Return of a native son to Blue Devil country
They had a point guard named Peanut Oliver and a hot-shot shooter named Don Weekley. Those were the days.
Their schedule included the likes of Belmont, Bethesda, Flushing, Hannibal, Powhatan and Sardis. Made for some memorable bus rides on a snowy winter’s night.
In the mid 50’s, their brand new gym was considered one of the jewels of the valley. The tiny community packed the house with regularity.
Weekley, Beallsville High Class of 1958, played the first game in the Blue Devils’ old barn. He intends to be there Tuesday for the Monroe County school’s final varsity tilt.
“It’s all going to depend on the weather,” said Weekley over the phone from his Grove City home in suburban Columbus. “If we catch a break and it’s not too bad, I’d love to be there. I’m definitely planning on it. What memories!”
Born in Jerusalem, Weekley went through Beallsville’s school system from seventh to 12th grade. Along the way, he met his future wife, then Jeannie Stanek of Bellaire.
“Her aunt and uncle brought her to see us play for the first time and I was excited,” Weekley recalled. “I remember scoring 43 that night. I think that record stood up quite a few years.”
Not all of Weekley’s Blue Devils’ teammates are still with us, including backcourt ace Charles Carpenter. “All of us loved the game. It was a totally enjoyable experience. You can ask the people who were born and raised there.”
Following graduation, Weekley did a four-year stint in the Air Force, was wed and raised three children. He and Jeannie have been married 52 years.
Weekley’s son, Donald, is a former Bellaire High and West Liberty athlete. Today, he serves as offensive line coach at a high school in Fort Myers, Fla. Another son is employed at a Home Depot. The couple’s daughter lives nearby.
Weekley keeps close contact with today’s Big Blue cagers via the internet. “I know they’re having a great season. It would really be nice to see them (close that facility) with a victory.”
BEALLSVILLE High athletic director Delmas Moore took a few moments to reminisce last week during a bring-down-the-curtain ceremony in the Blue Devils’ 55-year-old facility.
Moments later, Moore was surprised following his entrance into the school’s Legend’s Club, of which he is a much-deserving member. Moore accomplishments as a former athlete and current administrator are impressive to say the least. Without question, emotions will be running high Tuesday when Beallsville hosts Morgantown Trinity in a OVAC 1A semifinal hoop game….
WE’RE assuming the Brooks bothers (Nailers’ owners Jim and Rob) and city of Wheeling officials are pulling out all the stops to avoid losing the ECHL franchise to potential outside buyers. I was in the house for Friday’s game which attracted just under 3,000 supporters. That’s a number we’ve speculated in past columns the team is capable of bringing in on a regular basis with proper and improved marketing strategies….
Gibson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org