MHS HOF welcomes five new inductees

To be honored at 1st game on renovated field


For The Dominion Post

A newly renovated field and a nostalgic look back into its past will mark the beginning of Morgantown High School’s home football season this Friday. MHS will induct its fifth athletics Hall of Fame class and host Anacostia High School (Md.) in its home opener.

The day will kick off at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Waterfront Place Hotel, where MHS will host a dinner in honor of its newest class of Hall of Fame members.

The new Hall of Fame class will be recognized during halftime of the game, and the school will then unveil the Hall of Fame plaques following the game.

This year’s class includes former running back Chris Yura, basketball standout Dave Pavelko, two-time state wrestling champion Dick Haines and multi-sport legends Dave Dubbe’ and Lantz Blaney, Jr.

“It is nice to highlight the families and the individuals,” MHS athletic director Dan Erenrich said. “Each individual is going to be recognized and we try to go all out to make sure they know how special they are.”

Since 2007, MHS has elected 40 individuals into its Hall of Fame. Coach John Bowers first suggested that MHS needed a way to honor its past greatness years ago.

“I just figured with as much history as MHS has, I couldn’t believe that we couldn’t get a lot of those guys honored,” Bowers said. “They are very, very deserving.”

A committee of seven members reviewed applications submitted for former MHS athletes who graduated at least 10 years ago.

“We look at many things. Of course we look at how they contributed to MHS and its athletic program,” Erenrich said. “But we also ask, ‘What did they do after high school? What kind of contributions after high school did they make that would make them worthy of being in the Hall Of Fame?’ “

Haines, who graduated in 1967, was a two-time state wrestling champion at the 103-and 112-pound weight classes.

“It is kind of neat to be remembered after 45 years,” Haines said. “Especially [since] wrestling is a minor sport.”

Haines will be joining his brother, Brad, who was inducted last year, for his participation in baseball and football.

“It will be one of the special things for me,” Haines said. “It is great to be following him into this. We always played competitively, even if I was five years older than him.”

Haines is also excited to share the spotlight with another set of brothers who occupy spots in the MHS Hall of Fame.

“The only other brothers there are Terry and Tommy Bowden,” Haines said. “They’re a lot more famous than the two of us, so it is really great to be a part of that.”

Haines had a stellar career record of 50-5. He later graduated from WVU and Dartmouth College.

According to Haines, these days he spends his time “goofing off ’ in Montana and enjoys skiing, riding horses and bird hunting. He also owns a cattle range in northern Georgia.

Chris Yura, MHS’ all-time leading rusher, said he is honored by his selection to the Hall of Fame. Yura, a 1999 grad who later played at Notre Dame, said he is looking forward to the weekend.

“It is a great honor for me to have my family there,” said Yura, who rushed for over 5,700 yards in high school. “They are the reason that I would recognized like this. I am very lucky to have grown up in Morgantown and to represent my family.”

Yura was the first player in the state to score 100 career touchdowns, and the first to score 50 TDs in a single season.

Yura still lives in Morgantown where he owns a business called SustainU, which makes a line of recycled apparel.

Basketball standout Dave Pavelko (1987 graduate) hopes to catch up with his old classmates and reminisce. He’s also looking forward to watching a game from the new stands.

“I really want to see the renovations on the football stadium. It’s been great to seeing that built up,” Pavelko said.

Pavelko played in 71 consecutive games, amassing 844 career points and 429 career assists. He was twice named as an all-stater and later played Division 1 basketball at Princeton University.

Today Pavelko is the head of travel for Google and lives in New Jersey.

Blaney, who graduated in 1948, was called a “super athlete” of his time, playing to near-perfection every sport available at MHS. He earned all-state honors in football, basketball and track. He later played AAA baseball for the Detroit Tigers.

Blaney died in 1997.

Dubbe’, a 1970 MHS graduate, was a four-sport athlete, achieving all-state honors in football, baseball and track. Dubbe’ currently holds the MHS record for his 150-foot discus throw. Dubbe later went on to play football at WVU, and was a member of the 1972 Peach Bowl team.

This Friday’s home opener marks a beginning of a new era for MHS and its field. The school recently completed phase one of a major renovation. Erenrich said the renovations cost nearly $1.8 million. The funding comes from a range of sources, including numerous private donations, the Monongalia County Board of Education and the Hazel Ruby McQuain Foundation.

“We have new turf, new lighting for the stadium, new home bleachers and a new concession stand,” Erenrich said. “We’re hoping that phase two is a new facilities building [that] will include all new dressing rooms and a second story with the weight room/multi-purpose room and a new scoreboard. It will begin in the not too distant future.”

Bowers is looking forward to playing on the newly laid turf.

“It is just nice to know that the community is involved with the project,” Bowers said. “That they support the kids makes it even more special.”

As for the game, Bowers said his team is ready to put the opening week loss at Steubenville, Ohio, behind it.

“We are excited to get back on the field after the loss,” he said. “We’re excited to play for the home crowd.”

Jason DeProspero/The Dominion Post

Morgantown High’s Pony Lewis Field has undergone renovations during the offseason. New artifical turf and home bleachers are among the changes. Friday will be the first game played at the field since the renovations. At halftime, MHS will induct five new members into its Hall of Fame.

David Dubbe’

Richard Haines

Lantz Blaney Jr.

Chris Yura

David Pavelko