SLOKO GILL
(FOOTBALL)

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When sports reporters call you the best they have seen in action on any high school team in their years of covering Ohio High School sports ... you must have been good.

A starter at memorial for three years, Sloko was a two way performer at center and linebacker. At 5' 8" and 169 pounds, Sloko was a rugged performer. His number 57 seemed to be all over the field. He was selected All-Ohio as a sophomore by the coaches and sportswriters. It was at the Ohio All Star game in 1935 that Sloko was paid the tribute "The best we have ever seen in action on any high school team."

A big thrill for any lineman is to score a touchdown and it was no different for Sloko. During 47-0 romp against East Liverpool, Sloko tallied a six pointer on a lateral from Duke Sirak.

Tampa University recruited Sloko, but being two days away from home and missing his family, he returned home and was warmly welcomed by Dwight "Dike" Beede, coach of the YSU Penguins.

His arrival on the Wick Avenue campus prompted coach Beede to say, "Sloko is one of the best centers in the state and we can't wait to see him in action." The wait wasn't too long, as Sloko moved his centering and linebacking abilities to Wick Avenue and had an immediate and enduring career. Beginning in 1938, Sloko started 35 games at YSU, played in each of the 140 quarters and totaled an astounding 1890 minutes out of the 2240 in those 35 games! All this while never weighing more than 170 pounds.

He captained the Penguins in his senior year and was chosen on eleven "All Opponent" teams that year. Assistant coach Ralph Wolfe remarked, "You can never forget a fellow like Sloko Gill. He had the admirable qualities of being the best lineman and a rugged fellow, yet always a gentleman."

Following his graduation from YSU, Sloko was drafted by the Detroit Lions as a 185 pound center. He made the squad as a back up center to Alex Wojciechowicz and was described by the Lions press guide to be "tough as barbed wire." With World War II going on, Sloko enlisted in the Marine Corps and with that his pro football career came to an end.

His talents didn't stop at football, though as he batted .425 in 1938 in the Slovak Baseball League. He also played basketball for three years at Memorial, showing the same tenacious character as he did on the football field.

In 1948 he married Betty and they have two daughters, Janet Gill-Wigal, professor in the Counseling Department at Youngstown State University and Roseann Gill-Jacobson Associate Dean of Students at Marietta College.

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