Hall of Fame 20192020-07-15T12:10:19-04:00

Hall of Fame 2019

2019 HOF Class

Front Row (left to right): Mel Stephens, Dan Doyle, Chuck Lovinski, Jim Finn, Lisa Bober Miehle, Katie Fahey.
Back Row: Courtney Smith, Erin Bryson Dufort, Jay Duffy, Curtis McGhee, Tom Abraham, Chris Carroll (father), Jack Fahey, Joe Bechtel (granddaughter)

Three-sport standout at Wheeling Central Catholic High School, Tom Abraham also played on West Virginia State Catholic championship teams in football and basketball along with winning a doubles championship in tennis.

  Nicknamed the `Savage’ for his physical style of play,  Abraham was a standout on both sides of ball in football. The three-year letter winner, Tom helped lead. the 1963 Maroon Knights team to the finals in the WV Catholic playoffs where they dropped a 13-7 to Charleston Catholic The following year, Abraham and his teammates more than made up for that frustrating loss by routing the favored Charleston Irish, 40-6, wrapping up an undefeated but once-tied record campaign.

He also was a backup on the 1963 Central Catholic dream squad that went 23-0, still the only undefeated team in school history. The following season, Abraham and the Maroon Knights completed back-to-back championships in the state Catholic tournament. Abraham was selected to the all-tournament team and was named of that event’s most valuable player. He was also chosen on the all-state Catholic squad.

  Abraham went on to Bethany College where he again was a two-way football performer earned all-Presidents Athletic Conference laurels. and was a member of an undefeated team coached by Bob Goins. Tom still is in the Bison record book after compiling a 6.6 average yards per carry and first overall in punt return yards (513) during the 1967 season. He still ranks second overall, averaging 17.6 yards per attempt.

After Bethany, he was drafted and served his country with a tour of duty during the Vietnam war. He has been married to the former Sue Osborne for 51 years. Tom and Sue are the parents of two sons, Zach  and Seth, both played football at West Virginia University. The former walk-on, Zach was voted by his teammates as the Mountaineers Most Valuable Player following his senior season.

Joe Bechtel began keeping the boys’ basketball score book in the 1937-38 season which was during his senior year at his alma mater. It was a labor of love that continued for nearly 70 years until just a short time before his death in 2007.

  In addition, Joe spent many years as the scorekeeper for the girls’ basketball and girls’ softball programs. Following his retirement from the post office in Wheeling, he also spent several years keeping the “book’’ for home games played by the Wheeling Jesuit University basketball teams.

  A Charleston newspaper writer penned an article about Bechtel during the 2004 West Virginia Class A state tournament. In the article he referred to him as “Mister Meticulous,’’  for Bechtel’s dedicated handling of the Central score book.

  Along with his services as the team’s official scorekeeper, Bechtel coached football and basketball on the grade school level in the Wheeling Parochial League. For some 15 years he mentored the Cathedral Grade School’s Mighty Maroons’ squads.

  The lifelong East Wheeling resident’s activities included serving on the Cathedral of St. Joseph’s Holy Name Society and the Knights of Columbus.

  Joe and his wife the former Eleanor Lally, also deceased, were the parents of seven children, all of whom were Central Catholic graduates as were their 12 grandchildren.

When you think of boys’ soccer at Wheeling Central, Chris Carroll is the first name that should pop into one’s head. Carroll scripted a soccer career second to none in Maroon Knight annals.

He finished his Wheeling Central career with a school-record 107 goals. The talented booter enjoyed an amazing senior campaign, one in which he tallied 60 points, including 43 goals. Those lofty numbers earned Carroll first-team all-state honors that year. He was also captain of the all-OVAC all-star teams as a junior and senior.

Carroll was chosen as the Central most valuable player during his final two seasons. He also served as the team’s captain as a junior and senior. Carroll’s scoring exploits led Central to the OVAC regular-season championship in his final season. Carroll now resides in Orlando, Fl. and is a practicing physician.

