A Champion is Forever
A Champion is Forever

Terry Dilyard


By Aaron Dorksen

Terry Dilyard holds a Wayne County record that will likely never be matched. It definitely can’t be beaten.

For seven straight basketball seasons in the 1950s, Dilyard never played in a losing basketball game for one of his school teams.

The Chester Elementary sixth grade team was undefeated with Dilyard playing guard in 1951-52, then his Congress seventh- and eighth-grade teams went 13-0 and 18-0, respectively.

Once Dilyard got to Northwestern in 1954-55, he played on a 22-0 freshman team and then JV teams that went 20-0 in back-to-back seasons.

Dilyard made the most of his one varsity season, earning All-Wayne County League honors on Northwestern’s 1957-58 Class A state championship team, which finished with a perfect 29-0 record under late coach Dan Baker (WCSHOF Class of 2004).

The Huskies defeated Crawford County’s Holmes-Liberty 60-56 at St. John Arena in Columbus in a game in which “the pressure got thicker than church supper gravy,” according to Ashland Times-Gazette sports editor Wayne Byers.

Dilyard’s best game was in a 76-69 Canton Regional semifinal win over Columbia in which he scored 27 points. He scored in double figures in 100 of the final 117 games of his playing career and was considered one of the team’s best defenders.

A true multi-sport athlete, Dilyard started at third base on Huskies baseball teams that won 48 straight games. He had a career batting average of .310.

Dilyard even found time to run on the Northwestern track team, helping the 4×880-yard relay team to an undefeated season while on loan from the baseball team.

The late Northwestern baseball coach Roy Bates (WCSHOF Class of 1978) was quoted in an article stating that Dilyard, “Was a coach’s dream. I never saw him play a poor game.”

The Huskies’ basketball and baseball teams were led by the late Dean Chance (WCSHOF 1976), who would go on to win the 1964 AL Cy Young Award for the Los Angeles Angels.

Basketball starters Chance, Dilyard, Larry Deffenbaugh, Boze Johnson and Ken Markley all averaged between 14-17 points a game during the 1957-58 state title season.

Dwight Wasson is the only other living member of the 1958 championship basketball team, said Dilyard’s daughter, Michelle Hann.

“Winning the state basketball championship is my greatest sports memory,” said Dilyard, who went on to become the longtime owner of New Pittsburg Motors. “When we started the year, we really didn’t plan on getting beat.”

Dilyard married his high school sweetheart, Sondra Raddebaugh, on Sept. 19, 1958. The couple has three daughters, Terri Kolp, Traci O’Hearn and Michelle Hann. They have six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Many people in Wayne County know the stories of Roy Bates and Dean Chance, but just like Dilyard had to wait for a chance to play on Northwestern’s varsity basketball team he has finally received a long overdue spot next to the fellow Huskies’ legends in the Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame.

Without Dilyard’s perseverance and unselfish play, the 1958 state basketball championship banner that was moved from the Huskies’ old gym to the new one probably wouldn’t have been possible.