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Cambridge City Schools News Article

CHS Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2023

Two coaches and two athletes will be inducted into the Cambridge High School Athletic Hall of Fame on Thursday, September 7, 2023, at the Cambridge High School cafeteria. Unfortunately, all four inductees will be recognized posthumously by their families and friends. 

Coaches Carl Dupler and Al “Zip” Joseph will be recognized for their Cambridge coaching careers while Stephen Ford III and Tommy “Buck” Hollins will be recognized for their accomplishments in athletic competition. 

Carl Dupler


A common way to poke fun of members of the “greatest generation” is to tease them about walking to and from school, uphill both ways in the snow… “  

Carl DuplerCarl Dupler could do you one better. Carl ran five miles to and from school every day. That daily run eventually led to him joining the track team for his senior year at Logan High School in 1930. 

Dupler had an exceptional senior season which he parlayed into a successful career at nearby Ohio University. In 1935, he was the 1500- and 3000-meter champion in the Buckeye Conference meet at Cleveland Stadium. At that same meet, Jesse Owens won the 100-meter dash and the long jump. Dupler followed his college career with a successful stint with the Cincinnati Track Club. 

Dupler began his coaching career at Hollister High School in Athens in 1937. He went to Nelsonville High School for a year in 1945 and coached at Cambridge from 1946 through 1957 and from 1961 through 1970. During his 19 seasons as head track and field coach, Dupler accumulated a record of 112-71 for a .612 winning percentage. 

Dupler was perhaps best known for his hurdlers, the foremost being Jerry Betts who broke the state record and finished second to Clinton Jones, a future NFL player, in the state meet in 1963. 

“Just two weeks before he passed away, my father said, ‘I wish I could just see Jerry Betts run one more time,” Dupler’s daughter Judy Brill shared.

Dupler also was ahead of his time when it came to views on race and gender issues in the 1960s. Dupler pioneered the Cinderellas utilizing female students to keep stats and help run events during track and field meets. This was during a time when girls often were not afforded the opportunity to participate in sports. 

Across the board, Dupler was intent on providing every student an opportunity to participate. 

One former athlete wrote at the time of Dupler’s passing, “Mr. Dupler was the epitome of what a coach should be. He never denied any of his kids a chance to try their skills in any event. He was always giving of his spare time.” 

“My father loved his athletes regardless of their skin color,” Brill said and referred to a quote in the Daily Jeffersonian newspaper from Betts who said, “I just loved him, and he just loved me.” 

Carl was inducted into the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches (OATCCC) Hall of Fame in 1976. 

Dupler, who taught industrial arts among other subjects, also coached football and basketball at both the high school and junior high school levels. He and his wife Nelle raised a son Larry and two daughters Dorothy and Judith. Mr. Dupler passed away at the age of 71 on January 5, 1984. 

Stephen Ford III
During the mid-2000s when most high school football teams were trying out different versions of the run-and-shoot offense, the Cambridge High School football team was still embracing the ground-and-pound offensive style. The reason was simple: they had Stephen Ford at tailback running behind a massive offensive line. 

 Stephen Ford IIIDuring his three three-year career, Ford amassed 5,351 yards rushing yards including 1,938 yards in 2005 during a 9-2 campaign and 2,223 in 2006 when the Bobcats went undefeated in the regular season and defeated Northwest in the first round of playoffs before ending the season 11-1.

Of significance is Ford’s 69 carries for 412 yards in a 41-35 victory over Dover during the regular season. Ford scored two touchdowns in the victory, the last time the Bobcats beat the Tornadoes on the gridiron.
“Stephen was a hard-nosed back that was very durable -- carrying 69 times versus Dover is testament to that,” said former Cambridge head football coach Rick Goodrich who coached Ford. “He was very dependable and had nice speed and good power for a back his size. He fit into our offensive scheme very well.”

 For his career, Ford rushed 855 times for a 6.3 yards per carry average, and 68 touchdowns. Ford also caught 18 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns. On special teams, he returned 11 kickoffs for 170 yards, and 14 punts for 114 yards. 

Ford’s accolades include first team All-Ohio honors following both the 2005 and 2006 seasons when he was named the Division III offensive player of the year. He also earned first team All-Ohio Valley Athletic Conference and All-Eastern Central Ohio League status in both 2005 and 2006. Following the 2006 season, Ford played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game in San Antonio, Texas. 

“He had a great work ethic and made himself in the weight room,” Goodrich added. “He was a lead-by-example person in the weight room and on the practice field. The other players rallied around his toughness and in turn, he made our team tougher.”

Ford passed away at the too-young age of 26 on October 21, 2015, due to a rare fungus infection of the brain.
He was born March 31, 1989, in Cambridge, the son of Stephen C. Ford Jr, and Tina Marie Hazinakis Ford. He worked in the construction industry following his graduation from CHS. 

