Donnie Hammond led Frederick High School to a state golf championship in 1973. In college, he competed for Jacksonville University, playing no. 1 his junior and senior years, and winning the Sun Belt Tournament in 1979. Over the next few years, he won or placed in numerous tournaments, earning five- and six-figure purses. He captured the Bob Hope Classic in 1986. In 1989 he won the Texas Open, 22 strokes under par, only one stroke off the all-time P.G.A. record. He finished second at the Walt Disney Classic by one stroke. At a Nabisco Invitational, he placed fifth. He also participated in the Masters and U.S. Open. A top-20 P.G.A. money winner, Hammond is considered by many to be the most gifted athlete in Frederick County’s history.
Richard “Bing” Keeney began his career in football playing fullback for Frederick High School from 1951through 1954. He coached in the Frederick Midget League, winning the 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1974 titles. In 1975, he was named “Coach of the Year” by the Middletown Valley Athletic Association for his team’s record. After playing with the Falcons, Keeney became the coach of the Carroll County Chargers in 1982 and was named “Coach of the Year” by the Interstate League. In 1984, he took over the Frederick Falcons, winning C.I.F.L. championships in 1987, 1988, and 1989. Keeney was respected for his knowledge of the game and ability to work with his players and was known as an unselfish, dedicated coach.
A baseball player at Brunswick High School, establishing a county record throw of 256 feet, Jack McQuillen began his professional career in 1941, joining the All-Star teams in 1942, 1943, and 1944. In 1946, he advanced to the South Carolina Tri-State League before moving to the Western Association’s Muskogee, Oklahoma, team. He led the league in stolen bases with 39 in 1947, 1948, 1949, and 1950 and batted over .300. In 1952 and 1953, McQuillen led the Missouri league with 52 stolen bases. He was a versatile player, playing many positions when called upon. McQuillen was honored by the city of Brunswick as an outstanding citizen.
A veteran of more than 20 years in baseball, Tony Wagner began his career in the 1930s and continued to compete into the 1950s. He was a third baseman known for his aggressive play, hard hitting, and athletic skills. When playing for Ijamsville, he won the club batting crown in 1934, 1948, 1949, and 1950, with a .429 average. He was a standout member of the Frederick Hustlers team, which won the Maryland Semi-Pro Championship, advancing to the nationals in Wichita, Kansas. Wagner was a totally committed athlete who never settled for anything less than his best.
Frank James, Jr.
An all-around athlete at Frederick High School, excelling in track, Lewis Frank James, Jr., began playing baseball in the Tri-State and County leagues as a left fielder, batting .361 in 1933 and 1934. In 1937, he signed with the Washington Senators farm system, following a .407 local season. He played for three years before returning home to play 11 years with the Frederick Hustlers. He also played with the championship Dr. Pepper softball team. Lewis continued his interest in sports, refereeing basketball for 21 years and umpiring baseball for 25 years. James was truly dedicated and was an athlete, official, and promoter of sports.
An outstanding javelin thrower, beginning his career at Mercersburg Academy with a school record, Ralston “Rastus” Legore entered North Carolina University and remained undefeated all four years, 1930 through 1934. He set college and Penn Relay records before trying out for the 1936 U.S.A. Olympic Team. He made it to the finals, but missed the trip to Germany. Legore pitched baseball for Woodsboro and the Frederick Hustlers, throwing three no-hit games. Although he was offered a contract with the Philadelphia Athletics, Legore turned it down. He was an avid outdoorsman and a big, strong, gifted athlete.
A stand-out on St. John’s High School basketball team 1928– 1931, Cy Moore was a starter for Strayer Business College, later played with the famed Shipley Celtics, and was a member of the championship Dr. Pepper softball team during the 1930s and 1940s as a first baseman, in all of which he was known as a team player. Moore continued his basketball interest as an IAAABO official for 30 years and was awarded a plaque by his peers for his expertise and outstanding service to the sport. Moore was known as a great all-around athlete, respected for his unselfish and dedicated participation.
