Charles G. "Oscar" Knight, Jr., 66, a former Record-Courier sports writer and a 1949 graduate of Ravenna High School, died Sunday at his home.
Mr. Knight played football for Ravenna until a leg injury during his sophomore year ended his career.
A self-avowed "sports nut," he turned his energies to managing, refereeing, coaching and keeping statistics for Ravenna sports from youth football to fastpitch softball.
Knight started keeping stats for the Ravenna football team in 1966 for then-head coach Nunzio "Foot" Polichene. That led to eventually keeping stats for the basketball team and a job at the Record-Courier when then-sports editor Persh Rohrer hired him in 1970.
Mr. Knight was hesitant to take the position at first. But after covering the sports desk for about a year, he was asked by Rohrer to cover Ravenna High School sports.
He covered Ravenna sports for 25 years and was associated with Ravenna athletics for more than 50 years.
"I think I've done just about everything there is to do with sports," Mr. Knight told the Record-Courier in February when Ravenna schools awarded him a Distinguished Alumni Award. He was inducted into the Portage County Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. He was a dependable and hardworking reporter, Rohrer said.
Originally hired to work two nights a week, Mr. Knight's duties gradually ballooned into a five-night-per-week job, Rohrer said. Because he also worked full-time at the Ohio Department of Transportation for 45 years, Mr. Knight sometimes worked more than 80 hours per week. He retired from both ODOT and the Record-Courier in 1996.
"He was a big asset," he said. "He did everything you needed to do to be a good desk man. In 25 years, I could count on one hand the times he wasn't at work."
For 34 years until 1995, Mr. Knight never missed a Ravenna High football game, home or away. In 26 years, he missed only one Ravenna basketball game because of a death in the family.
Born June 6, 1931, in Ravenna, Mr. Knight was the son of Charles G. and Daisy (Chrell) Knight, Sr.
He was a life member of Elks Lodge No. 1076 and the Ravenna Moose No. 1234.
In addition to his parents, survivors include his wife of 42 years, Maxine "Mickey" (Bennett); son, Gerald "Jerry" (Debbie) Knight of Ravenna; daughters, Robin (Patrick) Thompson of Kent and Penny (Dan) Hausch of Ravenna; and six grandchildren. His brother, Reginald Knight, died previously.
Calling hours will be held from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Wood-Kortright Funeral Home, Ravenna Chapel, where services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday. Burial will be in Hillside Cemetery in Mantua.
Memorials may be made to the Robinson Memorial Hospital Visiting Nurse and Hospice.