August 12, 2007

‘This is a way of keeping our history alive’

MHS starts sports hall of fame

BY RACHEL SMITH The Dominion Post

From the time it was established in 1927, Morgantown High School has had a rich tradition of not only academics, but also athletics.
This year, MHS is honoring the individuals who have contributed to the athletic program, not only as athletes, but also as coaches or athletic personnel, in the Morgantown High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
“This is a way of keeping our history alive,” said Tom Hart, former MHS principal and hall of fame committee chairman.
This year’s inductees include two individuals each from four eras of Morgantown athletics: 1927-1940, 1941-1950, 1951-1970 and 1971-present. Two people were then chosen at large to round out the inaugural class of 10 inductees.
“For the next three years, we’ll nominate 10 people, two from each of the four eras and then two at large, in order to bring us to 30. After that, we will induct five each year,” said Dan Erinrich, athletic director at MHS.
The idea of starting a hall of fame at Morgantown was conceived by MHS football coach John Bowers.
“... I couldn’t believe we didn’t have some sort of athletic hall of fame,” Bowers said. “I ran the idea by Tom Hart and then sent a letter to about 25 different individuals; former athletic directors, coaches, principals and faculty members to see if this idea had legs, and they were all onboard too.”
“... I don’t think we’ve had the opportunity to recognize these individuals properly,” Erinrich said.
Hart agreed. “We realized that this would be a great way to honor individuals who have made contributions to Morgantown, both as athletes and later in life,” he said.
Before Morgantown’s first home football game, on Sept. 14, Hall of Fame inductees will be invited to a banquet at The Pines Country Club. There, members of the community will have the opportunity to eat dinner with the inductees or people representing them.
The inductees are: Clarence “Pony” Lewis, Glennis Ellis, Victor Bonfili, Frank Lemine, Charles “Chuck” Blue, Jr., Edward Hriblan, Kji Kelly, Julie Wheeler, Arthur Clyde and John “Jack” Roberts.
Inductees then will be honored at the game’s halftime, where they will receive a personal plaque and certificate. After the game a reception will be held at the school to unveil the wall, and it will provide community members with another opportunity to meet and talk with inductees.
“We want those who are interested in what we are doing to attend the banquet. We want to have a nice turnout to honor these individuals,” Hart said.
He said the committee received about 30 nominations this year for possible inductees, many of them well-known in the community.
“I think those individuals who have been involved at Morgantown or who are a historical figure would be instantly recognized. Individuals such as Pony Lewis, who the football field is named after, or Arthur Clyde, who the gym is named after, those individuals are legends,” Hart said.

Julie Wheeler

Kji Kelly

Pony Lewis

Victor Bonfili

Arthur Clyde

Charles Blue Jr.

Edward Hriblan

Frank Lemine

Glennis Ellis

John Roberts