OVAC HOF HONORS FIVE LEGENDS

Sunday, April 28, 2019

            Four athletes who excelled in football, basketball and baseball plus a successful basketball coach will be honored in the 15th class of Legends of Ohio Valley Athletic Conference schools.
             Tom Rataiczak, Executive Director of the OVAC, announced the five Legends selections will be feted at the 16th annual OVAC Hall of Fame banquet on Saturday, August 17 at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling.
             The honorees include Ed Bartrug, a football and basketball standout at Magnolia High and West Virginia University;  Guido DeVecchis, an all-stater in football and basketball at Weir High who played football at WVU;  Stan Goletz, who led Bridgeport High to state tournaments in basketball and baseball before competing at Ohio State and in professional baseball;  coach Charles (Hank) Morus, the winningest boys basketball coach at Frontier and Newport Highs;  and Steve Swisher, a three-sport standout at Parkersburg South who starred at Ohio University baseball before playing nine seasons in the major leagues.
             The OVAC Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Robinson Automotive Group of Wheeling, and the OVAC Sports Museum are located inside Wesbanco Arena.
             "The Legends of OVAC schools is an effort to honor athletes and coaches who competed prior to the Conference start in 1943 or while their schools were not OVAC members,"  Rataiczak said.
 Capsule summaries of the Legends' honorees follow:

             ED BARTRUG (Magnolia, Class of 1927)--He was a two-sport (football and basketball) prep and college standout.   He earned all-class All-State and All-Valley honors as a Blue Eagle senior for an unbeaten team which played unbeaten Williamson in an all-class "unofficial" state title game in Huntington.  Williamson won, 14-13 on the field but ineligible players were discovered later and the result nullified.   The 9-0 record regular season team outscored nine foes, 356-20 including seven shutouts.   He scored a school record nine touchdowns in one game and returned a pass interception a record 98 yards against Warwood as a junior.   As a senior, he was team captain for both football and basketball.
             He was a five-letter winner in football (3) and basketball (2) at West Virginia U. and also competed in baseball and track.   A two-way back in football, he is regarded as one of the best punters in school history.   He had an 80-yard punt vs. Oregon State in 1927 and a 75-yard punt the following year.   In 1928, he starred for the 8-2 record team which beat rival Pitt for the first time in four years, 9-6.   He landed a 47-yard pass to set up WVU's only TD in the win.   He was selected to the 1930-39 era All-Time Team.
             After college, he was head football coach for 23 years at three southern W.Va. high schools--Mount Hope, St. Albans and Charleston with a coaching record of 129-50-7.   He also coached the South to a 28-13 win in 1947 in the annual North-South Game.   After retirement from the education field in 1973, he became a high school track and football official.
             He was one of 10 charter Magnolia Life Achievement honorees for student-athletes and is inducted into both the W. Va. Sports Hall of Fame and WVU Sports Hall of Fame.   He died in 1996.

             GUIDO DeVECCHIS (Weir, Class of 1942)--The 5-foot-8 sparkplug was one of the most celebrated Red Rider football-basketball athletes in the pre-OVAC era.   Playing for OVAC Hall of Fame Legend coach Carl Hamill, he earned all-class All-State in both sports as a junior and senior as well as All-Valley in football, the only All-OV sport honors at the time.
             In basketball, he set a school career point record of 1,169 points in four seasons during a low-scoring era.   The mark lasted 22 years before broken by OVAC charter Hall of Famer Ron (Fritz) Williams.   He averaged 19 points a game as a senior when he was named to the eight-player, all-class All-State team as the Red Riders finished state largest class Class A runner-up to Fairmont Senior, 38-37.   He was a repeat all-tournament selection.   As a junior, the guard was picked on the second all-class All-State unit as the Red Riders (21-4) won the regional title before beating Woodrow Wilson in the state Class A tourney and bowing to Huntington East.
             In football, the running back was a second unit, all-class All-State honoree as a senior when he scored a Rider-best 17 TDs for a 9-1 record team which lost only to Massillon (Ohio), 6-0.   In a 32-0 blanking of Clairton, Pa., he returned a punt 95 yards to score.   He played on three Rider teams (1939-41) with records of 9-1, 7-2 and 9-2  competing against a top-flight tri-state schedule.   He opted to play football at West Virginia U. and lettered on the 1946 Mountaineer team.
             He died in 1996

