Bellaire to add three to Hall
Three more members of the Bellaire High School athletic family will soon take their place on the wall of the high school cafeteria as the newest inductees to the BHS Wall of Fame.
This marks the 23rd class of WOF inductees since it was established back in 1984, a year after the BHS Hall of Fame was created.
These new inductees will be recognized at halftime of the Bellaire-John Marshall football game on Saturday where they will be formally inducted.
This year’s inductees are Mike Dunfee (’93), Rich Materkoski (’98), and Norm Papola (’69).
Class of 1993
A three-sport standout at BHS, Dunfee earned nine letters in football, basketball, and baseball. A three-year letterwinner in football, Dunfee served as captain his senior year. He also earned two letters performing on the basketball team for Gene Ammirante.
But it was baseball where he excelled, playing and lettering all four years. His senior year he earned All-OVAC, All-Valley, and All-Eastern Ohio honors.
Upon graduation, Dunfee headed to Jefferson City, Tennessee, where he enrolled at Carson-Newman College. He made an instant impression on the diamond and played and lettered all four years, serving as captain his junior and senior year. His senior year, he earned All-Conference honors.
Dunfee currently teaches and coaches at Gordon Lee High School (Chickamauga City Schools) and lives in Ringgold, Georgia, with his wife, Stacy Lynn, and two children: Abbey Grace (9) and Nathan Oliver (7).
RICH MATERKOSKI, Class of 1998
During his four years at Bellaire, Materkoski earned ten letters in football, basketball, and track. A three-year letterwinner in football, he played on three consecutive OVAC championship teams, three Regional championship teams, and two State runner-up squads, for a record of 38-3. Earning All-OVAC, All-Eastern District, and All-Ohio honors, he became the first wide receiver to garner 1,000 yards receiving (1,334). He was also selected to play in the Ohio-West Virginia All-Star game.
During the winter, he earned three letters and two trips to Athens for the regional tournament.
Averaging 14 points and 8 rebounds, he earned post-season plaudits for All-Eastern Ohio and All-OVAC.
In track, Materkoski earned four letters from Coach Monte Miller as a standout sprinter and hurdler. During his junior and senior seasons, he competed in five events in the giant Ohio State Track Meet, earning a sixth-place finish in the 110M hurdles.
Upon graduating, he went to Wheeling Jesuit University and competed for the Cardinals in the 400M hurdles as well as being a member of the record-setting 4x400M relay team. He finished his college career at Ohio University, receiving a degree in education in 2003. He later earned his Masters from the University of Cincinnati in 2010.
Materkoski has been teaching/coaching at Martins Ferry High School for seven years where he works as the head track coach and co-offensive coordinator in football.
He and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Wheeling with their son, Mason.
NORM PAPOLA, Class of 1969
While he participated and lettered in football and track at BHS, Papola’s claim to Wall of Fame status came after he graduated from Bellaire High School. After graduating from Jefferson County Technical Institute in 1971 and gaining employment, Papola did something few Big Reds can claim they did: he dedicated his life to serving his school.
Over 35 years of service to the Bellaire Big Reds Touchdown Club, Papola has performed as secretary, vice-president, and trustee, in addition to serving seven consecutive years as president.
For three decades he has worked on all major fundraising efforts for the boosters: from All-American Days festivals to street fairs to 300 Club (captain for over 25 years) and was the first NFL Club chairman. He also founded and has served as a five-time chairman for the Bellaire Touchdown Club Golf Scramble.
Also extremely active in track, Papola spearheaded the TD Club effort to replace the all-weather track (a track that was first installed when he was a senior), and has worked on the Bellaire Relays committee for decades, acting as chairman (3 times) and co-chairman (3 times) of the Relays, Girls’ Invitational, and Junior High Meets.
After serving on the football chain gang for 27 years, he “retired” to help out by taking stats for the current Big Reds. He also initiated the Sportsmanship Award for the Bellaire-Martins Ferry football game.
In 2006, he was recognized by the BHS Alumni Association with an Achievement Award in civics. While he works for East Ohio Regional Waste Water and resides in St. Clairsville with his wife, Diane Coutz Papola, Norm continues to do what he has done for decades: see that our athletes get the best, and support the Big Reds in all sports.
A reception will be held at the Bellaire Sons of Italy following the game.
The public is invited and tickets are available at the door.