OVAC Hall Celebrates 10th Anniversary Saturday

WHEELING – The Ohio Valley Athletic Conference will honor its own once again Saturday when the 10th annual OVAC Hall of Fame Ceremony takes place with the induction of the Class of 2013.

WesBanco Arena in Wheeling will be the site of the OVAC Hall of Fame Banquet, with 20 individual associated with the conference taking their place among the elite who have helped make the OVAC – embarking on its 71st year – one of the premier high school athletic leagues in the nation.

This year’s inductees include:

OVAC ‘Family’ -Thomas E. Rataiczak (Bellaire), OVAC Executive Secretary/Treasurer

OVAC ‘Contributor’ -Tim McCoy (Jefferson Union) of WTOV-TV9

Media -Richard “Hoot” Gibson (St. Clairsville) of The Times Leader

Coaches -Nick Aloi (East Liverpool) and Jim Thomas (Wheeling Central)

Officials -John Howell (Lancaster Fairfield Union) and Don Zinni (Yorkville)

1940s Athlete -Harry “Moo” Moore (Moundsville)

1950s Athletes -Ron “Cy” Godfrey (Martins Ferry) and Ken Vargo (Martins Ferry)

1960s Athletes -Jim Brown (Martins Ferry) and Larry Marmie (Barnesville)

1970s Athletes -Rhonda Noble (St. Clairsville) and Peri Powell (Martins Ferry)

1980s Athletes -Mark Emmerling (East Liverpool) and Blaine Rose (Stanton)

1990s Athletes -Sylvia Crawley (Steubenville) and Ben Taylor (Bellaire)

2000s Athlete -Bethany Piccolini (St. Clairsville) and Jedidiah Stephen (Shenandoah)

Five “Legends of OVAC Member Schools” will also be honored at the banquet, including John “Zip” Behen (Cambridge), Ken Cunningham (East Liverpool), Russell “Tuss” Edwards (Martins Ferry), Bob Hugh (Scio) and Joel Jones (Weirton Dunbar).

The “Legends” category recognizes athletes and coaches who competed prior to the inception of the OVAC in 1943 or while their schools were not members of the conference.

This year’s group of inductees bring the five-year total of Hall of Famers to 179, with 45 others honored in the “Legends” category.

A special Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Judge Frank Fregiato, who has served as legal council for the OVAC since 1977.

Plaques of the OVAC Hall of Fame inductees are on permanent display at WesBanco.

The OVAC Hall of Fame selection committee includes Tom Rataiczak, executive secretary/treasurer of the OVAC; Jeff Harrison, sports editor of The Daily Jeffersonian in Cambridge; Doug Huff, retired sports editor of The Intelligencer in Wheeling; Robert “Bubba” Kapral, managing editor of The Times Leader in Martins Ferry; Ron Mauck, long-time OVAC Wrestling Championship director; Kelly Rine, athletic director at St. Clairsville High School; Tom Tisher, teacher at River High School; Dick Wolf, East Liverpool City Schools Board of Education member; Don Zinni, former OVAC Football Commissioner; Seth Staskey, sports editor of The Times Leader in Martins Ferry; and Bob Koch, director of the Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Charity Football Classic.

John Sorrenti, former sports director of WEIR radio, will again serve as master of ceremonies while Pastor Dave Mills of the Mount Zion Methodist Church will offer the invocation and benediction.

Dinner will be served at 5:30 and the induction ceremony starts at 6:30.

Tickets for the banquet are still available by contacting the OVAC office at 671-3269 no later than Wednesday. The cost is $30 per ticket or tables of eight for $240.