CENTENARY, Ohio — Seven former Gallia Academy High School athletes and long-time varsity coach Jim Osborne will be inducted into the school’s 11th athletic hall of fame class the weekend of Sept. 28-29.
Scheduled for induction are:
Coach Osborne, who completed 41 years at the school in 2010; Brenda Wilson, 1975, basketball, volleyball and softball; Dan Beabout, 1954, track, football; Jamie Lane, 1983, basketball; Tom Meadows, 1968, football, baseball and booster; the late Russ Smith, 1955, baseball, football and basketball; Todd Slone, 1986, football, baseball and basketball and Kirk Jackson, 1987, football.
The group will be introduced prior to the Chillicothe-Gallipolis home football game on Friday, Sept. 28 and be inducted on Saturday, Sept. 29 in the GAHS cafeteria following a banquet catered by the Park Front Café. Honorees will be guests of honor. Banquet admission for the public will be $15 per person.
The following is a list of the honorees:
COACH JAMES P. OSBORNE (1969-2010)
According to the Ohio High School Athletic Association, Coach Jim Osborne is ranked 25th among Ohio’s winningest high school basketball coaches.
In 41 years at Gallia Academy, Osborne had 29 winning seasons and one breakeven season and 11 losing campaigns. His overall winning percentage was .600 (529-362). His teams finished with a .619 winning percentage (312-192) in Southeastern Ohio Athletic League play.
Osborne-coached teams have won 11 SEOAL titles, 14 sectional crowns and two district titles. GAHS has finished second in district play four times under Osborne and was a district semi-finalist 21 times. He was named SEOAL and District Coach of the Year 14 times.
Postseason honors have been numerous for Osborne, a Geneva, Ohio native. At the Ohio State tournament in 2009, Osborne was presented the coveted Paul Walker Award. In 2003, Osborne received the Ohio State Athletic Association’s Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity (SEI) Award at the boys state tournament. Next year, he will be inducted into the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Hall of Fame during the 2013 state tourney.
A past-president of the Southeast District 13 Basketball Coaches Association, Osborne is also a charter member of the GAHS Athletic HOF committee.
In 1962, Osborne, a left-hander, pitched the Ashtabula American Legion to the state championship at Ohio University in Athens.
A standout basketball and baseball player at Wittenburg University, Osborne was inducted into Wittenberg’s Athletic Hall of Fame several years ago. He is also a member of Geneva High School’s Hall of Fame and just last month, was named to Gallipolis’ Athletic HOF.
At Geneva, Osborne, was inducted into the Ashtabula County Basketball Hall of Fame on March 28, 2010.
Osborne also coached the Blue Devil tennis teams for 23 years. His teams won more than 200 matches with three SEOAL titles. He coached baseball from 1970 to 1981 and his teams won more than 100 games, a record at the time. Current baseball Coach Ritchie Corvin’s teams have posted 136 diamond wins the past 10 years.
In 1970, Osborne was an assistant track coach when the Blue Devils won their first SEOAL title. Later, he coached the GAHS golf team in a state tourney match when the head coach was unable to attend.
Osborne is currently a physical education teacher and class instructor at the University of Rio Grande. Osborne and his wife Jennifer reside in Gallipolis.
TOM MEADOWS (1968)
Tom Meadows earned seven varsity awards in four sports while attending Gallia Academy High School.
Meadows won two varsity football awards and was All-SEOAL in 1967. He was a two-year award winner in baseball and helped lead Coach Cliff Wilson’s nine to the 1967 SEOAL diamond crown. He won two varsity awards in basketball and one varsity award in track and field, the last year a Blue Devil could play two sports in the same season.
After graduating from Rio Grande College, Meadows served four years as head of the Redmen baseball team (1977-81), was head tennis coach at Rio one year (1976-77), assistant basketball coach at Rio Grande five years (1976-1981), assistant basketball coach at Logan High School one year) (1981-82) helped restart the Gallipolis American Legion baseball program, serving as head Legion coach for five years, and coached Gallipolis Little League and Pony League baseball teams four years.
