Wheeling Central Hall of Fame Class Finalized
By BUBBA KAPRAL
Executive Sports Editor
WHEELING — This year’s Wheeling Central Catholic High School Athletic Hall of Fame class has now been finalized with the addition of six more former Maroon Knight luminaries.
Rounding out the impressive collection of honorees are Heather Contraguerro White, Bernie Shalvey, Bobby Reasbeck, Fritz Braunlich, Matt Hohman and Ray Powell.
Wheeling Central Hall of Fame inductees previously announced for the 2020 class were: Edward Cihy, Michael Stiglich, Albert Salvador, Michael T. Smith and Kristen Hetzel.
This year, the Hall of Fame Committee has also chosen two more passionate and dedicated individuals to receive the Maroon Knights’ Distinguished Service Awards — Nick Bedway and James E. Altmeyer Sr.
All the honorees will be feted during the Maroon Knights’ fifth Hall of Fame Brunch, sponsored by the Robinson Automotive Group, to be held on Saturday, Oct. 3, at Wheeling University’s Benedum Hall. The brunch begins at 9 a.m.
Following induction ceremonies the Hall of Fame honorees will be guests and introduced that afternoon during halftime festivities at the Maroon Knights’ football game against Ohio Valley Athletic Conference rival Fort Frye. The game will be played at Wheeling University’s Bishop Schmitt Field.
HEATHER CONTRAGUERRO WHITE (CLASS of 1995) — White was a three-sport performer for the Maroon Knights but it was on the basketball floor where she made history.
The talented guard owns the distinction of being the first Wheeling Central female athlete to be selected first-team all-state in two different classes (Class AA as a junior and Class A as a senior). The all-state plaudits came as a result of a tremendous three-year starting career for Penn Kurtz.
White ended her hoop career with 1,500 points, earning her many more accolades.
She was selected first-team All-OVAC in both her junior and senior seasons. Moreover, White was chosen captain of the All-Valley team in her final two seasons.
White was tabbed to play in the West Virginia North-South All-Star Classic. In addition, she was nominated for the USA Today state player of the year after her senior campaign.
Among her other prep honors were Elks Player of the Month and special recognition by the Dapper Dans of the Upper Ohio Valley.
White’s impressive hoop skills also yielded team success. She helped to lead the Maroon Knights to their first state tournament appearance since 1988, as well as an OVAC 2A crown. The Knights were state runnerups in her senior campaign.
White also was a standout for the Maroon Knights’ volleyball and softball teams, earning three letters in each sport. She helped Central win the state softball crown for coach Ed Cihy in her senior season.
She earned a basketball scholarship to Fairmont State University. She majored in elementary education. Her Falcons hoop career was cut short, however, due to a knee injury.
White’s daughter, Hannah, just wrapped up an all-state hoop career for Central. Hannah topped the 1,000-point mark in helping the Knights win an OVAC title and gain state tournament berth. She will continue her hoop and academic careers at D-I Cleveland State.
White resides in Wheeling with husband, Jonathan, and their five children: Hannah, JJ, Jayson, Halle, and Haylyn.
MATT HOHMAN (CLASS of 1991) — Hohman enjoyed a brilliant football career at Wheeling Central. He was a rare four-year starter for the Maroon Knights, excelling on both sides of the ball, starting a whopping 42 straight games.
Hohman garnered a slew of postseason awards after his junior and senior campaigns. He was accorded first team all-state, All-OVAC and All-Valley plaudits. He was tabbed captain of the All-OVAC team as a senior.
In addition, he was chosen as the school’s Spirit Award recipient as a senior as well as the weight room leader award.
His outstanding Maroon Knights career earned him a football scholarship to Miami of Ohio. He became a football letterman before sustaining a career-ending injury in his junior campaign.
After picking up his Miami diploma, Hohman coached college football for 13 years before embarking on a career in business.
BERNIE SHALVEY (CLASS of 1975) — Wheeling Central has produced many a standout football lineman. Shalvey remains one of the best in Maroon Knight annals.
The talented two-way tackle’s dominating play landed him a football scholarship to Penn State, where he earned multiple letters for legendary coach Joe Paterno. He chose the Nittany Lions from 29 D-I offers.
As a senior at the East Wheeling school, Shalvey was tabbed the CCHS Athlete of the Year. It climaxed an honors-studded season in which he gained countless plaudits, including All-OVAC, all-state and All-American accolades. He helped lead the Maroon Knights to the OVAC 2A championship.
