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David Walsh: Classmates, teammates honor 1970 plane crash victims

Sep. 09, 2012 @ 12:49 AM

There's another golf tournament on the schedule honoring victims of the Marshall football plane crash on Nov. 14, 1970.

Cincinnati Moeller High School alums Rob Hacker, Greg Rairden, Tim Albers, Jerry Vandenyden, Mike Greiner, Denny Sullivan, Tom Donnellon, Jim Heimert and John Widmeyer have remembered their former classmates and teammates through golf the past three years. The tournament is called the Moeller/Marshall Memorial Golf Outing and will be played Sept. 15 at Sharon Woods Golf Course in Cincinnati.

Quarterback Bob Harris, lineman Mark Andrews and wide receiver Jack Repasy are the Moeller alums who died in the plane crash. The jet bringing the Thundering Herd back from a 17-14 loss at East Carolina earlier that Saturday crashed short of the runway at Tri-State Airport in Kenova. All 75 aboard died. Moeller's coach in 1970 was Gerry Faust, who had a memorial to his late Thundering Herd recruits hung in the Crusaders' locker room.

The first Moeller/Marshall tournament had 48 players. More than 90 competed last year, including U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, a 1968 classmate of Widmeyer and the three Herd players.

Entry fee is $90. The plan called for proceeds from the tournament to fund a scholarship for a Moeller graduate who attends Marshall. So far that's been a difficult task, but the alums have changed the rules to help both sides. When the Big Green Coaches Tour made its June 10 stop for its own golf event in Cincinnati, the Moeller/Marshall Memorial men made a $1,000 check presentation to the Cincinnati chapter of the Big Green Scholarship Foundation.

Marshall has a home game on Sept. 15 against Ohio University. However, if anyone wants to play or donate to the cause, contact John Widmeyer at 513-509-4080.

A similar golf tournament for Herd kicker Marcelo Lajterman is held each June in New Jersey.

SPECIAL PLACE: Anthony Alex of Wayne, N.J., got all excited last Monday when the awards ceremony for the AJGA Woodward Video Tournament took place in the Champions Room at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs. "It's an honor," said Alex, who's made a verbal commitment to Florida State. "It really is nice to win here at The Greenbrier. It's a beautiful place and there's lots of history here. I'm just very honored to play well here and to represent the AJGA well and receive a trophy amongst some of golf's greats." Alex made a par on the 18th hole on the Meadows Course to win by two shots over Zachary Bauchou of Forest, Va., and Brendon Doyle of Louisville.

NEW BOSS: Blake Davis of Teays Valley is now carrying the bag for Jeff Gove on the Web.com Tour. Davis also is getting married to Jami Petry on Sept. 15 at The Greenbrier Resort. He got a round in on the resort's Old White TPC on Friday. Petry played soccer at Marshall. Gove tied for 26th in the Mylan Classic on Sept. 2 at Southpointe Golf Club in Cannonsburg, Pa. The tour resumes Thursday in Boise, Idaho.

POINTS STANDINGS: Here's a rundown on the leaders for West Virginia Player of the Year. For men, Huntington's Pat Carter has a nice lead over Marshall's Brian Anania. Ona's Brooke Bellomy, who's in her sophomore year at Campbell University, leads the women's race and Sammi Moore is second. Steve Fox of Huntington tops the Seniors and Harold Payne is No. 2. Women's senior leader is Candy Rollyson of Barboursville. The junior leader is Chris Williams, a senior at Winfield High School.

Carter won the West Virginia Amateur and Mid-Am this season. Bellomy won her first West Virginia Women's Amateur. Fox repeated as Senior champion and Rollyson won the West Virginia Women's Senior title to give our area a rare sweep of the state's major tournaments. Williams finished second to Cale Wheeler in the Junior Amateur.

FIRST TEE: The First Tee of West Virginia will continue with sessions this fall. Beginning Monday and extending through Oct. 15, the six-week sessions will be available at the Kanawha Valley, Raleigh County and Mid-Ohio Valley chapters. The sessions are recommended for kids ages 8-14, but are not limited to those specific ages. The First Tee of West Virginia has expanded statewide, with more than 200 kids participating in its programming. Volunteers are needed at each location to assist First Tee coaches in the programming curriculum, as well as setup and breakdown before and after each session. Information available at wvga.org.

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



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