(3-19-20) Parkway baseball has been one of the bright spots for many years for the Panthers’ Athletic department. Parkway’s first D IV State Baseball Championship came in 1987.
The Panthers were led by Neil Schaffner during the regular season, he was named the Midwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year, the team MVP and leading hitter.
Schaffner, also had a great State tournament, during the semifinal game in a 1-0 win over Crestline he pitched a 1 hitter, had a hit and a RBI.
In the championship game 7-3 win over Newark Catholic playing CF he went 3 for 3, 2 stolen bases and scored 2 runs.
State Semifinal Game
Mike ‘Spank’ Schumm was just in his 2nd season in 1987 as the head Coach of the Panthers replacing Don Black who was tragically killed in the fall of 1985 in an automobile-pedestrian accident while hunting.
It was an emotional time for Schumm and the Panther program in 1987.
He told the Daily Standard in a 2011 story about the 1987 State Championship games-
“It wasn’t something we really touched on out in the open that season, but he (Coach Black) was definitely on all of our minds and in all of our hearts that whole year. Not only was Don Black an icon of a coach, but he served countless roles to many people in our program and in the community. He was one of those one-in-a-million people and as a coach, you can only hope to hold a candle to what he accomplished – Don was Parkway baseball.”
Don Black’s Last Parkway Team 1984
Black was the Head Baseball Coach at Willshire High School from 1955-1961 and the Head Baseball Coach at Parkway High School from 1964-1985. Black had a record of 395-208 during his 28 year coaching career. He won 11 League Championships, 10 Sectional Championships and 6 District Championships. The Panthers were Regional Runners-up in 1980 and 1985. Don coached in the Ohio All- Star game in 1982 and 1984. He was inducted into the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1986 and was inducted into the Acme Baseball Congress Hall of Fame in 2008. Don graduated from Willshire High School in 1949 and graduated from Ohio Northern University where he lettered in baseball for four years.