Doyle was a state champion wrestler for the Maroon Knights and has since devoted much of his life to the mat sport. Doyle captured the 112-pound state wrestling championship which encompassed all classes in 1973. A year a prior, he pocketed an OVAC grappling crown. All told, he was a three-time OVAC placer. After graduating from Central, he continued his athletic and academic careers at Allegheny College. He was a four-year wrestler at the Meadville, Pa.-based school, gaining a berth in the NCAA Division III national tournament. He earned his master’s degree in science and education from the University of Dayton and his doctorate from West Virginia University.

Doyle enjoyed a very successful career as a high school wrestling coach. After cutting his coaching teeth at Jefferson Union, Doyle then spent 16 years at Buckeye Local starting in 1985, serving as an administrator for 12 years including high school principal. He was the head wrestling coach all 16 years, leading Buckeye Local to overall OVAC Tournament Championships in 1996 and 1997, while also winning the OVAC Dual Meet Championship those two years. He was a two- time OVAC and Eastern District Coach of the Year. Doyle has become a mainstay in the OVAC. He has served as director of the OVAC Ron Mauck Wrestling Tournament since 2009 and OVAC Wrestling Commissioner since 2013.

Moreover, he has been on the OVAC Executive Board since the early 2000s, serving as president during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years. His tireless work earned him the OVAC “Mr. Mat Award” in 2005. The former Noble County schools superintendent has also worked with the OVAC Museum Committee for many years.

Wheeling Central is the second Hall of Fame honor for Duffy.  He was enshrined in the West Liberty Hall of Fame in 1995. Duffy was a three-sport performer for the Maroon Knights. He was a running back and defensive back on the gridiron, setting the record for longest run (85) yard in the 1964 state championship game. A member of two OVAC and one state Catholic championship team, he was the MVP of the OVAC All-Star Football Game.

In hoops, Duffy was a four-year performer for the Knights. He was the starting point guard for the 1963 squad that went 23-0, winning the OVAC and state Catholic tournament championships. It remains the only unbeaten hoop team in school annals. Duffy help guide Central to a 20-3 mark as a senior, again winning the state Catholic tourney. He was named second-team All-City selection after averaging 8.8 points a game in addition to his savvy offense-directing and defensville skills. On the diamond, Duffy was a three-year starter at first base.

After leaving East Wheeling for the Hilltop, Duffy authored a sparkling two-sport career with the Hilltoppers. Duffy was a three-year starter at safety, earning all WVIAC first- team honors each season after heading the conference in interceptions in each of those campaigns. He ended his grid career holding the WVIAC record for career interceptions (21).He was All-American honorable mention in 1967 and served as the West Liberty co-captain in 1968.

Duffy was a three-year starting outfielder for the ‘Toppers, helping the Black & Gold to a pair of conference championships.

After gaining a Bachelor of Science degree from West Liberty, Duffy then earned a Master’s Degree in Business from Robert Morris College.


Bryson was a dynamic two-sport standout for the Maroon Knights. Be it on the hardwood or on the softball field, she was a difference-maker.

Bryson was a rare four-year starter at point guard for Central, helping lead her team to the state tournament all four seasons. The Maroon Knights came away runners-up on three occasions. Bryson was a second-team all-state honoree as a senior after averaging 10 points and a sharp 7.5 assists per game. The savvy play-maker was a first-team all-OVAC choice that campaign.

She received a plethora of honors for her hoop prowess including: all-tournament selections in the Undo’s Catholic Classic, John Marshall Holiday Invitational, sectional tournament team while also being tabbed first-team West Virginia North Region All-Star Team. She also received the Wheeling Central Coaches’ Leadership Award.

Bryson was also a winner in softball, helping lift the Central program to new heights. The talented outfielder was a four-year starter, playing a integral part in the Knights claiming four straight state championships. Central compiled an amazing 96-10 diamond record during Bryson’s career.

Bryson’s stellar athletic career did not end when she picked up her Maroon Knight diploma. She went on to become the four-year starter at point guard at Mount Union College. She earned Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference honors as a senior.

Also a star in the realm of academics, Bryson earned a doctorate degree in physical therapy from Pitt. She currently works as a physical therapist at UPMC.

The Fahey family’s involvement at Wheeling Central Catholic High School covered five generations and more than 100 years beginning with Jack Fahey’s father who graduated from the school in 1919.

High school sweethearts, Jack and Katie (Flading) Fahey graduated in 1946 and were married in 1948. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last September.

