He’s ‘Mr. Bellbrook,’ so here’s how his longtime home is honoring him

Bellbrook High School recently named their baseball field after Steve Berryhill, longtime teacher, coach and historian from Bellbrook. CONTRIBUTED.

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Bellbrook High School recently named their baseball field after Steve Berryhill, longtime teacher, coach and historian from Bellbrook. CONTRIBUTED.

Steve Berryhill’s name is strongly associated with the bucolic town of Bellbrook, and now his name adorns the high school baseball field — appropriate for a man so enamored with and knowledgeable about his hometown.

Berryhill, 75, was born on a farm in Bellbrook. He had 42 students in his Bellbrook High School senior class and played high school baseball for four years.

“Then I went on to Morehead State University and played four years for them on a baseball scholarship,” he said.

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Berryhill returned to Bellbrook to begin a three-decade teaching career.

“I taught math for 31 years and retired in 1998,” he said from his new home in Bellbrook. “I coached varsity baseball for 16 years and junior varsity boys basketball.”

Back then he also got credentialed to drive a school bus “because I wasn’t always sure a bus would show up to transport the team, so I could take them.”

Berryhill has given to his community in so many ways that the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek School District decided to name the high school baseball field after him.

“I was shocked when I received the letter. It’s the 50th anniversary for the baseball field, which up until now hasn’t really had a name and now they’re calling it Berryhill Field,” he said. “It’s such an honor.”

Summers bring back fond memories for Berryhill.

“When I grew up, Bellbrook High School had baseball, basketball and track. In the summer baseball is what everyone played. We played all day every day,” he said.

In addition to teaching and coaching, Berryhill served on the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Education Foundation and is a past president and vice-president of the Bellbrook Historical Society.

In 2008 he was inducted into the district’s Hall of Fame. “These days I’m the emcee for the education foundation’s Hall of Fame presentations. I also conducted the third-grade history tours of Bellbrook for 20 years.”

Berryhill played Stephen Bell, for whom Bellbrook is named, at the bicentennial re-enactment several years ago. Bellbrook was founded in 1816.

“The Berryhills were in Bellbrook before it was Bellbrook,” he said.

Berryhill is the oldest of three sons. Berryhill’s two grown children and three grandsons all live in Bellbrook.

Berryhill serves as a trustee at Bellbrook Presbyterian Church. “I have a lot of good friends there,” he said.

Berryhill has never had interest in holding a political office, although he’s been nudged now and then to think about it.

Although Berryhill is retired from coaching, he can rattle off statistics, players and other trivia about high school sports across the area.

“Several of my players went on to play at college and a few even made it to the minors,” he said. “Over the years I taught more than 3,000 students math. I like math because it’s either right or wrong. Some of my students are grandparents now.”

So these days at Bellbrook High School, kids will grow up hitting balls, rounding third and heading to home at Berryhill Field, and Steve Berryhill is humbled and honored.

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