Mid-Valley Sports Hall of Fame History

Mark Martin
Jackson Newspapers

VIENNA – While it won’t happen during its usual time of year, the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame Banquet is for the moment still going to take place in 2020.

The banquet had been slated for June 13 but due to COVID-19 was shifted to August 22.

The Grand Pointe Conference and Reception Center in Vienna will once again serve as the venue for the induction ceremony Saturday evening.

The unveiling of plaques ceremony will be staged the following day, August 23, inside the Grand Central Mall.

This year’s class will be the 23rd to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, which was the brainchild of the late sporting goods pioneer Bob Zide.

The Hall of Fame recognizes athletes, coaches and sports contributors in the West Virginia counties of Jackson, Wood, Wirt, Pleasants and Ritchie along with Ohio counties Washington and Noble.

Each year a new class of 10 is inducted and this year there will be three from Jackson County.

Former Ripley and West Virginia State football great James Abshire will be one of those.

Abshire will be joined by another former Viking in Chase Fischer, who went on to enjoy a successful college basketball career at the Division I level for Wake Forest and Brigham Young.

The Class of 2020 will also feature Ravenswood’s Josh Miller, who excelled in both baseball and football for the Red Devils before becoming an All-American on the diamond at West Virginia State.

Abshire, Fischer and Miller will be joined in the class by Maggie Drazba (Pleasants), Tyler Engle (Washington), Dail Harper (Noble), Mary Lopez (Wood), Paul Page (Wood), Jon Shuler (Washington) and Shane Smith (Wood).

Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame Jackson County inductees (including upcoming ceremony):

2020 – James Abshire (Ripley athlete), Chase Fischer (Ripley athlete), Josh Miller (Ravenswood athlete)

2019 – Andrew Benford (Ravenswood athlete)

2018 – Mike Jacaar (Ravenswood athlete), Scott Ludwig (Ripley athlete), Luke Salmons (Ravenswood athlete).

2017 – Ben Miller (Ravenswood athlete)

2016 – Mike Deem (Ripley coach/administrator), Ray Swisher (Ripley athlete/coach)

2015 – Jill (Balis) Cooke (Ravenswood athlete), Terry Landis (Ripley athlete), Ernie Moore (Ripley coach)

2014 – Joe Fox (Ravenswood athlete), Dick Sturm (Ravenswood coach)

2013 – Ashli (White) Childers (Ripley athlete), Alison (Spiker) Morris (Ripley athlete)

2012 – Paul Fletcher (Ravenswood athlete), Todd Ritchie (Ravenswood athlete)

2011 – Billy Joe Grandstaff (Ravenswood athlete)

2010 – No inductees

2009 – Jeff Corder (Ravenswood athlete)

2008 – Bryce Casto (Ripley athlete)

2007 – Bill Casto (Ripley athlete), Max Ludwig (Ripley athlete), Jim Mahan (Ravenswood athlete/coach/administrator)

2006 – Mary Beth (Varney) Hunt (Ravenswood athlete)

2005 – Brad Hunt (Ripley athlete), Frank Marino (Ripley coach), Jack Wiseman (Ravenswood coach/Ripley school administrator)

2004 – Steve Buffington (Ravenswood athlete), Frank Nester (Ravenswood athlete)

2003 –Joe Jelich (Ravenswood athlete), Bill Karr (Ravenswood and Ripley athlete), Marcus McPhail (Ripley athlete, Ravenswood coach and Ripley coach)

2002 – Robert Hartley (Ravenswood athlete), Jim Frashier (Ripley athlete/coach/administrator), Jim Spano (Ravenswood coach)

2001 – Dick Rader (Ripley athlete)

2000 – No inductees1999 – Howard Hartley (Ravenswood athlete), Fred Taylor (Ravenswood coach)

1998 – Paul Lanham (Ripley athlete/coach)

Mid-Ohio Sports Hall of Fame inductees with Jackson County connections are:

2002 – Edgar Rhodes (former Jackson County teacher, Wood County inductee as a coach/administrator)

2000 – Robert “Red” Hill (Ripley coach, Washington County inductee as a coach)

1998 – Rod Oldham (Ripley athlete, Wood County inductee as a coach)