Five more will be added to OVAC HOF

WHEELING – An impressive list of accomplishments at multiple levels of sports accompany all five of the athletes chosen for the final installment of the Class of 2014 to the OVAC Hall of Fame.

The final grouping, which has selections from the 1990s and 2000s, features record setters, professionals and academic standouts on top of all of their athletic achievements.

Chosen for induction on Aug. 16 at WesBanco Arena are Martins Ferry’s Chad Brinker and Linsly’s Eddie Drummond from the 1990s while Buckeye Local’s David Bertolino, Wheeling Park’s Kari Hutchins and Linsly’s Dan Stephens are the honorees for the 2000s.

Previously announced inductees are coaches – Jim Potts and Bob Roe; officials – Jack Prettyman; OVAC contributor – James Companion; OVAC family – Bill Brubaker: 1940s – Paul Rickards of Wheeling High; 1950s – Mike Ingram of Bellaire and Jim Kerr of St. Clairsville; 1960s – Alan Jack of Wintersville and James (Junior) Moore of Wheeling High; 1970s – Gordon Gordon of John Marshall and Rick Coles of Wheeling; and 1980s – Stan Boroski (Buckeye South) and Mike Smith (Buckeye Trail).

Five “Legends” of OVAC schools will also be honored that night. They include Connie Sanford Richardson of Caldwell; Porter Mackey of East Liverpool; Andy Tonkovich of Benwood Union; John Wood of Magnolia and Bill Young of Martins Ferry.

The OVAC Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Robinson Auto Group of Wheeling.

Capsule summaries of the honorees from the 1990s and 2000s:

DAVID BERTOLINO (Buckeye Local, 2003) – This Panther product was a one-sport athlete, but was one of the best wrestlers to ever grace the mats in the Ohio Valley.

Bertolino was a four-year regular for the Panthers, but really blossomed as a junior and senior. He won the individual championship at the OVAC Tournament in both seasons.

He was a state qualifier as a junior and came back as a man on a mission the following season. During his senior season, Bertolino put forth an unblemished 44-0 record and won the 160-pound Division II state championship in the process.

Bertolino finished his prep career with a strong 154-22 record and was named the 2003 Eastern District Wrestler of the Year. Bertolino didn’t hang up the prep singlet immediately after receiving his OHSAA gold medal.

Bertolino went to the National High School Senior Coaches Association Championship Tournament and placed third, earning all-American honors at 160 pounds.

Prior to his senior season, Bertolino was the gold medal at the National Open Wrestling Championship and then won the gold at the AAU Junior Olympics.

Bertolino wrestled for four years at Iowa State University, three of those seasons spent under Bridgeport High graduate and OVAC Hall of Famer Bobby Douglas.

During his senior season, Bertolino earned NCAA All-American by virtue of finishing in the top eight at 197 pounds in his only trip to the national tournament.

All told, Bertolino finished his collegiate career with a 68-41 record.

Following his collegiate career, Bertolino attempted to qualify to the United States Olympic Team for the 2012 games in London. He spent more than a year at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado training.

He resides in Dallas.

CHAD BRINKER (Martins Ferry, 1998) – This Purple Rider legend shined in three sports during his four-year prep career, but it was in football where he really left a lasting mark.

After lettering as a freshman, Brinker got his chance to be the Purple Riders’ main tailback midway through his sophomore season and clearly made the most of his opportunity.

Brinker finished his prep career with 3,984 yards, which ranks second all-time at Ferry, and 51 touchdowns. The majority of his career yards came as a senior when he racked up 2,024 yards.

After both his junior and senior seasons, Brinker was named first-team all-Eastern District and first-team all-Ohio. As a senior, he was the district’s offensive player of the year and also the district’s nominee for Ohio’s coveted Mr. Football Award. He was also named a USA Today All-American.

Along with his state honors, Brinker was twice named first-team all-OVAC and all-Valley, serving as a co-captain both in 1996 and 1997.

Brinker took part in the Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Charity Football Classic, but after rushing for 160 yards in the first half, he was injured and didn’t play in the second half.

His success wasn’t limited to the high school ranks. Brinker signed with Ohio University and earned four letters for the Bobcats. He was twice named all-MAC and was chosen to play in the 2002 Hula Bowl All-Star Game in Hawaii.

Brinker finished his career with the Bobcats with 2,826 yards and 27 rushing touchdowns, which rank fifth and fourth on the O.U. career listing, respectively. Of his yards, he ran for 1,099 as a senior. He put forth 10, 100-yard rushing games during his career.

Brinker put forth those numbers despite missing four games as a junior because of an injury.

Though he went undrafted, Brinker signed with the New York Jets in 2003 and played in the pre-season before being released on the final cut. He scored two touchdowns that pre-season. He played in NFL Europe in 2004.

Along with his football exploits, Brinker was an all-Ohioan in track and field. He finished seventh in the Division II 100 meter dash as a senior, running 11.27. He also lettered in basketball and baseball. He earned all-OVAC in hoops.

Since graduating from Ohio University with a degree in exercise science, Brinker served as a radio color analyst for Bobcats’ football games, served as an assistant coach at Westerville Central and since 2010 has worked in the player personnel department with the Green Bay Packers. He received a Super Bowl ring after the Packers defeated the Steelers in 2010.

EDDIE DRUMMOND (Linsly, 1998) – Speed was the name of the game for this former Cadet, Nittany Lion and NFL Pro Bowler.

Drummond was one of the fastest athletes to ever participate in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference.

While he excelled in track and field, it was in football where Drummond truly left his mark with the Cadets, leading them to a 29-11 mark during his four years in the Orange & Black.

