Ross Local Schools to induct 8 into Hall of Fame
The Ross Local School District is set to induct eight new members into the Class of 2023 for their contributions to the schools and community.
Dick Ballard will be inducted for his contribution to athletics. Ballard was the head football coach at Ross from 1986-2005, during which time he compiled a record of 115-89. During his tenure, the Rams won the league four times and qualified for the state playoffs four times. The Rams recorded the only undefeated season in school history in 1995 and Ballard earned Ohio Coach of the Year during that season as well. Prior to his time at Ross, Ballard was the head girls basketball coach at Oak Hills, amassing a 209-51 record. He is also a member of the Butler County Hall of Fame and Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame.
Josh Bryant (Class of ‘99) will be inducted for his contribution to athletics. Bryant was a four-year varsity starter in football. In 1997, Bryant was named the Butler County Defensive Player of the Year and 1st Team All-State as a linebacker. Then, in 1998, he was named the Butler County Offensive Player of the Year and 2nd Team All-State as a tailback. Such honors for play on both offense and defense are a rarity in the sport. Bryant still holds the school record for touchdowns in a game at 5.
Tim Burns (Class of ‘80) will be inducted for his contribution to athletics. Burns was a member of the 1980 OHSAA State Championship basketball team, the first team championship of any sport in school history. As a three-year varsity starting shooting guard in basketball, he earned all-league honors. As a four-year varsity starter in football, he earned all-league honors three times. Burns was also a three-year varsity starter in baseball.
Emily Cooper Hermann (Class of ‘99) will be inducted for her contribution to athletics. As a three-year varsity starting point guard in basketball, Cooper Hermann finished 3rd in all-time scoring in school history with 965 points and held the school records for 3-point percentage and 3-pointers made. As a three-year varsity starter in softball, Cooper Hermann held school records for both single-season and career stolen bases. She earned 1st Team All-League honors two years and 2nd Team All-State honors one year during her time as a Ram. Cooper Hermann went on to play four years of basketball and two years of softball at Rio Grande University.
Larry Herman will be inducted for his distinguished staff service as an educator for Ross Local Schools. Herman was a science teacher at RHS from 1975-2013 after graduating from the University of Cincinnati. Herman supervised the Science Club for his entire career and served as Science Department Chair as well. He coached the coed golf team for twelve years and was also an assistant softball and basketball coach during his time at Ross.
Fred McCollum will be inducted for his contribution to athletics. McCollum coached basketball and track and field for the Rams in a long and distinguished career. He was an assistant coach on the 1980 OHSAA Boys Basketball State Championship team and then served as the head varsity coach for nine years, during which time his team won five FAVC championships. He was named FAVC Coach of the Year five times, District Coach of the Year in 1988, and finished his tenure as the winningest coach in school history. McCollum was also the boys and girls track and field coach for 22 years and helped his student-athletes to many individual and team successes.
Jason Rettinger (Class of ‘95) will be inducted for his contribution to athletics, the district, and the community. Rettinger served as the varsity baseball coach for fourteen years, compiling a record of 250-130, making him the winningest coach in school history. His Rams won seven conference championships and two OHSAA district championships. During his time at the helm, he founded and supervised the Ram Baseball Club and since stepping away from the varsity coaching role has founded the Ram Softball Club. Rettinger served as the RLSD Assistant Athletic Director from 2018-2021 and is the current principal of Ross Intermediate School.
Tom Willsey (Class of ‘65) will be inducted for his service to the Ross community. Willsey acted as a Ross Township Trustee from 1986-2022. He was a member of the Millville Village Council and the Millville Fire Department, where he served as an Assistant Chief. As a Township Trustee, he also served as a former president of the Ohio Township Association and Ohio Township Association Risk Management Authority and also sat on the Board of Directors for the Butler County Township Association for twenty years. Willsey was the Chairman of the Butler County Advisory Health Council and a member of the Small Community Advisory Council EPA and member of and former president of the Ross Lions Club. A long-time softball umpire, Willsey was also elected into the Butler County Sports Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2023 will be introduced during halftime of the boys basketball game on February 10, 2022, and then celebrated at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on February 11, 2023, at the Yeager-Benson Memorial American Legion. Tickets for the Induction Ceremony will be available for purchase online only via www.rossrams.com/content2/boxoffice beginning November 4, 2022.