MASON — Four alumni athletes are set to be inducted into the Wahama High School Sports Hall of Fame during the Sept. 16 gridiron match against Belpre, Ohio.
Don VanMeter Sr., Steve Halstead, Ty Roush and Carl King were chosen as inductees in the seventh annual ceremony. In addition to the game recognition, the four will be honored at a banquet the following night.
VanMeter, a 1961 graduate, not only had a stellar high school career, but also returned to Mason County to coach for many years.
He earned six varsity letters — three in both football and baseball — and was captain of the football team his junior and senior years. VanMeter averaged 20 tackles per game his senior year while playing offensive guard and defensive linebacker.
Named all-conference in 1960, VanMeter was selected to play in the North-South All Star football game in 1961. He attended Marshall University on a four-year football scholarship and double-majored in biological and general science and physical education and recreation.
VanMeter taught and coached in the Bend Area, serving as head football coach for 10 years and softball coach for 14 years. He led Wahama to its first-ever football state playoff berth in 1986, and was successful in winning the first game against Pineville.
VanMeter also coached wrestling at Point Pleasant for five years.
Halstead is a 1970 graduate and received five varsity letters — three in football and one each in baseball and track. He was nominated to the hall of fame by former coach Grant Barnette, who proclaimed Halstead as the “best middle linebacker he had ever coached.”
Halstead was a member of the undefeated freshman football team. In his sophomore year, he was starting end of the Ohio Valley Conference champion team, which went 8-2.
Halstead’s senior football career was cut short after 5½ games due to a torn medial collateral ligament. During those games, however, Halstead had 39 receptions. He is credited with perhaps one of the best 48-minute games in the history of the school, catching 10 passes for 141 yards, and four touchdowns from the center/end position. On defense, Halstead had 13 individual tackles, blocked a punt and recovered a fumble, earning him the Associated Press Player of the Week.
Captain of the defense and leading tackler, Halstead was named first team all-conference offensive end in the Little Kanawha Valley Conference, and special honorable mention in All State football as an offensive end.
In baseball, Halstead was a starting outfielder for the White Falcons, the first team in school history to advance to the West Virginia State Baseball Tournament. He was selected by his classmates as “most athletic” his senior year.
After high school and after 10 months of rehabilitation, Halstead returned to the field as a member of the American Legion Post 140 baseball team with a batting average in the .400 range. He was also a member of the Fruth Pharmacy Slow Pitch Softball team in 1973. The team was the West Virginia State Champion with a record of 112-18, and advanced to the Regionals of the World in York, PA.
Halstead is one of the organizers of the Wahama Sports Hall of Fame and is a present committee member. Involved in several school fundraisers, he has served as president of the alumni association, as well as the president of the New Haven Rotary Club (Paul Harris Fellow), Bend Area Jaycees, and Mason County Area Chamber of Commerce.
He was a co-chairman of the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta, and served on the board of directors of Pleasant Valley Hospital and the LaPorte/Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Committee.
Roush is a 1980 graduate and earned four varsity letters in golf. He attended Marshall University on a golf scholarship.
During his high school career, Roush was named first team All State in both 1978 and 1979. He was the 1980 West Virginia State Junior champion, and runner-up the previous year. In 1979 and 1980, Roush qualified for U.S. Junior and U.S. Public Links, making it to the final 16 in match play both times.
A winner of the West Virginia State Father-Son Championship several times, Roush made the cut at the West Virginia Open 33 consecutive years, finishing as high as second place. He qualified to sectional play in the U.S. Open five times and won the West Virginia PGA championship six times in 1997, 2000, 2004, 2012, 2015 and 2016. Roush was also named the West Virginia PGA Player of the Year six times.
Roush is now co-owner and professional at Riverside Golf Club in Mason.
King graduated as salutatorian of the Class of 1993 and earned 10 letters — four in both football and baseball — and two in basketball.
In baseball, King had 119 career runs, 114 hits, 106 RBIs, 103 stolen bases, 16 home runs and hit .424. He was named Honorable Mention All State in 1992, and Special Honorable Mention in 1993.
King played baseball for Marshall University in 1994 and 1995. He graduated from M.U. in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.
In football, King had 1,893 yards rushing, 122 yards receiving, and 29 touchdowns overall. He was named second team All State and All-SWAC in 1992, and honorable mention in 1991.
The Sept. 17 banquet will be held at 6 p.m. at the New Haven Lutheran Church, and is open to the public. Tickets are $16 and must be reserved by Sept. 8.
For more information or to secure banquet tickets, contact Ed Coon at 304-882-2796 or Steve Halstead at 304-895-3691.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.