ebony Lifeline Support Group Inc. Sports Museum in 2006.


Allison's athletic accomplishments in baseball and football (and track) are also legendary, and are described in depth in his obituary:

 
Although Youngstown Ursuline may have been in the City Series only briefly, if ever, one of their most celebrated athletes Bennie Allison passed away last week. This was noted in the Football Forum in the Mooney-Ursuline thread, but I thought I would post the basketball part of his lengthy obituary here:

Basketball
If it was not baseball, then basketball was his sport. The man could play!
Perhaps it was the backyard basketball court on Bennington Avenue that gave him his edge. Trying to get a last-minute ticket to a game was impossible when Dr. Bennie Allison was playing.
Kena was pulled from class at Ursuline to be asked, “Are you Bennie Allison’s daughter” and to have Mr. Beck (Bennie’s high school basketball coach) show her video of Dr. Allison in action on the court. Ashley’s most vivid memory from history class is Mr. Beck’s picture of her dad (Bennie) in his Ohio State uniform, watching over her all year from a nearby bookshelf.
When getting his final jersey made for his funeral, the Wharmby’s sales representative shared his memory of watching Dr. Bennie Allison single-handedly beat Liberty High School.
When Ursuline entered the Steel Valley Conference, Dr. Allison became the first athlete from Ursuline to make All-Steel Valley for any sport. He helped Ursuline win the first AA District Championship in school history, leading to the school’s first appearance in the regionals, Ohio’s Sweet Sixteen.
Dr. Allison was heavily recruited to play basketball in college. The family can recall the head coaches Fred Taylor (The Ohio State University), Bobby Knight (Indiana University) and Lefty Driesell (University of Maryland) visiting their Bennington Avenue home to recruit Bennie. With so many offers on the table, Dr. Allison decided to play basketball for The Ohio State University; he was the first person from Mahoning Valley to receive a basketball scholarship to The Ohio State University.
He proudly wore the number 24 and celebrated his basketball accomplishments by displaying his Ohio State team picture at the entrance of his home.
Where he shined brightest seems irrelevant with such an impressive athletic resume. He was inducted into the Ursuline High School Hall of Fame in 1977 and the Ebony Lifeline Support Group Inc. Sports Museum in 2006.


Allison's athletic accomplishments in baseball and football (and track) are also legendary, and are described in depth in his obituary:

Bennie was a great all around athlete and a better guy. May he Rest In Peace. The 69-70 team had Benny, Darnell Paul, John Kane, Johnny Angelo and maybe Solomon Brown and that’s from a 7 decade old memory. Who else was on that squad. Hated to see Ursuline and Mooney leave the City but they had no choice. The 68-69 City Series suffered due to the failed levies, never the same.
 
Bennie was a great all around athlete and a better guy. May he Rest In Peace. The 69-70 team had Benny, Darnell Paul, John Kane, Johnny Angelo and maybe Solomon Brown and that’s from a 7 decade old memory. Who else was on that squad. Hated to see Ursuline and Mooney leave the City but they had no choice. The 68-69 City Series suffered due to the failed levies, never the same.

He was a junior that season but I believe Bob Banks was a starter on that 69-70 Irish team. He was a 1st team All-SVC selection the next season.
 
That URSULINE team that upset a really good LIBERTY team in 1969 also had SAM SCOTT and TOM TAMBURINO on that team.......the LIBERTY squad featured the FLEISCHER brothers [ JIM and Bob ]-- BUZZY BERKOWITZ and LARRY GRIFFITH.
The late BENNIE ALLISON was banking in shots from the top of the key......that tournamont game was played at SOUTH FIELDHOUSE ............very sad to hear of the passing of Dr. Allison---he was a class act and I also played against his brother BIFF , who was also a great dude !!
 
Bennie Allison was part of the Ohio State team involved in the Minnesota-Ohio State "brawl". He was interviewed in Sports Illustrated article about how the the Minnesota players passed by him and another African American player looking for someone to hit
Not to take anything away from Bennie, but the part of the article that said he was the first player from the Mahoning Valley to get a basketball scholarship to Ohio State was incorrect. Ed Smith from Warren Harding was a few years earlier. Many people believe that Ed Smith's broken finger in the regional final was a key factor in it's state semifinal loss to Dayton Chaminade in 1966.
 
