Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame
Ashland County Sports
Hall of Fame

Class of 2008
'Mark Camp
'Jody Getz
'Tim Kline
'Jack C. Porter*
'Russel Reynolds, Jr.
'Bill Springer
'Greg Steele
'Scott Valentine
'Laura E. Vermilya
'2008 Joel Brean*
'2008 Ralph "Eddie" Farris*
''( Deceased * )

'1951 Undefeated
''Loudonville HS
''Football Team
'1962 Ashland HS Boy's
''Golf State Champions
'1998 Ashland HS Boy's
''Golf State Champions
Selection Committee
'John Carlisle

'Bill Rogers
'George Valentine
'Donna Williams
'Barbara Malone
'Robert Valentine
'Duane Yoder


Laura Vermilya
Laura Vermilya

Laura Vermilya showed an interest in sports at a young age. In kindergarten she was playing football with the neighborhood boys, and for Christmas that year, she received a Cleveland Browns uniform – complete with helmet and shoulder pads. By age six, she had decided upon her future career – a professional baseball player for the Cleveland Indians. Her parents did not have the heart to tell her that was not possible due to her gender.

At age eight, Laura began playing fast-pitch softball in Polk. As a youth Laura played summer softball at Polk, Nankin, and Ashland. Excelling in this sport she was elected to her first All-Star game at age eleven. In middle and junior high school Laura participated in basketball and volleyball.

At Ashland High School, Laura earned four varsity letters in softball. Her achievements include back-to-back Cardinal Conference MVP honors her junior and senior years. Her junior year she was awarded the team’s RBI leader. As a senior, Laura was elected the team’s Most Valuable Player and led the team in hitting.

Laura’s proudest moment came when she was selected to the First Team All-State in softball in 1986 – the first year the Ohio High School Athletic Association selected All-State players for girls fast pitch softball. After four seasons, Laura left AHS in 1986 holding five season records and four career records in softball including most runs and most home runs.

Laura attended Baldwin-Wallace College where she earned three varsity letters in softball and All-Academic honors as a junior. While at B-W, Laura also participated in the inaugural season of varsity soccer for women. She earned two varsity letters in the sport and was awarded Best Defensive player as a sophomore, even though she had not played soccer prior to attending B-W.

Laura’s life-long dream of being a Cleveland Indians almost came true. In 1989 Laura was selected to be one of nine ball girls for the Cleveland Indians. As a ball girl Laura fielded foul balls down the baseline or worked behind home plate keeping the umpire supplied with baseballs. During her two years with the Tribe, Laura met Indians players and other major leaguers, as well as two Hollywood stars, Corbin Bernsen and Charlie Sheen, who were filming the movie Major League.

After college, Laura made the transition to slo-pitch softball and continued playing another 16 years on several women’s and co-ed teams. Highlights during this period include winning the Cleveland City Women’s C League and several Columbus Co-ed Championships. In 1992, Laura was asked by the Brecksville softball commissioner to coach fast pitch for girls twelve and under. Laura coached two years before moving to Columbus. She then went on to coach soccer for girls age ten and under and for Special Olympics co-ed soccer.

During her twenties and thirties, Laura continued participating in team sports, including coed softball, soccer, and volleyball. She has participated on numerous Corporate Challenge teams, charity 5Ks, golf scrambles and bicycle events. Today, Laura remains active lifting weights, cycling, spinning, golfing, hiking, and walking her two dogs. This past June, Laura participated in the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, a week long, 300 mile bicycle tour of Ohio.

Having graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1990, Laura earned her Certified Public Accountant license in 1992, while working for Ernst & Young in Cleveland. In 1993, Laura moved to Columbus where she worked at Limited Brands headquarters for ten years in Finance and Information Technology. She is currently the Director of Operations for the American Ceramic Society. She lives in Columbus with her partner Michelle Hockman. Laura makes frequent trips to Ashland to visit her family, including her eight nieces and nephews.

Nominator: Donald Vermilya

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