Boy’s Basketball


The construction of the Saint Joseph Auditorium on Melmore Street began in 1925.  The gym was dedicated on October 24, 1926.  Soon after its dedication, the Senecas started to play its home games there.  In the first official season of Calvert boys’ basketball (1925-26), Calvert did not yet have its own gym.  Therefore, the first season of Calvert Boys’ Basketball involved all seven games being played on the road.  They continued playing home games at the Saint Joseph Auditorium for a span of 28 seasons. By 1954, the current gymnasium at Calvert High School was completed. On January 8, 1954, the Senecas played their first official home game at the current gymnasium.  The Senecas defeated Mansfield Madison by a score of 80-59.  The first boys’ basketball team to play its home games on their own court greeted the Seneca supporters with a 17-3 finish under Karl Zalar.  The Senecas continue to play their home games at that location.  Over a half-century later, the gymnasium itself, although aging, is still in great condition and gives the Senecas a distinct home-court advantage with its close proximity walls and rowdy home fans who literally sit right on top of the action.  The 2002-03 season marked the 50-year anniversary of the Calvert High School gymnasium.  That season, the Seneca boys started a streak of three consecutive seasons where they did not lose a home game in the MAL.  From the 1998-99 season until the 2004-05 season (7 seasons total), the Seneca boys lost a total of just ten home games, including three seasons without a single defeat.    Midway through the 2007-08 season (the 55th season of having home basketball games at Calvert High School), two brand new high-tech scoreboards were installed, the first kind of those particular models in the entire state of Ohio.  The girls’ basketball team also plays its home games there. Home volleyball and wrestling matches also put fans in the bleachers.


The first Calvert Boys’ basketball team opened play in the 1925-26 school year, coached by James Burns.  The first boys’ basketball contest was played on February 12, 1926, as the Senecas fell at Fostoria St. Wendelin by a score of 12-11.  The Senecas recorded their first basketball victory on March 12, 1926 in the Class B Sectional Tournament against Malinta.  The final score was 15-13.  Calvert finished the season with a 1-6 record in the first year of Seneca Boys’ Basketball.  Wishy Kramer took over the reigns in 1926-27, and his basketball career at Calvert ran uninterrupted for 23 years.  Kramer produced a sectional title in 1930-31.  The following season brought an NPC title.  Two seasons later, the Senecas brought home the school’s first and only LSN basketball title in the 1933-34 season.  He compiled a record of 143-195, the winningest coach in Calvert history for forty-eight years.  In 1949-50 Karl “Zip” Zalar took over for Kramer and coached for eight years.  The 1953-54 basketball season was a historic one.  The Senecas played their home games in the current gymnasium at Calvert High School for the first time.  Zalar’s squad also posted a 17-3 record which stood for 35 years as the best in Calvert history.  Zalar stepped down in 1957, replaced by Joe Kukoy.  Kukoy, in a six year span at the helm, produced the school’s first ever SBC title in 1960-61.  The following season (1961-62), the Senecas brought home an SBC co-championship, only to have the title erased as the Senecas were found guilty of using an ineligible player in a game.  Kukoy stepped down after the 1962-63 school year, turning over the reigns to Robert Leahy.  Coach Leahy commanded the position for six seasons, followed by Gene Nara for one season.  Opening the 1970-71 season, Charles Ellis held the head position for 4 years, producing a sectional championship in 1972-73, and a sectional title and district runner-up in 1973-74.  This was the first Calvert basketball team to advance to the District Finals in school history.  Mike Ingram took over the next three seasons, winning the league crown in his first year.  This 1974-75 team has the distinction of being the first Seneca Boys’ Basketball team to win a league championship outright.  In Ingram’s third and final season (1976-77), the Senecas won another SBC title, along with a sectional title, falling in the District Finals.  John Wlliams opened his first season in 1977-78, and produced a sectional title.  He stepped down in 1979, after two seasons.  Tom Bridinger took over the reigns in the 1979-80 season, winning the sectional championship and advancing to the district finals where the Senecas lost to eventual Class A state champion Sandusky St. Mary.  Bridinger’s first team finished the season with a record of 16-6, the most wins by a Calvert team in 26 years.  He also won his second sectional title during the 1981-82 season.  Tony Mass became head coach in 1985-86 season, which was also Calvert’s final year competing in the SBC.  He produced his first sectional crown in 1987-88.  The Senecas recorded Calvert’s 500th win in boys basketball vs. Old Fort on December 28, 1988.  Also in 1988-89, Calvert went 22-2 under Coach Mass, capturing the MAL crown, sectional and first ever district championship, along with a 13th ranking in the state polls.  This was the first regional appearance in Calvert basketball history. That squad overtook Zalar’s with the most wins in a season.  That record still stands, tied with the 1999-2000 team.  During the 1997-98 season, Mass recorded his 144th win as a Calvert boys’ coach in a victory over Seneca East, replacing Wishy Kramer as the winningest coach in Calvert Boys’ Basketball history.  That same season the Senecas won their first sectional title in nine seasons.  The Senecas also took the MAL Title (10-0) the following year (1998-99), with a state ranking of 11th.  In the 1999-00 season, the Senecas recorded their second straight MAL title, tied the all-time win record with a slate of 22-3, took their second District title and were as high as 3rd in the AP Poll, advancing to the Regional Finals.  Calvert also took the trophy as the Toledo Blade’s top Division IV team and the Fostoria area’s Team of the Year.  In the 2000-01 season, the Senecas posted a 12-9 record and won its third straight MAL crown under Mass.  2001-02 brought a sectional championship and district runner-up.  The 2002-03 season was one for the history books.  Calvert finished the regular season 20-0, the first undefeated season in school history, finishing number one in the Division IV AP state poll and 10-0 in the MAL, winning the league for the fifth time, and ending the season 21-1. This rates as the best-ever winning percentage (.955).  The Senecas also brought home the trophy for the Toledo Blade’s top Division IV team, as well as the Fostoria area’s Team of the Year.  Coach Mass was named Ohio Division IV Coach of the Year.  In 2003-04, the Senecas finished the season 15-9, 8-2 in the MAL (6th title), winning the sectional, district and participating in regionals at BGSU.  The 2004-05 Senecas finished the season 20-5, 9-1 and MAL champs for the 7th time, also winning sectional and district titles and finishing as Regional runners up at BGSU.  This squad won back-to-back District Titles for the first time in history. This also tied the 1999-00 team for the farthest advance in tournament.  After the 2004-05 season, Tony Mass stepped down as the head coach after twenty years of service and a record of 278-166.  He is the winningest coach in Calvert Boys Basketball history, finishing with nine sectional titles, seven MAL crowns and four district championships. He also is the winningest boys’ coach in MAL history with a record of 137-61.  For the 2005-06 season Ted Willman, longtime assistant to Coach Mass, was hired as the head coach. Willman produced Calvert’s 18th sectional title in 2006-07.  In 2007-08, the Senecas finished 10-0 in the MAL for the third time, winning their 8th title.  This squad was the seventh MAL team to win all ten of its league games, and the eighth title is the most by any MAL school.  Their overall record was 17-5, and they became the seventh Calvert team to win 17 or more games.  In 09-10, the Senecas had their third winning season in a row with an 12-9 record.  This is the 57th consecutive year in which the Senecas have played their home games in the current gymnasium, with Ted Willman continuing in the post as Seneca Head Coach.