WJ Athletic Hall of Fame finalists announced

The 2015 West Jefferson Athletic Hall of Fame finalists are clockwise from top left: Jace McGonigle, Dustin Blake, Lindy Miller, Charles “Skeeter” Nelson and Bill Strauss, center.

The West Jefferson High School Athletic Hall of Fame will induct three new members this fall, but who they are won’t be revealed for a couple more weeks.

The pool of five finalists was recently unveiled, but the inductees won’t be announced until the Roughrider Club outing scheduled for Aug. 12.

Among the finalists are Bill Strauss (1959-1963), Charles “Skeeter” Nelson (1961-1965), Jace McGonigle (2001-2005), Lindy Miller (1992-1996) and Dustin Blake (1995-1999). Those selected for induction will be honored during a ceremony at West Jefferson’s football home opener against Jackson Sept. 11.

Strauss, played football for four years and was a guard on the 1962 DVL and Class A State Championship team. He was also a distance runner in track running on the mile and half mile relay teams. He was a league champion three years in a row and is an avid West Jefferson athletic booster, working on many projects and selling game programs for more than 50 years for football games.

Nelson was a first team all-league baseball player with a career batting average of over .400. He played on the infield and was pitcher with a high school pitching record of 20-9. He also played defensive back and end in football as part of the undefeated league championship teams from 1962-1964. The ’62 team won a state championship, while the ’64 team finished the year ranked second.

McGonigle, played varsity basketball for four years and during his senior year season the Roughriders were 16-5 and advanced to the regional final. He was named the Madison County Player of the Year, was a first team All-Metro pick and a third team All-Ohio selection. He still holds the school’s career scoring record with 1,065 points. He also played tennis and ran track.

Miller was an all-league selection in volleyball, basketball and softball while at West Jefferson High School. She scored a career high 532 points in basketball and was on the 1992 BAC Volleyball Championship team. She went on to play basketball at Clark State.

Blake, a running back/defensive back was on the 1998 BAC championship team, where he was all-league and All-Central District. He also played basketball for four years and played baseball and ran track. He was a member of the 400 relay team that qualified for the regionals. He went on to play football at Mount Union.

Chris Miles can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.