Ohio’s Top 50 Athletes of the Decade: Who we missed…

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Ohio’s Top 50 Athletes of the Decade: Did we miss someone? Some say so…

It’s been over a week now since we concluded the JJHuddle countdown of
Ohio’s Top 50 Athletes of the Decade. The series was unlike anything
we’ve attempted before here at JJ and most of the feedback and reader
reaction we received was positive. As with any list, though, there are
always a few names people felt should have been included and weren’t.


It’s been over a week now since we concluded the JJHuddle countdown of Ohio’s Top 50 Athletes of the Decade. The series was unlike anything we’ve attempted before here at JJ and most of the feedback and reader reaction we received was positive. As with any list, though, there are always a few names people felt should have been included and weren’t.

Looking back at the list, there are a few other names I think could have made it, including:

Justine Raterman, Versailles (Volleyball and Basketball); Beanie Wells, Akron Garfield (football); and Gray Horn, Waynesfield-Goshen (Football and Track and Field).

The problem is – who do you take off? The fact that there are so many names – and resumes to match – that people feel passionate about is a testament to the athletic prowess and power that Ohio produces. Next decade maybe we’ll do a Top 100…

Here’s a look at some other athletes readers thought we missed:

– Just wanted to pass on to you Shelly Bellman from Ottawa-Glandorf was first team all Ohio in all three of her sports: volleyball, basketball and track. She was part of OG’s girls track state championship in 2002 and was a state runner all four years of high school. She has school records. She was All-Ohio volleyball and led the team to regionals and has many records at OG. Shelly was All-Ohio in basketball and led the team to regionals two times and was 24-1 her senior year 2005. She has school records. Shelly was All-American for the Dayton Lady Hoopstars and was listed among the 16 best guards in the country her senior year. Shelly played and was MVP in the Ohio-West Virgina all star game. Shelly went on to play at Cincinnatti and was All Freshman team and second in defensive player of year voting. Shelly was a starter every game and a four-year captain for the Bearcats. Injuries let her play only three years. I think Shelly Bellman should be in your top 50 athletes of the decade. Thank you. You guys do a great job.

– I have followed sports my entire life, played two sports in college and have coached for 40 years, as well as officiating at the college level for over 30 years. I guess I am getting old it seems. But with age comes some wisdom I do believe. No doubt everyone of the top 50 athletes are deserving in one way or another, just wanted to add my two cents worth. The most difficult event of any in sport is normally considered by any learned person is the pole vault, where the athlete must have speed, strength, coordination, skills of a gymnast and an unfailing sense of no fear. One would think that there would have to be at least a few pole vaulters on this list – since Heath Nickles of Columbus Grove established the all time state meet record for any division a couple of years ago it would seem that he would logically be on this list. He also was the state champion the year before, as well as being a state champion in the 300 hurdles. Not necessarily special by itself but when you combine that with his vaulting abilities it becomes more noteworthy. I know that there are many more names to be singled out but just thought I should point Heath’s accomplishments. He is presently competing for the Ohio State University Buckeyes.

– What about Dian Munz of Chagrin Falls? She attended 1996-2000, won a slew of state titles, National Team Medals and Olympic Medals.  I saw you had swimmers on the list, not quite the same credentials though.  I only ask because she was in Ohio high school sports in 1999 and 2000.

Mark Gangloff? Dan Ketchum? Both of these guys were dominant forces in High School and beyond and they did it when it was one division. Great list but these guys should be included.

Chad Billingsley…..Defiance 2003??????????????????????????????????????

– I hope you’re going to have Upper Arlington RB Jeff Backes as one of the Top 2. What he did carrying UA to the Div I state title in 2000 was incredible.

– First of all, let me stress that I totally understand what a difficult task is must have been to determine the “Top 50” athletes for the past decade. And, I’m sure you have, or will, receive many letters like this one. However, having said that, I can’t let it pass that I believe Dante Jackson from Greenfield McClain was overlooked. He scored over 2,000 pts. and pulled down over 1,000 rebounds in his high school career, becoming only the third player in Ohio history to accomplish both feats in a career. He was named All-Ohio three straight years. He was named MVP in the Ohio vs. Kentucky All-Star game and scored 23 pts. in the All-Ohio All-Star game. He was also a Div. II state champion in the high hurdles and state runner-up in the low hurdles. And, as I’m sure you are aware, he is playing in his third straight “Sweet-16” NCAA tournament game tomorrow.

ANYONE ELSE YOU THINK SHOULD HAVE BEEN MENTIONED? LET ME KNOW…

COMPLETE LIST OF THE TOP 50

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