Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame

Mark Martin
Future City of Ravenswood Mayor Josh Miller, No. 24, makes an incredible catch during his Red Devil high school football career.

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a three-part series about the latest from Jackson County who will become members of the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame later this summer.

Mayor Miller will be inducted in August

You’ve heard the saying, “Father knows best.”

In the case of Ravenswood’s Josh Miller, you could say, “Mom knew best.”

When Miller was young, he loved going to the Grand Central Mall and looking at the plaques of Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame members.

“The whole thing as a kid, you’re just in awe of that and I told my mom (Sandy), ‘One day I’d like to be on there.’ And she said, ‘Well, you will be.’”

And Miller soon will take his place alongside other legends from not only Jackson County but four other counties in West Virginia (Wood, Pleasants, Ritchie and Wirt) and two in Ohio (Noble and Washington).

On August 22, Miller will join fellow Jackson Countians James Abshire and Chase Fischer as part of the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020, which is 10-strong. Miller is a Ravenswood High graduate while Abshire and Fischer graduated from Ripley. The MOV HofF banquet will be held once again inside Vienna’s Grand Pointe Conference and Reception Center.

He will be enshrined the following day during a plaque unveiling.

That ceremony will take place at the very mall where Miller once gazed through the glass to read about the Hall of Famers, whose plaques are displayed inside beautiful wooden cases.

The Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Fall of Fame weekend had originally been scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday (June 13-14) but was postponed due to COVID-19.

It will be the second big highlight for Miller in the span of a few months.

This past Tuesday, Miller was re-elected to another term as Ravenswood’s mayor.

It will mark his third term in office and first in which the period will run for four years. Miller’s first two terms were for just two years each.

“When opportunities present themselves, some you take and some you don’t, and this is one that I’m 100 percent glad I took the leap of faith to want to represent this town,” Miller said. “I love this town and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”

Which is exactly what Miller, a 2003 Ravenswood High graduate, did as an athlete.

Miller started his playing days in the Ravenswood youth leagues. He had plenty of support from his family, which includes father Mark and brother Joel.

He excelled in baseball, football and basketball while at Ravenswood High. He was a two-time Class AA First Team All-State selection in both football and baseball as a Red Devil.

Miller’s head coaches were Doug Parrish in baseball, Dick Sturm in football and Mick Price in basketball.

“I call that the perfect storm,” he said with a smile. “Each of them had different personalities. They loved their players and they cared about their players and their families.”

Miller himself is now a family man. He and his wife, Lori, are the proud parents of three children, Kenady, age 5, Paisley, age 2, and Skylar, 8 months.

After high school, Miller took his baseball talents to West Virginia State University to play for the late Cal Bailey.

Miller made two All-America teams while at State. In addition, he was the West Virginia Conference Player of the Year and Hitter of the Year in 2007.

“Cal Bailey, he’s a legend. There’s no other word for it,” Miller said of Bailey, who started his coaching and teaching careers in Jackson County. Bailey died this past April following a short bout with cancer.

“He’ll be sorely missed. Trust me, he’s going to live on through his players.”

After State, Miller played two years professionally in the Frontier League.

Miller realizes how fortunate he was to not only play for the schools he attended but to be surrounded by so many great leaders, not only the head coaches but also the numerous assistants.

“I’ll always be a proud Red Devil and a proud Yellow Jacket,” he said. “And I hope I can aspire some young kids. It’ doesn’t matter where you’re from. If you put your heart and soul into something, you’ve got a chance. Give yourself an opportunity.”

It has been a way of life for Josh Miller. And it’s a big reason why he will become a Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Famer in August.