Newark Wildcat athletics will induct five new members to the Newark Athletic Hall of Fame prior to the Wildcat boys basketball game against New Albany on Fri., Jan. 17. A ceremony will follow the game in the Commons. Congratulations to the 2020 Newark Athletic Hall of Fame inductees: Matt Hardy, Class of 2003; David Jones, Class of 1984; Mark Oberholtzer, Class of 1980; Anni Thomasson, Class of 2013; and Fred Pryor, Class of 1957. A program for the event, including inductee bios, is available by clicking here
Brief bios for this year's inductees:
Matt is a 2003 graduate of Newark High School. He started playing sports when he was at Miller Elementary.
During his years at Wilson Middle School, he played football, basketball and ran track. He set four track records his 8th grade year in long jump, 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters.
He excelled in football and earned three letters, as a sophomore. During his junior season, Matt was a part of the team that beat the defending State Champions Upper Arlington at White Field. That season, Matt finished second in the state of Ohio in receptions (82) and receiving yards (1,220), which currently stand as Wildcat single season records. He received several awards that season: First-Team OCC, OCC Player of the Year, Central District Player of the Year, and First-Team All-Ohio. As a senior, Matt received further recognition on the football field: First-Team OCC and Special Mention All-Ohio. He was also a member of the winning South team in the North – South All-Star Football Game. For his career, Matt holds the records in receptions (149) and yards (2,289), as well as a 99-yard touchdown reception.
Dave graduated from Newark High School in 1984. During his middle school years, he played football, basketball, baseball and track.
His sophomore year at Newark High School he participated in football and track. He was All-COL his Junior and Senior years. Dave was a captain in 1984 and was Honorable Mention All-State. He played in the North-South All-Star Game his senior year.
Mark is a lifelong resident of Newark, having attended John Clem Elementary, and Roosevelt Junior High, before graduating from Newark High School in 1980. While at Newark High school, he lettered in basketball, playing on the 1980 team that went 18-5, and were COL Co-Champions. He was selected to the All-COL Second-Team, and voted as the teams most improved player and led the team in rebounding.
Anni is a 2013 graduate from Newark High School. Anni started varsity volleyball all four years. Her freshman and sophomore year she was All-Ohio Honorable Mention. She was All-Ohio First-Team her junior and senior year. Anni was chose Player of the Year for the Ohio Capital Conference all four years of high school. She was Player of the Year for All-Central District her junior and senior years and was First-Team All-Central District her freshman through senior years.
Anni was a ESPN top high school recruit. She was a team captain all four years and NHS Most Valuable Player her freshman through senior years. Anni was the Newark Advocate Player of the Year 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Anni holds many school records for the most kills in a match, the most digs in a match, the most digs/kills in the same match, the most career kills and digs and earned 1,688 kills in her high school career. She was the fourth all time in Ohio volleyball history.
Fred graduated from Newark High School in 1957. Fred was a three-sport athlete competing in football, basketball and baseball. He quarterbacked the 1956 COL Champion Wildcats. In 1957, he received the Mike Gregory Student Athlete Award.
Fred continued his education at the United States Military Academy at West Point graduating in 1961. Fred and his high school sweetheart, Roberta Danford, were the first couple married after the 1961 graduation.