Four more added to OVAC HOF
WHEELING – Four versatile and gifted prep athletes are the latest selections for the 11th-annual Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.
Chosen for induction on Aug. 16 at WesBanco Arena are Wheeling High’s Rick Coles and John Marshall’s Gordon Gordon from the 1970s while Buckeye Trail’s Mike Smith and Stan Boroski of Buckeye South are the honorees for the 1980s.
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; and the 1960s: Alan Jack of Wintersville and James (Junior) Moore of Wheeling High.
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.
he OVAC Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Robinson Auto Group of Wheeling.
Capsule summaries of the honorees from the 1970s and 80s:
GORDON “CHARLEY” GORDON (John Marshall, 1977) – He was nothing short of outstanding for the Monarchs in three sports. Gordon excelled in track, wrestling and football.
As a weightman in track for the powerful JM thinclads, Gordon established the all-time Ohio Valley discus mark on the strength of his 166-9 toss as a senior, a season in which he won the OVAC 3A and West Virginia state discus championships. He was second in the state shot put event with a heave of 52-4. As a junior he was OVAC and state discus runner-up to OVAC Hall of Famer John Leon of Brooke High and Notre Dame.
He grappled for OVAC Hall of Fame Coach Bill Hinegardner and scripted a senior season to remember. Gordon went undefeated, leading the Monarchs to the overall OVAC crown. He went on to cap his mat career with the W.Va. Class AAA heavyweight title.
Gordon was also a standout on the football field, starting three years as an offensive lineman and linebacker. He received all-Mountaineer League and all-OVAC laurels as senior, although the Monarchs won just one game.
The 6-2, 255-pounder received an offer to walk-on the WVU football program. The move paid off as Gordon earned a full scholarship while starting two seasons on the offensive line and lettering in three campaigns.
His senior season of 1980 marked the inaugural campaign for coach Don Nehlen and new Mountaineer Field. He was elected as a co-captain that season.
Gordon lives in the Mozart section of Wheeling. His two sons were both Wheeling Central football standouts. Gordon is married to the sister of Maroon Knights’ head coach Mike Young.
RICK COLES (Wheeling, 1971) – He was a star for the Wildcats in both football and basketball, earning a scholarship to West Virginia University in the latter.
The 6-3, 170-pound guard enjoyed a record-setting hoop career at Wheeling High. He averaged 33.7 in the regular season as a senior, leading the Wildcats to a 21-3 record and OVAC championship honors. That squad also went on to win sectional and regional titles en route to a state tourney berth.
He tied the school’s single-game scoring record, held by legendary Everett Brinkman with 54 points, in a 147-88 conquest of Oak Glen. He also averaged an amazing 22 rebounds per game in his final campaign.
For his career, Coles netted 1,389 points, just 22 shy of Wheeling High’s school standard.
He was a two-time all-Valley “Big School”, all-OVAC and all-W.Va. first-team honoree. Coles was selected as state player of the year by the Morgantown Touchdown Club following his senior campaign.
Coles also starred on the gridiron for Wheeling High, lettering three years while performing at quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back.
As a senior, he ranked second in OVAC Class AAA passing yards with more than 1,100.
Coles also used his versatility and athleticism to the Wildcats’ track team, competing on the relay teams and as a high jumper.
AT WVU, Coles was the second-leading scorer as the Mountaineers’ frosh squad via his 14-point average. He earned a letter as a sophomore, playing in 22 games.
As fate would have it, however, Coles suffered a broken leg in the pre-season of his junior year which limited his play over the next two years.
Coles resides in Morgantown.
Wheeling High and Wheeling Park basketball coaching icon Sam Andy called Coles one of the two best best players he ever coached. The other being Anthony Reed.
MIKE SMITH (Buckeye Trail High School, 1983) – Enjoyed both personal and team success as the first four-year letterman for the Warriors.
Individually, Smith finished a stellar career with 2,188 points, which ranks 23rd all-time in the OHSAA record book.
He scored 25 points in his first varsity game as a freshman, finishing with 254 points that season. He then displayed remarkable consistency, scoring 625 as a sophomore; 643 as a junior and 666 as a senior for a four-year average of 22.8 points per game.
Smith was selected to the all-Ohio Class A first team three times, including being named the “Player of the Year” in 1983. He was also a three-time first team all-Eastern District and all-District 12 selection, named “Player of the Year” on both teams as a senior; and was a first team all-OVAC Class 2-A honoree.
He played in the OVAC All-Star Basketball Classic and the Ohio North-South All-Star Game following his senior season.
In addition to ranking as Trail’s all-time leading scorer, he is also the leading rebounder with 643 and is third all-time in free throw percentage at 83.9 percent.
During Smith’s career, Trail posted a sparkling record of 88-8 under the guidance of Coach Terry Leggett. The Smith-led Warriors won three sectional titles, three district crowns and one regional championship, making a state tournament appearance in 1983 with Smith scoring 33 points in that game. Trail also captured two OVAC crowns. Smith continued to showcase his basketball talents at Rio Grande College, graduating in 1987 with a degree in business.
A four-year letterman, he ranks ninth all-time on the Rio Grande scoring list with 1,741 points.
He was inducted into the District 12 Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2010.
STAN BOROSKI (Buckeye South, 1981) – He may be best known for his baseball career, but Boroski was a tremendous three-sport standout at Buckeye South.
He earned all-Ohio honors in football, basketball and baseball for the Rebels.
Boroski quarterbacked Buckeye South into the football post-season as a senior, becoming the first Ohio Valley school to play in the OHSAA grid playoffs. He, unfortunately, missed that game due to an injury incurred in the Buckeye North contest.
As a junior, he was a hard-running tailback. He rushed for more than 1,200 yards and 15 TDs that season. He also booted four field goals amassing 116 points.
In hoops, Boroski finished as Buckeye South’s fifth all-time leading scorer.
As a senior, the Rebels got off to a 1-4 start while Boroski still nursed his football injury. Upon his return, South reeled off 16 straight wins.
He averaged 16 points a game in his senior season, after posting a 18-point average as a junior. The 6-2 forward was a three-year letterman for legendary coach Herk Laszasz.
In baseball, Boroski starred on the mound and at the plate for South.
He batted .400 as a senior and nearly the same as a junior. He tossed a no-hitter as a senior. Boroski led the Rebels to a pair of OVAC championships and two districts berths in baseball.
The talented right-hander also was a standout in Legion baseball, performing for Maynard. In his final season for Post 666, be batted .327 while going 6-2 on the hill.
The Rayland native, who attended Ohio University earning a biology degree, played two seasons in the Milwaukee Brewers organization. He ended his professional playing days as a pitcher in the Kansas City Royals organization.
His minor league career spawned a long and successful coaching career in professional baseball.
Boroski spent 18 years coaching with the Houston Astros organization before being named bullpen coach for the Tampa Bay Rays on Dec. 17, 2009. He still holds that post today, aiding one of the premier staffs in Major League Baseball.
Boroski resides in St. Cloud, Fla., with his wife, Carol, and two children, Sarah and Clayton.