OVAC Shrine

THE OHIO Valley Athletic Conference once again puts its best foot forward Saturday night with the enshrinement of the ninth class into its Hall of Fame.

THE OVAC is the largest functioning conference in the nation. It is also one of the finest.

The Hall of Fame — headquartered at Wheeling’s WesBanco Arena — was initiated to pay tribute to its glorious and tradition-rich past.

And what a past it is.

The OVAC has been in existence for some 70 years. During that time, the conference has played host to countless ultra-talented prep athletes. Many of whom went on to collegiate stardom and professional fame.

The OVAC Hall of Fame is more than just a shrine to honor athletes. The Hall is totally encompassing. Not only are former athletes honored, they are joined by worthy coaches, media, officials and family members (those who serve the conference in selfless fashion.)

The OVAC covers all bases.

Saturday night will feature the induction of 18 more individuals. They include: Tom Bechtel (OVAC Family); Jimmy Carey (OVAC Contributor); Red Donley (Media); Gene Ammirante and Gray Sprague (Coaches); Bill Tonini (Official) and athletes Eudie Joseph (1940s); Art Hehr and Joe Maroon (1950s); Dan Abramowicz and Dick Kerwood (1960s); Doug Swearingen and Alex Welker (1970s); Chris Starr and Shawn Vincent (1980s); Amber Ellison and Denver Williams (1990s); Kenny Howell (2000s).

Five “Legends” will also be recognized at the banquet. They include: Tony Carna, Jim George, Carter Howell, Dave Jones and Kenny Mikes.

It is an illustrious and well-deserving group of individuals.

Their enshrinement is the crowning glory to remarkable contributions to the conference.

We salute Saturday’s newest group of Hall of Famers. They are truly deserving of their tribute.

We also commend the OVAC for being a conference that takes pride in its glorious past.