Buddy LaRosa's Sports Hall of Fame announces its 2016 class

John Popovich honored along with prep greats

CINCINNATI -- Four outstanding area high school sports stars, a coach and WCPO's John Popovich have been elected to Buddy LaRosa’s High School Sports Hall of Fame.

The new 2016 members who excelled as athletes or coaches are:

  • Angela Bizzarri (Pflugrath), Mason High School, Class of 2006
  • Irv Goode, Boone County High School, Class of 1958
  • Dominick Goodman, Colerain High School, Class of 2005
  • Robert Hite, Winton Woods High School, Class of 2002
  • Donna Mechley, Mount Notre Dame (Coach)

Popovich, longtime WCPO sports anchor, is just the second person selected to receive the Lifetime Media Achievement award.

Now in its 42nd year of recognizing outstanding local high school athletes and coaches, Buddy LaRosa’s High School Sports Hall of Fame has honored 263 exceptional individuals since its founding in 1975. It is the oldest and one of the only halls of fame of its kind in the country.

All six new members will be officially inducted in ceremonies in June, 2017. Here are the newest LaRosa’s HOF inductees with info supplied by the Hall of Fame committee:

Angela Bizzarri (Pflugrath), Mason High School, class of 2006

Mason’s Angela Bizzarri (Pflugrath)

Maybe the most dominant female distance runner in Greater Cincinnati in the last 25 years, Mason High School’s Angela Bizzarri was the first female track athlete in Ohio history to win the state 3200-meter run four straight times. She was a two-time LaRosa’s High School Athlete of the Year nominee and was named LaRosa’s Co-Female Athlete of the Year in 2006. She is only the 16th athlete in LaRosa’s history to be inducted in her first year of eligibility.

Bizzarri finished her Mason high school career with an outstanding eight Ohio Division I state championships and two city records. She then went on to the University of Illinois where she became a three-time NCAA running champion.

As a senior, Bizzarri was the first athlete in Mason High School history to qualify in four events in track (3200-meter run, 1600-meter run, 3200-meter relay and 1600-meter relay). She broke a 21-year-old city record in the 3200 (10:39.55) and shattered a 24-year-old city record in the 1600 (4:51.19). Her 1600 time earned her the Division I Ohio State championship in her first-ever attempt.

She was named first team All-Ohio in track four times and three times in cross country. She was first team All-City in both sports four straight years. She won the Ohio state title in cross country in both 2002 and 2004. 

Upon graduation, Bizzarri competed professionally for six years. She placed in the top three in the nation at the USA Track & Field Championships in 2009 and 2011. She ran in three U.S. Olympic Trials in the 5000-meter run.

Bizzarri and her husband, Karl, live in Vallejo, California, where she is in medical school at Touro University.

Irv Goode, Boone County High School, class of 1958

Boone County’s Irv Goode.

You have to be a pretty special player and individual to have a football stadium named after you, and Irv Goode was both at Boone County High School. He is considered one of the two greatest football players in the history of Boone County High School football (along with Shaun Alexander). The stadium was subsequently re-named in honor of LaRosa’s Hall of Famer Owen Hauck, and the field is now Irv Goode Field.

Goode is considered by many the finest offensive lineman in the history of Northern Kentucky football. As a senior, he was selected honorable mention by the Wigwam Wisemen of America to The Sporting News High School All-America team. He also played basketball and ran track (hurdles and discus).

Goode went on to be a college All-American at the University of Kentucky and a first-round draft pick in the National Football League.

At Kentucky, he was three-year letterman at center and linebacker and named team co-captain in 1961. He was named a first team All-American by Time Magazine and third team All-Southeastern Conference (UPI). He played in four post-season all-star games, including the East-West Shrine Game.

In the spring of 1962, Goode was the first-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the NFL (12th overall) where he went on to become a two-time Pro Bowl selection in 1964 and 1967. He played for St. Louis until 1971, played in Buffalo in 1972, then played for the Miami Dolphins in 1973 and 1974. The 1973 Dolphins won the Super Bowl 24-7 over the Minnesota Vikings.

Currently, Goode and his wife Anne live in St. Louis where he is Vice President of Employee Benefits for Associated Insurance Group. 

Dominick Goodman, Colerain High School, class of 2005

Colerain’s Dominick Goodman

Colerain's Dominick Goodman was one of the best all-round athletes in Cincinnati as a senior. He was selected as the LaRosa’s Male High School Athlete of the Year in 2004-05 and went on to enjoy a stellar college and professional career.

