District 12 HOF Class of 2017 announced

A girls’ coach who won nearly 70 percent of his games over a 17-year span and four talented players from more than 30 years ago make up the Class of 2017 for the District 12 Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

This year’s 10th anniversary inductees are long-time Bellaire girls’ coach Gregg Bonar; Tom Miziker of Guernsey Catholic Central and Mark Dempsey of Bishop Rosecrans (boys selections); and Gloria Josefczyk of Union Local and Shannon Sowers of Zanesville (girls selections).

Those five will be inducted into the “Hall” during the annual Pepsi/District 12 Basketball All-Star Classic slated Friday, March 31 at Buckeye Trail High School in Old Washington.

The girls’ all-star game pitting the East against the West will begin at 6 p.m. while the boys’ game will tip off around 8. The HOF inductees will be introduced to the crowd at various intervals throughout the evening.

There are now 12 coaches and 36 players in the District 12 “Hall”.

Members of the selection committee are Mark Romick of River (District 12 Director), Dan Liedtke of Fort Frye (District 12 President), Dave Linn of Buckeye Trail (District 12 Secretary/Treasurer), Todd Rock of Bishop Rosecrans (Boys Representative), Pat Miller of Maysville (Girls Representative) and Jeff Harrison of The Daily Jeffersonian (Chairman).

Here’s a look at the Class of 2017:

Gregg Bonar (Bellaire High School Girls Coach)

He spent 17 years as head coach of the Lady Reds (1986-2002), amassing an impressive record of 261 victories against 119 defeats.

Bonar-coached Bellaire girls teams collected six Ohio Valley Athletic Conference championships (1990, ’91, ’93, ’94, ’96 and ’98); won seven OHSAA sectional crowns (1990, ’91, ’94, ’96, ’97, ’98 and ’99); and one district title (1998), reaching the regional semifinals that season.

He was named “Coach of the Year” in District 12, the Eastern District and the OVAC on multiple occasions and he received the OVAC’s Rich Saffield Girls’ Basketball Coaches Award in 2006. He coached in the Pepsi/District 12 All-Star Basketball Classic, the OVAC Samuel A. Mumley Basketball Classic and the OHSBCA North-South All-Star Classic.

Bonar, who was assisted for most of his career by Raeanne Ponzo – a 1,000-point scorer at West Liberty State College, has two of his former players currently in the coaching ranks – Amy Taylor at Bucyrus High School and Missy Tiber at North Alabama University.

Bonar also spent 23 years as an assistant football coach at Bellaire and was the head coach for two seasons (2007-2008), and was a football assistant at Shadyside for three seasons. He was also on the coaching staff of the Ohio Valley Greyhounds of the professional National Indoor Football League.

He is a 1978 graduate of Shadyside High School where he was a first team all-OVAC quarterback and West Liberty State College where he was a four-year football letterman. He played quarterback, defensive back and tight end and was on the Hilltoppers’ 1980 WVIAC championship team. Bonar received his master’s degree from the University of Dayton.

Mark Dempsey (Bishop Rosecrans High School, Class of 1981)

A three-year letterman for the Bishops with nearly 900 points, he capped an outstanding career by averaging 21.3 points per game as a senior to earn a first team selection on the AP all-Ohio Class A squad.

He was also first team all-District 12, all-Eastern District honors and played in the Ohio North-South All-Star Game.

As a junior, Dempsey averaged 15 points per game and received first team all-District 12 and all-Eastern District honors and was an honorable mention pick on the all-Ohio Class A squad.

Bishop Rosecrans was 19-3 during his sophomore year; falling in the Ohio Class A State Tournament semifinals; 19-4 during his junior year, losing in the Class A District Finals; and 22-2 during his senior year, ranked No. 1 at the end of the regular season in the AP Class A state poll, losing in the Regional semifinals.

Dempsey went on to a stellar hoops career at Muskingum College where he was a four-year starter at point-guard.

He tallied 1,402 career points (sixth all-time at Muskingum), named first team all-Ohio Athletic Conference as a senior and a two-time team MVP.

Muskingum played in the NCAA Division III Tournament during his sophomore season.

