The Upper Arlington High School Department of Student Life has announced its 2024 Athletic Hall of Fame class. The 12-member class includes 11 former student-athletes and coaches spanning seven decades as well as special recognition of former participants in the Girls Athletic Association. Included in the 2024 Hall of Fame Class are:
Bruce Blackston (coach, boys golf; athletic director)
Michele DeVault (’04, basketball)
Dale Keitz (’75, football and baseball)
Jeff Lewis (’70, swimming)
Jud Millhon (’47, basketball, baseball and football)
Bill Nosker (’37, basketball, football, golf and track & field)
Mike Sabo (’84, baseball and football)
Laura (Burke) Sandbloom (’06, cheer and lacrosse)
John Schmidt (’39, track & field)
Brendan Shook (’97, football and lacrosse)
Melissa (Smith) Richardson (’90, cross country and track & field)
Girls Athletic Association
The induction ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, January 13, 2024, at 10 a.m. Initial recognition will be held on the UAHS Competition Gymnasium court between games of the girls/boys basketball doubleheader against Dublin Coffman scheduled for January 12, 2013. The first game of the doubleheader is scheduled to start at 6 p.m., with the second game scheduled to start at approximately 8 p.m.
The Upper Arlington Hall of Fame was established in 2017 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions as student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and friends to the tradition of Golden Bear athletics and, in doing so, have enhanced the image and reputation of Upper Arlington High School. The first Hall of Fame Class in 2017 included the single induction of 18-time major golf champion Jack Nicklaus (’57). The 2024 Class will be the seventh full induction class and will increase the number of former student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and friends of the UAHS Athletics Program enshrined to 69.
Bruce Blackston (1973-2004)
Bruce Blackston served as a coach and athletic director for 29 years, most notably serving as the head coach of the UAHS boys golf team from 1984 to 1999. Under his guidance, the boys team claimed five OHSAA state championships (1985, ’86, ’92, ’93 and ’99); placed second twice; and had a top-four finish four additional times. The boys team also captured three District, eight Sectional, and seven Ohio Capital Conference championships during Blackston’s 16-year tenure as head coach. After stepping down as the boys coach in 1999, Blackston went on to serve as the athletic director at UAHS from 2000 to 2003 and was instrumental in the installation of the first synthetic turf field at Marv Moorehead Memorial Stadium. He also served as head coach of the UAHS girls golf team in 2008, leading them to a team qualification for the OHSAA state championships, where they finished sixth overall. In addition, he served as a middle school and freshman boys basketball coach from 1974 to 1983. Blackston taught mathematics at both Jones Middle School and UAHS, earning the Teacher of the Year recognition five times at Jones and the distinguished Golden Apple Award from the Upper Arlington Civic Association in 1992. He was inducted into the Ohio High School Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1999.
Michele DeVault (’04)
Michele DeVault earned four varsity letters and posted one of the greatest careers in the history of Upper Arlington High School girls basketball, rewriting the record book for the Golden Bear cagers during her four years on the court. When she graduated from UAHS in 2004, she held records in six statistical categories: games played, single season scoring, career scoring, single season 2-point field goal percentage, single season 3-point field goal percentage, and career 3-point field goal percentage. Twenty years later, DeVault still stands atop the record books in two of those categories – single season 2-point field goal percentage and career 3-point field goal percentage – while remaining in the top five in the four other categories. She continued her career at East Tennessee State University, where she lettered all four years and set single season and career records for both 3-point field goals attempted and made. As a senior, DeVault led the Buccaneers to their first ever NCAA tournament berth and was named to the Atlantic Sun Conference All-Tournament Team. She received 2nd team Atlantic Sun Conference recognition in 2007. DeVault finished her career playing professionally overseas in Iceland.
Dale Keitz (’75)
Dale Keitz was a standout in football, earning two varsity letters on the gridiron as a junior and senior while also lettering in baseball as a junior at UAHS. He was the defensive MVP of the 1974 state runner-up UAHS team — which remains only one of two Golden Bear football teams to reach the state championship game since the OHSAA state playoff system was introduced in 1972. Keitz was selected to participate in the prestigious All Ohio North-South and Big 33 games before continuing his career at the University of Michigan. At Michigan, he started 32 games at defensive tackle from 1976 to 1979 for the Wolverines, earning three varsity letters and three Big Ten championships. Keitz was an Academic All-Big Ten Conference honoree in 1979 and selected to play in the 1980 Japan Bowl for college seniors.
