The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


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.


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
  • Spartans knock around Dragons

    After being cooped up in gymnasiums for the better part of the season so far, the Conneaut and Lakeside softball teams were just happy to get onto a diamond. Playing for the first time in nearly a week, the Spartans toppled the Dragons, 11-2, Thursday afternoon at Lakeside.

    April 18, 2014

  • PV can’t get past Mathews

    Thursday afternoon at Pymatuning Valley, the visiting Mathews Mustangs were able to do what every coach hopes for — execute. They played a clean game from start to finish in every facet of the game, and that carried the Mustangs to an 8-2 Northeastern Athletic Conference victory.

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    Matthews 8, PV 2
    at PV

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:


    Geneva at Edgewood (11)
    Niles McKinley at Edgewood (5)
    Conneaut at Lakeside (4:30)
    Madison at Euclid (4:30)
    Madison at Edgewood (4:30)
    Geneva at Mentor (10, DH)
    Conneaut at Madison (4)

    April 18, 2014

  • Justin Butler Justin time

    It was just four short years ago that Justin Butler was spending his fall on a soccer field.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: ‘Kids’ stuff’ spurs great responses

    I’m often caught more than a bit off-guard by what stories, features or columns generate responses from you, Loyal Readers, much more so than those who do not.
    For example, the column that appeared in this space a couple of days ago regarding things yours truly and my buddies did as kids prompted more than a few responses.
    A sampling, many of which were posted on my Facebook page:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • kyle GANG GREEN

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    Grand Valley at Maplewood (4:30)
    St. John at Lawrence (4:30)
    Mathews at PV (4:30)
    Fairport at Perry (7:30)
    West Geauga at Madison (4:30)
    Harvey at Riverside (4:30)
    Jefferson at Harding (5)

    April 16, 2014

  • Olivia In transition

    Pymatuning Valley graduate Olivia Holt had a distinct reason she chose to play basketball for Mount Union.
    “They do have tradition,” Holt, the daughter of Gus and Michelle Holt, said. “I’m from PV. We had a tradition of winning and working hard there. I wanted to go somewhere that tradition mattered. I knew I was going to get better by coming here.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Spring has sprung one big leak

    Paying a Wednesday morning visit to the variety store...

    Think spring?
    If this, um, err, uh... spring... feels a bit unusual for high school baseball and softball teams in Northeast Ohio, it is, to a point.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Week in Review January 10 and 11
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video