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Readers say goodbye to Ely Stadium

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    Ashley Petit is pictured at her 1993 graduation.

    Submitted photo.

  • Engaged-at-Ely-Stadium

    Tony Brown proposes to Stacie Starr.

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    Pictured are, from left: Mac Thomas, Gary Beidleman, Gary Wilcox, and Rick Nelson.

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    Crowds in the stands waiting for more races during the 2014 Special Olympics held at Ely Stadium. (Photo by Bruce Bishop May. 22, 2014.)

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    EHS girls track team.

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    Sandie Toth and Terri Kaiser pictured in 1969.

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    Elyria Pioneers bust open the banner on a new football season at Ely Stadium Friday Aug. 26. (Steve Manheim)

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    Track & Field home meet,1966 -- 120-yard high hurdles. From left: Jack Beidelman, Craig Williams.

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    EHS Majorette (Marion Goodman Dobney)

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    Stacie Starr at the scoreboard.

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    Participants in the 29th Anniversary of the Special Olympics at Ely Stadium. (May 15, 2009 photo by Chuck Humel)

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    Garrett Chapin

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    Kayla Panter

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    Open Door Christian High School "Patriots" band. (Photo by Tom Mahl 09/24/2011.)

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    Elyria High School graduating senior Trevor Van Workman hugs Elyria City Schools Superintendent Dr. Thomas Jama after receiving his diploma on Wednesday evening, May 31 at Ely Stadium. (Kristin Bauer)

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    Rock at entrance to Ely Stadium Jun 1. Steve Manheim

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    Ely Stadium scene of great football games and packed houses of 8-9,000 fans in the 50's and 60's. (Photo by Tom Mahl 07/30/2011)

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    The EHS Alumni Marching Band rehearses for the Parade of Bands at Ely Stadium this Saturday.

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    Shannon Panter

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    Herman Larkins, school board president, awards his son, Dale,his high school diploma.

    Submitted photo.

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    Courtesy Elyria Schools.

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    Courtesy Elyria Schools.

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    Courtesy Elyria Schools.

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    Courtesy Elyria Schools.

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    Courtesy Elyria Schools.

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Generations have cheered on their favorite Pioneer, donned caps and gowns and played in alumni bands at Ely Stadium. Friday’s game is the last for Elyria High School in the century old community landmark. 

We asked readers for their favorite memories.

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Ashley Petit is pictured at her 1993 graduation.

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 Ashley Petit — I am a third generation (1993) graduate (parents pictured behind me are 1974 graduates Jane Bara Sito and Steve Anderson and grandfather John V. Bara 1944 graduate in the stands). It was the day before my 18th birthday and I stood there looking at my friends and family and was filled with pride. I since have started my own family and live several states away but Ely Stadium will always be a landmark from home, and I am proud to be a Pioneer.

Kimberly Jones Beal — My father Donald E. Jones wanted to send one of his favorite memories of Ely Stadium. When his late twin brother Douglas E. Jones and himself both scored touchdowns against Lorain High in 1952 with Elyria winning the game. Donald & Douglas are both Elyria Sports Hall of Fame inductees.

Gary Beidelmman — Has fond memories from his 4x400 state championship run representing the Elyria High School track team. Beidleman’s family shared this photo. He is pictured (in glasses) with 1970 teammates.

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Pictured are, from left: Mac Thomas, Gary Beidleman, Gary Wilcox, and Rick Nelson.

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Craig Williams — Good Bye Ely...it was indeed a pleasure to represent EHS on the Track and Field teams during 1963-67. All of our home meets were held on the “cinder” track at Ely Stadium. Long spikes were worn by sprinters during those days and if the track was wet due to a heavy rain prior to the meet, some of the competitors would have wet cinders and loose soil on their face, neck, and uniforms from the spikes throwing the cinder track in the air!

Due to the location of Ely Stadium, there would always be a large following of local/area fans! Of course it didn’t hurt that we were undefeated during most of the time during these years!!

Click to read about Ely Stadium’s history, watch a video produced by Elyria Schools and see renderings of the new stadium.

Marla Figueroa — I watched my son graduate in 2010 at Ely Stadium, which was the last graduating class of the old high school, and this year my daughter is the drum major, leading the Elyria High School Marching Band for the last time on this field. Many bittersweet moments and forever memories, for both of my children.

Sandy Wright — So many memories of Special Olympics....the one day they could be themselves and be winners...the VFW with the flags...the Star Spangled Banner... the homing pigeons the buddies who helped the participants....hugging them when they crossed the finish line.. The ribbon ceremony....Ronald McDonald hugging the children..I will never forget. Twenty years later we still have the ribbons.

