WL-S announces its 2019 HOF inductees

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West Liberty-Salem High School recently announced its 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees.

The formal induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Urbana Christian Conference Center, 1778 West St. Rt. 29, Urbana. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m., which marks the beginning of the social hour. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the induction ceremony will begin at approximately 7:30 p.m.

The cost will be $30 per person, which includes the social hour and a fine meal. Semi-formal attire is appropriate. A more informal time of celebration and recognition in the inductees’ honor will be held on Friday night, Feb. 8 at the varsity boys basketball game. The inductees will be honored during a short recognition time prior to the start of the game. At the conclusion of the game, there will be a social gathering in the auxiliary gymnasium with refreshments provided.

Banquet tickets are on sale at the high school office during normal school hours. You can also reserve your tickets by calling the Athletic Office. Tickets must be purchased by Feb. 5. If you want to reserve a table for eight people for the banquet, you may do that as well.

Inductees this year are:

Mike Freese

Inducted as a coach

Mike grew up and graduated from Riverside High School in 1970. In high school he participated in football, basketball, baseball and track. He went on to Findlay University to get his degree in Health and Physical Education with a minor in general science. He got his masters from Wright State University. Mike was hired at West Liberty-Salem in 1980 to teach 8th grade science, health and middle school physical education.

He started coaching his first year as the varsity boys basketball coach and middle school track. A 35-year coach including boys varsity basketball head coach for 10 years, assistant high school track coach for one year, middle school football for 13 years and middle school track for 20 years. He coached middle school basketball and was a varsity assistant for both girls and boys basketball and football for many years. During his stints of coaching, he helped lead varsity girls basketball to eight conference titles, two district runner-ups and one district title. In varsity boys basketball, he helped lead them to two conference titles and district three times. In varsity football, he helped guide them to five league titles and nine playoff appearances. Mike served as the Co-Athletic Director with Louise Dunham for 13 years. Mike was very instrumental in getting the first all-weather track put in at WL-S and the lights installed at the stadium. Mike is now retired from teaching and coaching and resides with his wife Kathy in West Liberty. Together they have three children and five grandchildren.

Lanay Cordell

Inducted as a coach

Lanay is a 1984 graduate of Triad High School where she was a four-year participant in cheerleading and volleyball. She played college softball at Cedarville University, and later graduated from Urbana University with her elementary education degree in 1999 and was hired at WL-S as a second grade teacher in 2000. She is currently in her 19th year of teaching. She helped coach middle school volleyball, freshman volleyball, jayvee softball and was the varsity head softball coach from 2003 to 2012.

Lanay will be remembered for leading the softball team to their first-ever state tournament appearances in the program’s history. While head softball coach, she led the team to nine conference championships, eight district titles, three regional titles and state runner-up in 2010. The team also made the state final four in 2008 and 2011 but lost in the first round. From 2003-2012, she held a coaching record of 246 wins and 38 losses and was Springfield Area Coach of the year in 2011. Lanay currently resides with her husband Todd in rural Bellefontaine and they have five children and three grandchildren.

Meghan Vogel

Inducted as an athlete

Meghan Vogel is a 2013 graduate of West Liberty-Salem, during which she earned eight varsity letters in Cross Country and Track & Field throughout her high school career.

In Cross Country, she helped her team win the Ohio Heritage Conference (OHC) League Title each year of her high school career. Meghan was also named First Team All-OHC all four years and was the league MVP her junior and senior years. Meghan and her teammates won three District Championships and Meghan placed first in the district as an individual her junior and senior years. She was named to the All Southwest District First Team all four years of high school. Meghan was the Regional champion her senior year, and helped the Big Orange win Regional titles her junior and senior years. She was named First Team All-Regional all four years of her high school career. The Big Orange qualified and placed at the OHSAA State Cross Country Meet throughout her four years on the team, placing 5th, 4th, 3rd and 6th, respectively, at the state championships. She received Academic All-Ohio honors her sophomore, junior, and senior years.

Meghan participated in Indoor Track and Field and was a four-time OATCCC DII/III State Meet qualifier, as well as an OATCCC Indoor State Track and Field Champion in the 1 mile run. In Track and Field, the Tigers won conference titles her freshman, junior and senior years. She received four consecutive First Team All-OHC honors, and was the Co-OHC League MVP her senior year. Meghan was First Team All-District all four years, as well as the District Champion in the 1600 meter run her senior year. She was named First Team All-Regional her sophomore, junior and senior years and won the 1600 meter run at Regionals her senior year. She was a three time OHSAA State Championship qualifier, competing at the state meet in the 3200 meter run her sophomore year, the 4×800 meter relay, the 1600 meter run and 3200 meter run her junior year. She returned her senior year, competing in the 4×800 meter run, the 1600 meter run and 800 meter run. She was named First Team All-Ohio in the 1600 meter run her junior and senior years, and received Academic All-Ohio honors her sophomore, junior, and senior years.

Meghan won the DIII 1600 Meter State Championship her junior year in a time of 4:58.31. The same year, she gained national media attention when she was near the finish of the 3200 meter run at the state championship, picked up a fallen runner and assisted her across the finish line. Her senior year, Meghan placed third in the 1600 meter run at the state championships. Meghan currently holds the school record in the 800 and 1600 meter runs and is the only female athlete from West Liberty-Salem to qualify in three separate events two years in a row at the State Track and Field Championships.

While in high school, Meghan served as Vice President of the National Honor Society, acted as Co-Editor of the Tiger Tribune, Editor of the Jungle News Digital Magazine, and was Student Council President. During her high school career she also received multiple awards including: a Musial Award, the Lou Holtz Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame “Do Right” Award, and the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Jack Kelly Fair Play Award. Meghan was also named USA Track and Field Athlete of the Week in June 2012.

Meghan graduated Cum Laude from Xavier University in 2017 where she ran Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track, and studied Political Science. She currently resides in Cincinnati and works in the Office of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown as a Constituent Advocate. She enjoys running, reading, traveling, cooking and coming back home to cheer on the Big Orange.

1944-1947 Ladies Softball Team

Inducted as a team

The 1944, ’45, ’46 and ’47 West Liberty High School girls’ softball team reigned undefeated for all four years. In 1944, the team played both in the spring and fall. There were 13 schools in Logan County fielded a team, non-league in nature, they just played individual schools such as DeGraff, Huntsville, Middleburg, Zanesfield, East Liberty and Lewistown. There was no championship tournament held, but an undefeated season. In 1945, they again played both fall and spring season. A league was formed and a county championship was held at Rutan Park in Bellefontaine and West Liberty won it, again another undefeated season. 1946 was the same as 1945. In 1947 there were 13 teams in Logan County, and they won the 13-team league championship. That year, they participated in a regional tournament in the Dayton area that included teams from the Springfield and Dayton area. The team still remained undefeated. It is thought that the team’s first defeat came in the season of 1948, and that shortly after the ladies team disbanded in the early 1950s.

The line-up consisted of shortstop Anna Melah, first base Jean Zerkle, left field Sue Rupert, pitcher Doris Farley, third base Joan Hostetler, second base Jennie Williams, catchers Joy Hostetler and Mary Popps, short center Grace Mowen, center field Jane Stanley, right field Barbara Brewer and their coach Patti McAdams.

Currently, through research, there are four team members alive; Sue Rupert Hostetler, Grace Mowen Esch, Joy Hostetler Plank and Dorris Farley Vassar.



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