Mid Ohio Valley HOF Induction HeldBy Kenny Wright
Ten people were inducted in the 2018 Class of the Mid Ohio Valley Hall of Fame at last Saturday evening’s banquet held at the Grand Pointe Convention Center in Vienna.
Angie Lewis sang the National Anthem, followed by the invocation by Larry Butcher, committee member of St.Marys, prior to the dinner.
Jim Wharton, sports director of WTAP Television, was the Master of Ceremonies and did his usual great job.
Rod O’Donnell, president of the organization, along with Alan Haught and Buddy James introduced special guests to the group.
This year’s class included three women and seven men. Those honored were Jack Clark, Mark Eliopulos, Linda Moyer Burdette-Good, Jack Greathouse, Mike Jaccar, Scott Ludwig, Luke Salmons, Rodney Watson, Erica Whipkey and Catharine Worstell.
The late Jack Clark was an outstanding athlete at Fort Frye High School in Beverly,Ohio. His cousin accepted the award on his behalf. He was an outstanding baseball and basketball player for the Cadets. The 1962 graduate was the first player from Fort Frye to receive 1st team all State honors in the State of Ohio. After graduating from the University of Maryland, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates but his career ended when he was diagnosed by an unexpected illness.
Mark Eliopulos of Belpre, Ohio; following a great career at Belpre High School, went on to play football for the WVU Mountaineers. Eliopulos had his 89 year old father as a guest and gave him credit for helping him to be successful in life. He praised coaches Ralph Holder and Bob Perkins. Many remember Bob Perkins as being an outstanding athlete at Cairo High School in Ritchie County. Holder called Eliopulos the best linebacker and offensive tackle that has ever played at Belpre High School. He also had a lot of good things to say about the late Chuck Eddy, who coached basketball at Belpre. Eliopulos called Eddy one of the most positive people that he had ever been around. He said he and Coach Bobby Bowden still stay in contact.
Linda Moyer Burdette was gymnastics coach at West Virginia University for 37 years. The Parkersburg High graduate told of there being no sports for girls when she attended high school. “The only thing we had was the sports carnival each year.” She said she tried to learn as much as possible through these events. She took over the gynnastics program at WVU, in its 2nd year of existence and won 10 conference titles and was named Coach of the Year five times. Linda was inducted into the West Virginia University Hall of Fame in 2013.
Jack Greathouse is a graduate of Parkersburg South High School. Greathouse scored the first field goal in the new South gymnasium in 1974. Following high school Greathouse went on to Salem University and played for the Tigers when Archie Talley played there, His career in education has covered all aspects. He was a coach and later became principal at Lancaster High School in Lancaster, Ohio. His coaching career began as basketball coach at Spencer High School where he built a very successful program. He coached basketball at Marietta High School, prior to going to Lancaster High School. He retired as principal at Lancaster in 2017. Hepraised those who helped him succeed in life.
Mike Jaccar, who played point guard at Ravenswood High School, has had a very exciting life in basketball. He played college basketball at Southern Methodist University. He was all Southwest Conference as a point guard, averaging 10.6 points and 5.6 assists per game. Jaccar listed as the highlight of his career was meeting and spending time with the late John Wooden, former Hall of Fame Coach at UCLA. He explained that it was an unbelievableexperience and one he will always cherish. He has spent most of his life in the Dallas, Texas area.
Scott Ludwig is another inductee from Jackson County. Ludwig played at Ripley High School. He went to Potomac State, prior to attending Glenville College for his final three years of college. Playing for the Pioneers he scored over 1,000 points as a two year starter. Ludwig related to the group about missing a foul shot against Fairmont State that would have won the game but he missed and then the Falcons defeated the Pioneers in overtime. He vowed he would shoot 100 after every practice thereafter and he became the top foul shooter in the country his senior season. Ludwig was devastated when he lost his father last year and used a lot of his time speaking of him.
Luke Salmons of Ravenswood was a 1993 graduate of Ravenswood High School and was an outstanding athlete while there. Salmons, now the head football coach at Cabell Midland was a three sport athlete for the Red Devils; lettering in football, wrestling and baseball. In 1998 Salmons was the Hunt Award Winner, the award presented to the state’s best high schoollineman. While attending Ravenswood he was named all state in both football and baseball. In wrestling he was the state champion in the 275 lb. weight class. He said his entire life revolvesaround sports and he knows little about anything else. Playing at Marshall, he was a team captain under the coaching of Bob Pruitt.
Rodney Watson was very appreciative of being selected and he let it be known. His high school football coach at Wirt County High School, Chuck Gooseman, came back for his induction. As a senior at Wirt, Watson was runner-up for the Kennedy Award, the most prestigious award presented to a high school football player in West Virginia. As a high school wrestler he won 75 matches and was state runner-up in 1972-1973. He thanked God for blessing him with the talent to compete on a high level. His success as a football player earned him a scholarship at WVU. He praised his parents and all of those who were instrumental in his being inducted.
Erica Dawn Whipkey outstanding volleyball and basketball player at Wirt County High School was brief in her remarks but not in her achievements as a player Wirt County has built a tremendous volleyball program at the school and Whipkey has been one of their best. Following an illustrious volleyball career she went on to play at Alderson Broaddus where she was outstanding, also. The highlight of her career was being named Gatorade Player of the Year in West Virginia, Her junior and senior years in high school she was voted captain of the All State Volleyball Team. She scored over 1, 000 points as a basketball player, playing for the Tigers. She attributed her success to her wonderful parents.
Catherine Worstell was an excellent athlete at Parkersburg High School, from where she graduated in 1n 1991. She explained to the guests that she was not a public speaker and that this was her first time and she kept her remarks very brief. She thanked her parents and Coach Susan Gardner. She ran track, played basketball and volleyball while a Big Red. Her claim to fame was track. Worstell, in 1991, set two school records that still stand. She threw the discus 124-0 and threw the shot 39-5 ½ feet. These marks still stand today. She furthered her education at Kent State. She is currently fifth on Kent’s all time point list as a heptathlete.
The Hall of Fame Committee honored the late Jack Wiseman, past president of the HOF Committee with a plaque for his service. Tori Starcher, granddaughter of Wiseman, accepted the award on his behalf. Starcher of Ripley High School is one of the leading runners in the nation and recently scored 40 points in last spring’s state track meet. Prior to his death, Jack was one of her biggest supporters.
Mr. and Mrs. Don Ullmann handled the banquet planning and welcomed guests at the door.