Eight former Blue Eagle student-athletes from four decades will be feted at the 28th annual Magnolia Athletic Boosters Life Achievement Awards Banquet, Saturday Aug. 3 at the high school. The event is open to the public.
A social hour starts at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets will be available at Witschey's in New Martinsville or from Banquet Chairman Brent Gamble at 304-455-3234.
The honorees, listed by graduation year and their hometown, follow: John Brookover (1966) of New Martinsville; Dan Gerkin (1967) of Vienna, Va.; Tom Myslinsky (1967) of New Martinsville; Pat Zohn (1971) of Cleveland, Ohio; Victor Dean (1982) of Midland, Mich.; Scott Stemple (1984) of Xenia, Ohio; Gary Heck (1988) of Mount Airy, N.C.; and Dr. David Watson (1991) of Morgantown, W.Va. Capsule summaries of each honoree follow.
Brookover: He was a four-year football and baseball player at Magnolia and also competed in basketball one season. After attending West Liberty State, he served in the U.S. Marines from 1968-72 including a tour of Vietnam in 1970.
From 1972-86, he was employed in the construction and carpentry business. From 1986-2011, he was a Wetzel County Deputy Sheriff and was elected to his current position as Sheriff of Wetzel County in 2012. He also has taught DARE classes, coached Little League baseball, and volunteered at St. Vincent dePaul Church.
Gerkin: A four-year football player, he also competed three years in baseball and was team co-captain as a senior when he received the Bob Bailey Award. He also competed a year in track and basketball.
He graduated from West Virginia University with a public relations degree from the School of Journalism and served as sports editor of the school newspaper. Currently the Senior Vice-President of Political Affairs for the National Mining Association, he previously worked with the National Coal Association and was president of the Mining and Reclamation Council of America.
He also was associated with the Center for Energy and Economic Development, and was Executive Director of he Contractors Association of West Virginia and Vice-President of the W. Va. Surface Mining and Reclamation Association.
Myslinsky: He competed on the Blue Eagle golf team for two years and played basketball one season. An industrial engineering graduate of Cuyahoga Community College, he also received an organizational leadership degree from Mountain State University.
He worked six years for Republic Steel in Cleveland, Ohio, before starting a 32-year stint as owner-operator of Eagle Electronics Radio Shack franchise in New Martinsville. He also taught social media for a year at West Virginia Northern Community College and served two years as a Vista volunteer. Active in community events, he served 10 years on New Martinsville City Council, including six years as finance chairman. He also organized Career Days at Magnolia High School and served as president of the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce and New Martinsville Rotary Club.
Zohn: He competed in football and basketball two years and baseball one year. He also was statistician for the football and basketball teams and served as sports editor of the school newspaper.
Zohn was class president and a member of the National Honor Society for two years. He graduated summa cum laude in social science and education from West Liberty State before earning a law degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
He worked as a U.S. Department of Labor Trial Attorney from 1980-97 before joining Parkwood Corp.
From 1998-2010, he was a partner for Gateway Consultants Group for construction of major infrastructure projects, including the Toledo Mud Hens Ballpark and Lucas County Arena. Since 2010, he was been the Chief Operating Officer of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
Dean: He lettered in five Magnolia sports while competing four years in football and basketball, two years in baseball, and one each in track and tennis. He was a member of the 11-2 record 1981 football team which won the OVAC Class AA title and was state runner-up.
He also played on the 1982 OVAC Class-AA title baseball team. He graduated in chemical engineering from WVU and received a master's degree from Penn State University. In addition, he earned a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Louisiana State University.
Dean worked 24 years with Dow Chemical in a variety of global leadership roles before accepting, in 2012, his current position of vice president of strategy and business development at CP Telco, a division of Atlanta, Ga.,-based JM Huber Corporation.
Stemple: He competed in track and cross country for four years and basketball three seasons. He was cross country team co-captain, and a member of two OVAC title teams.
In track, he helped the Blue Eagles win two OVAC Class- AAA titles and also placed fourth in the state Class-AA 1,600-meter run as a senior and placed sixth in the 3,200 meters as a junior.
He graduated cum laude in mathematics education from Marshall University before joining the Campus Crusade for Christ.
He has worked for a not-for-profit organization for 22 years in student ministry, as director of staff development, and director of family ministry in the Ukraine and the Kiev Christian Academy, where he has also served as a boys' and girls' basketball coach and a Boy Scout director.
Heck: He competed four years in football and two years in track at Magnolia and was a varsity member for three years.
He graduated from West Virginia Institute of Technology in computer management and data processing. Since 1999, he has worked in the surgical services information systems for Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Heck works with 40 operating rooms and other departments and has worked on converting the hospital's many different computer systems into one operation.
He also works part-time as a fire fighter for the City of Mount Airy and is a trained EMT and CPR Instructor. He also coaches Little League football, baseball, and basketball.
Watson: A four-year Blue Eagle football player, he also competed in track for two seasons. Active in school functions, he was two-time class president, a three-year National Honor Society member and four-year Young Men's Union member and officer.
He graduated summa cum laude from West Virginia Wesleyan College and earned an M.D. Degree from the WVU School of Medicine. After a residency and fellowship from the University of North Carolina, he served from 2004-08 as assistant professor of neurology at UPMC before joining the WVU School of Medicine as associate professor of neurology. He also serves as director of the WVU Headache Center and is director of the Neurology Student Clerkship. He also finds time for local distance races and various professional boards.