Kenneth S. Houck
Kenneth S. Houck spent 36 years in the sport of trap shooting. During those years, he achieved many county, state, and national individual and doubles championships. Starting in 1947 with a second-place finish at the American Trap Shooting Championships in Ohio and continuing with his 1979 Frederick County title, Kenneth captured 33 prestigious championships with scores of 49 of 50, 98 of 100, and 381 of 400. He was named as All-American in 1952 and 1953. Houck remained active as a promoter, coach, official, and teacher following his retirement.
Richard “Dick” Ramsburg graduated from Frederick High School in 1924 and from Mercersburg Academy in 1927. He won his first City Tennis Championship that same year. Following graduation from the University of Pennsylvania in 1930, Ramsburg won 17 titles during his 25-year career of singles and doubles competition. He was honored in 1970 with an Annual Championship in his name. Ramsburg was also a starting member of the famed Shipley’s Celtics Basketball Team. He was highly respected by all for his athletic ability and sportsmanship.
A Walkersville High School standout who distinguished himself locally as a pitcher and later as the property of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Penn State Minor League, Bernard “Lefty” Warrenfeltz established a Tri-County league record of 10 or more strike outs per game in a single season in 1935. Warrenfeltz was a consistent .300 hitter during his 28-year career with Woodsboro, Walkersville, and the Frederick Hustlers. He gave 10 years to baseball as a manager, coach, and umpire following his playing days. Warrenfeltz was undoubtedly one of Frederick County’s all-time great pitchers.
Named to many Little League, Babe Ruth, and American Legion All- Star teams, Bill Crone was a 1975–1976 All American baseball and football player at Frederick High School. While playing shortstop at West Chester State College, he averaged .349. In 1991, Crone was elected to his college Hall of Fame. He joined the Seattle Mariners’ AAA team, winning the league’s Silver Glove Award with a .492 average, and was voted MVP in 1981. He was a member of the 1979 U.S.A. International Team. Crone ended his professional career playing for the Houston Astros and the Cleveland Indians through 1988. He was a remarkably gifted athlete.
Jon F. Kreissig
Following Little League, Babe Ruth, and American Legion participation, Jon Kreissig played for Frederick High School as a starter on both the baseball and basketball teams of 1958–1960. He was a shortstop at the University of Maryland, leading the ACC in double plays, ranking him fourth in the country. In 1965, Kreissig played on Maryland’s first-ever ACC championship team and was named to the ACC All-Academic Team in 1964 and 1965. After graduation, he participated in the Orioles’ North Florida Gulf League. Kreissig spent more than 20 years at Montgomery College, coaching and teaching physical education. He was an athlete, coach, and educator.
Lawrence “Bunny” Powell won the national 16–18 Junior Duck Pin Bowling Championships in 1942. He toured the Eastern Seaboard, winning individual titles and establishing single- and three-game records. He was nationally ranked for 20 years and was a member of Frederick’s 1952 second-place team in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the National Duck Pin Bowling Congress Championships. His three-game record of 463 was highlighted by a 167 single-game total. Powell was a consistent performer, a natural in his sport.
James Schartner founded the Maryland School for the Deaf wrestling program following his graduation from Western Maryland College in 1972. He produced national individual and team champions, including four Olympians. He was a three- time World Games for the Deaf coach in 1985, 1989, and 1993. He organized the national federation and served as its first chairperson and coached U.S.A. Exchange teams in Russia, Mexico, and Canada. Schartner was a 1989 Western Maryland College Hall of Fame inductee and was knownas a technically sound coach.
Bob Sheffler was a Middletown High School All-County player, 1972 Boston University team captain, and Mason Dixon League standout 1973–1977. During a 20-year coaching career at Middletown High School, he produced state, regional, county, and MVAL championship teams. Altogether, Sheffler compiled a 224–39–7 record. In 1992, he was nominated by the National Federation as one of this nation’s most outstanding coaches. Sheffler was also named the Mathematics Teacher of the Year in 1988. He has gained the respect of his peers as a gifted coach and innovative educator, and is the “winningest” soccer coach in the county history.
A Walkersville athlete beginning his boxing career as a lightweight in the 1930s, Clifford “Scrapper” Shelton’s aggressive style earned him respect and top billing in eastern area towns and cities. Shelton won 33 of 39 fights before being drafted to serve in World War II. He won the All-Service European Circuit Championships held in Italy with a perfect 16–0 record. Although Shelton retired following the war, he was known for possessing a dangerous left jab and a “put-away” right.
