Poland Seminary High School announces that it will be inducting eight new members to the Poland Athletic Hall of Fame prior to the Poland vs. Niles football game on Friday, Sept. 14. The Hall of Fame will also hold a tailgate party prior to the game and all former coaches and inductees are invited to attend. This year's class includes:
Ben Bowditch (1936)
Ben was a two-year letterman in track and field. He was a member of the 1935 mile relay team that won the Mahoning county, district, and state championship. In the 1936 season, he was a member of state runner-up medley relay team and state meet fifth place mile relay team.
Don Seidel (1970)
Don played football for the Bulldogs from 1968-1970. During that time, he set school records for yards rushing in a season (1,248) and rushing attempts (223). He was an honorable Mention All-Tri County League selection as senior. Don also played and lettered in basketball and track and field at PSHS.
Coach Dan Flood
Coach Flood began teaching for the Poland Schools in 1973. He was a beloved figure in Poland, coaching varsity baseball in the '70s and '80s, the varsity soccer coach in 1990, and served as the director of the winter intramural program for more than 20 years. Coach Flood is probably most remembered for coaching seventh and eighth grade basketball and seventh and eighth grade track in the '90s and 2000s.
Coach Flood has earned recognition and received numerous awards over his career for his dedication to teaching and to children. He was the Poland Education Association Educator of the Year in 2002; he was recognized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars for his work in Patriot's Pen in 2003; he was presented the Dr. Port Award by the Poland Sports Boosters in 2004; and he was the Poland Foundations Teacher of the Year in 2004. Beginning in 2005, the Mahoning Valley Coaches Association names its MVP award for its annual All Star Basketball tournament the "Dan Flood MVP Award" to honor Dan for his longtime service and dedication and each season the Poland basketball program awards the Dan Flood Spirit Award to a graduating senior that most exemplifies the qualities coach Flood both taught and lived.
Coach Flood passed away after a courageous battle with cancer in 2005, but his legacy as a genuine coach and teacher live on.
Aimee (Scharville) Schweers (1989)
Aimee was a two-sport athlete for the Bulldogs, who excelled in volleyball. She was a second team All-MVC selection as a junior and senior and a three-year letter recipient.
However, most of Aimee's recognition came on the softball field. She was a shortstop, playing from 1986-89 and a member of three consecutive MVC championship teams. Aimee was selected as an honorable mention All-MVC softball team as a sophomore and First Team All-MVC as a junior and senior. She was also selected to the Northeastern Ohio Coaches All-Star team as a senior. In addition to the above awards, Aimee was one of the first Poland softball players to earn 4 varsity letters in one sport. As a junior, her batting average was .421 and as a senior she batted .432, scored 35 runs, had 16 walks and 26 stolen bases (a record that stood for 16 years). Aimee continues to have an active role in Poland softball through Poland Community Baseball.
Tom Taraba (1993)
A 1993 graduate, Tom was a three-year letterman in both football and baseball. He also played basketball as a freshman and sophomore.
Growing up in Poland, Tom played on numerous all-star teams from pee-wee through colt and class "B" baseball. In 1990, he was the Ohio High School Athletic Association runner up Center Fielder and was All MVC 2ND team center fielder in 1992.
In football, Tom set several records during his career. He scored four touchdowns in a single game in 1991 (tying the school record) and was also selected First Team All MVC at Punter. In Poland's 1992 home opener versus Wilson, Tom once again scored four touchdowns in a game. He was selected as the player of the week by WYTV and was nominated Top Dog by his teammates. Tom was selected to the First Team All MVC as a running back for the 1992-93 season. Tom graduated with the following football records: most touchdowns in a season (15), most points in a season (90), and most rushing yards in a single game (197). He was also a member of the All Valley Playbook 1000 yard club and a member of the National Honor Society.
Tom received a special scholarship to play baseball at the College of Wooster. He was one of the few rookies honored by traveling with the team on their spring training trip. In his freshman year he contributed to the team winning the 1994 Division III Regional Championship. Tom continued playing for the Fighting Scots until his senior year when his career and life were cut short by an fatal accident.
Michael Dobran (1994)
Michael was a three-sport athlete for Poland, earning a total of eight letters in baseball, football, and basketball from 1992 to 1994. During his football career, Michael earned three letters and was the quarterback in his junior and senior years. In 1993, his senior season, the football team won the league for the first time in more than 15 years and made the state playoffs for the first time in school history. Michael was selected First Team All League and honorable mention all NEO. Additionally, he was selected as a member of the All Mahoning Valley Playbook Team and honored as a Student Athlete of the Week by WYTV.
In baseball, Michael was a four-year letter winner and an all conference pick in 1993 and 1994. The team won league titles in 1992 and 1994. In 1994, he batted over .500 and was selected First Team All State and First Team All NEO. Michael graduated with the hit record and career doubles record at PSHS. He also earned a letter in basketball in the 1992-93 season. In college, Michael played baseball for four years and currently holds the single season hits record at Hiram College. In the fall of 2011, he was selected to the Hiram College Hall of Fame.
Rocco Dobran (1996)
Rocco played football and baseball all four years of high school. In football, he was All Conference as a junior and senior. In his senior season, he was also selected All Conference Player of the Year, Team MVP, First Team All NEO, First Team All Quad County, First Team All Mahoning Valley Playbook and Second Team All State as a senior. During that time, Rocco also made the Channel 21 Inside High School Football Play of the Week and was chosen as a WYTV Student Athlete of the Week. His career highlights include scoring fourtouchdowns and rushing for 230 yards in a single game -- both Poland records at the time. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in his junior year and 1,800 yards as a senior, totaling 2,856 for his career, which was also a school record at that time. He had three 200-plus yard games in his career. The 1995 football team, Rocco's senior season, was the first team in school history to win 11 games and make it to the final four in the Division 3 State playoffs.
In baseball, Rocco lettered his junior and senior years. He went on to Muskingum College where he earned four letters in football and was chosen Academic All-OAC.
Peter Perry (2001)
As a senior captain of the football team, Peter was named the team's offensive player of the year and was chosen first-team All MAC and All Quad County. As a junior, Pete had 2,500 total yards on offense and was the team's offensive player of the year. The 1999 football team finished the season with the state of Ohio's first 15-0 record and the state championship. Peter was the MVP of the state title game. He was also picked First Team All Ohio and All Northeast Ohio. He played his final high school game representing Poland at the Penn-Ohio All Star game.
Peter was also a four-year letterman in track and field and was a member of the 199 track and field state championship team.
Additionally, Peter played on the Poland High School club hockey team for three years.
In August 2005, Peter graduated from Youngstown State University with a BSBA in international marketing. He worked for Ball Corporation as a sales representative while earning his MBA in international business from Keller Graduate School of Business. Presently, he works for Ardagh Group, an international packaging company, as a technical sales manager.