All seven of their children, three daughters and four sons,  were Central Catholic graduates as were the couple’s seven grandchildren. A great grandchild will be a senior this fall.

Jack and Katie started what was then the 200 Club but has grown over the years to be a 500 Club fund-raising project.  He continues to serve as an integral member of  this group that supports the athletic programs at WCCHS. Over the past seven decades the Faheys have volunteered for nearly every school project and they probably attended more than 1,000 games played by the Maroon Knights’  athletes.

Jack worked for the B&O railroad for 40 years, most of the time as a yard master. Well known throughout the community even during his younger years, he twice was elected to the Wheeling City Council and also served as mayor. Jack later became an Ohio County Commissioner. He later was elected  to the West Virginia House of Delegates.

While a student at St. Joseph’s Academy, Katie was a member of the CCHS cheering squad her junior and senior years. She was a stay at home mom while raising the family’s seven children. As the kids grew older, Katie joined the workforce as a bookkeeper in the offices of the local Convenient Food Marts.

Jim Finn, was recognized as the Jim Brown of Ohio Valley scholastic football for the hard-nosed style of attacking rival defenses while running the football.  He recorded an incredible senior season in 1959 when the three-year starter at fullback rushed for 1,062 yards during his first six games.

The 5-10, 180-pounder didn’t slow down during his final three starts of a nine-game schedule finishing with over 1,500 yards for the year. He averaged 21 carries for an average of better than 8.5 yards per attempt.

Expressing so much admiration for Finn’s hard-nosed rushing talents, the late Jim Wheeler, then Finn’s head coach, often praised him by pointing out that when we needed a yard or more for a first down, he got it. At the time Wheeler was quoted in an article printed in The Intelligencer as saying,  “I think he is terrific. He runs like a train, has speed and is very shifty. Once he gets in the open he runs like a halfback.”

Finn’s longest run from scrimmage that year was a 55-yard scoring gallop against Wellsburg. In that same game he brought back a punt for 70 yards and another TD. He also could have been a stalwart on defense but the Maroon Knight coaches preferred to rest him as much as possible to keep him fresh when Central had the football.

Finn was selected as an All-City and All-Ohio Valley Athletic Conference performer. He played in the 1960 Ohio-West Virginia All-Star Game.

Following graduation, Jim was drafted into the Marine Corps. He served a tour in Vietnam but he also had the opportunity to play on the football team while he was based in California. Overall, he served three years active duty and another three years of inactive service.

Jim and his wife, the former Edna Rustkoski, live in New Martinsville. They have a daughter, Jamie June, who resides in Benwood.

The two-year starter  in football and basketball, Lovinski played on state championship teams in both sports. In football, he earned first-team berths twice on the All-City and All-Ohio Valley Athletic Conference squads. In 1963, he also was named to the All-Valley Big School and West Virginia all-state top units.

 A threat as both a runner and a passer, Lovinski quarterbacked the Maroon Knights to a 19-1-2 record over two years. The 1962 squad lost just one game, that setback  a 13-7 score to Charleston Catholic in the state championship game.  In 1963, the Maroon Knights capped off a 10-0-1 season by thumping the same Charleston Catholic Fighting Irish in the WV Catholic state title game at Laidley Field in Charleston.

During his two seasons as the Maroon Knights’ starting quarterback, Lovinski passed for 14 touchdowns but ran for over 1,100 yards and scored 20 Tds.

Lovinski also was the starting point guard on Central Catholic’s perfect record 23-0  team in 1963 that also won the state parochial title and was recognized as the No. 1 team in all of West Virginia. Still the only undefeated team in school history, two of the Maroon Knights’ victories that season came over a Fritz Williams’  Weir High squad that finished with a 25-2 record and won the state Class AAA title.

Lovinski was recruited by West Virginia University and played quarterback on the freshman team. After missing his junior season because of an injured shoulder, he returned to letter as a special teams performer during his senior year.


McGhee is regarded as one of the finest football players ever to wear a Maroon Knight uniform.

The game-breaking running back was a two-time first-team all-state selection, captaining the squad as a senior. In addition, he was runner up as a senior for the prestigious Kennedy Award,  emblematic as the state’s premier football player. He was awarded the West Virginia Gatorade Player-of-the-Year that season.