Drummond ran for 3,918 yards and 55 touchdowns during his career. He finished with 70 touchdowns total and scored 424 points. He also closed his career with 5,729 all-purpose yards in 40 games.

During his junior season, in which Linsly finished 10-0, Drummond ran for 1,383 yards, which was his career high. The 168 points he scored that season ranked fifth in the state of West Virginia.

Drummond was named Ohio Valley Player of the Year following that season. He was three times named all-OVAC and twice named to the first-team all-state unit in West Virginia. As a junior, he was named as a defensive back and as a running back as a senior. He was the runner-up for the Kennedy Award, which goes to the Mountain State’s top prep player. He was also named first-team all-Valley three times.

Drummond chose to play for Joe Paterno and Penn State over offers from the likes of Notre Dame, Michigan and Florida State. He was a wide receiver, primarily for the Nittany Lions. He made 71 receptions for 1,132 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for 272 yards and a score.

After not being selected in the draft, Drummond signed with the Detroit Lions and made the team as a kick returner. He averaged 26 yards a kickoff return, ranking third in the NFC and fifth in the NFL. He had a punt return for a touchdown.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl and named all-Pro in 2004. All told, he played five seasons in the NFL (four with Detroit and one with Kansas City). He spent the 2008 season on the Steelers’ practice squad.

Other than football at Linsly, Drummond was one of the top track sprinters in the Ohio Valley. He lost only one race to an Ohio Valley athlete and that was as a freshman. He had a PR of 10.37, which he ran during a summer meet after his senior season. He ran 21.7 in the 200 and 48.9 in the 400. He was a four-time all-Valley selection.

KARRIE HUTCHINS (Wheeling Park, 2001) – This former Patriot helped officially put Wheeling Park soccer on the map locally and around the state of West Virginia during her splendid prep career.

Hutchins was a defensive standout and unquestioned leader of the Lady Patriots, which resulted in her twice being named the West Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year (2000 and 2001).

With Hutchins playing a key role, the Patriots claimed three straight West Virginia Class AAA state titles and four straight big-school OVAC crowns.

Along with those honors, she was a three-time first-team all-state selection and four-time all-OVAC pick. She was named OVAC Player of the Year both as a junior and senior.

Hutchins was inducted to the Wheeling Park High School Hall of Fame in 2007.

After her prep career, Hutchins played collegiately at West Virginia University where she became the first Mountain State native to start for the Mountaineers’ women’s program.

Hutchins started 45 of her 49 career matches as a defensive player and during her career, the Mountaineers posted 30 shutouts.

During the 2003 season, with Hutchins playing a key role, the Mountaineers advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. The season prior, WVU was the Big East Mid-Atlantic champion.

She was named a team captain for the 2005 season, but her career came to an end due to injury in the second game of the season.

Hutchins was also a standout in the classroom at Park and WVU. She was presented the Red Brown Cup in 2006, which goes to WVU’s most outstanding all-around student-athlete in terms of athletic, academic and civic achievement. She also earned CoSIDA Academic All-District team in 2005 as well as the WVU Foundation Outstanding Senior and was a four-time Big East academic all-star.

Hutchins graduated with a degree in business administration and completed a Master of Professional Accountancy at WVU.

She resides in Columbus.

DAN STEPHENS (Linsly, 2000) – It didn’t matter the season, field or sport, this Cadets’ product played and played well.

The only Linsly School athlete to start for four years in football, basketball and baseball, Stephens shined exceptionally bright on the football and baseball fields.

Stephens was a four-year letterman for Terry Depew’s football team, amassing a school record 292 tackles, playing primarily along the defensive line. He had a senior season in which he registered 76 tackles and five sacks. On the offensive side of the ball, Stephens ran for 832 yards and 12 touchdowns.

He was a first-team all-state selection in Class A and was a multiple-time all-OVAC and all-Valley honoree on the gridiron.

On the baseball field, long-time Linsly head coach Gary Sprague called Stephens the “finest hitter” he’d ever coached. Stephens led the Ohio Valley in hitting as a senior at .537 and connected on eight home run and drove in a school-record 45 runs. He struck out just four times that season.

Stephens still holds the Linsly career record for home runs and RBIs.

His efforts were recognized by his selection to the all-OVAC team multiple times and the all-Valley team multiple times.

On the basketball court, Stephens played on the interior. He still holds the Linsly record for rebounds and charges taken in his career. He was recognized on the all-Valley team for hoops, too.

Stephens took part in the OVAC All-Star Game for all three sports and was the winner of the Zimmerman Award, which goes to Linsly’s best male athlete.

After receiving more than 25 collegiate scholarship offers combined between football and baseball, Stephens elected to attend the University of Pittsburgh to play football.

For the Panthers, Stephens was a four-year letterman and started 41 games along the defensive line. The Panthers took part in five straight bowl games during his time in the Steel City, including the Fiesta Bowl. Stephens received the Fiesta Bowl Art Bodine MVP Award.

Stephens was signed by the Buffalo Bills and was in early camp with the organization in 2005. Stephens was an all-Big East player and twice named an Academic All-American. He was listed on the All Big East Academic Team four times.

Stephens also received the David Sandberg Award, which goes to the Pitt athlete with the best overall academic and athletic achievements. He received the Demale Stanley Award, which goes to a Pitt football player who has overcome the most adversity.

Finally, Stephens received the Blue/Gold Award. All of the winners have their names on the ‘Varsity Walk’ on campus. It’s the Pitt version of the Hall of Fame. He earned three degrees at Pittsburgh. He lives in the Ohio Valley and is State Farm agent in Martins Ferry.