A talented varsity baseball and basketball player at Frederick High School, upon graduation Harold “Sonny” Blank joined the U.S. Navy, competing for four years in armed services athletics. He returned home to officiate basketball over the next 25 years with IAABO. His expertise earned him collegiate- and state-level assignments. During the same period, he coached the FSK Post 11 baseball team to several state titles and a trip to the Connie Mack World Series in 1988. Blank’s team compiled a 375–142 record. His coaching always demonstrated a commitment to excellence.
Edward Busch, Jr.
Becoming a triathlete in 1983, Edward Busch, Jr., went on to earn national and world wide recognition. He qualified three times for the Ironman in Hawaii. In1988, he placed fifth in the 45–49 age group, with a 2.5-mile ocean swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile marathon. Busch competed in 73 triathlons in the U.S.A. and around the world, placing either first or in the top 10 positions. In 1994, he was ranked no. 1 in the U.S. in the Biathlon, a run–bike combination. Busch was a member of the Frederick Steeplechasers and was considered Frederick County’s greatest Ironman.
Ruth Cassell Galt Eyler spent more than a half-century breeding, training, and racing trotting horses. She became the first Maryland woman to win a paramutual harness race, breaking the male domination of the sport. She was featured on the cover of the Maryland Horse magazine following her win at Rosecroft Raceway in 1949. She consistently defeated male drivers on her own entry, Breeze Up. The Baltimore Sun newspaper proclaimed her “one of the nation’s most outstanding harness drivers.” Eyler was certainly a legend in the world of harness racing.
James Fraser, Jr.
James Fraser, Jr., was a longtime coach, official, and organizer of area sports. A 1948 graduate of the University of Maryland, completing a master’s degree in 1955, Fraser then coached at Frederick, Middletown, and Brunswick High Schools, compiling winning records in track, basketball, soccer, and football over a 25-year career. A 30-year veteran of officiating baseball, soccer, track, and basketball, Fraser also coached Little League, Babe Ruth, and American Legion baseball. He was never too busy to lend a helping hand. Several running events are held annually in his honor.
Charles “Poss” Houck began his athletic career at the Boys High School in 1912, competing in football, basketball, and baseball. He played college football at Gettysburg College in 1916 and continued his sports participation while in the Army during World War I. He returned home to write sports for the Frederick Post, spending years organizing and promoting numerous local athletic teams. He later was assistant sports editor for the Baltimore Sun, serving the Baltimore Orioles on road trips. Highly respected by his peers, Houck was an unselfish advocate for athletics.
One of Frederick County’s most distinguished citizens was Harry O. Smith. A graduate of Frederick High School, Western Maryland College, and Duke University, Smith lettered in soccer, baseball, and wrestling at Western Maryland. He coached Brunswick High School to a state soccer championship in 1933. He coached numerous championship teams during a 21-year career. He served as principal to four county high schools during his 44 years of service. Smith was a founder of the Glade Valley Athletic Association, Walkersville Little League, and the Frederick County Junior League in the early 1950s.
A state champion sprinter at Frederick High School with three state championship teams, Anthony Ambush had record-setting times of 10.4 and 21.6 seconds for the 100 and 200 meters. He was inducted as a 1982 member of the Mount St. Mary’s Hall of Fame and was a 1972 Olympic Trials semi-finalist, running 10.2 for 100 meters. Ambush’s 1974 9.3-second 100 yards remained a Mount record as of 1995. Successful in business, CEO of his own insurance and bond brokers company, Ambush was a role model for all to emulate.
Renowned for developing individual skills, team offensive and defensive programs, Tom Dickman is highly sought after to participate in clinics and summer camps and is nationally acclaimed for his coaching philosophy.
Emory Frye introduced Little League baseball to the town of Brunswick in 1954 and remained its promoter and administrator for more than 20 years. Frye single-handedly developed a program which still reflects his enthusiastic and unselfish leadership. He served as the league president for six years, elevating the league to a self-sufficient level. In 1963 he was elected District II administrator and greatly expanded the program. He also served on a national level. Frye was totally committed to area youth and the sport of baseball.