McGhee was a two-time captain of the all-OVAC and All-Valley all-star teams. He also participated in the OVAC Rudy Mumley All-Star game, again serving as a captain. The electric running back, who played his freshman year at Bridgeport, served as an assistant coach on the Maroon Knights’ 1997 state championship football team. He ended his prep career with more than 4,000 rushing yards.

After picking up his diploma from the East Wheeling school, McGhee went on to script a sparkling grid career at Pitt. He was a four-year letterman for the Panthers, excelling in the defensive secondary. McGhee again displayed his leadership skills by being named a team captain during his senior season. His four-year total of 244 tackles still ranks in the top 25 in Pitt annals.

McGhee also distinguished himself in both basketball and baseball at Wheeling Central. He was a three-year regular in both basketball and baseball for the Knights. His athleticism and versatility yielded all-OVAC, all-Valley and all-state laurels his senior year in both basketball and  baseball. He also played in both OVAC all-star contests in those two sports.

Lisa was a three-sport standout for the Maroon Knights. Softball, however, is where she exemplified greatness.

She is still regarded as one of the premier pitchers in OVAC annals. Bober was a four-year regular in softball at Central, hurling the Maroon Knights to OVAC 2A championships in 1993 and 1995.  Moreover, Bober helped guide Central to the 1995 Class A state softball championship.

Her outstanding circle efforts not only yielded great team success, it also brought about a slew of individual honors for Bober. She was named first-team all-state as a senior while also being tabbed the OVAC Class AA Player-of-the-Year that same season. Two other additional prestigious honors came her way after her splendid senior season — being named the Wheeling Intelligencer Softball Player of the year as well as being named prep All-American by Fastpitch World Magazine. Bober was the winning pitcher in both the 1995 OVAC All-Star Game and the West Virginia North-South Game. In the OVAC contest, she pitched all nine innings, striking out 11. In the state all-star game, Bober also went the distance.

Bober also distinguished herself on the hardwood, lettering for three seasons. She helped the Maroon Knights to the 1994 OVAC 2A championship as well as a state runner-up finish. She averaged 10.4 ppg. that campaign.

The well-rounded athlete was also a three-year varsity performer in volleyball.

Lisa is a 2001 graduate of Duquesne University with a doctor of pharmacy degree. She resides in Wheeling with her husband, Joe. They have two children: Madison and Morgan.


Be it off the tee or on the diamond, Smith delivered in big fashion for the Maroon Knights.

 Smith was one of the premier golfers in the OVAC during his Wheeling Central stay. He was a two-time all-conference golfer for coach Mickey Duffy. As a junior, Smith pocketed OVAC Tournament medalist honors in helping lead the Maroon Knights to their first OVAC team championship. He repeated that medalist feat as a senior.

Smith was equally adept on the baseball field. The four-year performer was a member of the Central baseball team that finished as state runner up his freshman campaign. He also played  a key role in the Maroon Knights again making the state tournament his senior season. The talented hurler was voted first-team all-OVAC as a senior as well as to the first-team all-state squad.

After picking up his Wheeling Central diploma, Smith remained a key part of the Maroon Knight baseball program, serving as pitching coach for two years under the lead of head coach Terry Edwards. Central won state titles both of those campaigns.

Smith has done quite world in the business world. He is currently manager of Community Bank in Wheeling.

Already the winningest head coach in boys’ basketball at Wheeling Central Catholic High School. Mel Stephens finished the 2019 season with 314 career victories. 

Overall, he has been a part of eight West Virginia state championship teams at Central Catholic, including two as an assistant under Dave Wojcik and six titles as the Maroon Knights head coach. In addition Stephens’ teams finished as the state runner-up on three occasions.

 Named as the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Coach of the year in 2009, Mel directed his teams to 11 OVAC championships as of his HOF Induction.

Mel and his wife reside in Warwood. They are the parents of two children. His son Chris played on title-winning football and basketball teams at Central and he is currently the boys’ basketball coach at Winfield High School. Mel’s grandson, JC Maxwell was the second-leading scorer on the 2019 Maroon Knights’ basketball team and he was selected to the second team of the West Virginia Class A all-state squad.

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