Meadows has been active in many school and community activities. School activities include head of the GAHS Boosters food booth committee one year, radio announcer for football and basketball games for three years, TV announcer for football games for three years, prime organizer of Gallia Academy’s athletic hall of fame committee, serving as its first president for three years (and current HOF committee president for one year).
Meadows will be a spotter for the PA announcer for 2012 home football games, helped start the 200 Club in the early 1980s with Dave Tawney and has been active in the GAHS Booster Club for 35 years.
Meadows resides in Gallipolis and will be one of eight inducted into the school’s 11th HOF class the weekend of Sept. 28-29. He was nominated by former GAHS football Coach Brent Saunders.
KIRK JACKSON (1987)
For three years, Kirk Jackson was an outstanding member of the Gaiia Academy High School Blue Devil football teams in 1984, 1985 and 1986.
Jackson was a three-year starter at fullback for Coach Brent Saunders teams that won back-to-back Southeastern Ohio League titles in 1985 and 1986. He was a co-captain of the undefeated 1986 squad and played on the first two Blue Devil teams to reach the Ohio High School post-season playoffs in 1985 and 1986.
During Jackson’s sophomore year, he rushed for 145 yards in 31 attempts (4.6). He caught five passes for 78 yards, returned four kickoffs for 40 yards and scored one touchdown as GAHS compiled a 5-3-2 season mark. GAHS just missed winning the SEOAL title after losing a 17-8 decision to Jackson late in the year after quarterback Todd Slone was injured. Jackson’s team did beat Ironton in1984, 19-2, snapping the Tigers long-time SEOAL win streak.
During Jackson’s junior year in 1985, he rushed for 313 yards in 58 trips (5.3) and scored 40 points. He caught 10 passes for 84 yards. GAHS finished 8-2 during regular season play, losing 14-12 to Ironton in Gallia’s first state tournament playoff game ever.
In his final year in 1986, Jackson rushed for 556 yards in 90 trips (6.1) and led the SEOAL champions in scoring with 72 points. He caught five passes for 54 yards and one touchdown, intercepted one pass on defense and blocked one punt and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown.
Gallipolis finished 10-0 in regular season play, losing 21-0 to Mifflin in the post-season playoffs with star player Andy Howard on the sidelines with an injury. Jackson was an all-SEOAL and all-District honoree.
After graduating from Gallia Academy, Jackson attended Ohio Wesleyan University where he played four years of football for the Battling Bishops. Ohio Wesleyan was ranked the No. 1 team defensively in the NCAC. Jackson was a defensive captain.
While attending Ohio Wesleyan, Jackson won the Academic, Athletic, Leadership and Excellence Award in 1988, was a Division III all-American player in 1989 and was a First Team All NCAC in 1988 and 1990. Jackson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics Management from OWU in 1991 and BA Plus Degree from Ashland University in March, 2009.
In 2004, Jackson was an assistant defensive end and line coach at Division I Canton McKinley High School. In 2008, Jackson became an assistant coach at Columbus Beechcroft High School, a position he still holds. Jackson currently resides in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
BRENDA L. WILSON (1975)
A pioneer in women’s athletics, Brenda L. Wilson played two years of varsity basketball and volleyball for the GAHS Blue Angels and one year of club level basketball and volleyball.
Wilson played basketball in the very early stages of the title IX existence. She and others had to endure less than favorable circumstances like late practices after everybody else cleared the gym, practice on the old No. 2 junior high gym floor, and remove tables before practice, then put them back.
Wilson was one of several role models coached by Ann Adams and Jackie Knight in 1973-1974 and 1975 who paved the way for current GAHS women athletes.
Other pioneers during the early 1970s were Pam Bryant, Amy Carter, Lisa Young, Barb Edelmann, Beth Ables, Terri Short, Cindy Miller, Karen Sprague, LuAnn Whitely and Cathy Wall.
As a junior, Wilson scored 80 points to lead the team in scoring with an 11.4 average. During her senior year, Wilson scored 100 points for an average of 8.3 per game and her two-year total was 180 points for an average of nine points per game.
