GAINING INDUCTION into a hall of fame is the pinnacle in any given profession.
The Ohio Valley Athletic Conference did a wise thing seven years ago when it launched a hall of fame to pay homage to an area dripping in athletic tradition and achievement.
The latest edition of the OVAC shrine will play out Saturday at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling. Another worthwhile class of inductees will receive its deserved homage.
We are very proud at the Times Leader as two more individuals with close ties to the newspaper are being enshrined.
Bill Davies and Rick DeLuca, major players in Times Leader annals, will join legendary Times Leader Sports Editor Cal Pokas in the HOF. Cal was a part of the inaugural class of enshrines.
DeLuca cut his journalistic teeth under Pokas some 40 years ago. Rick doesn't appear old enough to have invested that much time in the business. He now does yeoman's work for the OVAC, from compiling the conference standings in respective sports to serving as director for the OVAC Basketball Tournament, which he has helped build into a monster event.
Rick now is quite successful in the business world, operating DeLuca Realty.
All his professional achievements take a backseat to the type of individual Rick is -- a total gentleman, oozing with class.
Davies, meanwhile, served as one of my role models when I first entered the profession. He, along with Cal, were the two who took me under their respective wings to mold me as a newspaperman. I remain indebted to both.
Bill, who died a few years ago, was synonymous with Barnesville. He was sports editor and publisher of the Barnesville Enterprise from 1959 to 1994 while also contributing to The Times Leader.
During his younger days, Bill was a standout athlete, playing football, basketball and baseball during his prep days with the Shamrocks. He later went on to play semi-pro baseball, even competing against Major League Hall of Famer Ernie Banks as well as Charlie Pride who went onto become a country music legend.
Bill is also a member of the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Hall of Fame, just one of his countless media and civic awards.
The OVAC Hall of Fame has more than 100 members in its ranks, Rick and Bill make it an even more impressive fraternity.
MARTINS FERRY resident Ed Litten is a diehard Ohio State fan. Any doubts? Just check his residence which is adorned in Scarlet & Gray items.
So it was surprising when I encountered Ed outside our office Monday as he was holding a large envelope from Notre Dame. He said, "I owed him."
Ed was right.
Inside was a personalized autographed picture to me from Brian Kelly, ND's new head football coach. It is a gift I deeply appreciate.
Ed - despite bleeding Buckeye -- now has a Notre Dame pipeline. He is good friends with the Irish's new offensive line coach, Ed Warinner. Warinner is best of friends with Ed's son, Mark. They struck up a close friendship at Mount Union College in the 1980s and have remained tight ever since. Mark now lives in northern Ohio, quite successful in business while also being one of the state's premier basketball officials.
Warinner is a Strasburg native. He starred in football at Mount Union and also played baseball for the Purple Raiders. He has an extensive and impressive coaching resume, serving tours of duty at Kansas, Illinois, West Point and Michigan State.
Kelly named Warinner as ND's new O-line coach on Jan. 12 of this year. He had served as offensive coordinator at Kansas from 2007-2009. He was one of three finalists a year ago for the American Football Coaches Association's National Assistant Coach of the Year award.
ALL THE belt-tightening moves that then Martins Ferry Superintendent Nick Stankovich took earlier this year appear to be paying dividends. At Monday's board of education meeting, District Treasurer Al Skulich painted a optimistic picture.
FORMER HARRISON Central head boys' basketball coach Adam Pittis has been named assistant principal at Meadowbrook High School by the Rolling Hills Board of Education. Pittis is a Cadiz resident and a 1999 Claymont High grad. The Rolling Hills BOE also appointed Jesse Wells as athletic director and head wrestling coach. Earlier this year, Wells was named the Colts' head football coach.
KUDOS TO Bridgeport school district officials on their consolidation of bus routes which will prove a major cost savings in gasoline, not to mention wear and tear on the vehicles over the course of the school year.
THE NEW Bellaire Chamber of Commerce hours are Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, noon to 2 p.m., and Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
CONGRATULATIONS ARE in order for organizers of the Debbie Green Memorial Race staged Aug. 7. The race for a cause (battling cancer) attracted some 1,500 participants. That is huge. It goes to show once again that the Ohio Valley will come out and support a worthwhile cause.
That being said, I hope similar support is exhibited on Saturday, Sept. 4 when the 2nd Annual Awesome Autism 5k is held in Bellaire. Dennis Delbert, one of the Ohio Valley premier running experts, is helping to spearhead the race. It is an event worth supporting.
Kapral may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org