Paul Alt attended Crestline High School from 1963 to 1967. He played football and basketball and earned the following honors: football, All League (JAC) as a junior and senior, All State as a senior; baseball, All League as a senior, MVP as a junior and senior. Rocky then attended Wittenberg University where the honors continued to build. In football, he was named All Conference in 1969 and 1970; He was co-captain in 1970 and named the “”Best Back in the Conference”” with the Mike Gregory Award. He also received Honorable Mention in the Little All-American League and named to the All-Lutheran team. With all these honors behind him, MVP for 1970 followed. In baseball, Rocky was named All-Conference his junior and senior years. He received Honorable Mention to the Little All-American team as a senior and was named MVP both years. Rocky was inducted into the Wittenberg Hall of Fame in 1993 for his accomplishments in football and baseball. He still holds several career records in both sports.
Rocky has had a successful career in coaching football also. In his 30 years, his teams have had winning records, conference titles, and record setting seasons. He has coached at Bowling Green, Marshall University, Wittenberg, University of Hawaii, and Northern Illinois. In January of 2001, Rocky Alt was appointed to the position of head football coach at Otterbein College in Ohio.
Gates Brown played baseball, football, and basketball for the Crestline High School in the mid 1950’s. He played basketball for three years, starting for two years. He also played football where he started all three years of play. He played both offense and defense, playing half-back on offense. Gates made All-League in football. From 1963-1975 he played baseball for the Detroit Tigers. One of his career highlights was during a 1968 double header against the Boston Red Sox. In the first game of a fourteen-inning battle, Gates Brown hit the game winning home run. In the second game that day, he drove in the winning run with a single. Also, in 1968 he played in the World Series. In 1972, he helped lead the Tigers to the Eastern Division Title. In 1975, he retired as a player but in 1978, he began a coaching career that lasted six years. Gates Brown still holds records in the American League: most pinch hits, 107; and most pinch hit home runs, 16.
Louis Cellini was born in Rome, Italy. He came to the United States of America at age eight. In 1935, Lou entered high school at Crestline, where he played guard on the football team through 1938. Lou was small in stature but smart, tough, and extremely quick; he received league acclaim. Upon his graduation at Crestline, he was invited to play football at Heidelberg College. Lou was selected three years as an All-Ohio and an All-American football player while in college. After graduation, he entered military service. After the military, he returned to Crestline where he taught high school and assisted Coach Hutson in coaching football and basketball. He also taught school in Mansfield and Lakewood.
Louie was enshrined in the Heidelberg Hall of Fame.
John DiPietro attended CHS from 1954 thru 1958. He played football, basketball, and baseball and earned varsity letters in each sport. He was named to the All-Mohican league as a tackle his senior year.
John graduated from Ashland University and received his Master’s Degree from Xavier University. John began his teaching and coaching career at CHS in 1967 where he stayed until he “”retired”” in 1996. John was an assistant football coach from 1967 until 1971. He then became the head football coach in 1972 and stayed in that position until 1996. Many of John’s students made All-League, All-Ohio, went to college, became professionals, and/or outstanding citizens. John continues to teach, coach, and help with worthy causes to this day.
Robert Frye was born in Crestline. Bob entered Crestline High School in 1936. He played football and basketball for four years; thru 1940. Bob received league and state acclaim in 1939. Bob was the leading scorer in the State of Ohio. After graduating, he attended Ohio State University where he was a member of the 1942 National Champion, Ohio State Buckeyes. In 1943, Bob was the only Crestliner to be selected to play in the Chicago Tribune All-Star game. The team played against the National Football League Champion, Washington Redskins. After serving in the military, Bob graduated from Southern California University. He coached in California, but returned to Ohio to coach football and basketball at Mansfield Senior High School. Bob was the first coach of Mansfield St. Peter’s High School from 1958-1971. His team won 259 while losing 65 games. They won the State title and several runner-ups. St. Peter’s High School gym was named in honor of him.
Bob was enshrined in the Ohio High School Basketball Hall of Fame.
Joe Gottfried attended CHS from 1954 through 1958. He earned 12 varsity letters while in high school and made All State in football and basketball in 1957-58. Joe coached high school basketball for eight years in Ohio. His records were 91-42 at Bloomville and 20-4 at Lima Central Catholic. He was voted Ohio High School Basketball Coach of the Year in 1969. Joe coached at Ashland College for seven years; five as head coach. In his last three years at Ashland, his teams were 50-19, in the top 10 in the country, and made three straight NCAA appearances. Joe is in the Ashland College Hall of Fame. Joe coached for three years at Southern Illinois University and has served as Athletics Director at the University of South Alabama for the past 17 years. During this time, the Jaguar athletic teams have won 56 championships and 11 of the past 13 Sun Belt Conference Commissioners Cups. This award is given for the best success in both men’s and women’s athletic programs.