Thanks to IMPALAMAN for his research regarding the MINNESOTA /OHIO STATE basketball brawl in the early 70s that our own BENNIE ALLISON was mildly involved in...........I recall that Minnesota team was coached by BILL MUSSELLMAN, who would many years later coach the CAVALIERS ----- much to the displeasure of CAVS fans , because of the bad memories of that Minny/OSU brawl. I remember OSUs LUKE WITTE from ALLIANCE MARLINGTON taking much of the pounding from the Minnesota players. In my personal opinion .it was a racially motivated occurence---hence the BENNIE ALLISON remarks about how he and another BUCKEYE player [ as I remember . a black named WARDELL JACKSON ] that were virtually untouched during the incident ,but white players like ALLAN HORYNAK were chased around the gymnasium running for their life . Minnesota players involved in the fracas , as I recall were RON BEHAGAN-CORKY CALHOUN-JIMMY BREWER ....and I am thinking that baseball star DAVE WINFIELD might have been on that team ,but I am not certain to that . Unfortunately for OHIO STATE ,even though they won that game at Minnesota that night ,the injuries to WITTE in the aftermath of that fight and other circumstances cost OHIO STATE the BIG TEN title and WITTE was certainly not the player or force ever again after the incident .......That was truly a dark day in the OHIO STATE basketball history .
 
Bennie Allison was part of the Ohio State team involved in the Minnesota-Ohio State "brawl". He was interviewed in Sports Illustrated article about how the the Minnesota players passed by him and another African American player looking for someone to hit
Not to take anything away from Bennie, but the part of the article that said he was the first player from the Mahoning Valley to get a basketball scholarship to Ohio State was incorrect. Ed Smith from Warren Harding was a few years earlier. Many people believe that Ed Smith's broken finger in the regional final was a key factor in it's state semifinal loss to Dayton Chaminade in 1966.


Bob Dove from Canfield went to OSU for hoops 4 or 5 years before Ed Smith did. Mr. Dove was the OSU team captain in 1966.

Wes Fesler & Joe Hoffer from Youngstown South preceded all of them at OSU by decades but they were probably there on football schollies, maybe tennis in Mr. Hoffer's case. Joe Hoffer played all three sports for the Buckeyes but basketball was reportedly his best sport. Both Mr. Fesler & Mr. Hoffer were captains of the OSU basketball team in the early 30s. Mr. Fesler in 1930-31 (when he was a Consensus All-American) and Mr. Hoffer in 1932.

I saw a blurb on an OSU site that said Mr. Hoffer went to Rayen but that is incorrect. He was a South graduate along with Wes Fesler.

PS:

I should add that many years later Terence Dials from Boardman was also an OSU hoops captain, in 2005 & 06.
 
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Bob Dove from Canfield went to OSU for hoops 4 or 5 years before Ed Smith did. Mr. Dove was the OSU team captain in 1966.

Wes Fesler & Joe Hoffer from Youngstown South preceded all of them at OSU by decades but they were probably there on football schollies, maybe tennis in Mr. Hoffer's case. Joe Hoffer played all three sports for the Buckeyes but basketball was reportedly his best sport. Both Mr. Fesler & Mr. Hoffer were captains of the OSU basketball team in the early 30s. Mr. Fesler in 1930-31 (when he was a Consensus All-American) and Mr. Hoffer in 1932.

I saw a blurb on an OSU site that said Mr. Hoffer went to Rayen but that is incorrect. He was a South graduate along with Wes Fesler.

PS:

I should add that many years later Terence Dials from Boardman was also an OSU hoops captain, in 2005 & 06.
Here’s one from Youngstown City Series golf. Rick Jones won three individual state championships at The Rayen School. He also went on to Ohio State and was the only Buckeye ever to win the NCAA individual championship,and that would include a guy named Nicklaus! Rick was also inducted into the OSU HOF.
 
Here’s one from Youngstown City Series golf. Rick Jones won three individual state championships at The Rayen School. He also went on to Ohio State and was the only Buckeye ever to win the NCAA individual championship,and that would include a guy named Nicklaus! Rick was also inducted into the OSU HOF.

Good call. I may be wrong about this but I think Mr. Jones was the first Ohio HS player to accomplish that three-peat. He was still winning Senior titles into the early 90s. He passed away last year. Rayen had several tennis champions back in the day also.

