Dover Names First Hall of Fame Class


The Dover squad in 1931 included all-time greats Frank Kelker (far left), Don Foutz (standing, far left, in backfield), and Trever Rees at center. The season was also first for Dover alum Herman "Bup" Rearick, who would put Dover and, eventually, Canton McKinley, at the front of conference and state championship discussions in football and basketball throughout his decades as head coach.

Inaugural Dover Honorees Have Ties to 1931 Football Team

The old beat reporter in me still hates to get scooped, even though in this space I spend my time looking back several decades — or more.

But if you didn’t see it first in the T-R a dozen days or so ago, I thought the news bore repeating here.

Dover named its first sports Hall of Fame class in early October. Among the honorees were several athletes with ties to the 1931 Crimsons squad, which I’ve been profiling each week this season in the Tornadoes Time Warp series.

Coach Hermann “Bup” Rearick was named, not just for coaching prowess that led to a 29-game winning streak on the gridiron and a state championship in basketball, but for his own playing days at Dover High.

Center Trevor Rees was honored for his Dover captaincy and prowess on offense and defense, as well as a playing career that took him to Ohio State, and a coaching career in the service of the Buckeyes and then as head coach of Kent State.

End Frank “Doc” Kelker, who played second fiddle in the running game to my grandfather, Don Foutz, in the 1931 season, would stand second to no one in Dover athletics. Kelker took over star duties for the Crimsons in 1932 and 1933, leading them to wins over the legendary Paul Brown’s Massillon Tigers and running up their undefeated 1932 season and 29-game winning streak. He was a standout as well in basketball — star on the ’33 state champs — and in baseball, and went on to All-American stardom at Western Reserve College.

Of the other honorees, Ernie Godfrey, Howard Mauer and Al Zuchegno boasted sons, nephews, cousins or brothers on the 1931 squad — you’ll have to check your Denny Rubright (who was one of the HOF selectors) books to be sure.

I’m not sure what my grandfather’s stellar running season in 1931, or his three years as “Ohio’s premier punter”, not to mention his recruiting by Ohio State some four years after his high school graduation would mean to the Hall’s selectors, but it’s been pleasure enough, at least for me, to honor him in this blog series. Tune in tomorrow for a recap of the 1931 Newcomerstown game, and all next week for previews and “coverage” of the ’31 Dover-Phila grudge match.

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