The 2018 West Liberty-Salem Hall of Fame inductees will be honored Friday before the varsity boys basketball game versus West Jefferson. There will be a social gathering after the game for the community to gather and enjoy refreshments with the inductees. The formal induction banquet is Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Urbana Christian Conference Center. Tickets are $30 and include a catered meal served by WL-S students. West Liberty-Salem alum and former Wittenberg head basketball coach Bill Brown will be the main speaker. Tickets must be purchased by today and can be obtained from the school office or at either Civista Bank location – West Liberty or Urbana. You may call the WL-S athletic office at 937-465-1149 for more information.
The 2018 WL-S Hall of Fame inductees are:
Haleigh Hickenbottom-Woodruff, Athlete
Haleigh was a 2009 graduate, earning 8 varsity letters in basketball and softball. As a freshman, she started on the varsity basketball team and averaged 11.4 points per game, and was named OHC Honorable Mention and helped the team finish as co-OHC Champions. In softball her freshman year, she had a batting average of .421, and was named to the First Team All-OHC. The softball team won the league, sectional and district titles.
During her sophomore year in basketball, she averaged 4.3 rebounds, 3 assists and 14.8 points per game. She was named the team MVP and was named to the First Team All-OHC, Second Team All-Southwest District in Division IV, First Team District 9 Media, and Athlete of the Week for Champaign County. That year, the team finished with an 18-4 record, and won the OHC title. In softball, she batted .420, was named the Defensive MVP, and was named to the First Team All-OHC and First Team All-Springfield Area. The team went 25-4, won the OHC, and repeated as sectional and district champions.
In her junior year of basketball, she won the team MVP, averaged 11.7 points, 2.8 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. She was named First Team All-OHC, First Team District 9, First Team All-County, Athlete of the Week in Champaign County, and was named Honorable Mention All-State in Division III. As a team that year they finished 20-3 and won the OHC title. In softball, she batted .495 and was named First Team All-OHC, was named First Team All-Area in Logan County, and named Frist Team All Springfield Area. That year the team finished 31-2, winning the league, sectional, district and regional titles. History was made as they were the first team to qualify for state from WL-S. The highlight of the state game was hitting a home run in the state semi-final.
During her senior year of basketball, she averaged 13.7 points, 3.3 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and shot 81 percent from the free-throw line. She was named the team MVP, and was named First Team OHC, First Team District 9, Champaign County Player of the Year, Second Team Southwest District, and joined the 1,000 point club. She was named DIV III Honorable Mention All-Ohio and was awarded the Urbana Daily Citizen Athlete of the Week, the Archie Griffin Sportsmanship Award, and the United States Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete Award. The team won the league title again that year finishing 19-2. Her highlight was going 26 of 27 from the free throw line during the last four games of her season. In her senior year in softball, she averaged .407. She was named Defensive MVP, First Team All-OHC and First Team All-Springfield. The softball team finished 27-2 and won the league, sectional and district titles.
Currently, she is married to her high school sweetheart Levi, and together they have one daughter. She is employed as a dental hygienist at Darby Dental.
1977 Cross Country Team
Team members include Butch Sower, Jeff Parker, Ken Day, Mark Plank, Bruce Hooley, Corey Frost, Scott Bacher and Coach Ken Lehman. The team had a record of 138-2 and a meet record of 14-2.
This team’s main goal was to defend their state title that they had won the previous year, when they had gone undefeated as a team.
Their first hurdle was running without their returning top runner Butch Sower, who was injured. They lost their first meet of the season to Greenon, which marked the first loss since the 1975 season. They bounced back by winning the Miamisburg Invitational and then the Ohio Caverns Invitational, which is when Sower returned to competition. The fourth meet of the season saw another loss as they finished second at a meet full of AAA (DI) schools at the Troy Invitational. The team would go on and win the next four meets: Marysville quad-meet, Graham Invitational, Indian Lake Invitational, and Park Hills Invitational.
Then the team experienced another set-back. Earl Zilles, who in Sower’s absence had been the team’s top runner, came down with an injury. Zilles had won 6 of the 8 races that season and placed second in the other two. The next meet at Graham, Coach Lehman made a change and allowed all seven seniors on the team to run in a varsity race. This allowed Chris Yoder, Ric Lehman and Rick Moffit to run in a varsity race. They surprised everyone and won both the varsity and reserve matches with perfect scores. The team rolled through the next several invitational meets. The Bethel Invitational is when Corey Frost began to shine and made his first appearance in a varsity race, moving up from 10th man to 7th man after 10 races. The final meet of the season was the Lowell Thomas Invitational in Versailles. The team won by one point over Sidney-Lehman; this would be the closest finish against a Single-A (DIII) during the four-year stretch from 1976-1979.
In the team’s post-season, they won the WCOC, sectional, district and state meets. As a team, they had 59 points at the state meet with Sidney-Lehman finishing a distant second with 135 points.
Scott Bacher is retired from teaching Physical Education in the public school in Spring Texas, currently he teaches and coaches at Founders Christian School.
Bruce Hooley resides in Plain City, Ohio and is a radio host of Spielman & Hooley on 105.7 THE ZONE.
Corey Frost moved to Cleveland and became an attorney. He was inducted into the Cleveland State Hall of Fame in 2004.
Mark Plank went on to Goshen College where he started the girls cross country program in 1986. He currently is a senior software developer at Maple Leaf Farms in Leesburg, Indiana.
Louise Darling-Dunham, Contributor:
Louise is a 1966 graduate of Triad High School. She then went on to get her Bachelors of Teaching Health and Physical Educations from Ohio Northern University and a Masters in Education from Wright State University. Louise was hired at West Liberty-Salem in 1970 to teach high school Physical Education and Health for girls only. Over the years at West Liberty-Salem, she taught high school, middle school, and elementary physical education classes.
She had a passion for the development of interscholastic female sports because no sports were offered to females while she was growing up. Her passion for youth sports motivated Louise to organize varsity girls sports programs for the WCOC beginning in 1972. Later, she organized and established middle school programs. She served as the first coach for the probationary year for both high school women’s basketball and softball teams. While she was teaching elementary physical education, she started and organized the Elementary Track and Field Days that continue today and is noted for sparking interest in the great running programs at WL-S.
For over 20 years, Louise organized and coached the the junior high programs at WL-S, including volleyball, basketball, track and field, and cheerleading. She was hired as one of the first female athletic directors in the area in 1990; the same year she served as the Division II sectional wresting tournament manager.
Louise retired from teaching and athletic directing in 2003. She continues to serve area school districts as a substitute teacher. Years later, she remains actively involved at West Liberty-Salem athletics through officiating, book keeping, and advising coaches and athletes. Louise resides outside of Middleburg on her small sheep farm and enjoys traveling to sheep shows while local youth show for her.