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Crowds in the stands waiting for more races during the 2014 Special Olympics held at Ely Stadium. (Photo by Bruce Bishop May. 22, 2014.)

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Ed and Carol Scrivens — We, along with our three daughters, all received our diplomas at that football stadium.” The years of 1979 thru 1991 saw all three girls marching as majorettes in the EHS band.

Many of these years we worked the concession stands, but the last few years, along with Nick and Pam Hanson, we supervised all three concession stands from “Central Supply“ under the grandstands. Hauling hot water to the stands,running supplies across the field, taking coffee up to the press box and sharing our suppers with numerous people are just a few of our wonderful memories of the old stadium.

Shirley Barker — I am the oldest of three generations that graduated from EHS, via Ely Stadium. I graduated in 1972. My daughter graduated from EHS in 1993. And my granddaughter graduated from EHS in 2014. All of our ceremonies were held at Ely Stadium! Not to mention the football games we attended there over the years. My granddaughter, who is special needs participated quite a few years in the Special Olympics that were held yearly in Ely Stadium. I will miss Ely Stadium, it has been a wonderful part of Elyria’s history that makes our little city home!

Marion (Goodman) Dobney — Ms. Dobney’s family shared photos from her 1943 yearbook (she’s the first majorette on the left). 

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1942 EHS Band

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EHS Majorette (Marion Goodman Dobney)

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Marion (Goodman) Dobney, a 1943 graduate of Elyria High School, was in the first group of EHS majorettes, which was formed in 1940. She marched with the EHS marching band for three years (from 1940 to 1943). She has fond memories of the majorettes performing at Friday night football games under the direction of Walter Von Brock. Marion remembers having a lot of fun watching the games with her friends and performing with the band where large crowds filled the stadium. She still has her baton and is an avid fan of the EHS marching band.

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Stacie Starr at the scoreboard.

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Stacie Starr — After spending many hours on the Ely track and field, as coaches and as the assistant to the athletic director, the most memorable day for  had to be the day when Tony decided to get down on one knee in front of the entire Pioneer student section and ask for Stacie's hand in marriage! 09/06/2014: The opening Rival football Game vs. Lorain High We will never forget the crowd chanting "She said YES and Mrs. Brown!" Also the 1st day the New Scoreboard was unveiled! WE JUST LOVE ELYRIA! GO PIONEERS!

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Tony Brown proposes to Stacie Starr.

Submitted photo. Enlarge

 

Tasha Hohn — Shared her photo of the 2016-2017 EHS Girls Track Team.

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EHS girls track team.

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Maurice Turner — My favorite Memory at Ely stadium will always be the track and field moments from the years of 2010 and 2014. In 2010, me and a few other teammates on the 8th grade Eastern Heights 4x200 meter track team set a new record in the school history. 2014 was my senior year and the 2014 Elyria High School boys track and field team went on to win conference for the first time in years along with the boys 400 relays team earning a trip to state competition. Other memories include being a part of the very first Elyria High School vs. Elyria Catholic football rivalry game.

Janet Bird — The 1990 Lorain game, son Mike on the sideline with his helmet off after first team had played their last; teammates hugging in camaraderie, an 8-2 season well done, just missing the playoffs. 1991: Mike's graduation with EHS in red and white formed on the field. 1995-1997: Son Bryan marching with the highly acclaimed EHS Band. 1998: Bryan's graduation wearing the gold cord of high honors. Late '70s: Father George honored at Parade of Bands for being a member of the first EHS Band.1965: Husband Bill's graduation with 754 others, largest EHS class ever up to that point.

Phil Hahn — November 1947 is my greatest memory of Ely Stadium.

It was the last football game of the season and I was playing right halfback for Elyria against our archrival Lorain Steelers. We were winning 7-6 in the fourth quarter when Bob Dover, star of the Lorain team, caught a pass and was running for a touchdown.

I ran from my position and tackled him giving us a victory and an undefeated season. Our team won the Lake Erie Championship and were ranked second in the state. There was no playoff format in place at this time.

Lisa Godbolt — I have hundreds of Ely Stadium memories. Some of my favorites are Friday football games and spring track meets from the ‘70s all the way through the 2000s. I was a member of the EHS class of 1977, my son was class of 2000, my daughter class of 2006. I watched my son play football and my daughter run track with Olympian Tianna Madison. But my all-time favorite is the attached photo of my father Herman Larkins, school board president, awarding his son, Dale his high school diploma.

