The winningest basketball coach in Morrow County history, the school’s all-time leading ground gainer and scorer, one of its best female runners, its first all-state football player, and its first district-championship basketball team make up the eighth class of inductees into the Highland Local School District Athletic Hall of Fame.
The honorees will be inducted at a reception/social prior to Highland’s home-opening football game on Sept. 7 and will then be introduced to the fans at that evening’s game.
Mike Hoyng, who coached Scot basketball teams for 28 years while compiling a 360-264 record, will join his sons, J.T. and Seth – who were both members of the inaugural class in 2011.
The highlight for Hoyng, as well as Highland basketball, came when the Scots posted a 28-1 record and won the 1997-98 state title in the final tournament held at St. John Arena.
Taylor Harris, a 2008 grad, ran his way through Highland High School – on the football field and the track. During his four years of varsity football, Harris rushed for 5,136 yards and 72 touchdowns – both school records that still stand 10 years later.
Three times he scored six touchdowns in a game, helping the Scots of coach Chad Carpenter to back-to-back MOAC titles during his junior and senior seasons. To cap his senior campaign, Harris was the MOAC Player-of-the-Year and was named first-team all-state. On the track, Harris topped off his career by winning three individual events and as a member of a title-winning relay team in each of his final two years.
Jennifer Klugh Margraff is one of the most decorated runners in Highland history. This 2008 graduate started what would be an illustrious career by placing third in the MOAC cross country meet and then qualifying for the state meet as a freshman.
She then won the 800 in the league track meet, placed second in the district and 12th in the state in the same event. She would go on to be all-league the next three years in cross country and was named player-of-the-year as a senior. In track, she won the MOAC 800 as a junior and 1,600 as a senior. Her final year of track also saw her win the 1,600 and 3,200 runs in both the district and regional before being all-state in both events at the state meet.
A 1989 graduate, Chris Sagar had two outstanding years on the football field, where as a defensive back although he also was a wide receiver on offense. He was named first-team all-district and special-mention all-state following his junior and earning first-team all-district and second-team all-state as a senior. He also gained first-team all-MOC laurels his final season. His all-district honor as a senior earned him the distinction just the sixth player in Highland history to earn two such honors in football.
Sager, a 6-3, 180-pounder, played for two different Highland head coaches in his years – Gus Marquis as a junior, Howard Zody as a senior. The Scots posted 6-4 records in both years. He scored a career-best three touchdowns on Oct. 23, 1987 in a 28-6 win over visiting Marion Catholic.
The 1976-77 Scot basketball team, coached Jim Schoch, was coming off the school’s first-ever league championship, having captured the Mid-Ohio Conference crown the previous year.
But this team struggled in MOC play, finishing just 3-4 and in fifth place. But a 13-5 overall mark set the tone for a tournament run that would include wins over Northridge, Licking Heights, Cardington, and Ridgedale in the district championship game.
The Scots then, playing in the University of Dayton arena, overcame a 13-point first-half to lead 35-33 at the break. But Middletown Fenwick prevails 63-59 in the regional-semifinals game, eliminating Highland, which closed its season with a 17-6 record. The late Jeff Jahn, who had a 40—point game in the district against Licking Heights, and Larry Squires, both already inducted into the Highland Hall of Fame as individuals, were the top two scorers on the team.
A reception/social in the afternoon of Sept. 7 will see the class inducted. The newest class will then be introduced to the fans in a ceremony prior to the football game that evening.
Information received from Jim Wharton.