|Jerome Butchko – (2009)|
|Jerry played football for Lorain St. Mary’s from 1950 through the 1953 seasons. He lettered in all four years and was a starter in his Junior and Senior years playing both offensive and defensive line positions.
In a rarity, Butchko lettered four years at St. Mary. He played for Coach Herb Redding in 1950 and 1951, as the Irish finished with respective records of 5-4 and 4-5 before Redding departed to take the reins at Gibsonburg High. In 1952, the luck of the Irish wasn’t with Coach Frank Kilbane and St. Mary’s wound up with a 2-7 ledger. Kilbane soon departed. Butchko’s final season at St. Mary’s was under new mentor Les Zorge, who returned the Irish to their winning ways at 5-4 in 1953.
In the 1953 season he earned the team’s Most Valuable Player award and gained further recognition for his play by also being named to the All Cleveland Diocese first team.
Butchko earned freshman numerals at Kent State in 1954 and varsity letters there in 1955, 1956, and 1957 under Coach Trevor Rees. The Golden Flashes were third in the rugged Mid-America Conference in both 1955 and 1956, finishing 6-2-1 and 7-2, respectively. Among Butchko’s teammates at KSU was future NFL star tackle Luke Owens of Cleveland John Adams and the football Cardinals of St. Louis.
He was recuited by several universities and opted to play for Kent State University (KSU), a member of the very strong Mid-America Conference. Jerry played on the freshman team at the offensive right guard and defensive nose guard positions and earned his “Numerals”. That was quite an accomplishment when you consider that at the time Jerry was seventeen and he was playing against others who were older and bigger.
In his sophmore year as a member of the varsity squad he was switched to that tackle position to fill the team’s needs and again was a two way player. Jerry was a starter in his senior year and played both offense and defense. He earned three varsity letters while demonstrating great durability and success during his football career at Kent State. One of his most vivid football memories was putting a great hit on a Toledo runner at the goal line and subsequently crawling around on all fours while trying to figure out exactly where he was on the field.
Upon graduation from Kent State he moved back to Avon and then Lorain where he worked for U S Steel. For several years he was also a line coach for St. Mary’s in the 1960s. His management career with U S Steel took him to a number of different plants throughout the country and also included a stint in Brazil.
Jerry and his wife, Rachel, are retired and currently reside in Hoover, Alabama. Their family includes three daughters, a son and thirteen grandchildren.