Off The Tee: Showalter event leaves lasting legacy

The chilly breeze and wet conditions couldn’t dampen the spirits of the numerous golfers that converged on Belmont Hills Country Club on Wednesday morning for the 10th annual Jeffrey Showalter Classic Golf Tournament.

There was an air of bittersweetness about the course, though.

That’s because Wednesday’s event was the last.

”We’re getting tired,” said Ted Showalter, tournament organizer and father of Jeffrey, who died in a 2004 accident.

”We don’t want this to start going downhill. We want this to end on a high note with a full slate of people.

”We thought 10 was a great number.”

Numbers one through nine weren’t bad, either.

Sponsored by the Ohio Valley Christian Soldiers, the event has raised countless dollars for various groups and organizations throughout the Ohio Valley.

”We’ve raised more than $300,000 in that time and we’ve given it all back to the community,” Showalter noted. ”We think that’s a good number and it’s time to step out.”

Showalter stressed 100 percent of proceeds from the event benefit area citizens.

”We couldn’t be more blessed,” he said.

Some of the celebrities that showed up to tee off Wednesday included former Ohio State running back and two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin; professional kickboxer Bernard “Swiftkick” Robinson and his son Bernard “Swiftkick” Robinson, Jr.; local favorites Bob Bruney and Bob Butts; Bob Cook; Brock Woods (Wheeling Thunderbirds/Nailers); Claudio Reilsono; Devon McDonald (Notre Dame/Indianapolis Colts); Don Donatelli; Doug Donley; Ed Breehl; Frank Marchlewski; Frank Thomas; George Wilson; Gerry Myers; Herman Weaver (Detroit Lions); Ike Kelley; Jamie caleb; Jeremy Uhlenhake (Ohio State); Jim Bradshaw (Pittsburgh Steelers); Jim Herren; Jim Rooker (Pittsburgh Pirates); John Candelaria (Pittsburgh Pirates); John Stofa (NFL); John Thierry; Kirk Mee; Lance Mehl (Bellaire, Penn State, N.Y. Jets); Les Cheney; Marv Kellum (Pittsburgh Steelers); Mel Blount (Pittsburgh Steelers); Mike Ciccirella; Paul Filla; Pete Gonzalez (Pitt); Randy Grossman (Pittsburgh Steelers); Robin Cole (Pittsburgh Steelers); Rod Morris; Sal Genilla; Sid Bream (Pittsburgh Pirates/Atlanta Braves); Todd Erdos (N.Y. Yankees); and Travis Hughey.

”Several of them are sad this will be the last year,” Showalter said. ”They’ve been quoted many times saying this is the best golf event they play in all year.

”We’ve been very fortunate enough to be able to put this together and do what we thought was right and make it fun and enjoyable for everyone.”

And it wouldn’t have happened without a large contingent of volunteers and sponsors.

”It’s been a great event for 10 years and it’s been a healing process for me,” Showalter said. ”All the people around me have made this so easy. All the volunteers, sponsors and professional athletes.

”We had high hopes (when it started), but we had no idea we’d have 40 celebrities every year with no problems. Some of the names we’ve gotten over the years have been pretty amazing. The teams, they kept coming back, and the sponsors, they supported us 100 percent.’

As he thought about the event’s legacy, Showalter smiled and looked around at all the folks milling about the course.

”This is a day where people come together and celebrate people we’ve lost,” he said. ”We learn to move forward with all these positive people.

”You can just see it here … the positive people, the positive energy. It’s amazing and uplifting some of the things that have taken place here and some of the friendships that have been made.”

Wheeling Country Club Results

Rico Simonetti fired a three-day total of 219 to win the Wheeling Country Club men’s Club & Class Championship.

Joe Blalock (222) was second, followed by Alex Saseen (223) and Jay Adams (230).

Joe Marchlenski won the Class 1 Flight (140), while Gene Fahey was second. Tim Leonard captured lass 2 with a 135, two shots ahead of John Wright IV. Jeff Shultz’s 139 gave him the Class 3 title. Christian Miller and Dave Zatezalo (142) tied for second.

Wheeling Park Golf Club Results

Art Lightner and Roger Kupfer teammed up for a 29 in Scotch Twosome play this past Sunday.

