Five to be inducted into hall of fame as OVAC Legends

WHEELING — Four honored prep athletes, and college performers, plus a highly successful high school coach will be recognized in the 19th class of Legends of Ohio Valley Athletic Conference schools.

The five Legends selections will be feted at the 20th annual OVAC Hall of Fame banquet on Saturday, August 10 at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling.

The honorees include Reyman (Bud) Bonar, an honored Bellaire High athlete and University of Notre Dame football player; Mike Carson, a record-setting basketball player at Sistersville and West Virginia U. cager; Brian Jonard, a multiple state champion in cross country and track at Caldwell, and an honored college athlete at Marshall; Rod Oldham, the architect of the ultra-successful Parkersburg South wrestling program and state championship coach; and Joe White, a record-setting basketball player at Magnolia and University of Southern California cager.

The OVAC Hall of Fame, sponsored by Bob Robinson, and the OVAC Sports Museum are located inside WesBanco Arena.

The Legends of OVAC schools honor athletes and coaches who competed prior to the conference start in 1943 or while their schools were not OVAC members.

Capsule summaries of the Legends’ honorees follow:

REYMAN (BUD) BONAR (Bellaire, Class of 1927) — The 5-foot-8, 170-pound quarterback was an All-Valley honoree as the Big Reds captured Ohio Valley Athletic Association titles two straight years. He also competed in baseball.

He originally committed to Princeton University before enrolling at Georgia Tech and playing freshman football in 1929. He transferred to the University of Notre Dame for his final three seasons and lettered, and started, in 1933 plus 1934. In 1933, he drop-kicked the extra point which led the Irish to a 13-12 upset of previously-unbeaten and top-ranked Army.

He returned to the Ohio Valley and was head football coach at his alma mater from 1949-58. His record of 61-25-7 was the winningest at the school until broken by current OVAC Hall of Fame honoree John Magistro. He coached the Big Reds to their first two OVAC titles (Class AA) in 1950 and 1954 including an unbeaten 8-0-1 record in 1950.

He also served as Big Reds’ athletic director until his death in 1970. Bonar was one of the four charter inductees in the 1987 Bellaire High Hall of Fame class.

MIKE CARSON (Sistersville, Class of 1969) — The 6-foot-7 Tiger basketball center was a four-year prolific scorer and rebounder with school career records in both categories. He finished career with 2,269 points — 3rd best in Ohio Valley history at the time.

A three-time 1st Team Class A all-state honoree, and captain as junior and senior, he also was 1st Team all-class “Big” All-State two years and 3rd team as a sophomore. He also was 1st Team All-Valley “Small School” captain the 1st team years of selections in 1968 and 1969 when the Tigers went 22-3 and 20-4.

As a freshman, he anchored Tigers to sectional and regional titles and a berth in state Class A tournament. He averaged over 30 points a game in final two seasons and 22.4 rebounds a game as a senior. He set a sophomore OV and state record 54 points vs. Wirt County and also tallied 61 points vs. Wirt as a senior. Carson earned All-America mention from Scholastic Coach, Cage Scope and Basketball Yearbook.

He earned a scholarship to West Virginia U. where he was a starter on the freshman team as the second leading rebounder while averaging 10.9 points. A chronic ankle injury limited his varsity play including missing one season. He lettered on the 1972 varsity.

He resides in Tyler County.

BRIAN JONARD (Caldwell, Class of 1977) — The four-year letterman in track and cross country won six Ohio Class A state championships for the Redskins. In cross country, he won district qualifiers and state crowns both as a sophomore and senior. His state winning times were 9:59.7 in 1974 and 10:07 in 1976.

In track, the distance runner claimed four Class A state titles after winning district qualifiers. He captured the two-mile state final three times (9:46.4 in 1975, 9:44.8 in 1976 and 9:45.4 as a senior). He also won the state one-mile crown in 4:26.6 as a senior when he single-handedly led the Redskins to a fifth place team finish.

He was inducted in 1998 to the Ohio Track and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame and, in 2019, he was an inductee into the East District Track & Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

In college, Jonard was a two-time All-Southern Conference cross country runner as a freshman and sophomore at Marshall. In his first year, he placed third in the conference meet as the Thundering Herd won the team team. The next year, he was fourth in the conference meet as the Herd was team runner-up. He also lettered in 1980 at Ohio State University.

ROD OLDHAM (Ripley, Class of 1955) — The architect of the ultra-successful Parkersburg South wrestling program was the school’s first mat coach starting in 1967 and never looked back. He guided the Patriots to their first four state one-class wrestling titles (1975, 1983-84-85) and was named West Virginia Wrestling Coach of the Year four times.

Before his retirement in 1986, he had coached 30 individual state champions including four three-time titlists in Jim Weatherholt, Brad Dornick, Rich Underwood and Darren Moore.

In 2003, he was honored with a “Lifetime Service to Wrestling” award by the West Virginia chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

A native of New Martinsville, he graduated from Ripley High School, Glenville State College and did graduate work at both West Virginia U. and Marshall.

He is deceased.

JOE WHITE (Magnolia, Class of 1943) — A three-sport prep athlete in football, basketball and baseball, he excelled in the hoop sport by earning All-State mention three years including 2nd Team, all-class honors as a senior center. A two0year team co-captain, he led the Blue Eagles to the 1943 largest Class A regional tournament finals where he scored 20 points in a 49-23 loss to eventual state champion Wheeling High. As a senior, he set a school record with a 38-point game (rare in low scoring era), which lasted 15 years until broken by OVAC and West Virginia U. Hall of Famer Jim McCormick.

After serving in the U.S. Army from 1943-45, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound forward remained on the West Coast and enrolled at the University of Southern California. He lettered four seasons in basketball and started as a senior while selected as the Most Inspirational Player. His teammates included two National Basketball Hall of Famers — Bill Sharman and Alex Hannum. White’s best scoring game was 21 points vs. Stanford.

After college, he served as a long-time basketball coach and athletic director at Allan Hancock Junior College in Santa Maria, Calif. The Gymnasium at the now four-year college is named for him as well as the annual fund-raising banquet. White gave Pro Football Hall of Fame coach John Madden his first coaching job.

White was honored in the first class of Magnolia High School Life Achievement Awards.

He is deceased.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today