2021 Class of the Withrow Athletic Hall of Fame

Mark your calendars for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday evening, January 15, 2021 at half-time of the Withrow–Walnut Hills varsity boys’ basketball game. Game time is 7:00 P.M. We are proud to introduce the five athletes who comprise the tenth group to be inducted into the Withrow Athletic Hall of Fame. They are:

Ron Lague, 1968 – Ron was an outstanding tennis player at Withrow. During his sophomore year, Withrow won the PHSL league championship, and Ron teamed with fellow Tiger Joe Dehner to win the district doubles competition and advance to the State matches. There they were the State runner-up in the doubles competition, losing a very close match 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. His junior year, Withrow again won the PHSL championship; and Ron lost in the district singles competition (to teammate George Mehl) but still advanced to the State tournament. There he lost a very close match in the State semi-finals 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. His senior year, the team didn’t win the PHSL championship; but Ron won the district singles competition and advanced to the State tournament. There, he advanced to the State finals before bowing out in another close match 7-5, 6-4. After graduating, Ron went on to play tennis for Rollins College. He was a Division II All-American his junior and senior years, playing in the NCAA Division II tennis tournament his sophomore, junior and senior years. His junior year he won the NCAA Division II doubles championship. After college he went on the pro tour for two years and was ranked as high as 50th in the world. Since then he has been a teaching pro, first in Cincinnati and then at a club in the Jacksonville, Florida, area. He recently retired as a Master Professional which is the highest level one can achieve in the tennis industry, with only 200 Master Pros in the U.S. out of more than 4,000 registered USPTA pros. In 2002, Ron received the lifetime achievement award from the USTA.

Robert Longmire, 1973 – Robert was a three-year varsity wrestler at Withrow with a career record of 79-4. His sophomore year he was a second team Enquirer All-City wrestler at 98 pounds. His junior year he was a first team Enquirer and Cincinnati Post All-City wrestler at 98 pounds. He placed third at the State Championship at 105 pounds. His overall record that year was 17-1. His senior year he was second team Enquirer and Post All-City at 105 pounds. He placed second in the State Championship at 105 pounds. Robert received a wrestling scholarship to the University of Cincinnati where he earned a varsity letter his freshman year. (He left UC after his freshman year.) He was consistently a three-year dominant wrestler in the PHSL and the City with his only loss his last two years occurring in the final four State Championships. Robert was elected to the Cincinnati Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame in 2019.

Karl Brown, 1989 – Karl was a strong basketball front liner, whose bulk and strength gave him a tremendous advantage in the paint at Withrow. As a senior, he helped lead his Tiger team to a 23-2 record plus a City championship and a place in the State regional finals. Karl averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds an outing his senior year. His rebounding efforts rank among the best ever at Withrow. Three times he pulled down 20 or more rebounds in a game. He led his team in rebounding three straight years. Among his many honors are AAU All-American, third team all-state, All-City three years and team MVP. Karl attended the prestigious Nike All American camp and was just the second freshman at the time to play varsity. He signed a Division I scholarship with Western Kentucky University. In addition to being a great basketball player, he was a great ambassador for Withrow.

Steve Gentry, 1989 – Steve was a speedy, crafty, lefty point guard and a tenacious defender with a high basketball IQ. He helped guide his Tiger team to a 23-2 record his senior year. That year he averaged 17 points, 9 assists and 5 steals a game. Steve is still the all-time leader in assists and steals at Withrow. As a varsity starter for three straight years, he led the Tigers to a 29-1 league record with three Eastern Metro League championships. His league honors include: best defender for two years, MVP for one year, First Team All-League for two years, and Second Team All-State for one year. His senior year the Tigers finished the season as Cincinnati City champs and ranked number two in the state. Steve furthered his basketball career at Maine Central for a year before earning a full scholarship to Xavier University.

Rodney Crawford – 1997. Rodney was a tough, hard-nosed, well rounded basketball forward and four-year starter at Withrow. As a freshman he started on a team that finished runner-up in the state tournament. The team finished 25-1, and Rodney had the best field goal percentage on the team. He was a three-time all-conference selection and conference player of the year his senior year. An All-City performer, he was a three-time MVP and finished his career with over 1,200 points and 500 rebounds. He was one of the winningest players in Withrow’s history. Upon graduation Rodney enrolled at Mountain State University; he transferred to the University of Cincinnati where he played for coach Bob Huggins. After college, he became the head coach at Harmony Community School and then the head coach at Mountain State University. After Mountain State he moved on to assistant coach at Duquesne, assistant coach at Eastern Kentucky University and assistant coach at Fordham. Currently he is Director of Player Personnel at the University of Cincinnati.

Congratulations to these five outstanding athletes who will join the 41 current Withrow Athletic Hall of Fame (WAHOF) members. Nomination Forms for the Withrow Athletic Hall of Fame may be obtained by clicking HERE.

There are costs associated with maintaining a strong Withrow Athletic Hall of Fame. It took too long to establish the WAHOF, especially for a school that has a strong athletic history dating from 1919. We want to ensure it continues so that we can honor those athletes, who walked the halls all of us did, for years to come. Donations may be made online by clicking HERE or by a check made payable to “WAI” with “WAHOF” written in the memo line. Please mail the check to Withrow Alumni Inc.P.O. Box 8186Cincinnati, Ohio 45208. We do need, and thank you for, your support.

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