STEVE HEMMELGARN - Sports Writer - firstname.lastname@example.org
VIENNA — At its 21st annual induction banquet Saturday evening, the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame added 10 new enshrinees to its rolls as the Class of 2018 was taken into the hall.
The inductees were Jack Clark and Mark Eliopulos from Washington County; Linda Moyer Burdette-Good, Jack Greathouse and Catharine Worstell from Wood County; Mike Jaccar, Scott Ludwig and Luke Salmons from Jackson County; and Rodney Watson and Erica Dawn Whipkey from Wirt County.
Clark, now deceased, was not only Fort Frye’s initial first-team all-Ohio basketball player in 1962, but also the Cadets’ first-ever 1,000-point career scorer. Clark was also on Dell Sports Magazine’s All-American Top 500 list of prep basketball players in the U.S and led Fort Frye to its first state Final Four appearance.
Former Belpre High School football coach Ralph Holder said that when Eliopulos played for him, he was “simply the best linebacker and offensive tackle” that Belpre had ever had.
All-Tri-Valley Conference three times, Eliopulos was the league MVP as a senior after leading the TVC in tackles as both a junior and a senior. At WVU, Eliopulos started his last two years at linebacker.
On Saturday, Eliopulos said that “all my success in sports was a team effort. My coaches, parents, friends and teammates all wanted the best for me.”
Burdette-Good, a Parkersburg native, was head coach for WVU women’s gymnastics for 37 years (1975-2011) in compiling a record of 644-263-4 (.706). The first WVU coach to have over 600 career wins, surpassed by just Bob Huggins, she amassed 35 winning seasons, guided her teams to four national championship appearances and 10 conference titles, and produced a number of individual All-Americans, including Shari Retton, sister of Olympic champion Mary Lou Retton.
Burdette-Good noted that she had “outstanding teachers growing up” in Parkersburg and gave Jerry Spencer credit for teaching girls gymnastics in Wood County.
“I had a wonderful career, but it was a lot of work, a lot of hours, but never one that I considered a job.”
Greathouse has been an athlete, coach and principal over the last 45 years. At Parkersburg South from 1972-75, he was a three-year starter in basketball, started at multiple positions (5 total) in football and in track, threw the shot for a then-school record 50 feet, one inch. After playing basketball at Salem College, he successfully coached boys basketball at Spencer, Marietta and Lancaster high schools, before he became the principal at Lancaster from 2009 to when he retired in 2017.
Greathouse recalled growing up on the southside of Parkersburg, mentioning his middle school coaches Dave Fletcher and Fred Holbert, who “really influenced me,” he said.
Then after college, “Jim Hamric gave me an opportunity at Spencer High,”said Greathouse, to start his coaching career.
“My all-star team is my bride Sandy of 39 years, and our kids and grandkids.”
And even though he now lives in South Carolina, “my roots are here, so it’s great to be home for this tonight,” added Greathouse.
At Ravenswood High School, Jaccar was both first-team all-state basketball (1972) and baseball selections (1971 and 1972) before heading to junior college at Richlands Community College, where he was all-league in basketball (1972-74), and then at SMU (1974-76), where he led the Southwest Conference in assists and was chosen as the all-SWC point guard in 1976. After also playing baseball at SMU, Jaccar was drafted by the Texas Rangers and played A and AA professional baseball.
Ludwig spent time playing basketball in West Virginia from 1975-1983. At Ripley High School as a three-year starter, he was the team’s leading scorer as a junior and a senior. Ludwig was chosen to the Jackson County all-century basketball team. At Glenville State for three years, two as a starter, Ludwig tallied over 1,000 points, and had the top free-throw shooting percentage in the country as a senior after the highest field-goal accuracy nationally as a junior.
“This is a day I’m never going to forget,” said Ludwig. “It’s quite an honor.
“My dad was always there for me,” but died just last year, “so I know he’s looking down on me.”
Salmons, a three-sport (football, baseball, wrestling) athlete at Ravenswood from 1995-99, was a two-time all-stater in football as well as the 1998 Hunt Award winner, a state champion wrestler at 285 pounds, and both the starting pitcher and all-state hurler for the 1999 Class AA baseball state champions. He went on to become a three-year starter for Marshall football under head coach Bob Pruitt and coached in Kentucky, where Salmons was voted the state high school football coach of the year.
“This (hall of fame) is a bigger deal that I thought it was,” said Salmons. “It’s a great honor to be inducted, and I thank you all.”
Watson was a three-sport, four-year letterman at Wirt County High School from 1970-1973. In baseball, he was both all-LKC first team and Class A all-state first team his senior year, when he was captain. In football, he was first-team all state his junior and senior years at linebacker as well as being the area scoring champion with 120 points as a fullback in 1972 and runner-up for the Kennedy Award his senior year. He had an overall wrestling record of 75-9-3, finishing fourth in the state as a freshman, undefeated as a sophomore until the regional finals, three-year LKC and regional champions and two-year state runner-up.
Whipkey gained most of her athletic honors in volleyball, but also in basketball at Wirt County High School (1995-99), where she scored 1,094 points for the Tiger. She was the 1998 Gatorade state high school volleyball player of the year, captain twice of the all-state first team as a junior and senior, and three-time first-team all-state selection. At Alderson Broaddus for college, Whipkey in 2000 was fourth in the nation in hitting percentages, and a second-team WVIAC pick in 2001.
“My mom and dad were always there for me, and still are,” said Whipkey.
Worstell excelled in three sports at Parkersburg High School from 1989-1991, but gained her most fame in track. She was Gatorade’s W.Va. girls track athlete of the year for 1991, placing first at state in the high jump and long jump, second in the shot put and third in the discus to claim high-point honors. She set two school records that still exist — 124 feet in the discus and 39 feet, 5 1/2 inches in the shot. In 1991 too in the Gazette Relays, Worstell was a one-woman team for PHS and finished ahead of 10 other Class AAA teams.
“I’m truly, truly honored as a hall of fame inductee,” said Worstell, who gave thanks to her track coaches Susan Gardner in high school at PHS and Rod O’Donnell in college at Kent State, then closed with “I’m glad that I’m this hall of fame.”