December 20, 2014

Elyria
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Longtime Chronicle sportswriters inducted into Hall of Fame

Chronicle sports writers Tim Gebhardt, left, and Roger Negin were inducted into the Lorain County Boys Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Sunday. ANNA NORRIS/CHRONICLE

Chronicle sportswriters Tim Gebhardt, left, and Roger Negin were inducted into the Lorain County Boys Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Sunday. ANNA NORRIS/CHRONICLE

OBERLIN — Longtime Chronicle-Telegram sportswriters Roger Negin and Tim Gebhardt were inducted into the Lorain County Boys Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Sunday night.

They were honored before the annual Gene Legeza Cage Classic for their outstanding service on the high school sports scene.

Negin, a retired full-timer at The Chronicle, was humbled by his induction. He covered sports for more than 40 years and accumulated many statewide awards for his game stories and features.

It is the third hall of fame induction for Negin, who is also in the Lorain County Football Coaches Hall of Fame (1996) and the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Hall of Fame (1998). He also received the Distinguished Sports Service Award from the Elyria Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

“It’s absolutely wonderful and surprising,” Negin said. “I looked at the plaque I got from the football coaches … I was inducted into their hall of fame in 1996. That was 18 years ago so I didn’t particularly think this day would come.”

Negin covered games in more than 100 gymnasiums in the state, including Lorain County teams at seven regional sites. He also covered many state tournaments in Columbus and Dayton.

“When you do a job, you don’t expect things like this,” Negin said. “This is the third hall of fame I’ve been inducted to. That’s a pretty good career I’d say.”

Gebhardt, a part-time writer, has been with the Chronicle for 33 years. He got his start in 1964 as a sophomore at Elyria, writing for The Herald, the school’s newspaper.

“It’s like being honored or being awarded for something you love to do. It’s really amazing,” said Gebhardt, who also was honored last year with the Hall of Honor award by the Ohio Basketball Coaches Association. “It’s something that I’ve always enjoyed doing. Even as a young kid, I’ve always liked going to games and following teams.”

Gebhardt has also covered Ohio State, Baldwin Wallace, the Browns, the Cavs and Indians, but his primary love has always been covering high school sports.

“It’s unbelievable,” Gebhardt said. “When I looked at the list of names that are already in the Lorain County Boys Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, I feel like, wow, to be mentioned among those people, I can’t even express how it feels.”

Gebhardt also said the honor was even more special since he and Gene Legeza grew up together. Their kids played sports together and they coached together.

“For this to happen at his event is really special,” Gebhardt said. “We were special friends and he meant a lot to me. We had a special bond. This night means a lot to me.”

Contact Steve Walker at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.