Wheeling Central Adds Three More to Hall of Fame
This year’s group of honorees features former Maroon Knight greats Courtney Smith, Dr. Dan Doyle and Jay Duffy.
They join previously announced HOF inductees Chuck Lovinski, Tom Abraham, Jim Finn, Mel Stephens, Erin Bryson, Lisa Bober Miehle, Curtis McGhee and Chris Carroll.
Following are brief capsules covering the achievements of this year’s Hall of Fame honorees.
(Class of 1998)
Be it off the tee or on the diamond, Smith delivered in big fashion for the Maroon Knights.
Smith was one of the premier golfers in the OVAC during his Wheeling Central stay. He was a two-time all-conference golfer for coach Mickey Duffy.
As a junior, Smith pocketed OVAC Tournament medalist honors in helping lead the Maroon Knights to their first OVAC team championship. He repeated that medalist feat as a senior.
Smith was equally adept on the baseball field.
The four-year performer was a member of the Central baseball team that finished as state runner-up his freshman campaign. He also played a key role in the Maroon Knights again making the state tournament his senior season.
The talented hurler was voted first-team All-OVAC as a senior as well as to the first-team all-state squad.
After picking up his Wheeling Central diploma, Smith remained a key part of the Maroon Knight baseball program, serving as pitching coach for two years under the lead of head coach Terry Edwards. Central won state titles both of those campaigns.
Smith has done quite well in the business world. He is currently manager of Community Bank in Wheeling.
Dr. Dan Doyle
(Class of 1973)
Doyle was a state champion wrestler for the Maroon Knights and has since devoted much of his life to the mat sport.
Doyle captured the 112-pound state wrestling championship which encompassed all classes in 1973. A year a prior, he pocketed an OVAC grappling crown. All told, he was a three-time OVAC placer.
After graduating from Central, he continued his athletic and academic careers at Allegheny College. He was a four-year wrestler at the Meadville, Pa.-based school, gaining a berth in the NCAA Division III national tournament. He earned his master?s degree in science and education from the University of Dayton and his doctorate from West Virginia University.
Doyle enjoyed a very successful career as a high school wrestling coach.
After cutting his coaching teeth at Jefferson Union, Doyle spent 16 years at Buckeye Local starting in 1985, serving as an administrator for 12 years including high school principal. He was head wrestling coach all 16 years, leading Buckeye Local to overall OVAC Tournament Championships in 1996 and 1997, while also winning the OVAC Dual Meet Championship those two years. He was a two-time OVAC and Eastern District Coach of the Year.
Doyle has become a mainstay in the OVAC.
He has served as director of the OVAC Ron Mauck Wrestling Tournament since 2009 and OVAC Wrestling Commissioner since 2013. Moreover, he has been on the OVAC Executive Board since the early 2000s, serving as president during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years.
His tireless work earned him the OVAC Mr. Mat Award in 2005. The former Noble County schools superintendent has also worked with the OVAC Museum Committee for many years.
(Class of 1964)
Wheeling Central will be the second Hall of Fame honor for Duffy. He was enshrined in the West Liberty HOF in 1995.
Duffy was a three-sport performer for the Maroon Knights. He was a running back and defensive back on the gridiron, setting the record for longest run (85 yards) in the 1964 state championship game. A member of two OVAC and one state Catholic championship team, he was the MVP of the OVAC All-Star Football Game.
In hoops, Duffy was a four-year performer for the Knights. He was the starting point guard for the 1963 squad that went 23-0, winning the OVAC and state Catholic tournament championships. It remains the only unbeaten hoop team in school annals.
Duffy helped guide Central to a 20-3 mark as a senior, again winning the state Catholic tourney. He was named second-team All-City selection after averaging 8.8 points a game in addition to his savvy offense-directing and defensville skills.
On the diamond, Duffy was a three-year starter at first base.
After leaving East Wheeling for the Hilltop, Duffy authored a sparkling two-sport career with the Hilltoppers.
Duffy was a three-year starter at safety, earning all WVIAC first-team honors each season after leading the conference in interceptions in each of those campaigns. He ended his grid career holding the WVIAC record for career interceptions (21).
He was All-American honorable mention in 1967 and served as the West Liberty co-captain in 1968.
Duffy was a three-year starting outfielder for the ‘Toppers, helping them to a pair of conference championships.
After gaining a bachelor of science degree from West Liberty, Duffy then earned a master’s degree in business from Robert Morris College.
The fourth annual induction ceremonies for the Straub Automotive/Fato Family-sponsored WCCHS Athletic Hall of Fame take place during a brunch scheduled for 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28 at the White Palace at Wheeling Park. Following the induction ceremonies, the Hall of Famers will be guests at a football game matching defending Class A state champion Wheeling Central Catholic against Western Reserve Academy, from Hudson, Ohio.
Kickoff is at 1 p.m. and the new Hall of Famers will be introduced at halftime.
Tickets for the brunch, priced at $25 each, can be purchased at the school or by calling 304-233-1660. No tickets will be sold at the door the morning of the brunch.
Hall of Fame weekend begins on Friday, Sept. 27, with an Alumni Social from 7-9 p.m. at the Great Hall in the school. Those planning to attend this function need to RSVP by also calling the school.