Jeff Lewis (’70)
Jeff Lewis was one of the most accomplished swimmers in the storied history of the Upper Arlington High School Boys’ Swimming program, setting the standard for those who followed him in the pool after graduating in 1970. Lewis was a five-time OHSAA State champion, claiming three titles in the 100-yard backstroke from 1968-70 and two titles in 200-yard individual medley relay in 1969 and 1970. He set state records in three of his state championships (1969-70 100 backstroke; 1970 200 individual medley), and helped the UAHS boys’ tankers to three consecutive OHSAA State runner-up team finishes from 1968-70. Lewis also earned high school All-American honors in six events in 1969 and 1970, including the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley twice, 100-yard butterfly once, and as a member of the UAHS 200-yard medley relay team. He continued his swimming career at the University of Tennessee where he won two individual Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships and added four additional SEC championships in relays. Lewis was a three-time NCAA All-American for the Volunteers and a member of three SEC championship teams, including the 1973 team which finished 2nd at the NCAA Championships.
Jud Millhon (’47)
Jud Millhon was a three-sport standout, excelling in baseball, basketball and football for the Golden Bears. As a senior, he led the Golden Bear cagers to a District championship while earning 2nd team All Ohio and 1st team All Central Buckeye League honors. After graduating from UAHS, Millhon competed in basketball at Ohio Wesleyan University, where he rewrote the record book for the Battling Bishops on the court, graduating as the record holder in six major statistical categories including career, single season, and single game marks for points and rebounds. He was a three-time 1st team Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) selection and led the Battling Bishops in scoring and rebounding in 1949, ’50 and ’51. Millhon was the first basketball player at Ohio Wesleyan to be named a 1st team Division III All-American and finished his career as the OAC's all-time leader in scoring and rebounding. He was selected as fourth-round draft choice of the NBA's Philadelphia Warriors but opted instead to pursue a career in medicine. Millhon was inducted into the Ohio Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame in 1962 and the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.
William C. “Bill” Nosker (’37)
Basketball/Football/Golf/Track & Field
Bill Nosker was a four-sport athlete at UAHS who earned 14 varsity letters — four in football and golf and three in basketball and track & field — over his four-year high school career. As a senior at UAHS, he served as captain of the football team and was a member of the 1937 OHSAA state championship basketball team. Nosker continued his athletic career at The Ohio State University, where he was a three-time letterwinner in football from 1938 to 1940. He started at guard from 1938 to 1939 and was a member of the Buckeyes’ Big Ten Conference championship team in 1939, while also serving as student body class president that year. Nosker enlisted in the Air Force during his senior year at Ohio State and flew more than 30 missions in World War II before he died after a nighttime takeoff on August 15, 1944. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, and an Air Medal for his service to our country. A residence hall, Nosker House, was named after him at Ohio State in 1962 and maintained that name until it was demolished in 2015 to make way for new university housing. In the 1937 Upper Arlington High School Norwester Yearbook, Nosker’s senior profile simply stated “Life without sport is not life.”
Mike Sabo (’84)
Mike Sabo was a two-sport star for the Golden Bears from 1982 to 1984, earning three varsity letters in baseball and two in football. While highly proficient at both sports, Sabo’s best sport was baseball — for which he was a three-year starter and named All Ohio as a senior. He currently holds career baseball records at UAHS for at-bats, runs batted in and home runs. Sabo was a two-time Central District All-Metro selection and led the Golden Bears to a District championship as a senior captain. On the gridiron, Sabo was a two-year starter at tailback and team captain, earning Central District and Ohio Capital Conference recognition as a senior, as well as 3 rd team All Ohio. He continued his baseball career at Indiana University from 1985 to 1988, where he currently ranks first in career home runs and runs batted in. Sabo was a team captain for the Hoosiers as a senior and received 3rd team All-Big Ten Conference recognition as a sophomore, and 2nd team All-Big Ten as a junior and senior. Sabo was also named to the Summer All-American Team in 1987 after playing in the Shenandoah Valley Baseball League.
