Jack G. Augenstein
Just a sophomore in 1949, Fullback Jack Augenstein broke off a 48-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to break open a tight contest and put his Loudonville High Football Redbirds to perhaps the biggest victory in school’s history. Sophomore “Auggie’s” touchdown run opened a scoring floodgate for the Redbirds en route to a 46-0 triumph over the arch-rival Bellville Blue Jays, capping a 9-0 football season, the first undefeated team in the history of Loudonville High School. This auspiciously left “Auggie’s” mark on the sports history of Loudonville High School as perhaps the best running back in the school’s history. The next year he led a graduation-riddle football team to a 6-3 mark, but as a senior, he and his Redbirds were back at 9-0, including an upset victory over a New London team touted as the best small school team in Ohio. Definitive statistics of Jack’s career do not exist, but his presence, 6 foot 2, 230 pounds of muscle which could burn across the field in 11 seconds, sent fear into the hearts of opposing defenders. From Loudonville, Jack went to Ohio State and Coach Woody Hayes, but his career was cut short there and he ended up playing for Ashland College, including service on the 1954 undefeated “Hungry Hounds” team for the Eagles. Jack earned a teaching degree at Ashland and landed a job back in Loudonville teaching science and later driver’s education, and coaching. His coaching service, in a span between the late 1950’s and 1976, included varsity basketball and assistant football and track.
He coached a couple of title basketball teams for the Redbirds in the old Central Buckeye League in the late 50s and in 1960, led the team to a district tournament berth and upsets over larger schools (Orrville and Wooster) before it fell to Massillon in the regional finals.
His greatest team, he remembered, was a freshman football team, which he guided to a 6-1 season in 1972. That team lost its last game of the season to Clear Fork, the consolidated descendent of the Bellville team Jack had so badly decimated 23 years before. But those freshmen, three years later in 1975 as seniors, constituted the nucleus of the first undefeated Redbird football team since Auggie was a player for them, 24 years before.
Tragically, Jack missed most of the perfect season. During summer practice he was diagnosed with cancer, and died the week before the season ended. Jack’s legacy for athletic excellence lives on at Loudonville High in form of an award, the Jack Augenstein Outstanding Student Athlete Award, presented to students, selected by a faculty and coach committee, who exhibits outstanding standards of excellence both on the playing field and the classroom. The award is not presented every year, but rather only when students who attain the dual levels of excellence come along at the school. The past school year, four students received the Jack Augenstein Award.
Accepting the award for Jack will be Jack’s sister from Lehigh Acres, Florida, Jere Augenstein Schultz, and his brother from Wooster, Andrew Augenstein.
This Review Written by Jim Brewer (Editor) The Loudonville Times
Nominator: Jim Brewer