William O. Lee
William O. Lee was a multi-talented individual who distinguished himself as a coach, teacher, principal, and city alderman. Lee coached his Lincoln High School teams to a 1961 state basketball championship and a 1962 state runner-up track title. He was a 1967–1970 field event coach for Frederick High School’s four-state championship track teams. A football coach with the winning Frederick Falcons, Lee was a tireless worker for the youth of his community, instilling those values which add quality to one’s life. Above all others, he was an inspiration to youth and adults alike.
David Shafer was a three-time state cross-country champion with Middletown High School and later served as captain of the Marshall University Southern Conference cross-country championship team. He was the first Marylander to win the Maryland Marathon; placed 53rd of 7,600 at the Boston Marathon; was a 1984 Olympic Trials finalist, running 2:17.0; and was a member of the Adidas racing team. He was selected the 1984 Frederick Jaycees Outstanding Marylander. A gifted teacher, devoted family man, and leader within his church, Shafer is considered this county’s finest all-around distance runner.
Melvin “Tim” Ambrose began his athletic career competing in youth baseball, basketball, and football leagues, earning All-Star selections. He continued these sports at Frederick High School and Thomas Johnson High School with All-League honors. He was awarded a football scholarship to Southern Illinois University, again earning honors. Ambrose was appointed head football coach at Middletown High School in 1973. Over the next 24 years, Ambrose compiled a 163–55 record, winning numerous MVAL titles and state playoff opportunities. He served 10 years as president of the county coaches association. Tim Ambrose is highly respected by parents, players, and coaches alike.
An all-around Walkersville High School athlete, playing soccer, basketball, and baseball, Alton “Bunce” Gilbert was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, pitched for Kingston, New York, ending the season with an 18–6 record. He advanced to Oleand, New York, registering a 12–5 season. He then moved up to Santa Barbara, California, winning a league playoff game. That year Gilbert appeared on the cover of Life Magazine with other Dodger players. He then played for Nashua, New Hampshire, winning 12 games and batting .330. He developed a sore arm and returned home in 1950. Over the next six years, Gilbert played in the Penn-MD and Tri- County leagues with Taneytown, Union Bridge, and Walkersville. In 1952, he turned in a 21–0 season. Known for his fastball, curve and knuckleball, Alton Gilbert was one of Frederick County’s great natural athletes.
Carol Smith Wilcom
A Walkersville High School graduate earning a bachelor’s degree at Frostburg State and a master’s degree from Western Maryland College, Carol Smith began her teaching career at Brunswick High School in 1966. Over the next 30 years, she coached field hockey, capturing regional and county titles and coaching her teams to win the 1983 girls’ state track championship, with runner-up honors in 1989 and 1990. In 1979 Smith became the first woman athletic director in Western Maryland, adding numerous new varsity programs for boys and girls. She was active in state and county professional organizations, serving as chairperson or president. Carol Smith was an enthusiastic, talented, and dedicated professional.
A Middletown High School track standout, twice winning the state two-mile championships, Thomas Stevens enrolled at Hagerstown Junior College in 1975, earning All-American honors for the indoor two-mile and outdoor 10,000 meters events. He also won state and region six-mile titles. In 1988 and 1989, Stevens won the Maryland and Charlotte marathons respectively, with a 2:17.30. A consistent top-10 finisher at major meets, Stevens holds every county record from a mile through the marathon. He was a 1994 Hagerstown Junior College Hall of Fame inductee.
By age 10 Wilber “Pete” Stout had already begun to display a natural talent for the game of baseball. During the 1930s he played in the Frederick County and Tri-State leagues with Woodsboro, Taneytown, and Cedar Grove. In the 1940s, he joined the nationally ranked Frederick Hustlers, playing shortstop and where he was a consistent .300 hitter leading the team in stolen bases. While serving in the Army during World War II, Stout batted .364 and was named to the Panama League All-Star team. The highlight of his career was playing for the Hustlers in the National Championships in Wichita, Kansas, in 1947. He was an outstanding defensive player, aggressive base runner, and a superb hitter.
