By DOUG HUFF
For the Wetzel Chronicle
Eight student-athletes from four different decades will be honored at the 24th annual Magnolia High School Alumni Life Achievement Awards Banquet.
Sponsored by the Magnolia Athletic Boosters, the honorees will be recognized at a public banquet on Saturday, August 1 at Magnolia High School in New Martinsville.
The honorees, with graduation class, follow: George Wetzel (1953), Dr. Terrell Coffield (1968), Greg Swords (1968), Kathi Blair Schmalz (1975), Allen Moore (1976), Roderick Herrick (1978), Jim Robinson (1987), and Dr. Brent Watson (1988).
Five of the honorees reside in West Virginia-Wetzel and Schmalz in New Martinsville, Swords and Robinson in Wheeling, and Watson in Spencer. Coffield resides in Bennington, Vt., Moore in Frisco, Texas, and Herrick in League City, Texas.
Tickets for the banquet will be available at Witschey's Market and other outlets in New Martinsville or by calling banquet chairman Brent Gamble at (304) 455-3234.
Here's capsule summaries on the eight honorees:
WETZEL-He was a four-year, 10-letter Blue Eagle performer in football, basketball and baseball. He played on football teams with records of 6-3-1, 8-2 and 8-1-1 with the senior season mark being the best at Magnolia in 15 years or since the 1937 squad also ended at 8-1-1. He also was a standout on the 1953 baseball team which was unbeaten until bowing to eventual champion Fairview in the one-class state tournament.
He was employed at Ormet Corporation for 39 years and was active in local Little League baseball for 17 years as well as the Magnolia Boosters and PTA organizations.
COFFIELD-He was a four-year Blue Eagle golfer and three-year team captain while also competing two years in track. He received the Bob Bailey Award as a senior athlete.
He graduated from Bethany College and received his M.D. degree from the West Virginia U. Medical School before serving his Radiology Residency at the University of Vermont.
Since 1979, he has been a Diagnostic Radiologist at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and chairman of the department from 1986-2007. He's also active in senior and amateur golf tournaments, cross country ski events and competed in the 1995 Boston Marathon.
SWORDS-He was a four-sport, 11-letter Blue Eagle in football, basketball, baseball and track and earned all-state honorable mention two years in baseball and served as team captain in both basketball and baseball. He was on a state championship shuttle hurdle team in track and won an OVAC high jump title. He also played four years of American Legion baseball for Post 28 and was selected the Most Athletic Senior for 1968.
He received undergraduate degrees from both West Virginia U. and West Liberty State and a graduate degree from WVU.
He was a 29-year teacher at Magnolia as well as coach of girls basketball, girls track and cross country. He's the all-time winningest Blue Eagle girls basketball mentor and his girls track teams won 10 regional titles, five OVAC crowns and four W.Va. state championships.
After retiring from Magnolia in 2006, he has taught at River High School.
SCHMALZ-She was a Blue Eagle athlete in volleyball and basketball and a three-year Magnolia High cheerleader.
She earned an undergraduate degree from West Liberty State and two master's degrees from West Virginia University.
From 1988-2004, she served as Special Education Transition/IEP Coordinator for Wetzel County Schools before being named Assistant Principal at Magnolia High School in 2004. Since 2008, she has served as Principal of her alma mater.
She is also active in numerous school, community, education and student-related organizations and events as well as participating in volunteer activities.
MOORE-He was a four-year football and baseball Blue Eagle athlete. He competed on three football teams which recorded won-loss records of 9-2, 7-3 and 5-5. The 1973 team won its final nine regular season games before bowing 12-6 to Ceredo-Kenova in the state Class AA semi-finals.
He graduated from Fairmont State with a degree in Accounting and was president of the Inter-Fraternity Council.
He worked as a CPA in Huntington from 1980-84 before relocating to Dallas, Texas. He was a bank Chief Financial Officer of Hall Financial from 1984-89 and since then has been partner of Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.
He's active in several community organizations and fund-raising projects, including Saint Timothy Academy and Trinity Christian Academy.
HERRICK-At Magnolia, he was a four-year Blue Eagle football and track athlete and received the Bob Bailey Award as a senior.
He received a Mechanical Engineering degree from West Virginia U. before starting his career as an engineer with PPG Industries at the Natrium plant from 1983-85. Since 1985, he was worked with Mobay-Bayer in New Martinsville; Newark, Ohio; Germany; and in Baytown, Texas, his current workplace since 2007.
He's also active in community and volunteer organizations including United Way, Habitat for Humanity and youth sports.
ROBINSON-At Magnolia, he was a four-year athlete in football and basketball and competed two years in track. He was a member of the 1986 football team which qualified for the state Class AA playoffs.
He received B.S. and masters' degrees in Business Administration from West Virginia University. He also graduated from the National Automobile Dealer Association Academy and was selected for Generation Next by the State Journal publication as one of West Virginia's up and coming professionals.
Since 1992, he has been a part of the Robinson Automotive Group in Wheeling. Since 1999, he has been owner and dealer of both Jim Robinson Toyota and Jim Robinson Ford, Lincoln, Mercury.
He's been active in local community, church, volunteer and youth projects and events.
WATSON-He was a four-year football and three-year Blue Eagle track athlete and was football team co-captain as a senior. He also was class president four years and a member of several school organizations.
He received an undergraduate degree from Penn State U. and an M.D. degree from the West Virginia U. School of Medicine before doing residency at WVU and the Charleston Area Medical Center.
From 2003-05, he was an Assistant Professor of the Department of Internal Medicine at the WVU Charleston Division. Since 2005, he has been a Staff Physician at Roane County General Hospital in Spencer. He also serves as Vice Chief of Medical Staff and the Medical Director of the Med-Surg Unit, Cardio-Pulmonary Department and Skilled Nursing Unit.
He also is involved with several medical-related and community volunteer projects and events.