Gordon Ward — This is where I broadcast my first football game, on WLEC, Sandusky, with Jay Wagner. A dense fog settled over the stadium. We had only 50 feet of microphone cable, we got down as close to the field as possible, but still not close enough to see action at either end. (It was) a true baptism of fire...or fog.

Harriet Fobes Thompson  Ely Stadium brings back memories of my dad, Ralph Fobes. He was at the stadium for practices and games. He even went to the locker room after games to talk to coaches, officials and players he knew. Dad was a season ticket holder until he died at 90. I will always remember him sitting up under the press box cheering for the Pioneers!

Gayle Morrison — Remembers when her 1979 classmates tore down the goalpost after a 12-7 victory over Lorain. What a game it was, and what a celebration we had! Unforgettable memories!

Shannon-Panter

Shannon Panter

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Kayla Panter — submitted her 2011 EHS graduation photo and a photo of her sister Shannon at the Special Olympics.

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Kayla Panter

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Sandie Toth and Terri Kaiser pictured in 1969.

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Sandie Toth Hamby —  Submitted a photo of herself and Terri Kaiser Hess, friends since kindergarten on their graduation day in 1969 under the “famous Ely Stadium Arches.” 

 

Besides graduation, we never missed a football game. We such a great football team back then. I remember all of us girls wore wool Bermuda shorts, with knee socks and penny loafers. My mom would always warn me that I would freeze, but somehow it never bothered us. We all sat in the stands to the far right end of the bleachers with the cheerleaders on the sidelines directly in front of us. Gilbert LaLonde was the drum major for the marching band. Oh the excitement when the EHS band would enter the field playing our fight song and Gilbert leading them on.

Many happy memories there!

Floyd Lear — I have many fond memories of Ely Stadium. From 1941 - 1944 I played baseball and football there during high school. I spent my summer vacations playing on that diamond for the American Legion cubs, juniors, and seniors. After serving in the Army a few years, I returned home and was on the Lehman Johnson team that played baseball there in 1947. Those were my "good ole days." For many decades on Friday nights you would find the Lear clan in the bleachers cheering on our team. Still a Pioneer after all these years.

Chris Gubeno —  I had many great memories during my time on the track and football teams for Elyria High. I grew up going to many Friday night games with my Dad at the stadium, and loved watching my friends and those athletes I looked up to running out for Friday night’s game. My favorite memory of Ely Stadium is being introduced on Senior Night in our last football game for the 1989 season. It was great to cap my football career at EHS by walking my parents out onto that field. EHS Class of 1990 Varsity Football (3 yrs) and Varsity Track (4 yrs).

Todd Strebel —  Being an alum of Elyria West and, at the time, helping to start one of the greatest runs of public school football in the city from’ 87-’96 is something the class of ‘88 is very proud of. With Darrell Mayne at the helm, it was a special place to play on Friday nights with some amazing teammates. 

Jackie Below — One of my favorite childhood memories was going to Ely Stadium and climbing the fence to get onto the track so my friends and I could race and imitate of favorite high school track stars such as Mac Thomas. Lots of bragging rights were established on that track and now to be able to coach on that same track is a blessing.

Another cherished memory was every Thursday evening going to the stadium to watch the marching band practice. Mr. Murry was no joke. Go Pioneers.

Julie Adams Nazarian — My best memories are singing Holy Radiant Light at graduations. It was most emotional at my own graduation in 1990, singing for my friends and for myself one last time. Tim Masten was such a great leader in Elyria High music who taught so many young people how to cherish classical voice music pieces. We would not have this appreciation without him.

Louis Tony Godbolt Jr. — Elyria’s 17-14 victory over Sandusky in 1989.

Lauren Hall Chapin  — shared photos of her son, Garrett Chapin, who is currently an Elyria High sophomore and member of the EHS drum line.

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Garrett Chapin

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Carrie Ross — I love my city. One of my favorite memories will always be the excitement of Friday night football games. Elyria High Marching Band is the greatest band then, now and to forever be. I loved watching the drum line just dominate on that field. I got the privilege of walking across the that very field to receive my diploma in 1992. However, my greatest memory has to be watching my daughter Breanna compete in the Special Olympics since first grade.

Now, I get the great privilege of being a sixth grade teacher at Eastern Heights. I love watching my students compete on that field now. This stadium means not only a lot to me but a lot to my family and students. I am so excited to see the students get a new place that will create new memories. Go Pioneers!

 



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