Congratulations Holtz honorees

We congratulate the inductees of the Lou Holtz Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame Class of 2018 and those involved in making this program such a success year after year.

Holtz, a Follansbee native, returned to the area Monday to recognize this year’s group of honorees.

Honoring Steeler great Merril Hoge, a 2018 Distinguished American Award winner, was a highlight of the evening. Hoge spoke about the importance of setting goals and then turning them into action. “… If you are going to do something you better be all in. … We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act but a habit,” he told the hundreds of audience members.

Inductees in the hall’s Class of 2018 were John Buccigross, Virginia Conklin and Joe Yukica. And the late Dale Baird received the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Chester-resident Conklin is a longtime educator in Hancock County schools, and during World War II she served the United States in the Coast Guard women’s reserve unit, called S.P.A.R.S.

Buccigross, a Catholic Central High School graduate, has been an anchor since 1996 at ESPN, where he also has penned an NHL column. He authored a book on the NHL career of Keith Jones and is on the advisory board of You Can Play.

Yukica, a native of Midland, Pa., is a Penn State graduate who coached on the gridiron at the high school level, moving on to collegiate coaching where his career included stints at PSU, West Chester State College, Dartmouth, New Hampshire University and Boston College, with an overall 17-year record of 104-68-2.

Baird, who came to the Upper Ohio Valley from Illinois and made it his home, trained horses at what was then Waterford Park and would become Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort. He logged an unprecedented 9,445 career wins, landing a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. He was represented Monday night by his son, Bart.

T. Scott Law, who also received a 2018 Distinguished American Award, is the founder and CEO of Zotec Partners, the largest privately held revenue cycle management company in the country. He proudly started the 5 For 5 Foundation, he said, to instill in his five children the values of giving back and making a difference. The foundation supports programs across the country, including the Last Mile program, which is an organization that prepares incarcerated individuals for successful re-entry by teaching them computer programming skills.

The night also was a chance to recognize the 2018 Lou Holtz Scholarship recipients. They were Dalton DeHaven, a graduate of the Quaker Digital Academy who plans to attend the New Castle School of Trade; Emily Grace, a graduate of Southern Local High School who plans to attend the Ohio Valley Technical College; Lily Firm, a graduate of Edison High School who plans to attend Pittsburgh Technical College; Elizabeth Munoz, a graduate of the Buckeye Online School for Success who plans to attend OVTC; Olivia Rayl, a graduate of East Liverpool High School who plans to attend OVTC; and Rachael Sabatini, a graduate of Beaver Local High School who plans to attend OVTC.

And special this year in honor of the hall of fame’s 20th anniversary, the “20 Under 20” awardees were recognized. These successful area young men and ladies, each under the age of 20, represent a cross-section of outstanding young people up and down the Upper Ohio Valley who exemplify the qualities of future hall-of-famers — excelling in their pursuits and giving back to their communities, officials said.

Again, congratulations to all honorees and scholarship winners. We applaud the dedicated staff and volunteers with East Liverpool’s Lou Holtz Hall of Fame for their continued success with the museum itself and the annual dinner.