Monday, January 22, 2018

          BELLAIRE -- A pair of former prep All-Americans -- Wheeling Central's Eric McGhee and Edison's Kelly Shields -- have received the call to the hall.
          McGhee and Shields will represent the decade of the 1990s in the Class of 2018 OVAC Hall of Fame induction.
          The OVAC Hall of Fame, which is sponsored by Robinson Automotive Group, will hold its induction ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 18 at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, which is where the hall of fame is housed.
           This is the fourth consecutive year that the hall of fame committee is releasing the honorees every two weeks until April rather than waiting until later in the spring. The athletes representing the decade of the 1980s will be published on Feb. 4.
          Previously announced were Steubenville graduate Zach Collaros and Beaver Local alumnus Adam Hoppel, who will represent the decade of the 2000s. 
          Here's a capsule look at the honorees from the 1990s decade:
          ERIC McGHEE (Wheeling Central, Class of 1991) -- There have been a lot of football standouts come through the Maroon Knights program and this multiple-time all-state selection is right near the top of the list.
          Actually, McGhee was a standout in three sports during his time at Central, but it was on the football field where he left his biggest mark.
          En route to winning the Kennedy Award, which is presented to West Virginia's top prep player, as a senior, McGhee rushed for a modern Ohio Valley record of 2,479 yards on 307 carries in 12 games, while scoring 30 touchdowns. All told, he finished with 34 touchdowns and more than 3,000 all-purpose yards. Also a standout on the defensive side of the ball, McGhee had four interceptions, returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown and scored 192 total points, which was the best in the Mountain State that season.
          As a junior, McGhee finished second in the Kennedy Award balloting after leading the Ohio Valley in rushing. He accumulated 1,565 yards on 201 carries. He scored 28 touchdowns on the ground and 172 total points to lead West Virginia high school football.
          Along with his all-state and Kennedy Awards, McGhee was also recognized as the Gatorade Player of the Year, Morgantown Touchdown Club Player of the Year, all-USA Today team and Touchdown Club of Atlanta also recognized McGhee's efforts.
          Locally, the awards were obviously plentiful, too. He was twice named captain of the all-Valley Small-School team. He was captain of the all-OVAC Class AA team twice as well. 
          After his prep career, McGhee accepted an offer to attend Bowling Green University. He played two years and served primarily as a kick returner. He was a part of the Falcons' 1992 team, which finished 10-2 and won the Las Vegas Bowl. He led the team in kickoff returns with 14 for 269 yards that season, including 125 yards against Wisconsin.
          He played two seasons of professional football for the Steel Valley Smash.
          Along with his football exploits, McGhee was part of the Maroon Knights' 1990 Class AA state championship team in basketball. He was also the OVAC Class AA baseball player of the year after serving as the Knights' lead-off hitter.
          Eric currently resides in Canal Winchester, which is a Columbus suburb where he owns a construction company and serves as an assistant football coach at Canal Winchester High School. He has five sons.
          KELLY SHIELDS (Edison, Class of 1993) -- This former Wildcat made a decision to focus on the sport of wrestling as a youngster.
           And it was a decision that paid the ultimate dividends.
          A four-year mainstay with the Wildcats program, Shields helped to put Edison on the map at the state level through his exploits on the mat during his career, which saw him rack up 137 career wins. 
          Shields is one of just nine OVAC wrestlers to win four championships at the Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Tournament. He won the 1990 and 1991 crowns at 103 pounds. He bumped up a class to 112 in 1992 and then captured his fourth title at 119.
          The success didn't end inside what was then known as the Wheeling Civic Center. Shields put forth a brilliant career at the state level, too. He became a constant at the Nutter Center on the campus of Wright State University.
          Shields was a four-time state qualifier and claimed the Division II, 103-pound state championship as a sophomore. He finished 37-1 as a senior, dropping his first-round match in the state tournament, which at that time, eliminated him from the tournament. 
          Shields won the district championship as a freshman, sophomore and senior. After his senior season, Shields was recognized as the OVAC Wrestler of the Year at 119 pounds. He was also named an all-American by the National High School Wrestling Team.
          Upon graduation, Shields enrolled at Kent State University with intentions of continuing his wrestling career. However, he suffered a knee injury, which led to the end of competitive wrestling.
Shields' abilities earned a spot on Team Ohio, which allowed him to travel to places such as Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand in the summer of 1992.
          Kelly now resides in Cape Coral, Fl. and works in sales and as a network marketing professional.

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