Ray Anthony has lived a life of public service both on and off the wrestling mats for his entire career.
As Fire Chief for Columbia Township, Ray was honored as Citizen of the Year in 2007.
In wrestling circles, he is regarded as one the state’s top officials and serves the sport with undying dedication.
Ray wrestled for Columbia High School and then became a ref. He also coached at Columbia, but has made his statewide mark as an official and as a head of officials.
“He has long been known as one of the most outstanding officials in the state, him and Toby Dunlap,” said retired Westlake High wrestling coach Mike Antonyzyn.
For many years, Anthony assisted the state’s top official and official emeritus, Vince Mattucci. “He became Vince’s right hand man and rules interpreter for the state,” reports Antonyzyn.
When Vince retired, Anthony ascended as the state’s top official and leading expert on OHSAA wrestling rules and interpretation. “People could call him up and question a move maybe someone did wrong. He always takes the time to talk to coaches when there is a discrepancy and work it out. He’s a good guy, good for the sport.
“He has also done a lot as an official for football,” said Antonyzyn, “But he has really made his mark on the sport of wrestling.”
As a student at Columbia, Anthony was a three-time letterman and placewinner at both sectional and district levels. As an official, he has worked the best tournaments in the country, including the OHSAA Tournament for 21 years and the OHSAA State Duals for five. He has also officiated at Walsh Ironman, Brecksville and Medina Invitational Tournaments as well as conference tournaments throughout northeast Ohio. His officiating skills have also taken him to collegiate mats, where he has served at seven NCAA D III Tournaments. He has also worked as Tournament Director for many events, including sectional and district tournaments.
In keeping with his dedication to the sport, Anthony has set up classes for prospective officials. He has instructed officials for over a decade and has served as Supervisor of Ohio Wrestling Officials for more than 12 years. It is a natural offshoot of his talents that he is also an educator and instructor at the Medina County Career Center.