BUCKHANNON -Buckhannon-Upshur High School inducted its ninth Hall of Fame class Saturday night at the school, enshrining six individuals and one legendary team.
Coach Jim Marsh, the chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee, was Master of Ceremonies with members of the committee serving as presenters. Thirteen current members of the B-U HOF were on hand to help welcome the new members.
Catherine "Splash" Williams: A Charleston native and a 1942 graduate of Charleston High, she became a teacher and coach in the Upshur County School system. Williams coached track, basketball and cheerleading during her time, and she founded the Buckhannon-Wesleyan swim team in 1964. She coached that team through 1996.
Williams was a U.S. Masters Swimmer from 1981-2005, swimming competitively until the age of 81, holding several records and winning three gold medals in the National Senior Olympics in 2005. She was also active in the Buckhannon Rotary Club, being awarded the Athena Award in 1988 and the Service Above Self Award in 1997.
Williams passed away in 2007. Her children Tim, David, Danny and Tappan all reside in the Buckhannon area. Tappan served the presenter for Splash, and her brother Danny gave the acceptance speech.
"People might get the misconception that the Master's Swimming is just a bunch of old geezers, but that is not the case at all," Danny Williams said. "They are very fit athletes and it is very competitive. Mom really enjoyed continuing to compete and enjoyed staying active with her swimming."
West Virginia University swimmer Tim Squires, an Olympic Trials qualifier last June in the 50 and 100-meter freestyle races is her grandson. Squires was on hand at the ceremony.
Williams also talked about Splash and her early swimming experiences in the Elk and Kanawha Rivers in Charleston. He noted that in 2005, he was able to make the 1.5 mile swim with her from the Capitol building to the South Side Bridge.
"That meant so much to her," Danny Williams said. "She kept making note of all the buildings she remembered as a young girl."
Eric Chandler: A 1992 graduate of Buckhannon-Upshur High School, Eric was a four-time all-conference runner, winning the NCAC as a senior. He was named NCAC Runner of the Year in 1991 and placed third in the state meet that fall. This was particularly impressive because that was before the sport of cross country was divided into classes. It was all just one race.
After closing his high school career with a 3,200-meter NCAC title, Chandler moved on to West Virginia Wesleyan. He won two MVP trophies in cross country and was an eight-time West Virginia Conference champion on the track, earning victories in the 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meter runs.
Chandler earned All-America Honors in track in 1995, placing sixth in the marathon with a time of 2:29. He is now a first grade teacher in Loudon County, Va., where he resides with his wife, Ursula, and their four kids. He has received a considerable amount of attention for his unorthodox teaching methods, delivering lessons through original songs and parodies on his guitar.
"Running and being a part of the team gave me out an outlet," Chandler said. "I was a painfully shy kid who was always afraid to try anything. Running was something that gave me confidence and helped me be what I am today."
Newton S. Anderson: A renowned head coach in several sports, Anderson was a long serving principal in the county. Before his days in the Upshur County School System he was a star athlete.
Anderson, a Clarksburg native, led the Victory High School team to its first undefeated season in 1925. Playing collegiately at West Virginia Wesleyan, Anderson was twice named All-WVIAC end (1928 & 1929), and in '29, was named to the prestigious Walter Camp All-American Team.
After a brief two-stint playing professional baseball as a farmhand in the Washington Senator's organization, he returned to Upshur County as a coach. He served as the head football and baseball coach from 1933-45.
Going into administration, Anderson served as the Co-Principal at the Tennerton Divison of B-U from 1945-58, and B-U Principal from 1958-63. He passed away while still serving in that position.
Anderson's son Richard, who coached at B-U in the 1960's is retired and lives in Greenville, SC with his wife. Anderson was presented by Reverend Ed McDaniels.
James Edward McDaniels: A noted minister, coach, and administrator, McDaniels was a multi-sport star during his days at B-U in the early 1970s.
The three-sport letterman graduated in 1974, and served as the B-U Athletic Director from 2007-2012.
Playing football, basketball, and baseball, McDaniels was captain of the Big 10 Conference football team, and Honorable Mention All-State in 1973. He was the catcher on Buckhannon's state championship baseball team in 1972. In 1974, he was the Big 10's all-conference catcher and was on the all-state second team. He played baseball collegiately at West Virginia Wesleyan College.