Tommy “Buck” Hollins
Tommy “Buck” Hollins won 10 letters playing football, basketball, and baseball for Cambridge High School in the late 1960s and early 1970s and excelled in all three sports. 

In football, Hollins earned three letters and AAA (only three divisions in Ohio at the time) All-Ohio status his senior year (1971) when he broke Lenard Crawford’s all-time rushing record with 1,155 yards in only nine games. In 1970, when Crawford ran for 1,114 yards, the previous school record, Hollins rushed for 850 yards. Hollins was also a two-year starter on defense at linebacker. 


Buck HollinsIn basketball, Hollins was a four-year letter winner ending his career as the fourth leading scorer in school history (currently 17th) with 826 points. He may have scored more but was the point guard his freshmen and sophomore years on teams with veteran scorers. He led one of those teams to a regional appearance in Athens. 

“He was the glue that led us to success,” said veteran teammate Mike Peyton of the regional qualifying team.
He averaged 10.5 points per game his junior season and 16.6 ppg his senior campaign when he earned AAA All-Ohio honors. 
In baseball, Hollins was an outstanding pitcher and short stop. He batted .388 his senior year and went 4-2 on the mound with an 0.83 earned run average. Ohio did not have postseason recognition at the time, but the Pittsburgh Pirates came to scout Hollins. 

“His fastball was so hard that nobody wanted to catch for him,” said teammate Dave Abood. “His curve ball was unhittable.” 
Some speculated that Hollins, who picked up his nickname because of his size and strength, was talented enough to play professional baseball, but the three-sport star opted for a scholarship to play football at Eastern Kentucky University. 

His nominator, Bill Andrews, also highlighted the determination of Hollins who grew up impoverished in a four-room house without a toilet. He was raised along with five brothers (Lewis, Glimes (Butch), Mark, Bob, and Tim) and two sisters (Elizabeth and Mary) by parents who were both disabled. He also had two sons, Isaiah, and Chad. 

“Buck is arguably one of the two or three greatest athletes ever to don a Bobcat uniform,” Andrews said. “If there was a Mt. Rushmore of Cambridge High School athletes, he would be on it.” 

Al “Zip” Joseph
Many Bobcat basketball fans would consider the 12-year period between 1988 and 2000 the golden years of Cambridge High School basketball with five trips to the state tournament during that period. 


Al JosephBut laying the foundation for those achievements was some successful teams coached by Al “Zip” Joseph during an era where Ohio only had two and later three competitive divisions with the Bobcats competing in the “big school” category. 

During Joseph’s first stint as the Bobcat mentor from 1957-1962, he guided Cambridge to sectional championships in 1958-59, 1959-60 and 1960-61 with a district championship in 1961. 

When he returned to the bench for his second stint as head coach from 1974-1980, he led the Bobcats to sectional titles at the end of the 1975-76, 1976-77, and 1977-78 seasons with district runner-up finishes in 1976 and 1977. He also coached Cambridge to its first Ohio Valley Athletic Conference championship, an AAAA (big school division) title in 1977-78.
Joseph finished his career as the CHS career wins leader and still sits second on the list to only Gene Ford. Joseph also served as a football coach and taught art at CHS for 33 years. 

Joseph picked up the nickname “Zip” while a student athlete at Martins Ferry High School. He was said to be so quick on the basketball court that his teammates started calling him Zip. 

While at Martins Ferry, Zip led the Purple Riders to a state championship in 1941. One of his teammates was Lou “the Toe” Groza. In 1940, Zip was the national high school basketball scoring champion. 

Joseph was known as a disciplinarian, a trait he probably picked up serving in the U.S. Army during World War II where he earned a Purple Heart after being wounded in combat at the Battle of the Bulge. After returning from service, he attended West Liberty University and became an art teacher at Cambridge High School for 33 years, retiring in 1986. 

He also taught golf, swimming, ceramic and oil painting classes, and was the manager of the Cambridge City Pool for 12 years. 

Al was born in Kensington, PA, in 1921 and passed away on March 16, 2003, one month after attending the final Bobcat basketball game at the old Cambridge High School gym. He had two sisters and five brothers. Al was married to Madelyn in 1971. He has a son, Eugene Joseph, a step-daughter Shari Braden, four grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. 
The Hall of Fame induction banquet is Thursday, September 7, 2023, beginning at 6 p.m. at Cambridge High School. Anyone interested in attending can reserve tickets by calling the High School athletic department at 740-435-1100, extension 1077. 

The inductees also will be recognized during halftime of the Bobcat football game on Friday, September 8, 2023. 

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