Bob McCall from Wilson was a great local amateur golfer too. He was also a RB & LB for the Presidents. He continued his football & golf careers at Colgate and is enshrined in the Colgate HOF for golf. I saw an article about him where Arnold Palmer called him one of his best friends.
 
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Rick Jones' obituary, from just about a year ago, which details his impressive golf accomplishments:

 
Gentlemen,

Mentioning Wilson & Colgate reminded me of the following:

Howard Hartman, a Youngstown South graduate, played college football & basketball at W. Va. Wesleyan. He was the first football coach at Wilson HS. He was there from 1938-1946, the latter a team that many guys of that era considered to be the best ever fielded in the City Series. He actually finished with a winning record at Wilson. No other football coach there can say that. I believe he also coached the hoops team at Wilson for a time anyway.

Coach Hartman left Wilson to become an asst. football coach at Colgate in the 1947-48 season. Many Youngstown guys played football at Colgate before coach Hartman got there and that continued. He became the head basketball coach for the Red Raiders in the 1949-50 season while staying on as an asst. football coach. He did both for several years. His last year as hoops head coach was the 1961-62 season. That was also the senior basketball season for another South grad, Mel Watkins. Mr. Watkins was a 2-time 1st team All-City hoops player for the Warriors before heading off to Colgate to play for coach Hartman.

In 1958 George Hunter, another South graduate, became the head basketball coach at Army following a successful career as Mt. Union's head hoops coach. He is a MU grad and a member of their HOF for basketball & tennis. Army played and defeated Colgate the first four years of Hunter's tenure which coincided with the last 4 years of coach Hartman's career at Colgate.

Wes Fesler, also a South grad of course, was the head football coach at Wesleyan in Connecticut, Pitt, Ohio St. & Minnesota but he was also the head basketball coach at Harvard and Princeton.

Obviously the City is much better known for producing football players and coaches but as this thread has shown there have been a few hoops players and coaches as well.
 
He was a junior that season but I believe Bob Banks was a starter on that 69-70 Irish team. He was a 1st team All-SVC selection the next season.
Speaking of great athletes, Marvin McWilson who attended South High School his sophomore and junior years and Wilson as a senior, had a rare accomplishment his senior season making All City in football and basketball and I believe he won the City in the low and high hurdles. That would have been the 67-68 season.
 
Rick Jones' obituary, from just about a year ago, which details his impressive golf accomplishments:

Rayen and East had outstanding golf programs in the 1950s
 
I just stumbled upon this website and found this stuff pretty interesting. A few comments...loved playing at the South fieldhouse,did think Greg Jones was better than Joe James (RIP) along with alot of my teammates. Dave Crawford had a great sr. season at Wilson and Steve Wash could shoot the lights out. Was talking to my brother about Rodney the bird Carter, what high school did he play at? thanks in advance
 
I just stumbled upon this website and found this stuff pretty interesting. A few comments...loved playing at the South fieldhouse,did think Greg Jones was better than Joe James (RIP) along with alot of my teammates. Dave Crawford had a great sr. season at Wilson and Steve Wash could shoot the lights out. Was talking to my brother about Rodney the bird Carter, what high school did he play at? thanks in advance

The Rodney Carter I remember played his senior season at East where I'm pretty sure he led the City in scoring and rebounding. IIRC though he transferred to East from Campbell Memorial where I think he was a second team All-SVC player as a junior.
 
RODNEY ''BIRD''CARTER was an absolute stud.......I was unlucky enough to have to guard him my junior year and I vividly remember that he lit me up for like 25 points.......... He played for the old EAST HIGH GOLDEN BEARS, but I am pretty sure he played at CAMPBELL MEMORIAL for a couple of years before that,............ Hey GEORGIA30, Thanks for letting me re-live an unhappy experience in my basketball career ,,,,,,,,,,,,JUST JOKING !!
 
Thanks YTOWN &tiger 76.... you guys know your stuff....i forgot to add i did get one of my shots blocked at Princeton by one of the fans leaning over the railing😆 I moved away to Georgia years ago but still talk to my buddies back home. Fortunately my son Kyle covers GHSA basketball and i am in the gym all the time as retirement approaches. In fact was with Art Mankin (played at Poland til transfering to Brunswick,oh and later winning D2 championship at North Alabama) watching his son play.1978 district final still bothers me but oh well
 
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