Phillip “Flip” Lersch
Long regarded as one of the finest athletes to come out of this area, Ashland native the late E. Phillip “Flip” Lersch had an outstanding athletic career. He lettered in football, baseball, and basketball both at Ashland High School and Ashland University. It was in the later sport, however, where “Flip” gained his fame.
Although only 5’7”, Lersch was one of the first cage players to combine speed, agility and a shooting eye. During the 1925 basketball season, in a game against Mansfield, Flip tossed in 25 points to lead Ashland High School over their arch rivals. The description of the contest noted that Lersch had led his team to victory and scored many baskets shooting the “one hand” variety. He made the All-North Central Ohio League team and was judged by many as the best player in the N.C.O.
After graduating from Ashland High School, Flip went on to athletic fame at Ashland University and continued his assault on the basketball scoring record. During the 1927-28 season he averaged 14.5 points per game and captured All-Ohio honors. His scoring feats included a 31-point barrage against Jim Thorpe’s Indian team and a 27-point outburst as Ashland topped Capital University. He was honored as a senior with a Flip Lersch Night.
“Dad never talked about his athletic achievements,” son David related. “My brother and I had to read or listen to friends tell of his basketball exploits.” Lersch was a charter member of the Ashland University Sports Hall of Fame. A quiet and unassuming person was how Flip was described by Ashland University President Emeritus Dr Glenn Clayton. “He was an extremely caring person. “Dr. Clayton pointed out. “He always showed great concern for people.
Flip was very active in the community serving as president of the YMCA, chairman of the Johnny Appleseed Area Boy Scouts and a diligent worker for the United Appeal. He was also a past president of the Alumni Association of Ashland University. At the Park Street Brethren Church, Flip served as moderator, secretary, president of the laymen and as deacon. Mr. Lersch passed in 1985.
Nominator: Bob Sprague