GAHS won 12 and lost seven games during the 1974 and 1975 campaigns. That was before the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League accepted women sports in 1977. No records were available for the volleyball teams. Wilson was also active in the GAHS band for four years and was a member of numerous GAHS clubs.
After graduation, Wilson attended Rio Grande College where she was a member of the Redwomen’s basketball and softball teams, lettering in both sports.
Following graduation from Rio Grande, Wilson worked for two local firms, Hatfields and McCoys and Elliott’s Furniture Store before taking up a position with R. J. Reynolds. After serving as a regional manager for 20 years, Wilson has spent the past eight years as a retail executive manager out of the Richmond, Va., region. Karen Sprague resubmitted Wilson for nomination. Wilson resides in Evergreen, Ohio.
DAN BEABOUT (1954)
Dan W. Beabout earned seven varsity athletic awards in two sports while attending Gallia Academy High School.
Beabout played three years of varsity football and the Blue Devil great was a speedy workhorse halfback. Beabout was also a throwing halfback and could throw with either hand. Beabout was a two-way player. He was a linebacker on defense.
Beabout’s best football game came in early 1953 at Ironton when he carried the ball 15 times for 95 yards (6.6) before losing a 13-7 decision to the Tigers in what was called Beechwood Stadium at the time.
Beabout was named 2nd team All-Southeastern Ohio League in 1953. He was also Gallia Academy’s Most Valuable Player in 1953.
Track was Beabout’s best sport in high school. He earned four varsity awards. His freshman year, track was reintroduced at GAHS. Beabout run the mile, one-half mile, anchored the mile relay team, took part in the 880-yard relay, 440, 880 yard runs and 100 yard dash.
Beabout held five school track and field records for 15 years before Tommy Spencer and company rewrote the school’s record book. Beabout’s five records included the mile run (4:58.7) in 1952, 440-yard dash (:51.6) in 1952, 880-yard run (2:18.0) in 1952, half-mile relay team (1:37.8) in 1952, and mile relay team (3:36.4) in 1952.
During Beabouts sophomore year, he won 11 straight mile and half-mile runs (over a two-year period) before losing a match against a Frankfort runner.
Beabout captured the Gallipolis Rotary Club’s Gil Dodds Mile run three years in a row in 1951, 1952 and 1953. GAHS’ 14-man team finished second behind champion Chillicothe in the 1953 track and field district meet at Ohio University and earned a spot in the state meet the following week.
GAHS did not score in the state meet. Beabout ran his 440-yard dash in :51.6, and was part of the mile relay team which finished in 3:36.4, their best effort of the season. Beabout did not enter the 100-yard dash because of a sore throat.
Before entering high school, Beabout took park in the Columbus Dispatch’s “Bicycle Derby” and finished second against older boys. He was named the Gallipolis Rotary Club’s “Boy of the Month” his senior year.
Beabout and his family reside in Evansville, Ind. Harold G. Montgomery nominated Beabout.
JAMES O. (JAMIE) LANE (1983)
Jamie Lane led the Gallia Academy’s Blue Devils to the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League basketball championship in 1981-82 with his outstanding play. He played four years of basketball. While a freshman and sophomore, Lane led the GAHS reserves to back-to-back SEOAL titles.
In 1981-82, the 6-5 junior led GAHS in scoring and rebounding with 321 points and 253 rebounds in 22 games. He was named First Team All-SEOAL. GAHS won 15 and lost seven and finished 13-1 in SEOAL play.
During his senior year in 1982-83, Lane scored 344 points, grabbed 240 rebounds and had and 33 assists. Athens won the SEOAL crown. The Blue Devils placed fourth in the final standings. GAHS finished the season with a 14-7 season record and 7-5 in league play.
During his senior year, Lane was named the Blue Devils Most Valuable Player, best rebounder, and best foul shooter. He was a unanimous First Team All-SEOAL, First Team All District and a member of the All-Ohio team.
