Jan. 24, 2024 -- There are fans. And then there are superfans. For Heights High athletics, three superfans have been in the stands for decades, attending all home and traveling to most away football and basketball games and always cheering on their Tigers.
Larry Shaw, class of 1966, Grover Price, 1973, and Michael Kurtz, 1979, were all recognized by Athletic Director Joe D’Amato at a recent basketball game for their commitment to Heights’ sports. Presented with replica Heights football jerseys complete with their last names and graduation years, the three got a taste of what it feels like to be on the receiving end of cheers and applause.
Despite not being serious athletes themselves, they each began attending games before they even entered high school. Kurtz was brought to football games by his mother starting when he was just 7 years old and now moves the chains for home games. “I just want to be a part of it and help out where I can.” Because he’s been retired for a few years, he says “Games are the highlight of my week.”
He’s formed “a partnership” with Price and Shaw in the stands and, as the youngest, he claims, “Larry and Grover can’t drive in the dark anymore so I drive the three of us to away games.”
He maintains contact and follows the college and athletic careers of many graduates, and always appreciates when they come over to greet him and his wife. “It’s nice to think that kids from a different era still come over to say hi. It’s wonderful to get to be a part of this.”
Grover Price feels the same way, claiming he’s “always been a fan.” Following a team for as long as he has, “I’ve had my ups and downs with both basketball and football.” Larry Shaw agrees, saying, “It’s easy to be a fan when your team is winning. But you find out how committed you are when they aren’t.”
How committed is Shaw? Very. Growing up just two blocks from the high school, he started attending games in 1959, and he’s never stopped. After a career as the Recreation Director for the City of Cleveland Heights, he continues to show up for all home and most away games. His reason is really quite simple: “It’s about my love for Heights.”