McDaniel coached the wrestling team from 1988-89, football in 1992, and boys and girls basketball from 1990-98. He became the school's assistant athletic director in 2005, and ascended to the top spot in 2007.
McDaniels was presented by Tappan Squires. In his speech, McDaniels credited his mother for her guidance, and his high school coaches for invoking discipline.
Stpehen L. Feola: A 1959 graduate of B-U, Feola was a standout baseball and basketball player. He led the Big 10 in scoring during the 1958-59 season and was captain of the all-conference team. He was named captain of the North-South All-Star Basketball Game, and he won MVP honors in 1959. His 830 points still ranks 11thin school history.
In baseball, Feola was unbeaten as a pitcher in the 1958 and 1959 seasons. When not pitching he as an everyday position player, starting in centerfield. Collegiately, Feola played basketball at Marshall University.
Mel Hager presented Feola, and spoke of his basketball success despite standing only 5'8". He told the story of how West Virginia University offered him a scholarship and even had the great Rod Thorn call feola personally after his performance in the North-South Game. But, Feola honored the commitment he had already given to the Thundering Herd.
In a brief acceptance, Foela was thankful to the committee, his family, and the support he had at B-U as a student-athlete. After teaching and coaching several years in Florida, Feola is now retired and living with his wife Patricia in Buckhannon.
Amy Rohr-Queen: A three-sport letterwinner, Queen excelled in volleyball, cross country, and track. She was the NCAC Runner of the Year in 1990 and 1991, and was part of the record setting 4x400 meter relay team. She holds school records in the 100, 200, 400, and is part of the record holding relay teams in the 4x200 and 4x400.
She continued her running career at Wesleyan, winning 15 All-WVIAC awards between 1991-95. This remains a school record for all sports which still stands. She once held five WVWC school records, and her open 400 record still stands.
In her acceptance, Queen acknowledged the support of her coaches and her teammates. Her presenter, legendary local track coach and official Mida Peterson talked of Amy's prowess in big meets when her team needed her. She also applauded her for what she has become as an adult.
"This former great athlete is now the Farmer's Wife, the Soccer Mom, and the Physical Therpaist," Peterson said.
Queen is now employed as a physical therapist at Health Works in Buckhannon. She resides in Buckhannon with her husband Mike and daughters Maggie and Grace.
The 1979-80 B-U boys basketball team: The Buccaneers were Big 10 Conference, sectional, and regional champions in a year that saw them finish 22-2. Losing the season opener by three points to Morgantown, the Buccaneers then rattled off 22 straight victories to earn a berth in the state tournament. They easily defeated Lewis County (85-35), and Elkins (71-25) to win the sectional tournament, then topped Greenbrier East (45-32) to earn the trip to the state championships. The Buccaneers' season came to an end in the first round of the tournament, losing a two-point heartbreaker, 45-43, to eventual state champion Princeton. That Princeton team included future Virginia star Jimmy Miller and future Duke player Allen Williams.
The B-U team was led by head coach Jim Marsh and assistant Tim Rollins. Players on that team included Wes Nickel, Lyn Wilcher, Joe Abel, Chet Wamsley, Bruce Blend, Scott McDaniels, Tim Murphy, Lytle Batten, Tim Critchfield, Rob Bennett, Tom Blend, John Poundstone, and Jim Shaver. The managers were Tom Light, Mark Chandler, Keith Arbogast, and Mike Rogers. Ron O'Neal served as the team's trainer.
Marsh spoke about his great team, and the team captain, Lyn Wilcher delivered the acceptance speech. Wilcher spoke of chemistry being a key element in the team's success.
"Just because you put a group of guys together and they are on the same team and have the same uniforms, that does not make you a 'team," Wilcher said. "But this group was a true 'team."
Marsh's emphasis on defense and his reputation through the coaching fraternity for tenacious play on the defense was never more evident than with this stingy group. In 21 of the team's 24 games, the opponent was held to under 60 points. This included five games in the 50's, eight in the 40's, six in the 30's and even two in the 20's.
There has only been one B-U team to make the State tournament since, the 2005 squad.