Tommy Mantia came to Stivers from Holy Family Elementary. He was an outstanding athlete in football and gymnastics. He was a three year letterman for Coach Joe Sullivan in gymnastics, participating on the rings, parallel bars, and pummel horse.
Tom was the city champ on the rings and placed third at the state meet. Tom also lettered three years in football for Coach Dick Landis who said “pound for pound, he was the strongest player on the team.”
He was only 5’5” tall and weighed 155 lbs. Teamed with Jim Campbell, the other outside linebacker at 5’7” and 140 lbs., together they were named “Midget Monsters” by Dayton Daily News writer Marty Williams. They were an integral part of a defense that gave up only 9.5 points per game on the best Stivers football team of the 1960’s.
Tom was named to the All-City Second Team Defense in 1966. That 1966 football team competed for the City League Championship and were, for a while, ranked in the state.
They had big wins over Dunbar (14-6), Monroe (14-8), Fairview (16-6), Wilbur Wright (24-12), and Meadowdale (36-6) but lost to City Champ Belmont (6-0). After graduating from Stivers, Tommy went heavily into body building. He placed second in the Mr. Southern Ohio Physique Contest.
Later, he was involved with the Holiday Health Club.
Tom passed away at an early age, leaving behind many family members and friends. He is buried in Woodland Cemetery.