Monday, January 23, 2017

All-state recognition was the norm for Edison’s Jami Bendle and River’s Mike Snively.
Both talented athletes earned Ohio’s highest accolades multiple times during their brilliant prep careers, which are still being recognized today.
Bendle and Snively reached such impressive heights that they’re both headed for the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame, representing the decade of the 1990s this summer.
Bendle and Snively will be formally inducted into the OVAC Hall of Fame, which is sponsored by Robinson Automotive Group, on Saturday, Aug. 19.
The annual induction ceremony will again be held at WesBanco Arena.
This is the third year in a row that the Hall of Fame committee is releasing the honorees every two weeks until April rather than waiting until later in the spring to announce the honorees. The athletes representing the decade of the 1980s will be published on Jan. 29.
Here’s a capsule look at the honorees:
JAMI BENDLE-FRAZIER (Edison, Class of 1994) — This former Wildcat ace was absolutely dominant in the pitching circle throughout her prep and collegiate careers.
Her pitching stats were simply mind boggling. Bendle finished with a 86-14 career record, which was an Ohio Valley record at the time of her graduation. She worked 649 innings, while recording 780 strikeouts against just 150 career walks. She allowed only 257 hits. Those stats certainly weren’t hollow either.
Add all of that up and it translated to three OVAC titles, three sectional crowns, three district titles and a pair of trips to the Ohio State Tournament.
As a senior, which was the first year of the Edison local consolidation, Bendle’s work in the circle helped the Wildcats reach the Division I regional tournament with a 29-0 record. She defeated Upper Arlington, while throwing a no hitter, in the semifinals. Their quest for return trip to state came up short to Westerville South.
During her junior season, Bendle guided Edison South to the Division II state final where it fell, 6-1, to Tallmadge. As a sophomore, Edison South advanced to the state semifinals behind Bendle’s right arm before falling to LaGrange Keystone, 4-2.
Bendle’s accomplishments didn’t go unnoticed. She was named all-OVAC four times and twice earned conference player of the year. She was twice named to the first-team all-Ohio squad and once to the second-team all-state unit. She was a four-time all-Eastern District pick and four-year member of the all River Valley League team.
Bendle’s prep prominence earned her the right to pitch at the Division I level. She attended East Carolina University, helping the Pirates to win three consecutive Big South titles. She was first-team all-Big South as a junior and second-team as a senior.
While earning four letters at ECU, Bendle led the team in wins and strikeouts for three straight seasons. She had 27 victories in 1997 and also had 32 complete games that season. She finished at ECU ranked second in school history in games pitched (136), games started (118), complete games (92), innings pitched (755), strikeouts (328), wins (79) and shutouts (27). She compiled a 1.86 earned run average, which ranked fourth in school history.
Also a standout in the classroom, Bendle earned Academic All-American district honors in 1998.
MIKE SNIVELY (River, Class of 1992) — There wasn’t a sport or season where this former Pilot didn’t leave a lasting mark as he earned all-state status in three sports.
Playing for his father and fellow OVAC Hall of Famer, Terry, in football, Snively finished his career with 5,192 yards and 43 touchdowns. As a senior, he threw for 2,153 of those yards and 16 touchdowns. He also handled the kicking and punting duties, posting 11 PATs and a punting average of 36.3 yards.
During his junior season, he passed for 1,639 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also had 33 tackles from his safety spot that season.
During his career, Snively was named first-team all-state as a senior and second-team as a junior. He was also first-team all-OVAC, all-Eastern District, all-Valley. He was also an all-district pick as a sophomore, too.
Snively played in the OVAC All-Star Game where he was voted a team captain.
When the winter rolled around, Snively didn’t slow down. On the basketball court, Snively scored 1,415 points and knocked down 214 career 3-point goals, which was an Ohio Valley record when he graduated. As a senior, Snively led the Ohio Valley with 74 3-point goals. He scored 514 points during his senior season under Lou “Scooter’ Tolzda en route to third-team all-Ohio, first-team all-Eastern District, all-Valley, all-District 12 and all-OVAC co-captaincy.
As a junior, Snively poured in 22.4 points a contest to go along with 7.1 rebounds, three assists and 2.3 steals. He connected on 71, 3-point goals that season en route to honorable mention all-Ohio, first-team all-Eastern District, all-OVAC and all-Valley.
As a sophomore, Snively scored 17.9 points a game and had an outing where he knocked in 10 bonus goals, which is still a River High record.
In the spring, Snively shined at shortstop and pitcher for the Pilots. He finished his career as a .377 hitter with 97 hits, 64 RBIs and seven home runs. As a senior, Snively batted .617, which was an OVAC record at the time. He posted a 5-3 record on the mound with a 1.63 earned run average. He struck out 30 and walked 10 in 51 innings of work.
Snively was a first-team all-state selection as a senior and played in the prestigious Mizuno All-Star Game. He was the OVAC Class 3A Player of the Year along with all-Eastern District, all-Valley and all-EOBL. He batted .409 as a junior was all-OVAC, all-Eastern District and all-EOBL.
After his prep career, Snively attended Glenville State College to play football and basketball. He later coached at Glenville and was the interim head basketball coach at Bluefield State College where he was the youngest head coach in the NCAA at 24 years old. He also coached women’s basketball, women’s tennis and softball at Bluefield.
Mike now resides in Cambridge and is a teacher at Meadowbrook.
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