His senior season will go down in Cardinal football history as one of the best ever. He directed an overpowering offense in leading the Cardinals to a 15-0 record and the Ohio Division I state championship.

Goodman accounted for 41 percent of the school’s record-setting 6,275 yards total offense for what PrepNation.com regarded as the No. 3 team in the nation. As a senior, he rushed for 1,985 yards, passed for 584 yards (28-for-44), scored 30 touchdowns and passed for six more.

He set an Ohio Division I state title game record with 259 yards rushing and four touchdowns in Colerain’s 50-10 victory over Canton McKinley, and was named MVP of the state championship game. He was named All-America by PrepNation.com and played in the PNC Big 33 Classic Ohio-Pennsylvania game.

Goodman actually had to choose between playing football or basketball at the University of Cincinnati. He is the Cardinals’ all-time leading scorer in basketball (1,175 points) and set a school record with 121 3-point field goals made.

Goodman went on to UC as a wide receiver where he ranks No. 1 all-time in receptions with 204 and had 2,512 receiving yards. He is fourth all-time in kickoff returns with 55 for 1,199 yards. He is No. 2 all-time in single-season receptions with 84.

Currently a free agent in the AFL, Goodman has a son, Ayden, and lives in Cincinnati. He is a substitute teacher in the Northwest school system where he is the wide receivers coach for the varsity football program.

Robert Hite, Winton Woods High School, class of 2002

Winton Woods’ Robert Hite

There are more than a few basketball historians who will insist Winton Woods' Robert Hite is the best basketball player to come out of Cincinnati in the last 25 years.

Hite was rated as one of the top 100 players in the nation as a senior, went on to a stellar career at the University of Miami (Fla.) and played in the NBA and in Europe. He is Winton Woods’ all-time scoring leader with 1,384 points. As a senior, he averaged 18 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He was the driving force behind the Warriors’ three-year regular season record run of 59-1. Winton Woods went undefeated during the regular season during Hite’s junior and senior years.

His stellar play was recognized with numerous honors. He was the Ohio Division I Co-Player of the Year as well as the MVP in both the Nike-Jordan Brand Classic All-Star Game and the Ohio North-South All-Star Game, in which he scored 35 points.

Hite went out for track as a senior and helped lead the Winton Woods 4 x 100 relay team to an eighth place finish in the Ohio Division I state meet.

Hite lives in Miami. He and a former AAU teammate started an academy in 2014 to work with youth in basketball and life skills. He has also started two nonprofit organizations -- I bel13ve and NuHites -- to assist young athletes in education, mental and physical well-being and life preparation.

Coach Donna Mechley, Turpin, St. Xavier, Mount Notre Dame high schools, 1993-2008

Donna Mechley

It is rare when the LaRosa’s Hall of Fame coach could make a serious case for a Hall of Fame athlete as well, but Donna Mechley falls into that category.

A three-sport star in volleyball, basketball and softball, Mechley earned nine varsity letters at Roger Bacon High School. She was a first team All-City selection in volleyball and softball and second team in basketball as a senior. She was named the Girls Greater Cincinnati League Scholar Athlete in 1988. She went on to a collegiate career in volleyball at Xavier University, where she was team captain for three straight years.

Yet, her accomplishments as a coach overshadowed her own athletic prowess. In her 16-year career as volleyball coach at three different schools, she compiled a 438-181 career record, including four Ohio Division I state championships at Mount Notre Dame.       

As the girls’ and boys’ volleyball seasons are at different times of the year, Mechley actually coached St. Xavier’s team (1994-2001) during her tenure at both Turpin (1993-95) and MND (1996-2008). After reaching the state quarterfinals in 1996, she led St. X to the state finals in 1997 and semifinals in 1999. She was named Ohio Boys Coach of the Year in 1997.

It was at Mount Notre Dame, however, where Mechley garnered her greatest recognition, establishing the Cougars’ program as one of the power teams in the GGCL -- reaching the state tournament seven times in 13 seasons. She posted a 246-100 record at MND.

Taking over in 1996, Mechley led MND to three consecutive state championships from 1998-2000, then won her fourth in 2006. The Cougars reached the state Final Four in volleyball in 2005 and 2008, and the state championship game in 2007. Mechley has been inducted to the Roger Bacon Hall of Fame as an athlete, the MND Hall of Fame as a coach and the Southwest Ohio Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Mechley teaches math at Turpin High School, where she is the department chair. Her husband, Ted, teaches art at St. Xavier. They have two children, Marie and Ted.

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