CLEAR FORK VALLEY — There is no question that Earl Fry is old school and that has little to do with his age. It’s his attitude toward sports and to life that is special
The 81-year-old Fry this September will be inducted into the Clear Fork Valley Athletic Hall of Fame as part of hall of fame weekend activities slated for Sept. 1 and 2.
He was a two-way starter at Bellville High School for a 1953 team that went undefeated, the first ever at Bellville. He was the team captain and played center and middle linebacker for head coach Fred Martinelli, who nominated Fry for the hall.
“Earl snapped the ball and was an efficient blocker for our explosive runners. On defense, playing the middle linebacker position enabled Earl to make tackles sideline to sideline,” said Martinelli. “It is unfortunate that statistics were not kept at that time. I might add that Earl’s leadership as team captain added a quiet, but confident demeanor to our team that gained the respect from our opponents, media and fans.”
Fry, who spent 33 years as a teacher and 34 years as a football coach, has been modest in accepting his impending enshrinement to the hall of fame.
“I am proud to accept this honor for all of the teams I played on here at Bellville,” said Fry, “I would like to share the honor with all my Blue Jay teammates. This is truly an honor that I shall always cherish.”
He wanted to especially thank his coaches at Bellville: Martinelli, Marv Frye and Dutch Raether. And, he said he was influenced as a teacher by Wayne Wookman, Ross Smith, Mary Garber and Margie Kaup.
After graduating from Bellville in 1954, Fry went on play football at Wittenberg College where he also played center and middle linebacker from 1955 to 1957. He was the team MVP in 1957 and was first team All Ohio Conference. He was also UPI All Ohio Center.
Fry’s wife Patty passed away last February.
“I wish she could have been here for this. She played a big part in whatever I have been,” said Fry.