Many sports fans in the area are showing their support for local athletes throughout the county as they prepare for the 20th annual Randolph County Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which is scheduled for Aug. 10 at the Gandy Dancer Theatre in Elkins.
This year, five individuals and two teams are being honored for their excellence on and off the field. As the Hall of Fame Association said in a statement about the ceremony "We honor the athletes and the coaches gathered here, not out of pride, but out of respect for the lessons they teach - dedication, strength, honor and humility. Their greatest accomplishments? Inspiration to all who follow."
The event is open to the public, and tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for children.
"We really want more public awareness, not only for the event, but for the interest in the accomplishments of those honored," said Kerr Kump, treasurer for the Hall of Fame board and previous inductee.
The board got started by a group of local people who shared a "tremendous amount of sports knowledge and history," Kump elaborated.
The group worked from 1991-98 until it disbanded for four years. It was brought back in 2002 by Kump and fellow inductee and emeritus board member Ralph Bennett. To this day "continues to recognize athletes throughout the county."
If you go
Randolph County Athletic Hall of Fame banquet
Saturday, Aug. 10
Gandy Dancer Theatre
$30 adult, $10 children
The board has inducted 173 individuals and 30 teams. Randolph County has had 56 All-State Honorable Mentions, three Third-Team All-State players, 34 Second Team All-State selections and 112 athletes who have made First Team All-State in one or more sports.
"One-hundred twelve times Randolph County has produced a player or players who were as good or better than anyone in the state," Kump said.
"And some of these players made All-State in more than one event or sport."
Since 1914, Randolph County has produced 10 state championship teams, including basketball, football, cross country, baseball and soccer, which won as recently as 2006.
Many of the high school graduates have gone on to college and professional teams where they have excelled in basketball, baseball, football, track and field, cross country, wrestling, soccer, golf, rowing and other sports. The county also has produced five honorable mentions for All-American and 17 athletes who reached All-American status.
Students from Randolph County have either played or coached with professional teams like the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears, Baltimore Colts, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Among these accomplishments are others that include that one former player who made "All Pro" four times; another played and roomed with Ty Cobb. Another was the quarterback for Army and was the first to score against the famed "Four Horsemen," and Randolph County also is the hometown of Chelsea Metheny, the first woman from a Randolph County school to graduate from a United States Military Academy.
"These are pretty outstanding accomplishments," Kump added. "We invite everyone from the community to celebrate them with us."
The Randolph County Hall of Fame is sponsored by Citizens Bank of West Virginia, Davis Memorial Hospital, Mountain Valley Bank, Mike Ross, Steer Steakhouse, Woodford Oil, Parrack Insurance Agency and Gandy Dancer.
Contact Ralph Bennett at the Steer Steakhouse at 304-636-2373 or Dave Crawford at 304-636-3398 for information about how to get tickets for the ceremony.
The Inter-Mountain plans to cover the event, profiling the various inductees this year, some of which have already been featured, leading up to the ceremony on Aug. 10.