Jim Ennis and Bob Green (33) were second, followed by Gary Mercer and Chris Bommer (33), Orie Robinson and David Coram (34). The tandems of Bob McLaughlin and Nick Klamut and Robbie Evans and Doug Miller both had 36.

Tom Pinkerton and Bob Geyer scored 29 to claim handicap play. Shawn Schwertfeger and Dave Sollick were second (30). The following duos all carded 31 – Paul Alig Sr. and Paul Alig Jr., Dick Moore and Dave Stauver, and Stan Taylor and Joe Kosar.

In two-man scramble action, Moore and Stauver were first (30). Schwertfeger and Dave Sollick were second (30), followed by Mercer and Bommer (31), and Evans and Miller, Robinson and Coram, and Lightner and Roger Kupfer, all with 32.

The duos of Russ Travis and Dennis Porter, Tom Pinkerton and Geyer, and McLaughlin and Klamut all had 27 in handicap play. The following tandems scored 29 – Dave Slonaker-Mark Hartline, Alig Sr.-Alig Jr., Bill Caldwell-Bob Doran, Tom Mitchell and Tony Campbell, and Jim Druschel and Mike Crow.

Senecaville Senior League

Eight duos posted 2-0 victories in action at Robins’ Ridge Golf Course.

They were – Coblenz-Arnold over Peters-Hartley; Pontius-Harr over Stevens-Hartley; Allender-Davis over Gander-Wickham; Koegler-Robinson over Williams-Ruppel; Clapper-Magers over Millhone-Ullmann; Pilck-McJessey over Trott-Kapolka; Samida-Bell over Spratt-Christman; and Bodner-McGee over St. Clair-Carpenter. Stavroff-Mayberry and Schultice-Modock finished deadlocked 1-1.

Bodner-McGee had the low gross (35), while Samida-Bell had the low net (34).


Senior Event

One of the oldest tournaments in the Ohio Valley will tee it up on Aug. 25 at Wheeling Country Club.

The Ohio Valley Seniors Golf Association, consisting of clubs from Belmont Hills, Cadiz, East Liverpool, Moundsville, Steubenville, Wheeling and Williams Country Club, will hold its event at Wheeling CC.

This will be a medal and handicap event for players over 50. The age groups are 50-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79 and 80 and above.

Dan Daily is the defending champion in the event and the overall team victor was the squad from Belmont Hills.

For more information, contact Phil Pata at 695-0691.



The inaugural Dominick Nardo Memorial Scholarship Golf Scramble will be held on Saturday, Sept. 20 at Belmont Hills Country Club with a shotgun start slated for 9 a.m. The entry fee is $125 per player and that includes golf, lunch, beverages, snacks, dinner and prizes.

For more information, to register a team or become a sponsor, please contact Mike Drake (740-310-1271), Staci Butkus (740-391-0877) or Melissa Freeman (740-391-9491.

THE 32ND annual St. Joseph’s Tiltonsville Holy Name Society golf scramble will be held Saturday at Fairway River Links. The event will begin with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. and the cost is $50 per golfer, which includes golf, cart and all day food and beverages. Trophies and prizes will be awarded and there will be a closest to the pin competition. Hole sponsorships are available for $25. For more information or to register, please contact Fairway River Links at 740-859-9304 or 859-2698.

  • The Annual John Marshall Softball Golf Scramble will be held Saturday at the Moundsville Country Club. The four-person scramble begins at 2 p.m., with registration at 1 p.m.

Entry fee is $70 per person or $280 per team, and includes 18 holes of golf with cart, food & beverages. Cash prizes will be presented to the top two teams, and there will also be individual awards.

For more information, please contact Ed West at 304-845-1651.


The 12th annual Barnesville Hospital Auxiliary Golf Scramble will be played at Belmont Hills Country Club on Monday, Aug. 11 with the tournament beginning with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m.

The entry fee is $120 and that includes golf, beverages, lunch and dinner, along with several contests and various skill games.

Doan Ford is sponsoring a hole-in-one prize of a 2014 Ford Fusion if a player records a hole-in-one on the par 3 second hole.

According to a release on the scramble, the event is held to serve as a community outreach event for the hospital and also to serve as a fundraiser for the auxiliary. The Barnesville Hospital Auxiliary recently donated $250,000 to the hospital’s Emergency Department Expansion and renovation project.

For more information, please contact Joe Jeffries at 740-425-5108 or Michael Carpenter at 740-425-5109.