Alex Dunlevy: Winner On and Off the Gridiron
WHEELING –Alex Dunlevy enjoyed a sensational football career at Wheeling Park.
The dynamic quarterback produced two prolific seasons under center for the Patriots, earning first-team Class AAA all-state honors.
He was also a finalist for the Kennedy Award, presented annually to the top football player in the state as chosen by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association. While not winning the Kennedy Award, Dunlevy placed high enough in the voting to make him eligible to receive the prestigious Kennedy Scholarship.
And so he did. He becomes the first Wheeling Park football player to earn the Kennedy Scholarship since Alex Wood in 2009.
Dunlevy finished his prep football career in impressive fashion.
He threw for 370 yards against Morgantown to break the school record. He finished the season with 2,808 yards and 30 touchdowns while adding 400 rushing yards with seven touchdowns on the ground in leading the Patriots into the playoffs.
The Park signalcaller shattered seven school passing records during his sparkling career for Coach Chris Daugherty.
He will continue his football and athletic careers at West Virginia State. Former Weir and WVU running back great Quincy Wilson is on the State grid staff.
“Receiving the Kennedy Scholarship is a great honor. I am truly appreciative,” Dunlevy said. “My high school days have been the best four years of my life.
“Coach Doc (Daugherty) has changed my life. He is a great coach and leader. I want to thank him and all my coaches. We had a lot of success together. I am looking forward to the next four years at West Virginia State. We have a good recruiting class coming in. I am excited for the challenge.”
Dunlevy plans on majoring in education.
Brandon Penn from Parkersburg South is the other recipient of this year’s Kennedy Scholarship. He is headed to Glenville State. Grant Harman of Martinsburg and Graeson Malashevich of Spring Valley were last year’s recipients.
“Alex Dunlevy is one of the best competitors I have ever coached. He always found a way to make a play when the game was on the line,” Daugherty said. “Alex was a leader in every area of a student-athlete.”
The Harrison H. Kennedy’s estate, which includes the Kennedy Award selections administered by the WVSWA, is handled by the Trust Department of WesBanco in Wheeling. Besides sponsoring the award (and paying for the trophy and all expenses), his will states that any interest on his estate can be used for scholarships for college-bound seniors who placed high in the Kennedy Award balloting but did not have full scholarship aid.
Dunlevy has scripted an impressive resume off the gridiron as well. The high-honors student has been a four-year member of the Drug Free Clubs of America, a National Honor Society member and a National Foreign Language Honors Society member. In addition, Dunlevy was a freshman mentor and a REAP counselor.
Play ball. Unfortunately, that is an impossibility at the current time thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. When the national pasttime will resume is anyone’s guess. There is hope, however, Major League Baseball starts back up in May in Arizona in empty stadiums. That maybe wishful thinking.
In the meantime, our sports department is looking to keep baseball in vogue. The Ohio Valley has a rich prep baseball tradition. The OVAC has spawned countless major leaguers such and Phil and Joe Niekro and Bill Mazeroski to name just three.
Our sports staffers are attempting to compile the list of the Ohio Valley’s all-time best prep players and best teams. To make that happen, we are enlisting the help of our readers.
We want your input. We are asking you to submit your nominations for best players and best teams. Please include supporting facts. Please email your nominees to me at BKOVAC21@aol.com. Deadline is April 30.
∫ Former WVU football assistant Donnie Young died recently at age 77 after 44 years of service to the Mountaineers’ grid program. He was a two-way guard during his playing days at WVU. His college roommate was Moundsville High’s Ed Pastilong, who later served as WVU’s athletic director for 21 years. Pastilong is an OVAC Hall of Famer.
∫ Bellaire looking for assistant football coaches for the coming season. They are stipend positions. Teaching positions are possible. Previous varsity experience is preferred. If interested, candidates should e-mail Big Reds’ head football coach Mark Spigarelli at email@example.com.
∫ Although the May 11 BMAC/WVU Coaches Caravan scheduled for Wheeling has been canceled, plans are underway for a free virtual caravan, possibly in May or June, once the coaches can meet in the same room. The Mountaineer Athletic Club will have a website where folks can log in at the appropriate time for virtual interaction with the coaches.
∫ The NFL Draft finally plays out this week after months and months of needless discussion. We wish the best to pair of OVAC products — WVU star offensive tackle Colton McKivitz (Union Local) and North Carolina A&T prolific wide receiver Elijah Bell (Wheeling Park). McKivitz will definitely be selected while Bell has attracted the attention of at least one NFL team.
∫ Morgantown Trinity will undergo several athletic department changes this coming school year. The Warriors are in need of a new head football coach, new head boys’ basketball coach and athletic director.
∫ Sam Tortorella, a senior at Keystone Oaks High School in suburban Pittsburgh, recently committed to continue his baseball career at the University of Akron. The lefty struck out 88 in 46 innings of work last season, including a 14-strikeout, perfect game against Washington. Sam is the son of the former Colleen Brown, who is a 1987 graduate of Shadyside High School. His father, Mark, is a West Liberty State College graduate.
∫ The 41st annual Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic, set for June 25 at Springfield Local High School, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Southern’s Rich Wright was set to coach the Ohio team.
∫ Shadyside High School grad Matt Apicella was an all-state baseball player for the Tigers in 1994. In the ensuing two-plus decades, the former Muskingum University standout has authored an honors-filled career as head baseball coach and athletic director at Lake City High School in South Carolina. His team was off to a 4-1 start this spring when the season was shutdown due the pandemic. He felt his team had a chance for a long postseason run.
∫ The Cleveland Browns haven’t done much winning on the field in recent years. Team officials, however, came up big with the new uniforms for the coming season.
∫ Shadyside High School is in need of a high school head cross country coach. Anyone interested should contact district Superintendent John Haswell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bubba Kapral can be reached at email@example.com.