Mike Virts, Sr.
A Brunswick varsity baseball player who turned his athletic talent to the sport of jousting, Mike Virts, Sr., won his first state amateur title while in high school. At age 19, he competed in the professional class, capturing the state championship. Over the next 23 years, he won 15 state, 10 tri-state, and 9 national championships. He was selected 15 times as the Henry J. Fowler Outstanding Jouster of the Year and was the only rider to ever win the Western Maryland Club, State, Tri-State and National titles in the same year. Virts was awarded the 1983 Governor Hughes Maryland Certificate of Excellence and was inducted into the National Jousting Hall of Fame in 1987. Virts is known as the “Knight of St. Marks of Knoxville.”
Thomas Eichelberger was a member of Frederick High School’s 1946 and 1947 football teams, which reintroduced the sport to FHS after a 25-year absence. He earned varsity letters in three sports: basketball, baseball, and football. Known as a hard running back who many times ran over tacklers rather than side-step them, Eichelberger played both ways, scoring a season record nine touchdowns. He moved on to play semi-pro football with the Porter Redskins and the VFW, gaining a reputation as a hard-nose player who never backed down from anyone, regardless of size. In later years, Eichelberger coached Little League baseball, receiving a plaque for his many years of dedicated service to youth. He was a natural- born leader.
A high school and collegiate varsity athlete representing Frederick High School and Frostburg State University, Debbie Main Phebus was unquestionably Frederick County’s most successful woman’s coach, having produced five state championship hockey teams while at Middletown High School. She was named Coach of the Year five times, had 60 of her athletes earn All-Area honors, and three named All-State. Seven of her former players are currently enjoying successful coaching careers at area schools. Phebus compiled a record 119 wins, 39 losses, and 13 ties over 17 years. In1991 she was named All-Star Coach for the Maryland State Games. She was a no-nonsense coach capable of inspiring players and teams to higher levels of performance.
Gail O. Rolls was a pioneer who single-handedly spearheaded the awareness of the importance for and necessity of having athletic trainers on duty at every high school contest. She volunteered for countless hours, working Governor Thomas Johnson High School’s fall, winter, and spring programs. She found time to keep statistics showing the importance of and need for athletic trainers at sporting events in Frederick County. She was instrumental in getting the Board of Education to offer a sports medicine course for coaches, teachers, and others. Her efforts have ensured the presence of paid athletic trainers at every county high school event. Athletics owe this tireless professional a debt of gratitude.
In the 1940s, when men’s fast-pitch softball drew large crowds to Baker Park, several county teams excelled and began attending post- season invitational tournaments. Pitching was the key. Emory “Reds” Shaffer compiled a remarkable win-loss record, including numerous no-hit games. One of his most memorable performances occurred at the Washington, D.C., two-day, post-season tournament, featuring nine state championship teams. Shaffer won the first five games, giving up only four hits. In the sixth and final game, he lost 2–1 in the tenth inning. Shaffer was the Dr. Pepper team’s only pitcher that weekend. He was considered by opponents and teammates alike to be a gifted athlete.
Tom Bichy quarterbacked Frederick High School in 1962 to its first-ever win over Fort Hill by scoring all 13 points. He was also a star on the Cadet baseball and basketball teams. He won state championships with Babe Ruth and American Legion teams. He was named an All-ACC infielder, helping the University of Maryland win its first ACC title. He joined the Montgomery College of Rockville coaching staff in 1968, winning 336 soccer games, eight state championships, and advanced to the nationals seven times. He was selected Coach of the Year seven times and was named National Junior College Coach of the Year, Division III. Bichy was a dynamic coach, teacher, and administrator.
George Blickenstaff was an outstanding athlete while at Middletown High School (1948–1952), leading the baseball team in home runs and batting .650; scoring 40 points in a single basketball game; twice leading the soccer team in scoring; and winning the county high jump title. Over the next 20 years, he played in several area baseball leagues, contributing to 14 championships. He found time to organize youth baseball, basketball, and soccer teams, producing an incredible 468–97 coaching record. His pioneering leadership and unselfish contributions in his spare time and money led to the strongest feeder program in county history, the Middletown Valley Athletic Association. His is a name to remember.
