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Prep Notebook: Harrah shares secret to success

May. 13, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Dennis Harrah laid out a simple plan for success to athletes attending the 67th Victory Awards Dinner last Sunday at Village Square in Clarksburg.

Harrah was one of two former West Virginia high school standouts inducted into the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. Harrah played at Stonewall Jackson High School, then went on to be an All-American offensive lineman for the Miami Hurricanes and an NFL All-Pro with the Los Angeles Rams.

"Work hard every day," Harrah told the athletes. "Look at the positive and work on the negatives. If you do, you'll be a success. I promise you that."

That plan served Harrah well. He's in Miami's Hall of Fame. The Rams took him in the first round of the 1975 NFL Draft. He played for 13 years, made All-Pro seven times, played in six Pro Bowls, played in 168 games, 16 playoff games and the 1980 Super Bowl. He helped the Rams win six NFC West titles and 1979 NFC crown.

"Did it steroid free," Harrah said. "If I did it, you can do it. I'm a West Virginia person. I've heard enough negatives about West Virginia. You athletes going to the next level, keep your head down, work your butt off. Good will come out of it."

Charles Cowan, who played 15 seasons with the Rams, was the other Hall of Fame inductee. He and Harrah were teammates for one season.

MSAC TRACK: Cabell Midland's Chris Parsons is the Mountain State Athletic Conference's coach of the year and standout distance runner Jacob Burcham is the conference athlete of the year. Burcham will defend his 800, 1600 and 3200 Class AAA state titles at the state meet Friday and Saturday at Laidley Field in Charleston.

SCHOOL CAME FIRST: Cabell Midland's Gabrielle Beam qualified for the West Virginia High School Tennis Tournament, but didn't get to play any matches. She played No. 1 for the Knights and had a first-round match scheduled Thursday at 8 a.m. At the same time, she was taking the Advanced Placement Test at school, so she defaulted.

PERFECT GAME: Ashland's Logan Salow tossed a perfect game Saturday night in a 2-0 win over Lawrence County in the King of the Mountain Classic in Prestonsburg. The left-hander threw just 79 pitches and struck out 18 batters. The Bulldogs (18-8) have not been shut out all season.

OFF TO CAPITAL: Ironton High's Andrea Kratzenberg has signed to play college softball at Capital University.

OFF TO ALDERSON-BROADDUS: Ironton High's Alicia Murphy has signed to play college basketball at Alderson-Broaddus. She plans to double major in chemistry and biology and a career in forensic chemistry. She is the daughter of D.J. and Rhonda Murphy of Ironton. The Battlers finished 8-20 in 2012-13.

KENTUCKY FISHING: The Kentucky High School Athletic Association held its first Bass Fishing State Championship on April 26-27 at the KenLake State Resort Park marina in Hardin, Ky. Through four regionals, 45 teams advanced to the state. Each two-person team was allotted eight hours on the lake each day. All fish caught were kept in a live well and released immediately following the weigh-in.

Calloway County's Bracken Robertson and Dillon Starks hauled in a two-day total of 34 pounds, 4 ounces to win the title. They vaulted from third to first with Saturday's five-fish limit of 18-8, the best single-day catch of the tournament. Day 1 leaders Zach Warner and Ridge Porter of Muhlenberg County were consistent with catches of 16-3 and 16-4 to finish second at 32-7.

Kentucky is the second state to sanction fishing (Illinois was first). Missouri is scheduled to vote on a high school fishing proposal next month, and New Hampshire is also considering putting it to a vote.

David Walsh is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or dwalsh@herald-dispatch.com.

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