OVAC Hall of Fame Banquet set for Saturday

By Jeff Harrison

For The Times Leader

WHEELING — The Ohio Valley Athletic Conference will honor its own once again Saturday when the 11th annual OVAC Hall of Fame Ceremony takes place with the induction of the Class of 2014.

WesBanco Arena in Wheeling will again be the site of the OVAC Hall of Fame Banquet, with 19 individual associated with the conference taking their place among the elite who have helped make the OVAC – embarking on its 72nd year – one of the premier high school athletic leagues in the nation.

This year’s inductees (with the person accepting for those deceased or unable to attend), include:

OVAC ‘Family’ – Bill Brubaker, OVAC Swimming Championship Meet Director

OVAC ‘Contributor’ – James Companion, Scholastic Sports Marketing, LLC

Coaches – Jim Potts (Cameron) and Bob Roe (Warwood/Wheeling)

Official – Jack Prettyman (Moundsville)

1940s Athlete – Paul Rickards (Wheeling)

1950s Athletes – Mike Ingram (Bellaire) and Jim Kerr (St. Clairsville)

1960s Athletes – Alan Jack (Wintersville) and James ‘Junior’ Moore (Wheeling)

1970s Athletes – Rick Coles (Wheeling Park) and Gordon Gordon (John Marshall)

1980s Athletes – Stan Boroski (Buckeye South) and Mike Smith (Buckeye Trail)

1990s Athletes – Chad Brinker (Martins Ferry) and Eddie Drummond (Linsly)

2000s Athlete – David Bertolino (Buckeye Local), Karrie Hutchins (Wheeling Park) and Dan Stephens (Linsly)

Five “Legends of OVAC Member Schools” will also be recognized at the banquet, including Porter Mackey (East Liverpool), Connie Sanford Richardson (Caldwell), Andy Tonkovich (Benwood Union), John Wood (Magnolia) and Bill Young (Martins Ferry).

The “Legends” category recognizes athletes and coaches who competed prior to the inception of the OVAC in 1943 or while their schools were not members of the conference.

This year’s group of inductees bring the five-year total of Hall of Famers to 198, with 50 others honored in the “Legends” category.

A special Distinguished Service Award will be presented to the Maintenance Staff at WesBanco Arena, which has prepared the facility for countless OVAC functions over the years.

Plaques of the OVAC Hall of Fame inductees are on permanent display at WesBanco.

The OVAC Hall of Fame selection committee includes Tom Rataiczak, executive secretary/treasurer of the OVAC; Jeff Harrison, sports editor of The Daily Jeffersonian in Cambridge; Doug Huff, retired sports editor of The Intelligencer in Wheeling; Robert “Bubba” Kapral, managing editor of The Times Leader in Martins Ferry; Ron Mauck, long-time OVAC Wrestling Championship director; Kelly Rine, athletic director at St. Clairsville High School; Tom Tisher, teacher at Magnolia High School; Dick Wolf, former East Liverpool City Schools Board of Education member; Don Zinni, former OVAC Football Commissioner; Seth Staskey, sports editor of The Times Leader in Martins Ferry; and Bob Koch, director of the Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Football Game.

John Sorrenti, former sports director of WEIR radio, will again serve as master of ceremonies while a Sports World representative will offer the invocation and benediction.

Dinner will be served at 5:30 and the induction ceremony starts at 6:30.

Tickets for the banquet are still available by contacting the OVAC office at (740) 671-3269 no later than Wednesday. The cost is $30 per ticket or tables of eight for $240.