2022 Class of the Withrow Athletic Hall of Fame

Mark you calendars for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday evening, January 21, 2022, at half time of the Withrow–Shroder varsity boys’ basketball game, which starts at 7:30 PM. The following outstanding athletes will join an exclusive group of 55 prior inductees:

Joyce Bley Rosley, 1959
Joyce was an outstanding GAA athlete at Withrow who exemplified leadership on and ff the field. She played four years of field hockey, basketball, baseball, volleyball and badminton. She was the center linebacker and captain of the hockey team her senior year. She received charms for all five sports and a bracelet for outstanding participant. This was a time before the Title IX recognition of women’s sports. She was selected Honor Girl for GAA and voted Most Athletic Girl her senior year. She was recognized by students and faculty for athleticism, leadership, scholarship, character and school service. She returned to Withrow after graduation for student teaching and worked with girl athletes with after school sports, organizing and running many of the games. She moved to Arlington Heights, Illinois, after college and was area GAA President for eight years. She established girls’ softball there, organizing 60 teams for girls ages 8-16. She recruited managers, equipment, fields, schedules and umpires. She also coached for several years.


George Mehl, 1967

George was an outstanding tennis player at Withrow. During his sophomore year, ithrow won the PHSL championship and George won the District doubles competition with teammate Joe Dehner. George and Joe advanced to the state doubles finals where they lost a close match 6-4, 6-3. During George’s junior year Withrow won the PHSL championship again and George won the District singles competition and advanced to the State matches. There George lost in the State finals 6-4, 4-6, 6-1. His senior year, Withrow won the PHSL again and George won the District singles competition (defeating teammate Ron Lague). He was upset early in the State tournament, but was ranked eighth nationally in doubles and 26th nationally in singles that summer in junior tennis. He went on to play for the University of Arizona and was a starter and letterman for four years at a time when the school generally ranked in the top ten colleges in the country for tennis. After college George and his brother, Dave, started a real estate development company in Tucson, Arizona, developing apartments and retail centers. They built the master planned community of LaPaloma with the West LaPaloma resort and Country Club with a Jack Nicholas golf course. George was very active in the Tucson community and was known as a very generous donor to many worthwhile endeavors. George and his entire family died in a tragic airplane accident in 1991.

Kermit Smith, Jr., 1978.

Kermit was MVP and Captain of the football team. He was allPHSL and All-City in football and played in the East-West All Star football game. He was All PHSL in baseball and played in the EastWest All Star baseball game. He was a member of the number 1 state ranked basketball team. He was voted Best Athlete at Withrow his enior year. He was a member of Nip Magazine’s “Who’s Who Among Cincinnati Area Students”. After graduation, Kermit attended Wittenberg University and was a starting defensive back for two consecutive National Championship runner up teams. After college he became the head basketball coach for the Forest Park Tigers, who were four time Southwest League and tournament champions. He was head soccer coach for Forest Park, winning the Southwest League and tournament three times. He was an assistant coach for the West End Wildcats Super Bowl football champs of 1988. He was assistant coach for the Winton Hills Falcons 1990 and 1991 football league champs. He was assistant coach for the North Central Knights 1996 Super Bowl and national champion runner-up. He was head coach of the Winton Woods Warriors 7th grade league champs of 2007 and an undefeated 8th grade boys’ basketball team of 2008. He is the owner of Kare 4 All Educational Enhancements mentoring program assisting children in all positive facets of life from 1988 to the present.

Kymari Gates, 2015

Kymari was a great athlete on the high school level while at Withrow and on the college level at Western Kentucky University. He was first team All Eastern Cincinnati conference in both football and track and field while at Withrow and went on to become a multi-time All-American in multiple events at Western Kentucky. Kymari is part of several school records at Withrow and also at Western Kentucky. At Withrow Kymari broke the school record in the 100 meter and 400 meter dashes and was ECC champion in the 100 meter dash, setting a conference record. In the 800 meter repay he was an All State performer and broke the school record, City record, district record and regional record. He was also a first team All-ECC defensive back in football. At Western Kentucky he was a three time All-American in the 1600 meter relay, a two time All-American in the 400 meter relay and a one time All-American in the 400 meter dash. Kymari was first team Conference USA champion in the 400 meter dash in 2019. He broke the indoor and outdoor Western Kentucky school record in the 1600 meter relay. Kymari graduated from Western Kentucky in 2019.

Ayanna O’Neal, 2015

Ayanna was one of the best track and field athletes in the state of Ohio in 2015 and led Withrow to its first track and field State Championship. In the 100-meter hurdles she was the Eastern Cincinnati Conference champion, the district champion, the regional champion and the state champion. She broke the school record, ECC record, and City record in the 100 meter hurdles. In the 300 meter hurdles she was the Eastern Cincinnati Conference champion, the district champion, the regional champion and state fourth place finisher. She broke the school record and ECC record in the 300 meter hurdles. In the 400 meter relay she was the ECC champion, the district champion, the regional champion and the state champion. She broke the school and ECC record in the 400 meter relay. In the 1600 meter relay she was the ECC champion, the district champion, the regional champion and the state runner-up. She broke the school record and the ECC record in the 1600 meter relay. After graduating from Withrow she attended Eastern Michigan University where she was an All-MAC performer and MAC champion.

Maintaining a meaningful Hall of Fame requires the efforts of many people starting with your submission of nominations for consideration for induction. 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. Please make an Online Donation by clicking HERE or mail a check 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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