Clyde “Red” Hawes devoted a lifetime of service to the sport of baseball and the community of Brunswick. He began playing baseball in high school during the 1920s, then moved on to participate in and organize the Tri- County League in the 1930s. He developed a Little League program and spent 25 years promoting the league. He won 14 team championships and seven district titles as a coach of the All-Stars and found time to manage the Marva Babe Ruth baseball team as well. Hawes retired at age 70 and was honored by the town of Brunswick for his 50 years of unprecedented commitment to its youth and the sport of baseball. Sportsmanship, character building, and lifetime values highlighted his coaching style. Hawes was a true Frederick County sports hero.
A multi-talented athlete, playing four varsity sports at Frederick High School, while earning academic membership in the National Honor Society, James Stockman went on to be a varsity basketball player and 1953 graduate of the University of Maryland. He then returned to Frederick, playing football, basketball, and baseball with area semi-pro teams. He also took an interest in youth baseball, coaching the Babe Ruth All-Stars to three state and two runner-up championship trophies in the late 1950s. Stockman took over the American Legion team in the 1960s, winning three state championships and two runner-up region titles. He was known as a no-nonsense coach, accepting nothing less than perfection.
Kenneth Swomley was an Emmitsburg High School star athlete, lettering in soccer, basketball, and baseball during the 1950s. He was then recruited as a soccer player to Mount St. Mary’s College, where he earned All-American status three times and All-Conference and All-South four years. He went out for track for the first time ever and won the league 100-yard dash twice in 9.8 seconds, ran as a member of the 440 yard relay that won conference honors, and also took part in the jumping events. Swomley was inducted into the Mount St. Mary’s College Sports Hall of Fame in 1979 and taught school in Pennsylvania.
Dr. James H. Gilford was for 35 years editor of the Frederick News-Post columns, “The Drumming Log” and “Bassin’ Notes.” He was always on the cutting edge of hunting, fishing, and conservation issues, promoting and protecting the concerns of area sportspeople. Gilford was the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including, but not only, the Governor’s Salute to Excellence National Fly Fisherman of the Year, National Park Service Take Pride in America Award, Conservation Educator Award. A college professor and department chairman at Hood College, he also lectured at Yale, Johns Hopkins University, and Gettysburg College, and held several positions at Fort Detrick during his career. Jim Gilford was Frederick County’s most influential outdoor sports advocate.
As a coach at Linganore High School, John J. Grim became the first coach in Maryland history to win girls’ cross-country, indoor and outdoor track championships in the same school year. As of 1999, his teams had won 13 state, 23 regional, 17 county titles, plus numerous league titles, during his 24-year career. He was named Coach of the Year 19 times and had 21 athletes go on to compete in college. He served as the National High School Federation rules interpreter for Maryland, was head coach for three county Russian exchange trips, served as state district I track chairman, had been president of the Western Maryland Track Officials organization since 1985, and was athletic director at Linganore High School. John Grim is respected by athletes, coaches, and track officials alike throughout the state.
A 1958 graduate of Frederick High School who distinguished himself as a varsity baseball and basketball player, Don Loun became interested in pitching while playing for Buckeystown in the Tri-County League 1957–1961, began showing promise, and was signed by the Washington Senators. In just four years, he moved from Class D ball to AA with York, PA; and then to AAA with Toronto and Hawaii. On September 23, 1964, he pitched for the Washington Senators, winning a 5-hit shut-out over the Boston Red Sox. He lost the second game to Boston at Fenway Park 2-0 on October 2nd. Loun remained in baseball with AAA teams until a shoulder injury in 1969 ended his career. Loun was a gifted left-hander who earned his moment in the sun.
Donald P. Wagner began playing football in 1943 with the Frederick Seneca’s as a Frederick High School student, continued his participation as a quarterback while serving in the U.S. Army in Japan, and returned home to play with the local VFW and Westminster teams in the late 40s and 50s. A noteworthy boxer, baseball, and softball player, he ended his career at age 43 with the championship Frederick Falcons in 1970. A hard-nose player with a soft spot for youth activities, Wagner devoted 20 years to coaching and officiating Little League baseball and Midget League football throughout the county.