Everyone enjoys leftovers.
Here are a few from the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame banquet, which took place last Saturday night in Vienna at the Grand Pointe Conference and Reception Center.
The Mid-Ohio Valley Hall of Fame honors past sports greats from West Virginia counties Jackson, Wood, Wirt, Pleasants and Ritchie along with Ohio counties Washington and Noble.
MILLER TIME: Ben Miller, an elite runner while at Ravenswood High School, became the latest Jackson Countian to be honored.
Miller, who was a part of the 10-member Class of 2017, was unable to attend the ceremony due his military duties.
What Miller did as a runner at Ravenswood and later Kentucky is certainly impressive. But the love he has shown for his country is what truly stands out.
He made his family and all of Jackson County proud on Saturday night.
Our country is blessed to have dedicated individuals like Ben Miller.
WISE-MAN LEADETH: Ravenswood’s Jack Wiseman led the evening’s affairs as president of the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame committee. It was good to see Jack in this role. Last fall he suffered a stroke and soon after lost his beloved wife, Judy.
Jack continues to make great progress and is now doing water therapy.
A MOV Hall of Fame inductee in 2005, Jack’s fight and determination goes back to his playing and coaching days.
Seeing him up front on the dais was one of the evening’s great scenes.
AMONG GREATNESS: I’m fortunate to be a part of the committee as a Jackson County representative. Saturday evening I had the pleasure of sitting at a table with not one, not two but three Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Famers in Bob Hill (1999), Jim Hamric (2015) and Kenny Wright (2003).
Hill was inducted as a Washington County representative in the Hall of Fame for his outstanding football work as head coach at Fort Frye and Warren Local.
Hill’s great career included five years as Ripley’s head football coach from 1959-63. I’ve had many wonderful conversations with Coach Hill through the years. Among my favorite stories he shared while serving as head coach for the Vikings was that of a particular starting quarterback. It just happened to be his younger brother, Ralph, who enjoyed a very successful professional career as an athletic administrator.
Hamric was inducted as a Wood Country representative for his tremendous leadership as Parkersburg High School’s athletic director. Of course, he is also well-known for the great job he did as Spencer High’s head football coach for many years. A Spencer native, his 1991 Yellow Jacket team claimed the Class AA state championship and became the first in state history to go 14-0.
His 1990 Spencer team was the state runner-up. Two of the team’s wins in the playoffs took place at Ripley’s Memorial Stadium, where he coached against Viking teams many times during his career at Spencer. Jim also was Roane County High School’s first head football coach before moving into administration.
Without question, I have developed a special friendship with Jim over the years.
Wright is indeed “Mr. Ritchie County.” He had great football teams as the head coach for old Pennsboro High School and later Ritchie County High. For many years he served as director for the North-South Football Classic (this year’s game will be played on Saturday at UC Stadium), which is how our friendship took off.
During his Pennsboro days, Wright helped mold Ripley’s Jim Frashier (a MOV Hall of Famer with the Class of 2002) in his early coaching days. Frashier would return to his alma mater and was simply one of the best as an assistant for Viking head coaches Mike Reed, Steve Stoffel and the late Frank Marino.
THE GREAT SANTINI: Speaking of Bob Hill, 2017 Hall of Famer Martin Santini recognized him during his speech on Saturday evening. Santini was inducted for his success as Warren Local’s long-time head wrestling coach. He became Ohio’s second winningest coach for dual match victories (314) in the sport during his time leading the Warrior program. His teams also had over 1,500 tournament victories during his lengthy career.
Santini thanked Hill for “teaching me how to be a coach.” Santini was one of Hill’s football assistants while at Warren Local.
A GREAT REED: Paul Reed, a football and track and field star at St. Marys High School in the late 1970s, was one of 10 inductees Saturday night. His head football coach while at St. Marys was Ripley’s Keith Winter, who by the way played for Bob Hill during his days as a Viking.
Winter has told me many stories about Reed’s football excellence. He totaled 5,662 yards in his career on the football field. He is the only male to win the High Point Trophy at the State Track and Field Meet three straight years. Reed was a pure talent in the 100 (yards), 220, 440 and long jump during his career.
He earned a football scholarship to WVU but an injury derailed his career.