Submitted to The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — Morgantown High announced its 2016 class of inductees into the MHS Athletic Hall of Fame. The selections for enshrinement Sept. 9 include a four-sport star from the 1920s, a high-scoring all-state basketball player, a community leader in youth fund-raising projects, a record-setting football place kicker and a longtime athletic director.
The nominations recognize athletes, coaches, athletic directors, administrators and auxiliary personnel who have brought positive recognition to themselves and to Morgantown High. They were selected from three eras of MHS athletics and from an at-large category for coaches and administrators.
A special dinner will be held at 4 p.m. Sept. 9, at the Waterfront Place Hotel. Plaques will be presented to the honorees and a wall ceremony will be held at the school following MHS’s football game, against Parkersburg South. Honorees will also be recognized during halftime.
Tickets for the dinner are $40 and can be purchased in the main office at the school.
Info: 304-291-9260 or 304-291-9269.
This year’s honorees and their athletic era or category:

Joseph ‘Joe’ Johnston Sr., (1927-’50 era)
Johnston, who graduated in 1928, was a four-sport athlete — football, baseball, basketball and wrestling. A standout football and basketball player for head coach Arthur Clyde, Johnston and his fellow Clydemen rolled to the school’s first undefeated (9-0) gridiron season. They won the 1927 state football championship. Graduating with the WVU class of 1936, he played Mountaineers football and baseball and was a collegiate and AAU wrestling champion. A dedicated educator of young people, he coached at Montgomery and Parkersburg High schools. He died in 2008, at 97.

J. Robert ‘Bob’ Gwynne, (1951- ‘70 era)
Basketball was his primary sport while attending MHS, in the mid-1960s, but for Gwynne, the game of golf was close behind. He excelled at both. He averaged nearly 24 points per game his senior year as the Mohigans went 14-5. He scored 41 points against Philip Barbour and more than 30 points each in three other games. He finished in the top five of the state high school golf tournament and as a senior won the Northern Regional high school state tournament, shooting a 73. He served as golf coach at WVU for two years. Now a lawyer and executive, he co-designed the Pikewood National Golf Course — recognized worldwide for its classical architecture and modern-day construction.

Gordon L. Shilling, (1951-’70 era)
Shilling, who graduated in 1968, played basketball, football and track. All-state in track, he led the Mohigans to the 1966 Big Ten Conference championship. He excelled in both the high and long jumps, and ran on the mile relay team that never lost in three seasons. His football honors included being named first-team all-state and all-Big Ten Conference. He won a scholarship to play football and run track at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Shilling served as manager of athletics for BOPARC and over many years has been instrumental in helping to raise thousands of dollars for recreation improvements. In his family’s name, he continues to endow scholarships that benefit youth.

James ‘Rocky’ Gianola, (1971-present era)
Showing his love for athletics and academics at his two alma maters, Gianola excited fans with his long-range field goals at MHS before moving on to WVU. He played quarterback and linebacker at MHS, but it was his field goals of 38,
46 and 48 yards that won games and went into the record books. Also lettering at MHS in track and basketball, he earned two letters as a center for WVU football. In college, his tremendous strength put him at the top of coach Bobby Bowden’s weight-lifting competition. He graduated cum laude with a bachelor of science in accounting, then used his College of Law degree to become managing director of the law firm of Gianola, Barnum, Bechtel & Jecklin. He and his wife, Vickie, have two children, Mallory Lynne and Sara Ashley.

Kelly Geddis Johnson, (At-large honoree)
Athletics and academics have been the hallmark of the career of Ohio native Geddis, and because of that, she is considered a pioneer on behalf of women’s equality in both fields. Participating in cheering, basketball and track in high school, she earned a varsity letter on the WVU track team. Graduating with a master’s in sport management and administration, she began as a three-sport coach at MHS, then from 1987-2002 served as athletic director — the first Class AAA female A.D. in the state. She was named state Athletic Director of the Year twice. After many leadership roles at MHS, today she is assistant executive director of the WVSSAC. She is a nationally recognized authority in the fields of cheerleading and coaching.