Smithfield High School memories

An important thing that the Smithfield High School Alumni get-togethers are good for is the great and sometimes not-so-great memories of things that happened at the school, the teachers, students and the residents who patronized all the school activities.

It is interesting to learn about the 50-year class being honored, when they talk about about their senior year and some of the activities that took place. The name of Octa Foster, the high school principal and Latin and journalism teacher, always comes up for funny happenings and the trouble caused.

The classmates of 1963 attending were Edith Fetty of Brilliant, Judy Fetty of Pickerington, Charles Greene of Bradley, Sandy Zifzal Homol of Piney Fork, Glenn Kithcart of Smithfield, Robert Merriman of Piney Fork, Ken Mossor of Sunbury, Kathy Simmons of New Alexandria and Gilbert Powell, who was unable to attend at the last minute because of illness.

John Domenick, president, serves as emcee as well, and when it came time for the pledge to the flag, there wasn’t one in the Froehlich’s Classic Corner room. Myron Boetticher of Groveport dashed out and found one, returning with a flag and stand. Myron’s wife, Trudy, always helps with the registration at the door, although she did not graduate from Smithfield.

Pam Berry can be counted on to make a large cake with class colors of gold and black frosting. I have never seen a sheet cake so huge. It serves about 150 people and is delicious.

Two brothers were selected for a dual Octa Foster Spirit Award for their work in furthering youth in various sports programs and the community. The awards went to Tom McCain and Randy McCain.

Tom started coaching football at Steubenville High School in 1973 and teaching history and government. He was at Buckeye North High School from 1973 to 1990 and coached the Buckeye Local Panthers through 2005. He is a Smithfield Lions member and the Piney Fork American Legion post commander.

His brother, Randy, has been active in coaching at Buckeye North, with the Spartan Midget Football organization and with the Smithfield Little League. He was unable to attend because he was taking his sons to the NASCAR races.

Walter “Wally” Jancura Sr. received the Mary Sutherland Award. With the used accordion his dad purchased, he learned to play and performed at school functions and with a group at the former Casa Veltri Inn. He worked at Weirton Steel but saved time for playing music at the church and got the family together for a group called the Polka Jacks.

Domenick said in more than 31 years, $79,000 had been distributed for student scholarships. It was nearly $5,000 this year from organizations and individuals. This went to Corey Leasure; Jennifer McCoy, no relation; Amber McCoy, our granddaughter; Mitchell Telek; Matthew DiCenzo, Landon Partelli; Meredith Rohn; Marie Laudick; and Ryan Barbarossa.

Lamont wasn’t able to go at the last minute due to illness, but there were three McCoys cheering for our gal, Amber: Larry and Buddy McCoy, uncles, and a proud grandmother.

Judie Phillippi, always one to look for improvements that we can make in our little town, suggested that we make a park at the former Mortland building lot, razed through a Community Development Block grant.

“We need something to honor SHS. We can do it,” she said. It is easy to see why Judie received the second Octa Foster Spirit Award that was presented. She is full of enthusiasm and energy.

John Borkowski looked dapper in his tuxedo. He has said that he doesn’t have to worry about what he will wear. He just pulls out the tuxedo.

Rodney Lecik told me he enjoyed the story I did on going to visit Liberty College. He once lived in the area, knew all about the spots I was talking about and was familiar with the weather being sunny one day and a heavy snowfall the next, especially in the mountains.

Terri Barath won the $200 50/50 fundraiser and donated back $100. Dave Simmons and Myron Boetticher spent the evening selling tickets for a 50/50 drawing and door prizes.

Sheila Lee, Class of 1964, gave me a shout out at the dinner. I sometimes see her at the village council meetings. It was nice having JoAnn Zampieri Whetsell, our 1954 classmate, at our table. There were only four from our class there: Larry McCoy, Inez Merriman Zajdowicz, JoAnn and me. We’ll have a drive for our 60th anniversary next year.

(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is food editor and a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at