Bowers driving force behind MHS’s Hall

A COUPLE OF WEEKS ago Tyler Palko,
the Pitt quarterback, was talking about how you define a football career.
The ultimate definition, he said, is not in records held or personal accomplishments, but instead is found in “wins and losses and how you left the program after you’re done.”
We bring this up today because in the very near future they are going to begin defining almost 80 years worth of athletic careers at Morgantown High School with the formation of an Athletic Hall of Fame. The idea for the MHS Athletic Hall of Fame grew from a seed planted by football coach John Bowers.
“This is something that’s never been done at Morgantown High,” said Tom Hart, former baseball coach and former principal at the school serving as chairman of the committee that formed the hall of fame . “Coach Bowers is the person who got the interest started. He came to me with it and I said, ‘That’s a good idea. Why not pursue and see where it leads?’”
It has led to the point where they plan to select a 10-man inaugural class this fall and induct them when there’s a full house for University’s basketball visit to MHS.
In the overall scheme of things, John Bowers is a young man, not the most likely person to be thinking of the rich history that goes back to 1927 with the Mohigans.
“I went to Brooke,” Bowers said, explaining the roots of an idea. “I know some people from Wheeling Park. They both have Halls of Fame. The father of a friend of mine was recently inducted into the Keyser Hall of Fame.
“I got to thinking. I don’t know of a school with more athletic tradition than Morgantown High. It’s silly not to honor those people.”
And so it was that Bowers began talking the idea up.
“I talked to the grass roots,” he said, “and it was well received.”
When you think about it, there have been so many great coaches and athletes at Morgantown High throughout the years that the problem won’t be filling out the Hall, but cutting it back, even though the requirements for selection and election are stringent, including one that says they “must be of the highest moral and ethical character and must have brought positive recognition to him/herself and Morgantown High.”
Athletes must wait 10 years
Names such as Art Clyde, Pony Lewis, Vic Bonfili, Glen McNew, the Bowdens, Terry and Tommy, Sam Rozance, David Mayfield, Andy Parsons, John Lunchini and Jeff Dubbe.
The Hall of Fame is set up so that the first class will have a maximum of 10 inductees, two each from the following eras: 1927-1940, 1941-1950, 1951-1970, 1970 to the present.
After the first three years they will get the maximum to five inductees per year from any time interval.
The Hall of Fame is set up so as to not only honor athletes and coaches but “auxiliary” people, perhaps such as graduates as Jack Fleming, the Voice of the West Virginia Mountaineers, or long-time sportswriter Mickey Furfari or someone like Chester Brooks, who devoted much of his life to the baseball program.
They are not looking, however, to turn this into a museum.
“We want it to have a current flavor,” Bowers said. Such athletes as Chris Yura or the Rodamers certainly will not have to wait until old age to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
And, for that matter, there’s a pretty good chance there will be spot for a plaque on the wall for the man who got this started, John Bowers, for with a couple of state football championships and the legacy of the MHS Athlete Hall of Fame there can be little doubt that when he leaves MHS it will be better than when he arrived.