Bellaire to induct 20th Hall and Wall of Fame class
The 20th class of Bellaire High School athletic greats will be inducted into the Hall of Fame/Wall of Fame Saturday.
The Hall of Fame is located in the entryway to the gym and includes 49 of the best athletes to wear the red and black.
Inside the cafeteria is the Wall of Fame display which highlights the careers of 257 athletes, fans, supporters, coaches, and media. While the Hall focuses on professionals, state champions, and college standouts, the Wall honors those who excelled on the valley or state level or supported Bellaire athletic programs in various ways.
Here’s a capsule look at the honorees:
CHRIS ARNO was not a standout athlete by the time he graduated from Bellaire in 1990, he quickly made an impact on cross country and track when he returned after graduating from Ohio University.
From 1996, he has served as cross country coach and has been an assistant/junior high track for eighteen years. As coach of girls’ cross country, Arno made five Regional appearances, placing third (2002), runner-up (2003,2004), and winning the championship in 2005. His teams qualified for the State from 2002-2005, earning sixth place in 2005. He coached fifteen individual Regional qualifiers and had eight State quailifiers. He coached one two-time All-Ohio performer in Katie Antonik in 2004 and 2005. His girls won OVAC championships in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005.
His boys’ teams won the District championship five times and made five Regional appearances, earning runner-up honors in 2001 and 2002. Twice his teams made an appearance at the State meet. He coached 12 individual Regional qualifiers, five State meet qualifiers, and had one All-Ohio performer in Jed Perko in 2002. His boys won the OVAC championship in 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005.
His 2011 girls’ squad was named the OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity Award winner. Arno also received the Eastern District Coaches Award in 2003, 2004, and 2005, while winning the same award for boys in 2001 and 2002.
In track, he was part of the staff that captured five OVAC boys’ titles, six OVAC girls’ titles, as well as both a boys and girls Regional track title. He coached the first female pole vaulter in BHS history to qualify for the State meet, as well as the first 4 x 800 relay team and the first female 3200 runner.
Currently employed at the Bellaire Middle School, Chris is married to Bellaire alumni Ann Beck. He is the son of Bill and Janis Arno.
TODD FITCH, a 1982 BHS graduate, joins his father, Glenn ’56 (Wall of Fame, 1994), and brother, Dirk ’79 (Wall of Fame, 1999), in the Bellaire Wall of Fame. A standout performer in football and track at Bellaire, Fitch moved on to Ohio Wesleyan where he was a three-year starter as defensive back, earning All-League honors in 1985.
Following his playing days, he moved into the college coaching ranks and over the last twenty-seven years, has worked on some of the premier college staffs in the nation. After a brief period as a graduate assistant at Bowling Green in 1986, he moved into Division I schools where he has spent his entire career. He has had coaching stints at West Virginia University, Bowling Green, Colorado State, University of Connecticut, South Carolina, Iowa State, East Carolina, and South Florida. He has spent the bulk of his career on the offensive side of the ball, coaching quarterbacks, wide receivers, and running backs. Todd has been the Offensive Co-Ordinator at UConn, Iowa State, East Carolina, and South Florida watching many of his players go on to play in the NFL.
Fitch enjoyed huge bowl victories, including two Outback Bowl wins over Ohio State while at South Carolina. While at South Florida, his South Florida Bulls travelled to Notre Dame and defeated the Irish for one of the schools most exciting victories in their history.
During his twenty-seven years of Division I college experience, Fitch has had the opportunity to work with legendary head coaches Don Nehlen, Earl Bruce, Lou Holtz, and Skip Holtz. Todd just recently made the move to the Atlantic Coast Conference as he was hired to coach receivers at Boston College.
Todd and his wife, Julie, have two sons: Curtis and Peyton.
MIKE KAHL, Class of 1983 – Rugged, hard-nosed, leader, clutch performer, go-to guy, no-nonsense, and dependable are just a few words to describe Kahl.
During his freshman and sophomore years, Kahl played football, basketball, and baseball, earning a letter in baseball his sophomore year. His last two years were spent with football and basketball, lettering both years in both sports and serving as captain of both his senior year.
During his senior year, he was named to the All-OVAC teams in football and basketball and All-Eastern Ohio. Additionally, he was selected MVP of the Eastern Buckeye League in football. An outstanding defensive player in basketball, Kahl still holds the school records in taking charges in both a single game (4) and a season (19).
Upon graduation, Kahl enrolled at West Liberty State College where he played football for all four years, earning All-Conference honors his senior year.
Mike has spent his teaching career at Martins Ferry High School teaching special education in addition to serving the system as a coach at various levels.
TARA ROSEPAPA (Class of 1999) led the Lady Reds’ softball teams to OVAC championships three times: 1996, 1997, and 1999. She was named team MVP all four years of her career as well as being named to the All-OVAC and All-Eastern Ohio teams four times. Rosepapa was selected All-Eastern District her first three years in high school and made Eastern District Player-of-the-Year her senior year along with a second team All-Ohio award. She was the pitcher on the Eastern District All-Star Team in 1996, 1997, and 1998 and was a three-time OVAC Player-of-the-Year.
She still holds many of the pitching records at Bellaire to this day: most wins in a season (16), most wins in a career (51), most strike-outs in a game (16 v. St. Clairsville), most strikeouts in a season (167), most strikeouts in a career (598), most innings pitched in a game (11 v. Indian Creek), and most innings pitched in a career (500 1/3).
Upon graduation, she went to Marietta College where she served as pitcher and rightfielder. After her sophomore year, Wheeling Jesuit University started their softball program again, so she transferred there for her last two years, playing first base and right field and serving as co-captain her senior year.
DREW SPENCER, Class of 2000, earned seven letters in three sports while wearing the red and black. Serving as captain of both sports his senior year, Spencer also was awarded first-team honors in both sports for All-OVAC, All-Valley, and All-Eastern Ohio. Named to the All-State second team in football, Drew also participated in the All-Ohio All-Star Game.
After graduating, he decided to focus on football and enrolled at Tiffin University to play and letter all four years. For his sophomore, junior, and senior years, he served on the Blackwatch Leadership Council, and, during his senior season, was named team captain. He earned second team All-Conference accolades his sophomore and junior years, garnering first team honors his final season. Additionally, he was also selected Honorable Special Mention All-American.
Drew currently works for General Nutrition Center and resides in Dublin, Ohio.