5 join Morgantown High Athletic Hall of Fame

Submitted to The Dominion Post

Two all-state football running backs, the school’s premier swimmer of her era, an internationally acclaimed basketball player and a longtime football, wrestling and track coach were inducted into Morgantown High’s Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday.

The five members of this year’s class are Art W. George, David R. Mayfield, Nathan W. “Nate” Smith, Leigh Sanders Pell and John Rockis Jr.

The class, which brings the Mohigans’ Hall of Fame total to 45, was inducted at halftime of the football game against Parkersburg South. A Hall of Fame Wall ceremony was scheduled to follow the game.

A committee of seven, made up of MHS officials and others closely connected to MHS and its athletic programs, chooses the inductees based on a list of nominees each year. The nominations seek to recognize outstanding athletes, coaches, athletic directors, administrators and auxiliary personnel who have brought positive recognition to themselves and to MHS.

George, who graduated in 1961, earned honors in four sports, amassing 11 letters in football, basketball, baseball and track. He was the state’s Class AAA leading scorer in football, with 107 points, and was named the West Virginia high school player of the year.

Mayfield was the 1989 Kennedy Award winner as the state’s best football player. USA Today selected Mayfield as a second-team high school All-American.

Smith, who graduate in 1993, had basketball careers in high school, collegiate and pro ranks. He was firstteam all-state.

Pell, aa 1999 graduate, was named the NCAC swimmer of the year in 1999, and continues to hold many MHS records.

From 1945-’64, MHS athletics benefited from the coaching enthusiasm and talents of Rockis. His football teams went 59-27-9, including an undefeated 1960 season. He is credited with reviving the school’s wrestling program. Rockis died in 1968.

Ron Rittenhouse/The Dominion Post

The five inductees or their representatives: (Front, left) Mike Rockis and John J. Rockis, holding a plaque bearing an image of their late father, John Rockis Jr.; (back, left) Art George, David Mayfield, Leigh Sanders Pell and Nathan W. “Nate” Smith.