After graduation from high school, Lane received a college scholarship from Shawnee State. He later transferred to Urbana College. Following his basketball career, Lane joined the U. S. Navy in 1986. He received an honorable discharge in 1990.
During the 1998-99 basketball season, Lane served as an assistant GAHS JV coach to help the Blue Imps to a league championship. Lane is a member of Laborers Local No. 83. He and his family reside on Lincoln Pike. Jeff Rathburn nominated Lane.
RUSSELL E. SMITH (1955)
An outstanding athlete in three sports at Gallia Academy High School, Russell Earl Smith earned seven varsity awards in football, basketball and baseball during 1953, 1954 and 1955.
In football, Smith played both sides of the line and was noted for the excellent hands on offense as he started at the end position. After two years of varsity football, Smith was named to the All-Southeastern Ohio Athletic dream team his senior year.
Smith played two years on the varsity basketball team. At 6-4, the 220-pound Smith was an excellent rebounder. As a senior, Smith hit a corner shot against Columbus Central to tie the game and GAHS went on to knock off the visitors by two points.
Smith also made 99 of 100 foul shots in practice one night and walked off the court with a new basketball, defeating the great John Milhoan by four charity tosses. Smith was named All-SEOAL in basketball his senior year. He was a member of the 1953-54 and 1954-55 SEOAL champion Blue Devils.
Baseball was probably Smith’s best sport. He earned three varsity awards in baseball. He will always be remembered by his 21 strikeouts against the Wahama White Falcons in a nine-inning game, won 4-2 by the Blue Devils on May 25, 1954. The 21 strikeouts in one game remains a school record to this day. Previous strikeout record by a GAHS pitcher was held by Smith’s dad, Russell Smith, Sr., set against Middleport in a 1928 game won by the Yellow Jackets, 1-0. Smith was a member of the 1954 and 1955 SEOAL championship baseball teams.
During Smith’s senior year, he shared the coveted GAHS athletic Key with teammate Jim Thomas. Smith and Thomas were named to the All-Ohio East-West baseball team. Smith pitched 4 ½ innings in that game and with that performance, was awarded a scholarship to attend Miami, Ohio University.
The pre-med student, however, was stricken with Hodgkin’s disease his freshman year at Miami, and died at the age of 19 on Sept. 9, 1956. Smith will be honored posthumously. Classmate Richard (Dick) Moore nominated him.
TODD SLONE (1986)
One of Gallia Academy’s most outstanding athletes was Todd Slone, a 1986 GAHS graduate. Slone played four years of football, earning three varsity awards. He played four years of baseball, earning four varsity awards and lettered once in two years of basketball, giving him eight varsity awards in the three sports.
In football, Slone played quarterback and led the Blue Devils to their first state playoff game in 1985 after winning the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League championship his senior year. In 1985, Slone led GAHS to an 8-3 season record and a perfect 5-0 SEOAL mark. He completed 67 of 165 passes (16 intercepted) for 1,155 yards and seven touchdowns. He rushed for 289 yards on 72 carries (4.1) and scored 30 points.
In three years of varsity football, Slone passed for 2,400 yards and 20 touchdowns, breaking Jimmy Niday’s record of 1,825 set in 1972, 1973 and 1974. (Jeff Golden erased all school passing records during his three years of play in 2004, 2005 and 2006).
Slone was named the team’s Most Valuable Player in 1984 when he guided GAHS to a 5-3-2 season. He was Gallia Academy’s best offensive player in 1985, and an All-SEOAL First Team honoree both his junior and senior years.
Slone was named to the second team All-District in 1984 and 1985 and was honorable mention All-Ohio his senior year. Slone was team captain his senior year.
During his senior year in baseball, Slone was the team’s Most Valuable Player, and during his junior and senior years, was First Team All-SEOAL. He was First Team All-District his senior year. During his two years of basketball, Slone was a member of the Blue Devils league championship team during 1985-86. He captured the coveted GAHS Athletic Key in 1986.
Slone and his family reside in Indian Land, South Carolina. Jack Slone of Crown City nominated Slone.