Shalvey was also tabbed captain of the All-OVAC team while being named to the All-Valley, All-Mountaineers League and all-state teams. He was chosen to play in the OVAC Rudy Mumley All-Star Game. He was also a Dapper Dans of the Upper Ohio Valley honoree.
Shalvey authored a fine wrestling career for the Maroon Knights. As a senior he placed fourth in the state tournament.
“There’s not a more loved and respected kid on this football team than Bernie Shalvey,” Paterno told the Centre Daily Times newspaper in October of 1978.
Shalvey enjoyed many highlights at Penn State, including receiving the game ball in 1978 after a win over TCU. He took part in the Gator Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Sugar Bowl, a game in which the Nittany Lions entered ranked No. 1 in the country, only to fall to Alabama, 14-7.
Shalvey was a college teammate of Bellaire High all-stater and future New York Jets Pro-Bowler Lance Mehl.
After his playing days at Happy Valley, Shalvey served one year as a grad assistant, helping tutor the offensive line.
Shalvey has gone on to enjoy a successful business career. He is currently the sales manager at Saint-Gobain in Mooresville, N.C.
RAY POWELL (CLASS of 1963) — Powell scripted an honors-filled career as a Wheeling Central gridder.
He earned all-state honors in 1962 after leading the Maroon Knights to their first state Catholic football championship, downing Charleston Catholic.
Powell served as the Central grid captain in both his junior and senior campaigns. He was chosen first-team all-city and All-OVAC his junior and senior seasons. He never missed a quarter of play in four years, lettering all four years at fullback.
Powell also lettered two years in basketball, helping the the 1963 squad win the Catholic basketball crown. He was also a Maroon Knight Outstanding Student/Athlete.
Powell’s football prowess earned him a scholarship to the University of Virginia.
BOBBY REASBECK (CLASS of 1987) — Reasbeck is another standout player in the rich Maroon Knight basketball history.
Reasbeck’s immense hoop skills translated into tremendous team success at the East Wheeling school. The sweet-shooting dandy was a key figure in leading the Maroon Knights to the West Virginia Class AA state championship in 1987.
Moreover, the 1,000-point producer was the key cog in Central finishing as Class AA state runners-up one year prior. He was selected to the all-tournament teams both of those seasons.
The three-year hoop regular also helped the Maroon Knights bag a pair of OVAC Class AA crowns — those coming in the 1984-85 and 1986-87 campaigns.
Reasbeck garnered all-state, All-OVAC and All-Valley honors in both his junior and senior seasons.
His Central success earned him a Division I scholarship, signing with Marist University in New York. Reasbeck enjoyed instant success with the Red Foxes, gaining a starting spot as a freshman. He went on to be a four-year letterman.
Bobby is the father of current Maroon Knights hoops ace Ryan Reasbeck.
FRITZ BRAUNLICH (CLASS of 1983) — Braunlich starred on the gridiron and on the mats for the Maroon Knights. He has also starred in the world of medicine.
Braunlich was a three-year letterman in football. He was a standout guard on offense and also distinguished himself on the defensive line and at linebacker.
He was tabbed first team All-OVAC and all-state at linebacker following his senior campaign. Braunlich was also chosen to play in the OVAC and North-South all-star games.
Braunlich was just as dominating in wrestling. The four-year mat letterman was a three-year state qualifier. He achieved the ultimate by capturing state titles in both his junior and senior seasons. Those state crowns go with a pair of OVAC championships, as well. He finished his impressive mat career with more than 100 victories.
He was the target of D-I college recruiters in both sports. Braunlich opted to accept a football scholarship to Virginia Military Institute. He earned two letters as an outside linebacker.
Braunlich has scripted a remarkable military and medical career since picking up his VMI diploma.
He graduated from the Marshall University School of Medicine in 1994 and served 20 years as an Army officer, doing tours of duty in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was a decorated combat veteran and also commanded a forward surgical team and orthopedic surgery department combat support hospital in Iraq. Braunlich also served in the Army Special Forces, Airborne and was an Army Flight Surgeon.
He played three years of professional football and wrestled while stationed in Europe. He also coached wrestling at Department of Defense high schools.
Braunlich returned to Wheeling in 2008. He remains deeply involved with local college and prep athletic programs, providing medical and orthopedic support. He serves as chief of the orthopedics department at Wheeling Hospital and is a active with medical missions to Central America (frequently to Honduras).
For banquet ticket information, call 304-312-9125 or 304-233-1660.