Laura (Burke) Sandbloom (’06)
Laura (Burke) Sandbloom participated in both lacrosse and cheer at UAHS, establishing a standard of excellence in both. Sandbloom is one of only seven former UAHS girls lacrosse players to be named a two-time USA Lacrosse All-American. During her four-year career for the Golden Bears, she won two Ohio High School Girls Lacrosse Coaches Association state championships and was a captain and team MVP as a senior. Sandbloom continued her career at The Ohio State University, where she earned four varsity letters and was a team captain as a senior for the Buckeyes. After graduating from Ohio State, she entered the coaching ranks, first serving as an assistant and then the head coach at Colorado Academy in Denver. Under her leadership as head coach, the Mustangs claimed back-to-back Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) 5A state championships in 2021 and ’22, with Sandbloom earning CHSAA Coach of the Year honors in 2022. She returned to Upper Arlington in 2022 as the head coach of the UAHS girls lacrosse team. In her first season as head coach in 2023, Sandbloom led the Golden Bears to their fourth OHSAA state championship and 11th overall.
John Schmidt (’39)
Track & Field
John Schmidt was a four-year member of the Upper Arlington High School track & field team, claiming an individual OHSAA state championship in the pole vault in 1937. His individual state championship, along with two state championship relay teams, helped the Golden Bear track & field squad capture the 1937 OHSAA state team championship. Schmidt continued his career at The Ohio State University, where he lettered four times and was an NCAA champion in the pole vault in 1944. He also claimed two individual Outdoor Big Ten championships (1944 and ’45) and one individual Indoor Big Ten championship (1944) in the pole vault. Schmidt left OSU in 1943 to serve in World War II, only to return to school in 1944 after a burst appendix forced him to retire from service. He was a member of Ohio State’s Indoor and Outdoor Big Ten Championship teams in 1944, the latter of which also finished second at the NCAA Championships. An OSU School of Music graduate, Schmidt performed in four shows on Broadway and was the first face to appear on the newly created WOSU-TV in February 1956. He was inducted into The Ohio State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998.
Brendan Shook (’97)
Brendan Shook set the standard for Golden Bear defense, both on the football and lacrosse fields at Upper Arlington High School. Shook’s primary sport was lacrosse, where as a four-year letter winner and defenseman, he helped lead the Golden Bear laxers to three Ohio High School Boys Lacrosse Coaches Association state championships (1994, ‘95 and ’97) and three Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Association (MSLA) championships (1994, ‘96 and ’97), including an undefeated campaign in 1997. He was a two-time captain; two-time 1st team All Ohio and All MSLA selection (1996 and ’97); and player of the year in both Ohio and the MSLA in 1997. In football, Shook was named 2nd team All Ohio on the defensive line as a senior, leading the team in tackles, sacks and forced fumbles while serving as a team captain. He played lacrosse collegiately at Johns Hopkins University, where he was a four-year letterman and team captain as a senior. Shook received Honorable Mention All-American accolades in 2000 and helped lead the Blue Jays to the NCAA semifinals in 1999 and 2000. He played professionally in Major League Lacrosse.
Melissa (Smith) Richardson (’90)
Cross County/Track & Field
Melissa (Smith) Richardson posted one of the most decorated high school and post-high school careers in cross country and track & field of any former student-athlete from Upper Arlington High School. She was a three-time medalist at the OHSAA State Track & Field Championships from 1988-1990 finishing 3rd, 2nd, and 4th on the school’s 4x800 meter relay, and helped the track & field team to a state runner-up finish in 1990. Richardson was also a member of the 1986 UAHS State championship cross country team, finishing 32nd overall in the team race as a freshman. A captain in both cross country and track & field as a senior, she earned four letters in each sport during her high school career at UAHS. Richardson went on to compete first at The Ohio State University, earning two letters in track & field there before continuing her collegiate career at Grand Valley State University where she was a five-time Division 2 NCAA All-American. She set school records at Grand Valley State nine times in her career and won ten individual Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships, including two in cross country and eight in track & field. Richardson qualified for the 2000 U.S. Olympic trials in the 800-meter run at the age of 29, and was inducted into the Grand Valley State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.
Girls Athletic Association
The Girls Athletic Association (GAA) provided the sole opportunity for high school girls to compete in athletics prior to the passage of Title IX in 1972. The slogan of the GAA was “A Girl for Every Sport; A Sport for Every Girl.” From the late 1920s through the 1970s, girls participating in GAA sports received little recognition or accolades while blazing a trail for greater opportunities for every girl that followed them. With the help of school advisers, they organized and participated in numerous sports, and competed against local schools. Every female student-athlete who has walked the halls of Upper Arlington High School, and worn a jersey representing the Golden Bears and the Upper Arlington community, will forever be indebted to these young women. With their induction into the Upper Arlington High School Athletic Hall of Fame as a whole, we celebrate their efforts and accomplishments, as well as the efforts and accomplishments of all female Golden Bear student-athletes over the past century.