Regina Harney graduated from Crestline High School in 1978. She played three years of track, four years of tennis, and one year of basketball. In 1976, she was the State Champ in the Long Jump and in 1977; she placed at the state level in the Long Jump and High Jump.
Merle Hutson came to Crestline in 1932 after graduating from Heidelberg College.
He already had five years of starting football experience at Braden High School when he started what would become one of the most outstanding careers at Heidelberg. He was an All-Ohio tackle for three consecutive years, and was voted team captain his senior year. After graduation, Coach Hutson played professional football with the Cleveland Indians of the old National League for one year and then played semi-pro ball for the Crestline Merchants from 1933-35.
As Crestline’s first paid, full-time coach, he inherited a football team that had not won a game the previous season. Coach Hutson then proceeded to begin a football and basketball dynasty that saw his teams win 11 championships in the former League of Six Nations. His career football coaching record at Crestline was 120-55-5 and for his first ten years, he served as the only varsity and junior varsity coach for football and basketball.
Although his coaching career was interrupted by military service in World War II, he returned to coach in 1946. Crestline was now part of the Ohio Northern League. Hutson continued to coach until the 1952 season when he retired. Everyone in town seemed to know “”Coach””, and he continued his love for the game by conducting sports programs for children in city parks during the summers.
Coach Hutson’s career was honored in 1971 when the Ohio High School Football Coaches elected him to their Hall of Fame. He was enshrined during the annual North/South game held in Canton on August 13, 1971. The Heidelberg Athletic Hall of Fame recognized his skills by inducting him on October 11, 1986. On September 26, 1975, the Crestline High School football field was renamed Hutson Stadium in his honor.
As further testament to Hutson’s coaching abilities, many of his players received local, college, and All-Ohio honors. His personal influence on many others has prompted them to pursue coaching as their profession at the High School and Collegiate levels.
Few sports figures in Crestline history have had the enduring and far-reaching influence on youth that Coach Merle Hutson had. Upon his death on July 24, 1999, he endowed Crestline High School’s annual Peg and Merle Hutson Scholarship Fund, which awarded $25,000 in scholarships this year.
Paul Keltner was born in Mansfield. Paul entered Crestline High School in 1935. He played guard on the football team form 1936 thru 1938, where he received league honors. Upon his graduation, he attended Capital University, where he was honored by being selected as All-Ohio player for two years in a row. He entered the military as a Marine after graduating from Capital. After the military Paul entered coaching, where he coached high school in Sunbury, Bucyrus, Cambridge, Athens, and Lewis County, West Virginia. Returning to Crestline, he was owner of the Huddle Restaurant. He also taught school and assisted in the varsity football program at Crestline High School.
Paul was enshrined in the Ohio High School Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
Jane Smarto attended Crestline High School from 1975 to 1979. She earned varsity letters in basketball (3), tennis (4), and softball (1). In basketball, she was an All-MOC for two years and received All-District Honorable Mention. In basketball, she received the following school records: most points in one game-33; most rebounds in one game-26; total games-45; total points-737; total rebounds-627. In her senior year, she averaged 18.1 points per game and 16.2 rebounds per game. In tennis, she holds the school record for going undefeated in 1977(14-0) and she was Sectional Champ in 1977 and 1978. Jane Smarto also received the following: 1979 All-American High School Athlete, Who’s Who, DAR Citizenship Award, president of student counsel senior year, National Honor Society for two years(president-senior year), and the 1979 Basketball Dedication Award.
Donald H. Wood was born and raised in Crestline, Ohio. He attended CHS from 1948 to 1951. Don played football for three years and received the following honors: 1949-led scoring for Crestline in the NOL; 1950-team captain and appointed first team NOL as a halfback. In basketball, Don played three years and was captain in 1951. Don graduated with honors and was selected to the national honors society. After graduation, he attended Wittenberg University where he was named by his teammates as “”most valuable player”” on Wittenberg’s 1954 football team. Fullback Wood, for the second straight year, was named on the first All-Ohio Conference Eleven. He graduated from the University with honors in the pre-medicine program. He then received his master’s degree from Case-Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland in 1959. Dr. Wood completed his residency at Cleveland Metropolitan Hospital and the Cleveland VA Hospital. During his medical career, Dr. Wood received numerous awards, appointments, and served as an instructor of Clinical Neurology at New York University School of Medicine. He was appointed as chairperson of the department of Neurology at Howard University of Medicine and was an advisor to the FDA and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders.Last Updated on