(3-28-21) Parkway Schools were established in 1961 with the consolidation of Rockford Schools and Willshire Schools. The two neighboring schools, one in Mercer County and one in Van Wert County, once rivals were now teammates.

Baseball would be one sport that would develop at the new school…it is still producing quality teams 60 years later.

1956 Willshire Baseball Team

Don Black, before the consolidation, was the Head Baseball Coach at Willshire from 1955-1961, and a couple of years after the consolidation he would be named the Head Baseball Coach at Parkway (1965-1985).

1965 Parkway Baseball Team (his 1st Panther Team)

In the fall of 1985 Black would be tragically killed in an automobile-pedestrian accident while hunting. But his influence at Parkway would establish one of the most respected small-school baseball program in Ohio.

Black is still a part of the Panther memories…the field is named in his honor – Don Black Field.

RELATED:

  • Parkway’s 1st Head Baseball Coach was Stanley Buehrer
  • After Black’s death Mike Schumm was named the head coach, he had coached at Mendon the year before Black’s death. Schumm played for Black at Parkway and he learned a lot from his former coach. Schumm led Parkway to the 1987 and 1991 State Champions. He finished his career with 407 victories in his 29 years of coaching Baseball…he won four Midwest Athletic Conference Championships and fourteen sectional titles. Schumm joined Black in the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2010.