Mel was a two sport star in both cross country and track. Mel achieved a double-all-high in both sports. In cross country Mel was the # 1 finisher in the all-high run in both ’67 & ’68. In track Mel was the 880y run champion in Junior and Senior years.
Owen Tober was one of the greatest athletes to have ever competed at Bennett High School. He was All High in 1968 and 1969 in football and in baseball in 1969. In 1968 he scored the winning touchdown in the Harvard Cup championship game against Riverside. It is interesting to note that the game was the first high school game to be televised locally. In baseball, he pitched a no hitter against Grover Cleveland.The very popular and personal Tober was captain of both the football and baseball team. He was offered a full scholarship to Columbia University for football. However, he decided to go to UB. As a freshman against Army he ran for a 100 yard touchdown. He also played as a sophomore. UB dropped football shortly after and Tober played 3 years of varsity baseball at UB. He was scouted by major league scouts and went on to play almost 10 years of Muny baseball. He was a full time fireman and owned WNY’s Amsdel Training Kennel, WNY’s biggest kennel. He is survived by his wife Kathy and children Jennifer and Jeffrey.
Jimmy was an outstanding basketball star for Bennett in the late 60’s. Coach Jerry Berkman often referred to Jimmy as : the best basketball player I ever coached “. Jimmy was “Honorable Mention” All-High as a junior in 1968, and first team All-High in his senior season in 1969.
That year he was also recognized as Honorable Mention All WNY. His basketball prowess was further recognized when popular Dell Magazine named Jimmy a “Top 500”basketball recruit.
Jimmy earned a basketball scholarship to the University of Buffalo in 1969, and later played for Point Park College in Pittsburgh, PA in 1971 and 1972.
After college Jimmy enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he continued his basketball career from 1973 to 1981. He was named to numerous All-Air Force squads during his playing career in the military. Jimmy is also a Viet Nam veteran.
Jimmy’s work career was with Civil Service, and now resides in Oakland, CA. He is the proud father of a daughter, 3 Grandchildren and 1 Great Grandchild.