             STAN GOLETZ (Bridgeport, Class of 1936)--The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Bulldog was a two-sport standout who led his team into state tournaments in both basketball and baseball.   Nicknamed Stash and Lefty, the southpaw was a four-year regular first baseman-pitcher in baseball and the top player on the 27-4 record basketball team which advanced to Ohio's largest class tournament semi-finals before bowing to eventual champion Newark after winning two games over Cleveland Holy Name and Bowling Green for OVAC Hall of Fame Legend coach Floyd Baker.
             After going 18-3 in regular season play in the old Ohio Valley Athletic Association, the predecessor to the OVAC, the Bulldogs went 9-1 in post-season play to advance the farthest in school history at the time.   He was team captain and earned All-State Tournament honors as a guard.   Post-season victims included Steubenville, East Liverpool, Shadyside, Toronto and Carrollton. Goletz also starred as a junior on a 20-5 record team.
               In baseball, as a senior, he pitched two no-hit, no-run games in one week during the Eastern Ohio regional tournament to advance to the state largest Class A event.   The Bulldogs then defeated Toledo Libby, 5-4 in the first round before bowing, 5-4 to Columbus Aquinas in the semi-finals.
             After high school, he enrolled at Ohio State and played four seasons of baseball while being scouted by several pro teams in the pre-Draft era.  While in college, he played pro baseball as a pitcher during the summers.  In 1938, he went 12-5 with Springfield, Ill., and played for Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1939.   After college, in 1940, he played for three pro teams--Charleston, W.Va., Pine Bluff, Ark., and Oklahoma City, Okla.   Playing outfield/pitcher for Oklahoma City in 1941, he hit .300 in 59 games and was 15-10 as a pitcher before being called up by the Chicago White Sox. He played in five games as a pinch-hitter and had three hits in five at bats in the majors.   A year later, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and upon release in 1945, he returned to minor league baseball as a pitcher, first baseman, outfielder and manager until the mid-1950's.
              He died in 1997.

             CHARLES (HANK) MORUS (McKeesport, Pa., Class of 1939)--He made his boys basketball coaching mark at old Newport High (1955-68) before the school became part of the current Frontier (1968-81) High in New Matamoras, Ohio.   His first coaching job was in August, Mo. from 1950-55.   Overall, his 31-year coaching record was 409-247 with 11 league titles, seven sectional championships and a district crown in 1969.   After Frontier joined the OVAC, he guided the Cougars to Class AA titles in 1979 and 1981.
             He won league Coach of the Year honors six times; won District 12 honors in 1974 plus Eastern District Coach of the Year in 1969 and 1981, the year he coached in the OVAC All-Star game.   In 1994, he earned the Earl Haberfield OVAC Basketball Coaches Award.
             Besides coaching boys basketball, he served as Athletic Director at Newport from 1960-67 and at Frontier from 1968-81.   In his first coaching job--girls basketball, his Missouri teams went 79-29.   At Newport, he also coached the baseball team for 12 seasons with a 97-57 mark and four league, three sectional and one district title.   The 1964 team advanced to the regional finals.
             He graduated from Salem (W.Va.) College  where he was captain and co-captain of the basketball and baseball teams and selected as the Outstanding Senior Athlete.
               In 1999, he was inducted into the Mid-Ohio Valley Athletic Hall of Fame and the Frontier High School Gymnasium was named the Hank Morus Gymnasium and an annual Hank Morus Athletic Scholarship was started for senior male and female student-athletes.    He also is inducted in the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame and the District 12 charter Basketball Coaches Hall.
              He died in 1998.

             STEVE SWISHER (Parkersburg South, Class of 1969)--South's first honoree was a three-sport Patriot all-stater during the first two years of the school who went on to an honored college baseball career before playing nine seasons in the major leagues.   He was a sophomore starter at football end for Parkersburg High before South opened its doors and became the school's first major multi-sport athlete.   He also was a shortstop for a state championship Parkersburg Post 15 American Legion team.
             In two years at South, he was an all-class, all-state baseball shortstop, a second team all-stater as a basketball forward; and an all-state mention as a football end.   In two seasons of basketball, he scored 1,077 points and converted all 20 free throws in one game with a high point output of 33 points.   But baseball was his future as he accepted a scholarship to Ohio University, which advanced to the College World Series in his freshman season.   That team featured Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt.   Bobcat coach Bob Wren converted Swisher to catcher and he became a three-time All-Mid America Conference honoree and an All-America selection as a senior.
             He became the Bobcats' first Major League Draft pick in the first round--and the first from West Virginia, as the 21st overall choice by the Chicago White Sox in 1973.   Traded to crosstown Chicago Cubs, he competed for the National League team from 1974-77 before playing with the St. Louis Cardinals from 1978-80 and the San Diego Padres from 1981-82.   He was the Cubs' representative in the 1976 All-Star Game but didn't play in the game.
             After his playing days, he became a minor league manager from 1985-93 and 1997 plus 2005 and major league coach.   He won three minor league championships in the Cleveland Indians and New York Mets' organizations and was the Mets' bullpen coach from 1994-96.
             He was a charter inductee into the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.   Swisher resides in Tampa, Fla.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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