1963 Cross Country Team
In the fall of 1962, the Valley Forge Cross-Country team entered the Lake Erie League which was the toughest high school sports league in Northeast Ohio. They finished fourth in the LEL but were all underclassmen with the exception of senior Captain Al Trammel.
The following year they opened the 1963 season with easy wins against Midpark, Lakewood, and Parma. The next meet was against Brush, the defending league champ. The race was dead even coming to the finish. Gene Zayac distracted a Brush runner at the finish. He and Scott Hill then passed the runner to turn the race in the Patriots’ favor. The final score: Valley Forge 27, Brush 30. Euclid would be an airtight race at their course on a hot 85 degree day. The Patriots prevailed: Valley Forge 27 Euclid 28.
The team finished the LEL schedule at 7-0 in the league and 8-0 overall. Captain Rick Steinfadt won all 8 dual meet races, was the LEL individual champion and finished the season by placing 3rd in the state meet in Columbus. It was the first League Championship for a new Valley Forge High School after only being in the league for two years. No boys cross country team has ever won a League Championship since. Coach Robert Mindek guided the team with a calm demeanor and a lot of laughter to keep the guys loose. He was the perfect coach for a new team. Individually, everyone improved from 1962 with a lot of hard work and sacrifice.
Coach Robert Mindek, Wayne Blabolil, Bill Bloom, Bill Burhoe, Jim Charvat, Jim Dalessandro, George Dietz, Terry Emmons, Jerry Fitch, Ed Flegel, Bill Flowers, Jim Geiger, Jeff Grady, Al Graham, Dave Haburchak, Jim Haug, Tom Higgins, Scott Hill, Tony Hren, Jerry Johnson, John Konecsni, Don Kispert, Al Martens, Rick Pamer, Tom Rea, Bob Reichelt, Paul Retsch, Frank Sandusky, Jim Savarda, Rick Steinfadt, Bob Taylor, Gene Zayac, Joe Wydra, Dennis Kabasan,