He served as head coach of Bishop Rosecrans in 1986-87 and 1987-88, posting consecutive 18-8 records. The ’87-88 team reached the OHSAA State Tournament “Final Four”, losing in the semifinal game.

He later spent 10 years as an assistant coach for Todd McLaughlin, two at West Muskingum and eight at Tri-Valley.

Tom Miziker (Guernsey Catholic Central High School, Class of 1978)

This talented 6-4 hoopster left his mark not only at tiny GCC, but throughout Guernsey County as one of the all-time greats. He scored a whopping 1,641 points, averaging 20 points per game over his 83-game career.

Miziker saw action with the Leprechauns as a freshman, scoring 106 points, and then began to blossom as a sophomore when he tallied 294 points (14 ppg) including a season-best of 30 points. He exploded during his junior season, tallying 570 points (27.1 ppg) with 10 games of 30 points or more, with a high-point mark of 38. Then as a senior, he poured in 671 points for a lofty 30.5 average which included 11 games of 30 or more, four games of 40 or more topped by a school-record 47-point outing. He also averaged 11.6 rebounds per game and shot 58 percent from the field as a senior.

Highlighting his impressive list of postseason accolades was a first team selection on both the AP and UPI Class A All-Ohio squad as senior after earning all-state third team (UPI) and honorable mention (AP) as a junior.

Miziker was also a two-time first team all-Eastern District, all-District 12, all-OVAC Class A and all-Southeastern Ohio honoree and he played in the Ohio North-South All-Star Game, the District 12 All-Star Game and the OVAC All-Star Game.

A four-year letterman and two-time team MVP, he led the Leps to a 58-27 mark during his career. He also played one year of basketball at Muskingum College.

Gloria Josefczyk (Union Local High School, Class of 1985)

A 5-11, four-year letterwinner and three-year starter, she tallied 1,339 points during her career with the Lady Jets, which still ranks fourth all-time at the school, and she collected 988 career rebounds, which still stands as the school record. Her 18.34 points per game scoring average for her career is tops all-time at UL.

After seeing limited action as a freshman, she averaged 15 points per game as a sophomore and earned second team all-OVAC Class 3A honors as well as honorable mention all-District 12, all-Eastern District and all-Valley.

She boosted her scoring averaged to 18 points per game as a junior, gaining honorable mention all-Ohio Class AA recognition along with first team all-District 12, all-Eastern District, all-OVAC Class 3A and all-Valley.

Then as a senior, Josefczyk’s average ballooned to 26.2 points per game and she had a school-record 333 rebounds, earning her a second team all-Ohio Class AA berth along with repeating as a first team pick on the all-District 12, all-Eastern District, all-OVAC Class 3A and all-Valley squads, named the “Player of the Year” in both District 12 and the Eastern District.

Josefczyk had a career-best 49-point game (second all-time at ULHS) and had school-record single game efforts of 24 rebounds and 20 made free throws.

She capped her prep career by playing in the OVAC All-Star Basketball Classic and the District 12 All-Star Game.

A Union Local Athletic Wall of Fame honoree, Josefczyk was also a three-year letterwinner in softball and a one-year letterwinner in volleyball at ULHS.

She attended college in Florida for one year and played basketball before transferring to West Liberty State College where she did not play but obtained her degree.

Shannon Sowers (Zanesville High School, Class of 1983)

As a three-year starter on the varsity basketball team she averaged 17.6 points a game and became the first ZHS girl or boy to score 1,000 points, finishing her career with 1,127 points in just 64 games.

During her senior season, she was team co-captain on a team made it to the OHSAA “Sweet 16” before being beaten in the regional tournament on a shot at the buzzer.

As a senior, when she averaged 20.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, she was named a Street and Smith’s Magazine Preseason All-American and received first team all-Ohio Class AAA honors while gaining all-Central Ohio League, all-Eastern District and all-District 12 Player of the Year accolades.

Sowers was named honorable mention all-Ohio Class AAA as a sophomore along with first team all-District 12, all-Eastern District and all-Central Ohio League; and as a junior she was second team all-Ohio Class AAA and was again first team all-District 12 and all-Eastern District.