“I wouldn’t trade the experiences I’ve had for anything. I wouldn’t trade the community of Medina — or the whole county, for that matter — for anything. We are a great county. The people are sincere, yet we’re progressive and up to date. This is quite a unique county, but Medina is in my heart.”
Those words were spoken by Sam Gorfido prior to his 2012 induction into the Medina County Sports Hall of Fame.
Gorfido, a 1951 Medina High graduate and three-sport athlete who owned and operated S-n-G Masonry well into his 70s, died Wednesday at age 85.
A longtime city resident, Gorfido was so beloved in the area that his funeral will be at 11:30 a.m. Monday in Medina High School’s main gymnasium, a place where he gladly spent countless hours over the years.
Visiting hours will be 4-8 p.m. Sunday at Medina’s Waite & Son Funeral Home, 765 N. Court St.
Inside Richard H. Clevidence Gymnasium, there is an area labeled “Sammy’s Section,” which is where Gorfido could be found for almost every Medina boys and girls basketball game.
Located at the top of the bleachers behind the Medina bench, the stands weren’t pulled out except for the top two rows, meaning Gorfido and a number of his buddies had to climb down from the upper level.
When the Bees weren’t playing, Gorfido often was seen taking in a game at Buckeye, Keystone or another nearby school.
“These are our kids,” he said at the time of his hall-of-fame induction. “They are the most valuable thing we have. We could sit here for hours and talk about this town. There isn’t one thing I don’t like about Medina.”
All of 5-foot-7 and 135 pounds as a high school senior, when Medina High was located in what is now the Medina County Administration Building, Gorfido quarterbacked the run-oriented Bees to a 7-1-1 record and Southwestern Conference championship in 1950.
He lettered two years each in football, basketball and baseball.
“A lot of people don’t know it, but Sammy was the one who called our plays,” former left halfback George Beshire said prior to Gorfido’s 2012 induction.
“They didn’t come in from the sideline back then. He had a good head on his shoulders.”
Beyond his brain, Gorfido had a big heart.
In 2011, he voluntarily donated his masonry skills to install a wall inside Kenneth Dukes Stadium, where the names of Medina’s school record-holders in track and cross country are still displayed.
Gorfido also served as a member of the chain crew at Medina varsity football games, and long before that he helped organize youth football in the area, serving as coach of his beloved orange, black and white-clad Mustangs for a number of years.
“My main reason for being there was to give kids the opportunity to play what I think is the greatest game ever invented,” he said of the time he donated to youth football.
“If they left our program and never played again — I wasn’t in it to develop a feeder system — they at least had an opportunity to play.”