Sunday, January 19, 2020

          Though in different sports, running was the name of the game for both of the latest selections to the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame's Class of 2020.
          Wheeling Park graduate Daryl "Boogie" Johnson and Magnolia alumnus Josh Watson are the
latest to have their names called to represent the decade of the 1990s during the Conference's annual hall of fame induction ceremony, which is slated for Saturday, Aug. 15.
          The entire OVAC Hall of Fame, which is sponsored by Robinson Auto Group and housed at
WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, class will be announced by the committee every two weeks.
          The next release will contain the honorees from the 1980s and it will be announced on Feb. 2.
Here's a capsule look at the honorees from the decade of the 1990s:

          DARYL "Boogie" JOHNSON, Wheeling Park (Class of 1992) -- It didn't matter the sport or
season for this Patriot, he simply shined.
          While earning accolades in multiple sports, it was on the football field where Johnson left his
biggest impact.
          One of the best running games to ever suit up in the Ohio Valley, Johnson rushed for more than
4,100 career yards and 56 touchdowns. He saved his best for last, too. As a senior, Johnson put forth a highly memorable campaign in which he carried the ball 229 times for 2,062 yards and scored 31 touchdowns.
          During that senior season in 1991, Johnson had one of his biggest games against the biggest
opponents. Against Morgantown, Johnson carried the ball 9 times for 231 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone.
          Following his memorable season, accolades followed Johnson. he was named the recipient of
the Kennedy Award, which goes to the top prep player in the Mountain State as well as the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state. He was also named Fourth-Team All-American. Along with those, he was First-Team All-State, All-OVAC and All-Valley.
          Johnson was listed on the All-OVAC team in all three years of his career.
          In Februrary of 1992, Johnson signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his football career
at Oklahoma State University. He made an impact early, accumulating more than 600 yards of offense as a freshman, but saw his campaign cut short due to a knee injury.
          As a sophomore, he had gained 300 yards, but a collarbone injury ended his season and his
junior year was also cut short with another knee injury.
          On top of his football prowess at Wheeling Park, Johnson shined on the baseball field. He had a
career batting average of better than .400, including two all-OVAC seasons as a sophomore and junior where he hit .455 and .420, respectively.
          Daryl, who currently works for Ohio County Schools as a paraprofessional in special education,
has two sons, Savion and Amar'e.

          JOSH WATSON, Magnolia (Class of 1999) -- Regardless if it was track or cross country, this
former Blue Eagle ran. And he ran fast.
          Watson is one of the most decorated distance runners in Ohio Valley history, achieving
impeccable success in both sports.
          In his OVAC and West Virginia State Meet careers, Watson finished with 15 gold medals,
including 14 individual titles. Those are the most in Ohio Valley history.
          In cross country, Watson became the first Magnolia harrier to win the West Virginia State
Championship, helping his team to the state team title, too. He also won the regional title and  second in the OVAC.
          He didn't stop there. He won the regional and state championship as a junior and senior, too.
          In the spring, it didn't matter the distance. Whether it was the 800, 1600 or 3200, Watson took
on all comers. His junior season, he finished as the high scorer in the Class A/AA meet with 32.5 points.  Those came via the state title in the 800, 1600 and 3200 and he anchored the champion 4x800 team. He won the 1600 and 3200 at the OVAC and finished as runnerup in the 800.
          As a senior, Watson helped guide the Blue Eagles to the West Virginia Class A/AA state team
title thanks to scoring 32 more points, which includes repeats in all three of the individual distance events and a runner-up finish in the 4x8. He was the OVAC champion in all three individual races and set the OVAC 3A record at the time at 1:59.05.
          After high school, Watson signed to compete in both sports at William & Mary. He earned
Academic All-American honors in both sports and a Phi Beta Kappa.

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