There were few individual awards for high school athletes in the 1950’s but had there been, Keith Spitzer would have collected his share. Keith earned a total of 8 varsity letters, 4 each in football and baseball at HHS from 1954 through 1958.
Keith was a 3 year starting center and 4 year long snapper for Coach Claude Warren’s (HoF 2008) last winning 1957 football team. Daily News-Record sports editor Vincent Reilly (HoF 2008) referred to the group of 7 offensive linemen as “the best ever”. Keith Spitzer played center and earned all-district performer.
As a baseball player at both outfield and first base, Keith was a 4-year starter on the Southern Division Champion Baseball Team, averaging .320 at the plate. Beginning in high school Keith played 16 consecutive years with the Bridgewater Reds of the Rockingham County Baseball League. He batted .332 over those years and collected a total of 480 hits. In 2012 the RCBL inducted Keith to their Hall of Fame.
After his high school career ended, Keith spent many years working with the young athletes of Harrisonburg as a football and baseball coach for the Harrisonburg Department of Parks and Recreation. His Southern Rebels football teams won 5 city championships and were runner-up 5 times. His football all-star teams won 15 bowl games and lost only 3. Keith coached and helped develop many young athletes who played at Harrisonburg High School and beyond, including several HHS Hall of Fame members.
Keith continued as a community leader in Harrisonburg. As president of the Harrisonburg Jaycees, the chapter was recognized as #1 in Virginia and #2 in the nation in their population division. Keith was a member of the board of directors and co-chairman of the building committee of the 1st Tee program at Heritage Oaks golf course as well as serving on the boards of Friendship Industries and the Pear Street Halfway House.He served as Chairman of Industrial and Commercial Ministries and chaplain at PCA.