Athletic Hall of Fame Committee honors Class of ‘22 inductees

Inductees recognized at Buckhannon-Upshur Hall of Fame banquet.

TENNERTON — The Buckhannon-Upshur High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee welcomed the members of the class of 2022 back to town, recognizing them during halftime of the Buccaneers’ home football game against the Grafton Bearcats back on Friday, October 21 before hosting them in the high school commons for their induction banquet.

The Buckhannon-Upshur Athletic Hall of Fame class of 2022 comprised of: Robert Akers (Class of 1996), Chris Boyles (Class of 1991) Stephen Jeran (Class of 1974), Eric Norton (Class of 1989), as well as members of the Field for Future Committee.

This group of outstanding members of our local athletic community, certainly made an impact during their time representing Buckhannon-Upshur High School in their respective sports; with each being well-deserving of this honor.

Akers participated in football, track and field, and cross country, His high school athletic career was highlighted by being a leader on the 1993 Buckhannon-Upshur cross country team, who went on to win the school’s first state title in cross country in the 1993 season. Akers was selected as a 1993 All-North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC); All-State Cross Country selection before going on to have a successful collegiate career, collecting four NCAC 800-meter track championships and the 1996 John Young Award.

Boyles was simultaneously posthumously inducted for his contributions both on the gridiron and on the mat for the Buckhannon-Upshur football and wrestling teams. Those in attendance spoke glowingly of the glowing, unbreakable competitive spirit that Boyles possessed. While Boyles was 1990 NCAC Honorable Mention Football selection and a 1991 NCAC Football Second-Team selection after finishing the 1991 season second on the Buccaneers football team in tackles, it seemed as if wrestling was his true passion, collecting three straight letters for the Buccaneers wrestling team, winning first-place in the B-UHS Duels/MHS Duels and claiming a team-high 12 pins in the 1990 season. Boyles also found a great deal of success at States in wrestling, winning the Region 3 title and placing second in Region 2.

Jeran was inducted for his contributions for the Buckhannon-Upshur basketball, football and golf programs. Jeran was named a 1973 Big 10 Conference Football First-Team selection, as well as a 1973 All-Tournament selection in basketball. Jeran was well on his well to joining the exclusive 1,000-point scoring club in basketball before a injury cut his season short. Despite this, Jeran still managed to rack up 678 career points, still nineteenth best all-time in school history, with his career 19.5 points per game ranking ninth all-time. Jeran was also a member of the Buckhannon-Upshur West Virginia State Tournament Golf teams in both 1972 and 1973. The ‘72 team was the first B-U team to ever make the state tournament. Jeran went on to star for the Fairmont State Falcons in both basketball and golf.

Norton was inducted thanks to his impact on both the soccer pitch and the baseball diamond during his time roaming the halls of Buckhannon-Upshur High School. Norton is the Buccaneer Soccer teams seventh all-time leading scorer, finishing with his career 45 goals and 20 assists. Norton was a member of the undefeated 1987 Buccaneer Soccer team and a captain for the 1988 team. Following the 1988 season, Norton was chosen as an All-State First-Team selection. He is also a member of the West Virginia High School Soccer Coach Association Hall of Fame.

The Field for Future Committee worked diligently and selflessly to raise funds for and oversee the installation of a new turf athletic field at the high school, revamping Freal “Red” Crites Memorial Stadium into a venue that could compare favorably to that of any high school program in the state. Committee members: Melvin Hager (Chairman), Larry Williams (Vice Chairman/Treasurer), John Jenkins (Fundraising Chairman), Brenda Wells (Secretary), Jim Marsh (Publicity Chairman), Rick Malcom, Jimmy Gifford, Debbie Shapiro, Aleece Williams, Jim Gregory, Holt Poling, Mary Alice Poling, Don Swisher, David Weese, Randy Kirchberg, Tim Kelley, Vicki Kelley, Granville Zopp, B. J. Teets, Dave Chipps, Clifford Rollins, Betty Rollins, Dusty Williams and Dr. Charles Chandler, all provided a great service to the Upshur County community, which has already paid dividends for the counties athletes and will continue to do so for decades to come, leaving a lasting legacy for those involved with the tremendous undertaking. This group raised over $910,000 for the renovation and upkeep of the turf at the high school field.

Congratulations to those who have been given this great honor!

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