The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

April 6, 2013

A Don McCormack column: Mickey Z. never toots his own horn

Taking the shutters off the variety store windows and doing some spring cleaning...

Mighty Mick

Elsewhere on this page, you will read Chris Larick’s most excellent feature on Mickey Zigmund, a 1964 Jefferson graduate who will be inducted into the Ashtabula County Basketball Foundation Hall of Fame.

While Chris’ story is (as his efforts always are) both interesting and informative, it does not touch on Zigmund’s greatest accomplishment during his days as a basketball star for the Falcons.

Why?

Because Zigmund, never one to promote himself or his accomplishments, never told Chris, himself an ACBF Hall of Famer (Class of 2008).

So, here it is — no one in Jefferson boys basketball history, and, Loyal Readers, that dates back to 1900, —has scored more points in a single game than Mickey Zigmund.

On Nov. 29, 1963 — the second season of the old Falcon Gymnasium — Zigmund led coach Herb Smolka’s Falcons into a game against the visiting St. John Heralds.

That night, he fired in 41 points, surpassing the previous school best of 40, set by ACBF Hall of Famer Chuck Naso (Class of 2004), leading Jefferson to a 90-55 victory.

A half-century later, that record has not changed. Turns out, nor has Zigmund’s knack for keeping a low profile.

“I didn’t know what the record was and I didn’t know what it is,” Zigmund said. “That’s the only game something like that happened. There were and are a lot of great players.”

Zigmund made 18 of 25 shots from the floor in his record-setting effort and was perfect in four attempts from the free-throw line.

The Star Beacon account of the game the next day said, “Included in Zigmund’s successful shooting efforts were several jumpers from 20 to 25 feet, a bundle of fastbreaks and some from 10 feet.”

Junior center Dan Foster — himself an ACBF Hall of Famer (Class of 2006) — had 9 points and 16 rebounds in the win and junior guard Rick Havens, who would eventually become a highly successful baseball coach at his alma mater and for whom Jefferson’s sparkling baseball complex is named, had 10 points.

Turns out, Foster transferred to Edgewood before his senior season because Jefferson cancelled winter sports because it could not pass a levy. Eventually, the levy did pass and sports were reinstated, but it was too late for Foster to return to play with his buddies.

And his buddies paid for it.

“Dan Foster scored 49 points,” Zigmund said. “I think it was against Jefferson at Jefferson that he did that. In my mind, he’s the real record holder. He had gone to Jefferson and when they couldn’t pass a levy, he went up to Edgewood.”

The night Zigmund scored his 41 points, it was not known it was a Jefferson school record.

Exactly one week later, it was discovered.

“I remember Chuck Naso had scored 40,” Zigmund said. “I didn’t even know if his was the record. A couple of weeks later, the Star Beacon had written a small article saying I had the record.”

The game was Jefferson’s opener.

“It was the first game of the season,” Zigmund said. “I was a senior playing with four guys who had never played varsity before. Their tendency was to pass the ball to me because they thought I was never afraid. That’s what contributed more to it than anything. else.”

He said the times were full of emotion... and it had nothing to do with basketball, nor anything to do with sports, in fact.

“I think it was the week after the Kennedy assassination,” Zigmund said. “We didn’t have school Monday or Tuesday. I don’t remember when we practiced. Those were strange times.”

To this day, Zigmund continues to downplay his record-setting performance.

“From then to now, there have been some really good players who have come along. I didn’t pay any attention to it.”

One final caveat — the night Mickey Zigmund set the Jefferson boys basketball single-game scoring record, Friday, Nov. 29, 1963 — he celebrated his 18th birthday.

In style.

Text Only
Sports
  • Maruna headed for Mount

    LeeAnn Maruna never really expected to play collegiate golf. She was so taken aback when the opportunity presented itself, she didn’t know how to respond. After all, the Grand Valley graduate had only been playing the game for a few years.

    July 23, 2014

  • Crate Late Models featured

    The Evergreen Lake Park Campground Crate Late Models, the premier class at Raceway 7, will be featured Friday night as they race for $1,000 to win.

    July 23, 2014

  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

  • TD Club golf A Chris Larick column: TD Club hopes to score

    Though its life was never seriously threatened, the Ashtabula County Touchdown Club has suffered in recent years.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Don A Don McCormack column: A heartfelt plea to curb violence

    Like everyone who loves soccer — and the rest of us whose interest level rises dramatically every four years when the World Cup comes around — Kevin Meier was appalled at the recent attack of soccer referee John Bieniewicz in Michigan by a player that resulted in Bieniewicz tragically dying.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • valor A valiant effort

    Paralympians from all over the United States experienced three days of competition, education and fun during the Valor Games Gold Medal Camp at Spire this weekend.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video