WHEELING - Five standout high school athletes who earned fame in football, basketball, track and cross country will be honored in the eighth class as Legends of Ohio Valley Athletic Conference schools.
Tom Rataiczak, Executive Secretary of the OVAC, announced the five Legends selections will be feted at the ninth annual OVAC Hall of Fame banquet on August 18 at WesBanco Arena.
The honorees include Caldwell's Tony Carna, who won five Ohio cross country and track titles, as the Redskins started a record string of eight straight state cross country crowns; Smithfield's Jim George, who was cited on the first All-Ohio Class B football selections; Flushing's Carter Howell, an All-Ohio basketball player and the first area player to average 40 points a game; Jewett-Scio's Dave Jones, a three-sport standout who was Ohio Class A Basketball Player of the Year; and Sistersville's Ken Mikes, a three-sport all-star who led the Tigers to their first state football title.
Two will be honored postumously - George and Howell.
The OVAC Hall of Fane, sponsored by Bob Robinson Chevrolet-Cadillac in Wheeling, and the OVAC Sports Museum are located inside WesBanco Arena.
"The Legends of OVAC schools is a conference effort to honor athletes and coaches who competed prior to the OVAC origins in 1943 or while their schools were not members of the conference," Rataiczak said.
Capsule summaries of the honorees follow:
TONY CARNA (Caldwell, 1987) - He is one of only four boys to win three Ohio cross country championships and led the start of the most successful team program in state history. He captured individual Class A titles from 1984-86 and had a winning senior time of 15:44.2. The Redskins started a record run of eight straight state team titles with Carna the main cog in the first two crowns of 1985 and 1986. The 1986 team went unbeaten with a 137-0 mark and was ranked No. 1 in the nation by The Harrier publication.while Carna was an All-American selection.
He was a nine-time All-Ohioan in cross country and track, where he added two Ohio state crowns-the 1,600 meters as a junior and 3,200 meters as a senior. His personal best times were 4:18 at 1,600; 8:38 at 3,000; 9:18 at 3,200; and 15:12 at 5,000 meters. He also set a national meet record in the 5,000-meter run in the 15-16 age group at The Athletics Congress (TAC) Junior Olympics in 1985.
He earned a scholarship to the University of Michigan where he won eight varsity letters in track and cross country and was an All-Big Ten and All-America honoree. He led the Wolverines to sixth place in the 1991 NCAA Division 1 National Cross Country Meet, where he finished 21st in individual competition.
He resides in Jersey City, N.J.
JIM GEORGE (Smithfield, 1950) - A three-sport Spartan, he was a 190-pound fullback-tackle-end who was selected to the first All-Ohio Associated Press Class B selection in 1949 and also was an All-Ohio Class B honorable mention basketball honoree and baseball standout. The two-time All-Eastern Ohio football player led the Spartans to a school record 22-game win streak with a 22-1-1 record from 1947-49 including unbeaten seasons tn 1947-48. As a senior, the Spartans opened the season with a 40-6 victory over the Massillon reserve team before playing their regular varsity schedule. He also started for the winning (14-0) Ohio team in the 1950 Ohio-West Virginia All-Star Game.
In basketball, he led the Spartans to a 22-3 record-second best in school history, and the Jefferson County title.
He accepted a football scholarship to Syracuse University, where he was a three-year letterman and regular for the Orange. He became the only Smithfield product drafted by the National Football League when selected by the Detroit Lions. He opted to join the Air Force.
Accepting the award will be his daughter, Lee Ann Alexander of Mingo Junction.
CARTER HOWELL (Flushing, 1955) - The 6-foot-5 center led the Orioles to the two best seasons (43-3 combined record) in school history including an unbeaten regular season in 1954 and an overall 21-2 mark in 1955. A four-year starter, he scored 905 points-second most in area history at the time-as a senior for a then Ohio Valley record 39.3 points per game norm after sporting a 40.2 average in regular season. He scored 74 points against New Athens-second best in Ohio Valley history at the time,and also had games of 58 and 55 points. In the 118-52 rout of New Athens, he hit 26 of 37 goals and 22 of 30 free throws.
A two-time All-Eastern Ohio selection, he also was honored on the 1955 five-player first team All-Ohio Class B selections by the three major wire services.
The four-year basketball regular ended his career with a then Belmont County record 1,961 points including 905 and 513 his last two seasons...
Howell, who also played on the Orioles' six-man football team and baseball, enrolled at West Virginia State before joining the armed services. He returned to Flushing, where he served as mayor for two years before passing away in 1990.
Accepting the award will be his high school teammate, Charles Campanizzi.
DAVE JONES (Jewett-Scio, 1981) - The 6-foot-2 basketball guard led the Ohio Valley in scoring his last two seasons with averages of 33.6 and 32.1 points and scored a Harrison County record 1,885 career points. He had a game high 50 points twice and averaged 12 reounds a game as a senior.
A two-time first team All-Valley honoree, and twice All-OV captain, he was Ohio Class A player of the Year and first team All-Ohio as a senior and second team as a junior. His basketball jersey was retired by the school and is displayed in the Scio Museum. In 1982, he was selected to the All-Time Ohio Valley Post-1950 Team by The Intelligencer newspaper.
A three-sport, 11-letter winner, he was an All-Valley "Small School" selection at end as a junior when he led Small Schools with 51 receptions for 766 yards. In track, he cleared 6-foot-7 as a high jumper.
He accepted a basketball scholarship to Ohio State where he was a four-year letterman and one of three seniors featured on the cover of the 1984-85 OSU Media Guide. He was a full-time starter as a senior and part-time regular as a junior.
He resides in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
KEN MIKES (Sistersville, 1954) - The only Tiger to earn all-state recognition in football, basketball and baseball, he led the 1953 football team to a 10-0-1 record and the first state title (Class B) in school history. Playing for OVAC Hall of Fame coach George Strager, he starred in the 27-12 state title game victory over Romney. He was selected first team Class B All-State as well as co-captain of the All-Valley "Small School Team. He also started for West Virginia's winning (13-0) team over Ohio in the annual Ohio-West Virginia All-Star Game. He was accorded National All-American High School Team honors.
In basketball, he led the Tigers to a 22-2 record as a senior, the school's best mark at the time, and scored 582 points for a 23-point average. He had a game high of 44 points against Pine Grove. Mikes was selected the state Player of the Year at the Tri-State Independent Basketball Tournament in Sistersville.
In baseball, he was a pitcher-shortstop and helped the Tigers to their first ever one-class sectional championship.
Recruited by numerous major colleges for football, he enrolled at Purdue and was a three-year letterman and two-year, regular as a two-way back and punter. He led The Big Ten in punting as a senior and was fourth in the nation with a 41.2-yard average. He was featured in Sports Illustrated for a major role in Purdue's upset of nation No. 1 ranked Michigan State, 20-13 in 1957, and is also featured in a book entitled "The Greatest Moments in Purdue Football History." Mikes played on the winning (21-20) North team in the North-South Shrine All-Star Game.
He declined offers to try out for NFL teams and served in the armed forces.
He resides in Parkersburg.