June 29, 2016

Partly cloudy

Sports Hall of Fame: Kenny Roda will serve as emcee at tonight’s event

WADSWORTH — The 29th annual Medina County Sports Hall of Fame banquet is going on the road, man.

Medina resident Kenny Roda, called “The Roadman” during his 21-year stint as a talk show host and reporter for WKNR 850-AM, will serve as master of ceremonies for the event, which will be held this evening at The Galaxy Restaurant.

Kenny Roda

Kenny Roda

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 7 and the banquet to follow. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $35.

“I always enjoy being a part of an event like this to honor the athletes for the hard work and effort they put in,” Roda said Wednesday. “As a former athlete, I know how much it means to be recognized.”

Roda has lived in Medina for 22 years. Prior to that, he lived in Brunswick for a year.

The 50-year-old currently works as a rink-side reporter for Lake Erie Monsters telecasts on Fox Sports Ohio and WUAB-TV 43 and is a Browns and Ohio State analyst for NewsNet5.com.

In addition, Roda fills in regularly for Bruce Drennan on SportsTime Ohio’s “All Bets Are Off” and posts blogs, podcasts and interviews on his website, KennyRoda.com.

Former Cavaliers radio play-by-play man Joe Tait emceed the event for many years, but will be unable to attend because he is caring for his wife. Last year, former major league umpire Greg Kosc served as master of ceremonies.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Roda said. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. It’s an honor to be doing something Joe Tait did for all those years.”

The 2014 Medina County Sports Hall of Fame class will include Medina’s Jessica Toocheck (softball, basketball, volleyball) and Kase McCoy (soccer), Highland’s Jesse Leng (wrestling), Wadsworth’s Wilbur “Wib” Etter (football, basketball) and Buckeye’s Nick Nutter (wrestling, football).

Team recognition will go to the 1977 Class AA state semifinalist Buckeye baseball team, while the Al Thomas Award, given annually to someone who contributes to local sports outside of being an athlete or head coach, will go to longtime Bucks assistant and community volunteer Bob Jenne.

Special Olympics Athlete of the Year awards will be presented to Denise Frencel and Joe Darmour, while The Gazette’s 2014 Male and Female Senior Athletes of the Year will be announced near the end of the banquet.

Medina County athletes who were first-team All-Gazette during the 2013-14 school year will be recognized, as will coaches of the year in each sport and the paper’s selections for fall, winter and spring coach of the year.

The event is sponsored by the Medina Breakfast Kiwanis Club and The Gazette.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him @RickNoland on Twitter.

Rick Noland About Rick Noland

Rick Noland is the Cavs beat writer for The Gazette and the author of "Over Time," a compilation of stories he's written in more than 30 years as a journalist. He can be reached at 330-721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.