REPELLA SELECTED FOR OVAC HOFMonday, February 13, 2017
Steubenville High has long been noted for producing multi-sport star athletes. One of the Big Red’s former standouts who went on to play basketball at The Ohio State University has received the ultimate honor.
Steubenville’s Gary Repella is headed to the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame, representing the decade of the 1970s, this summer. Repella will be formally inducted into the OVAC Hall, 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 successive year 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 class representing the decade of the 1960s will be published on Feb. 26.
Here’s a capsule look at the honoree:
GARY REPELLA, Steubenville (Class of 1970) — Repella enjoyed stellar careers in basketball, baseball and football for the Big Red.
It was in hoops that led to a collegiate scholarship as Ohio State coaching legend Fred Taylor inked the talented 6-3 guard, one year after landing St. John Central star Allan Hornyak.
Repella helped lead Steubenville to a 23-1 mark as a senior. Big Red of Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Watt claimed the OVAC 3A championship. He averaged 18.1 points per game in becoming the district player-of-the-year while being named first-team all-Ohio Repella was a two-time All-Valley “Big School” and All-OVAC honoree. He scored in double figures in every game as a senior for the well-balanced Big Red. He averaged 15 points per game as a junior.
He was also a gem on the diamond, starting for three seasons. The slick-fielding second baseman helped Steubenville win the OVAC title in 1968 while compiling a 22-7-1 mark as a senior.
In his final campaign, he batted .357 on the strength of 35 hits while being named first-team All-Valley. There was no All-OVAC team at that time.
Repella was selected to play in the Ohio All-Star Game in Columbus which also signified all-state honors. He was also a key performer for the Steubenville Legion team which claimed the district title, earning a berth in the state tournament in Athens.Repella was a two-year starter in football at Steubenville. As a senior, he directed the ground-oriented Big Red to a 7-2-1 record, tying powerhouse Massillon. He completed 30-of-64 passes for 517 yards and five TDs that fall.
After being graduated from Steubenville High, Repella took his versatile talents to Columbus to play basketball at OSU.
The NCAA had a rule in place prohibiting freshmen to play on the varsity squad. Repella made the most of his time with the Buckeyes’ frosh, leading the team with a 19.2 scoring average.
A back injury slowed his sophomore campaign, starting two games and playing in 15. He tallied 10 points in his first start that season against Butler.
As a junior, he served as a backup to Hornyak, a three-time firstteam All-Big Ten honoree. Repella became a full-time starter as a senior.
As a senior at OSU, he was second on team with 59 assists and averaged 7.6 points a game, with a game high of 19 points. He played in 23 of 24 games and started 19 as a two-guard. Gary still resides in Steubenville, serving the city for many years as law director. His daughter, Liz, was a 2,000-point hoop scorer for Big Red before starring at WVU.