Peebles inducts Athletic Hall of Fame Class

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Mark Carpenter

After being delayed from last season because of the winter weather, Peebles High School finally got to finish inducting members into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. When a school has a sports tradition as rich as Peebles, there are plenty of qualified candidates for induction and last Friday night, there were four new names and one old name added to the Hall, joining Bob Ryan, Ralph Turley, and Connie Ryan.

The first inductee of the evening was actually a re-induction from last year, 1956 graduate of Peebles, Bob Huffman. Bob Huffman was a four-year varsity starter and graduated as the school leader in points with 1,484, a record he held for 54 years. Huffman finished with a career average of 17.2 points per game and held all the major school records at the time of his graduation. He is credited with bringing the jump shot to Peebles and was a classmate of Ralph Turley, marking the only time that two teammates graduating the same year eclipsed the 1,000 point mark.

The next inductee was Chuck Johnson, a 1973 graduate of Peebles High School. One of the elite basketball players in school history, Chuck amassed 908 points in just two seasons of varsity basketball. At the time of his graduation, he ranked third in scoring and first in career points per game. He was a teammate of fellow inductee Joe Ryan for two seasons including the powerful 1973 team that scored over 100 points six times.

Chuck was a two-time All-Southern Hills League and Tri-County League selection and in 1973 he was the Southeast District Player of the Year and was named First Team All-State. He is still the only male player to accomplish this feat in the same season. Chuck led the Indians to the SHL championship in 1972 and a Tri County League title in 1973. His senior year he led the Indians to their first-ever sectional title and district runner-up finish along with a #11 ranking in the state of Ohio.

Inducted next was 1974 Peebles graduate Joe Ryan. Joe scored 1,013 points as a three-year varsity player, and was a two-time All-SHL selection and was named to the All-Tri-County League team in 1974. Ryan was named First Team All-Southeast District and Second Team All-State in his senior season. He scored 42 points in one game against Georgetown, including an incredible 26 in the fourth quarter.

Ryan helped lead his team to a 20-5 record as a senior including a regional runner-up finish in a two-point loss to Indian Valley South, coached by the legendary Charlie Huggins. Said Huggins of Joe Ryan, “He was the best Class A guard in the state of Ohio.”

Next to be honored was 1962 Peebles graduate John David Leshy, who flew in from California to be part of the ceremonies.

Leshy was a two-time all-county league selection and in his senior season was captain of one of the most successful teams in school history. The 1962 team finished with a 23-3 record and was the first team in school history to achieve a state ranking. In Leshy’s junior year, he led a team that featured five players who averaged in double figures. He led his team to back-to-back Adams County Tournament championships and a district runner-up finish in 1962. Leshy finished his career with 711 points, ranking fourth on the career list at the time of his graduation.

Additionally, Leshy is a graduate of Harvard Law School and worked in the Carter and Clinton Administrations. Under Clinton, he served as Solicitor (General Counsel) of the U.S. Department of the Interior and in 2008-09 he co-chaired the Obama Administration transition team for the Department of the Interior.

The final inductee of the evening was Kim Danner, a 1987 graduate of Peebles.Kim graduated as the all-time leader in scoring for girls with 1.473 points, a record which still stands. She was known for her all-out hustle on the floor and the knee pads she wore to slide by defenders while swiping the basketball. Kim was a four-time All-SHL selection, holds the single season points record with 472, and at the time of her graduation was the school’s all-time assist leader.

In 1986, Danner was a Second Team All-District selection and Honorable Mention All-State. She topped that her senior season by being First Team All-District and Second Team All-State. In addition, she was part of three SHL, four sectional, and two district championships and was part of more victories than any player in school history with a total of 87 for her career.

The People’s Defender congratulates all of the Peebles Hall of Fame inductees and wishes them the best in the future.


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