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Columbiana Hall of Fame adds four more standouts

Special to the Journal

COLUMBIANA – Columbiana High School Athletic Hall of Fame inducted its 24th class consisting of Dan Bekar, Lee Lipply, Nate Nesselrotte and Sara Sposetta Rapp on Jan. 25 at the school.

DAN BEKAR

(Coach from 1973-1985)

Dan began his teaching and coaching career at Columbiana in the fall of 1973. He spent 42 years teaching industrial arts and physical education as well as coaching throughout his career. Coach Bekar was an assistant varsity football coach for seven years. During that time, he was the head junior high wrestling coach and assistant varsity wrestling coach. At that time, he helped groom Mark Rubish, the Clipper’s first wrestling state champion. Dan was the head wrestling coach from 1980-1985. During his tenure there were six state qualifiers, all of whom placed at the state meet. He was Tri-County League Coach of the Year 1979-1980 and 1980-1981. Dan has remained a staunch supporter of Clipper athletics, their student/athletes, and the Columbiana School District. He resides in Columbiana with his wife, Donna. They have raised six children who all graduated from Columbiana High School.

LEE LIPPLY

(Meritorious Service, Class of 1973)

Lee has been the driving force behind all the “building” that has taken place at the football field. In 1995, he was the mastermind of the Waldo Ward Training Facility. He spent time after his own busy day overseeing and working on the project until it became a reality. Fast forward a few years and a new press box was to be constructed. Lee took charge of this endeavor as well. Once again, a major project became a reality through Lee’s dedication and organization for construction. He is a founding member of the Columbiana Athletic Facility Committee. He has helped with a variety of fundraisers including such things as golf outings, chicken dinners,and 50/50 raffles. One can still see Lee on Friday nights as a spotter for the Clipper football team. He resides in Columbiana with his wife, Deb. They have raised three children, all Columbiana High School grads.

NATE NESSELROTTE

(Athlete, Class of 1994)

Nate was a letter winner in basketball and golf. He was a force to be reckoned with on the boards in basketball and enabled his teammates with their scoring through his assists. During his junior year, Nate was First Team Northeast District and First Team Tri-County League as well as Second Team Columbiana County. His senior year he was a Second Team Northeast District recipient and was selected for the TCL All-Star game. Nate was an unselfish player and fun to watch. He also possessed a good shot from anywhere on the court. As a golfer his sophomore through senior years, Nate helped his team to many victories including three TCL championships and three sectional titles. Nate lost his wife, Tiffany, to cancer in 2018. He resides in Columbiana with his three children.

SARA SPOSETTA RAPP

(Athlete, Class of 1998)

Sara was known for her running ability. She still holds the record in the 400-meter dash at 60.7 seconds. The 1600 meter relay team she ran on shares the record with the 1980-81 team. During her sophomore, junior, and senior years, she was the Clippers fastest in the 200 meter. Every year was a personal best; 28.7,27,7,27.0. Sara qualified in six events to the regionals over a two year period. Her senior year the 1600 relay team ran at the state meet. She also won the District 400 meter run and the 1600 relay team that she ran on (and qualified for state) won district title as well. The 400 relay came in second at districts that year. Sara’s 400 meter record is 21 years old. Sara and her husband, John, reside in Columbiana with their three daughters.

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