Saturday, February 23, 2019

          The 16th class of the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference  Hall of Fame continues to crystalize as two more former athletic greats have been selected for induction on Saturday, Aug. 17.
          The two latest honorees come from the decade of the 1970s and  feature Ron Sismondo of Mingo and Jeff Patterson of Brooke.
           Previously selected for this year's Hall of Fame induction ceremony were Fort Frye graduate Tyler Engle and Steubenville product  Liz Repella for the decade of the 2000s; Linsly's Jamie Adams and  Bellaire's Scott Coyne were tabbed for the 1990s while Martins  Ferry's Shelly Carroll and Mike Gulan of Steubenville Catholic Central are the honorees from the 1980s.
          The entire OVAC Hall of Fame class, which is sponsored by Robinson  Auto Group and housed at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, will be announced by the committee every two weeks.
           The next release will contain the honorees from the 1960s and it will be announced on March 3.
           Here’s a capsule look at the honorees for the decade of the 1970s:

           RON SISMONDO, Mingo (Class of 1978) — Sismondo was one of the  finest hurlers ever to grace the mound in Ohio Valley history.  In addition, he was also a sparkling quarterback for the Indians.
           Sismondo's pitching prowess was so superb that he earned a  scholarship to the University of Arizona, where he became the only OVAC product to play for an NCAA Baseball World Series champion.  His Wildcats turned the trick in 1980.
            The crafty southpaw was a two-time All-Valley and All-OVAC baseball honoree.
           Sismondo authored a 7-2 mound mark as a senior for an 11-9 Mingo squad, with one of his two blemishes being a 1-0 loss to Jewett-Scio.    He yielded only two hits in that district championship setback.
           Sismondo struck out 93 batters in just 53 innings of work that  spring while compiling a miniscule 0.38 ERA.
          He was also dominant during his junior campaign.   Sismondo led the Ohio Valley in strikeouts that spring, fanning 94  batters in 50 innings to go with a miniscule 1.01 ERA.   He had a 5-2  mark for the 8-8 Indians.
           He was also lethal with the bat. Sismondo was third in the Ohio Valley via his .500 batting average (29-of-58).  He had six doubles,  one triple and one home run.
          While he dominated on the diamond, he also excelled on the gridiron.    Sismondo earned All-Valley and All-OVAC honors for his sparkling  play at quarterback.  He was the top small-school passer in the Ohio Valley as a senior, completing 65-of-142 passes for 870 yards and  seven TDs.
          At the University of Arizona, Sismondo was a record-setting, four- year letterman (1979-82) and starting pitcher.  The star of that team  was outfielder Terry Francona, who was named World Series MVP and  first team All-America.   Sismondo crafted a sparkling 33-17 career  record with nine saves to go with 46 starts while pitching 361  innings in 88 games.
         He set Arizona freshman year records of 11 wins, 121 innings pitched, 18 starts and seven complete games.
           Sismondo was drafted twice -- by the Milwaukee Brewers in the  11th round in 1981 and by the Seattle Mariners in the 13th round in  1982.   He signed with Mariners after senior season and played two years in Class A at Wausau, Wis. in Midwest League before returning to the  Ohio Valley and becoming a high school administrator.

          JEFF PATTERSON, Brooke (Class of 1979) — Patterson was one of the  finest performers ever in the tradition-rich Brooke football history,  starring as as a  big-play wide receiver for the Green & Gold.
          Patterson's exploits helped to lead the Bruins to their first-ever playoff berth in 1978.   He landed 22 passes for 501 yards and eight TDs that fall.   He earned second-team all-state honors to go with  first-team recognition on the all-OVAC, all-Valley (serving as co-captain) and all-Mountaineer squads.
           Moreover, the glue-fingered wideout was chosen to play in the OVAC Rudy Mumley All-Star Football game.    He was also awarded the Clark Hinkle Scholarship.
          Patterson also enjoyed a banner junior grid campaign. He caught 36 passes for 686 yards for eight TDs while also returning a punt for a  six-pointer.
           The versatile performer was accorded first-team all-state honors for his efforts that fall.   He was also named to the first team of the all-OVAC, all-Valley and all-Mountaineer League squads.
          Patterson was also a two-year letterman in basketball for the Bruins.   He helped Brooke to a 15-win campaign and a sectional crown his senior year.
           The talented guard averaged 14.2 ppg that winter, earning him third-team all-Valley laurels. He was also chosen to play in the OVAC Sam Mumley Basketball Classic.
           Football earned Patterson a scholarship to Youngstown State, but he was just as excellent in track & field as sprinter.    He placed seventh in the West Virginia state meet as a senior in  the 200 meters.   He was fifth in the same event in the OVAC meet while taking fourth in the 100-meters.
           Patterson enjoyed a banner junior year as a thinclad.   He was fourth in the OVAC 200 meters while taking sixth in the 100.   He was regional champ in the 200 while taking third in the 100.   As fate  would have it,  however, he was injured and unable to take part in the state meet.
           Patterson and the Penguins were a productive football fit.   He  started three seasons at Youngstown State, gaining second team All- Ohio Valley  Conference honors as a senior.
           He finished his Penguin career with 73 catches for 1,300 yards and seven TDs.   At the time of his graduation, he ranked second in all- time consecutive games with a reception (27) and 17th in career  receiving yards.
          His college production spawned a professional grid career in the  Canadian Football League.   He played four seasons with Montreal and was named the Alouettes'  Rookie of the Year in 1983.   Patterson had 76 career catches with  Montreal for 980 yards and seven TDs.
          Patterson ended his pro career with Saskatchewan, leading the  Eastern Conference in punt return average.

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