Bridgeport to induct four into Hall of Fame
The Bridgeport Hall/Wall of Fame is set for another round of inductions on Saturday as five members and a team, will get their call to the Wall of Fame, while four worthy inductees will go into the Hall of Fame.
The ceremony is scheduled for a 4 p.m. social hour in the high school cafetorium, with dinner at 5. The inductions will begin at 6.
On Friday night, a gathering will be held at the Brookside Volunteer Fire Department on national Road adjacent to Bill Jobko Stadium. That will begin at 5 p.m., with the inductees being led on the field prior to the kickoff between Bridgeport and Toronto on Perkins Field.
In addition, Coach Joe Ault – Wall of Fame 2011 – and Walt Tolarchyk – Hall of Fame 2011 – will both in town this weekend. They were unable to attend last years due to illness.
Capsules on each Hall of Fame inductee follows:
Hall of Fame
Mike Vargo ’87
Mike had a 3-year varsity wrestling record of 93-9 with 66 of those wins coming by falls. Eight of his losses occurred during his first year. Mike was a two-time OVAC champion along with placing fourth his sophomore year. He was a three-time District and Regional champion. He placed fourth in the state his sophomore year and won the state championship his junior and senior seasons. Mike did all his varsity wrestling at the 185 lb. weight class.
Dean Burk ’88
Dean became the all-time winningest wrestler in school history with a record of 129-15. He placed all four years at the Ohio State Wrestling Tournament, as well as the OVAC Tournament under the leadership of Coach Dave LaMotte. He was three-time District and Regional Champion, along with winning two consecutive OVAC crowns. He capped off a brilliant senior season by going undefeated, never surrending a point to an opponent and winning the state championship at 152 pounds. He was a member of the AAA 1988 Bridgeport High School wrestling team that placed first in the state and the 1987 team, which was state runnerup.
Dean is a member of IBEW Local 141, owner of Ohio River Properties and TMK Construction. He is married to the former Vanessa Maroon, and they are the proud parents of two children, Deea (8) and Dino (5).
Rick Burlenski ’88
Rick compiled a 4-year varsity wrestling record of 109-20. Rick began as a slow starter, as a freshman he had a record of 13-14. The next three years he caught fire. He won the regional three straight years and won two consecutive state championships and OVAC Tournaments. Also during his sophomore season, he placed second at the state tournament and fourth at the OVAC. Rick did his varsity wrestling at the 167 and 189 lb. weight classes.
Rick attended West Point Prep School in New Jersey from 1988-1989. He had a 20-3 wrestling record at West Point. From 1989-94, he was at The Ohio State University where he obtained a degree in Ancient History. As a member of the OSU wrestling team, he placed seventh in the Big Ten Tournament and qualified for nationals.
Rick and his wife, Kim, live in Farmington with their two sons Ricky and Jared. Ricky attends Linsly and Jared is a student at Bridgeport. Rick is employed by Kalkreuth Roofing as a quality control and roof inspector.
Lori Bodnar ’82
Lori is the daughter of Frank and Dorothy Bodnar. She has one sister, Jodi, who is a member of the class of ’85.
She played for Bob Wilson, the most successful girl’s basketball coach in school history. In four years, the Bulldogs posted a 78-10 record and captured four sectional championships, one district championship, two OVAC championships and a regional appearance in 1981. Lori was selected to play in the District 12 and OVAC All-Star games as a senior.
Lori graduated in1986 with a BS in Comprehensive Business Education from The University of Rio Grande and was a 4-year starter on the women’s basketball team. She was named captain her senior year.
Following college graduation, Lori taught and coached girls’ basketball for two years at Buckeye Trail High School in Lore City before leaving in 1988 to become the assistant women’s basketball coach at Kent State University. In 2002, she was promoted to associate head coach. As associate head and assistant coach, her teams succeeded in posting an overall record of 418-257, winning five Mid-American Conference championships and participated in four NCAA and four WNIT post-season tournaments. She coached and developed four “Players of the Year,” 17 All-MAC First-Team and three Mid-American Conference “Freshmen of the Year” recipients. She worked directly with Lindsay Shearer (2006) ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American of the Year and three NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship recipients.
In 2011, Lori was named the top assistant coach in the country by College Insider, and received the first Kent State University President’s EXCELLENCE Award in 2009. A Kent State University Distinguished Woman Award nominee in 2007, and also a recipient of the Mothers, Mentors and Muse awards in 2010.
Lori has coached the Portage County Special Olympic track team for 18 years. She helped start the Kent State University “Relay for Life” program that raises money for the American Cancer Society. She currently works as a Senior Advancement Officer for Kent State University.