Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Classic slated
Although high school sports are done for awhile, the OVAC Rudy Mumley All-Star game will be here before you know it – on July 24 at 7:15 p.m. at the Wheeling Island Stadium. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
Forty-one of the forty-eight schools in the OVAC are represented by participants in activities related to this year’s Rudy Mumley OVAC All Star Football Charity Classic, including the OVAC’s McDonald’s All Star Band (171), Queen of Queens candidates (26), and football players (66).
This year, former players from 1956, 1957, and 1958 All Star games will be honored prior to game start. In 39 years, the Rudy Mumley OVAC All Star Charity Classic has donated $849,000 to charity organizations and scholarships throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Representing Tyler County at this year’s All Star event are Stephanie Starcher, who is coaching the West Virginia cheering squad; Shelby Kelley, TCHS, who will participate in the cheer squad; TCHS gridiron player Boone Kehrer; and TCHS band member Amanda Goodfellow, who will perform as part of the McDonald’s All Star Band.
Coaching for West Virginia All Stars is Magnolia’s Mark Batton.
A pep rally will be held at Bison Field, Bethany College, July 23 at 6 p.m. Admission is free. During the rally scholar-athlete scholarships will be announced, and the band, football teams, cheerleaders, and Queen of Queens contestants will be introduced. The band and cheer squads will perform at the rally.
The Queen of Queens Pageant is scheduled for July 22 at 7 p.m. at the Wheeling Civic Center. Admission is $6.
Advance tickets for the All Star Football Charity Classic are $7; $10 at the gate. Children under the age of 5 are admitted free.
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After winning the Class-AA Championship with a perfect 13-0 record, Magnolia Blue Eagle Head Coach Mark Batton, along with his coaching staff of Bob Ripley, Dave Chapman, Moke Riggs, Dave Grandstaff, and Valley Assistant Coach Jim West will lead the Mountaineers in this event.
“We’ve got a really nice batch of linebackers and secondary guys who are veterans at the position and not just playing there by necessity,” Batton said. “Overall, we’re really happy with the entire team we’ve put together.”
The West Virginia side’s defensive unit will include a couple of guys who are quite familiar with the Blue Eagles system in Cameron Benson and Traeh Keller.
“A few of our linebackers have already played in all-star games and having guys who know the system is a big key for us and helping the other guys learn the system,” Batton said.
Here’s a capsule look at the players:
CHRIS ELOI, Madonna – This former Blue Don was a mainstay on both sides of the ball for Coach Bob Kramer’s squad the last four seasons.
The 6-foot, 185-pounder rushed for 582 yards and eight scores on 76 rushes last season. He also had nine receptions for 197 yards and a score.
On the defensive side, Eloi lined up at linebacker and had 73 tackles and four interceptions.
Eloi was a second-team all-state pick. He was also first team All-OVAC, All-Mason Dixon and All-Valley.
Along with football, Eloi was active in SADD, Interact Club and Pro-Life Club. He was also a baseball player.
Chris, who is undecided about his future plans, is the son of Richard and Laura Eloi of Weirton.
BOONE KEHRER, Tyler Consolidated – This former Silver Knight was a two-way ace for Coach Rob Caldwell’s squad the past three seasons.
The 6-2, 185-pounder lined up at tight end and linebacker for the Knights. As a senior, he had 18 receptions for 253 yards. On the other side of the ball, he accumulated 99 solo tackles and 26 assists. He had eight stops for a loss and two sacks.
He was named first team All-OVAC and All-LKC along with honorable mention All-State and All-Valley.
Along with football, Kehrer is a member of the National Honor Society.
Boone, the son of Randy and Kim Kehrer of Sistersville, plans on attending West Virginia University.
TRAEH KELLER, Magnolia – This Blue Eagle dandy was a four-year regular for Batton.
The 5-9, 170-pounder was a standout on the defensive side at linebacker. He finished his prep career with 232 solo and 355 assists. He had 15 sacks, 48 tackles for loss, 5 forced fumbles and 6 fumble recoveries, 2 interceptions.
The running back ran for 255 yards and six touchdowns last season.
Keller was named first team All-State twice and was a three-time first team All-OVAC, All-Valley, Dapper Dan honoree and a finalist for WTOV-9 Defensive Player of the Year.
Traeh, the son of Robin and Jimmy Keller, plans on attending West Virginia University.
JEFF KIDDER, Parkersburg South – This former Patriot was an impressive player on both sides of the ball for Jon Bolen’s team.
The 5-10, 175-pounder ran 120 times for 840 yards and seven touchdowns. He also caught 14 passes for 242 yards. As a safety, he recorded 89 tackles and 15 interceptions in his career.
Kidder was a first team All-OVAC pick.
Jeff, who plans on attending Glenville State, is the son of Jeff and Debbie Kidder.
BILLY PERKINS, Brooke – This two-way standout was a regular for Coach Tom Bruney’s club the last several seasons.
The 5-10, 170-pounder played along the offensive line and defensive line at end.
He was named honorable mention All-Valley and All-OVAC as he scored nine touchdowns this season.
Billy, who also excels in baseball, is planning on attending Glenville State.
KYLE PYTLAK, Linsly – This former Cadet will be another vying for time at quarterback after putting together a big season for Coach B.J. Depew’s team.
The 6-1, 170-pounder passed for 1,570 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also ran for a score.
Pytlak was a first team All-Valley and second-team All-OVAC selection.
Along with football, Pytlak played baseball and track for three years.
Kyle plans on attending West Virginia University to study biology.
NICK ROMITO, Morgantown – This former Mohigan will handle the placekicking duties for the Mountain State after a standout career for John Bowers’ team.
The 6-2, 220-pounder was a perfect 6 of 6 on field goals and nailed all but two of his 64 PATs.
For his efforts, he was named honorable mention All-State and All-OVAC.
Along with football, Romito was a baseball player.
Nick plans on attending West Virginia Wesleyan.
SAM SHEPHERD, Magnolia – This two-way standout caused all sorts of problems for opposing teams under Batton’s watch.
The 5-10, 170-pounder was an offensive lineman and defensive end where he accumulated 96 tackles and eight sacks his senior season.
Sam, who was active in student council, is planning on attending West Virginia University.
TANNER WHYTE, Cameron – This former Dragon was a tackling machine for Coach Jim Rogers’ club during his career.
The 5-10, 175-pounder logged 346 tackles in his career.
He was All-OVAC, All-Mason Dixon and second-team All-Valley.
Whyte was also a standout in wrestling, compiling a 127-29 record and winning a state championship.
Tanner, who plans on attending technical college, is the son of Randy and Reeda Whyte of Cameron.
RUBIN TINE, Weir – This linebacking ace was a defensive leader for Coach Tom Taylor’s club.
The 6-0, 206-pounder was one of the team’s leading tacklers.
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Other local gridders playing for the Mountaineers include the Eagles’ Cameron Benson. He was instrumental in helping the Blue Eagles go undefeated in 2010. He, like Fox and Keller, rarely came out of the game and was the team’s leading kick blocker.
Matt Riggs, the Blue Eagles’ all-state linman of the year finalist, along with his other three teammates, will visit Wheeling Stadium. These boys will join Lumberjack lineman Davie Sivert, hoping to finish their football careers with a win against the Ohio All-Stars.