OAK HILL — The newest class of the Collins/Oak Hill High School Red Devil Hall of Fame will be inducted on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 5:30 p.m. at the Holiday Lodge.
Prior to that, they will be introduced at 2 p.m. that afternoon before the Red Devil boys basketball game against Robert C. Byrd at the Lilly Center on Fred Ferri Jr. Court.
The evening ceremony will feature a welcome and invocation by Sam Calloway. That will be followed by dinner and remarks from guest speaker Shannon Morrison, a 2001 Red Devil Hall of Fame inductee who is currently assistant football coach at Eastern Kentucky University.
Then, Calloway will introduce the newest HOF class members: Yvonne (Banks) Clay, Jason Blankenship, Dermayne Bullock, Lakeisha (Logan) Ward, Ben Miller, Steve Robinson, Courtney Vargo, Brian White, Angela (Donnelly) Keffer and the Jim Lively Family.
Following is a biographical sketch of each of the inductees:
Yvonne Banks Clay
Yvonne, known as Von, attended Oak Hill High School, where she participated in basketball. She received the honors of special honorable mention, played in the North-South All Star Game and scored 1,000 career points (prior to the 3-point line).
After graduation, she attend West Virginia Institute of Technology and participated on both the women’s basketball and softball teams, lettering in both sports during her time in Montgomery.
Clay is an active WVSSAC basketball official, putting her officiating skills to use in the Joe Aiello Basketball League for 30 years, Beckley summer league for girls for four years, and Beckley men’s summer league for 20 years. She presently officiates in the AAU/YBOA girls and boys basketball programs.
She was also extremely active in coaching in the Joe Aiello Basketball League for five years, served as a volunteer assistant to coach Jerome Fruit with the OHHS freshman basketball team for five years, and kept the scorebook for varsity and jayvee basketball for coach Ron Lewis for three seasons.
After moving to Beckley, Von became active with the Woodrow Wilson basketball program by being a volunteer assistant to coach Andre White. She has also coached at the AAU basketball level for five years.
She is married to Anthony Clay and they have a son, Anthony Clay Jr. She and Anthony have three grandchildren, Anthony II, Tamarion and Anna Clay.
Von and her family live in Mabscott.
Jason Thomas Blankenship
Jason was a 2003 graduate of Oak Hill High School, where he participated on the varsity football team four years and on the basketball team for one year. He was selected to the 2001 and 2002 all-state football team. During his playing time at Oak Hill, Jason made 401 career tackles and 15 touchdowns. He was also a member of the 2003 OHHS runner-up state basketball team.
After graduation, Blankenship enrolled at Concord University, where he was a 4-year letterman on the Mountain Lions football team. Jason was also a 4-year all-academic member for Concord. After receiving his undergraduate from Concord University, he attended Carson-Newman, receiving his driver education certification and his master's in coaching education from Greenville University.
Blankenship has been teaching drivers education and weight training at OHHS since completing his education. He is also the head football coach of the Red Devils, who made it to the state football playoffs in 2018. He was also an assistant coach for the 2010 and 2011 boys state basketball champions and was an assistant track coach for the 2009 and 2010 girls state championship teams.
Jason resides in Oak Hill with his wife, Jolysa, and their daughter, Brantlea.
Dermayne Keith Bullock
Dermayne participated in basketball, track and field and football while at OHHS. He was selected to the 2002 state basketball all-tournament team, 2002 all-state basketball team and, in 2001, was honorable mention all-state. Bullock held the record for most blocked shots for 10 years.
After graduating from Oak Hill High, Dermayne attended West Virginia State University, where he was a member of the school's basketball team. While playing he was a member of two conference championship teams and he was a four-year letterman. He graduated in 2007 with an RBA, associate in science.
After graduating from West Virginia State, Dermayne joined the United States Air Force and currently serves his country. While serving, he has played basketball in the All Forces Tournament for the military. He has also been a volunteer assistant women’s basketball coach at Northeastern State University.
Bullock resides with his wife, Fala, in Greensboro, N.C.
Lakeisha Lavon Logan Ward
While attending Oak Hill High School, Lakeisha was a member of the cross-country and girls basketball teams. Lakeisha’s honors while in high school included: 2006 McDonalds All American nominee, captain of the 2006 Class AA all-state team, MVP of the 2006 Girls Scott Brown Memorial Classic all-star game and 2006 regional basketball player of the year. She ended her career at Oak Hill with 1,696 points scored.
After graduating from high school, Lakeisha attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), where she was a member of the women’s basketball team. While playing at Virginia Tech, she was given the 2009 Coaches Award and 2010 Strength and Conditioning Women’s Basketball Athlete of the Year. She earned her undergraduate degree in political science and minored in business leadership. After leaving Virginia Tech, she went on to Charlotte School of Law and earned her Juris Doctorate.
Lakeisha is married to Sgt. Rashaun Ward and they have two children, Cadence and Gracyn. The family resides in Charlotte, N.C.
Benjamin Kevin Miller
Ben graduated with the Oak Hill High Class of 1997. While attending Oak Hill, Miller participated in football, lettering all four years and making second-team all-state in 1996 while playing on the offensive and defensive lines.
After graduating from OHHS, Miller enrolled at West Virginia Institute of Technology and played football for the Golden Bears. Ben also attended Liberty University. He graduated with a degree in business management.
He spent time coaching a youth football team from 1999 to 2012. He is currently employed in sales at Core and Main.
Ben lives in Hurricane with his wife, Mandy, and their three children, Jaxen, who is attending West Virginia University, Livvi and Avri.
While attending Oak Hill High, Steve participated in football and was very active in various school groups. In football, he was a four-year letterman, selected to first-team all-county and second-team all-state. After graduating from OHHS, Steve enrolled at Marshall University.
Not only did he attend Marshall, he also attended North Carolina State. He earned his bachelor’s in communication and a master’s degree in adult education. He received his teaching certification from North Carolina State and he is a certified athletic administrator.
Robinson is the author of “Empowerment Speaker,” creator of LEAD Change Empowerment podcast, founder of Juniors Clothing Store and owner of SMR Cleaning. He was also involved with Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and founder of Best of Both World Entertainment.
Robinson is employed as an entrepreneurship teacher and the athletic director at Rocky River High School in Charlotte, N.C.
He resides in Charlotte with his wife, Alycia, and their children, Clarissa (Rashad) Jackson and Malik Robinson. They are also the grandparents of Myla and Maleah Jackson.
Brian Lee White
While attending Oak Hill High, Brian participated in baseball and played football during his freshman year. He lettered in baseball all four years he played, and made the all-tournament AAA team in 1993 and 1994 while playing in the Coppinger Tournament in Bluefield. White made first team all-state during his senior year as a catcher, and was selected to play in the North-South all-star baseball game in 1994.
After graduation, he went on to continue his education at Garrett College in McHenry, Md. Brian played the position of catcher for Garrett College in 1995.
Brian currently works as a labor program specialist at the West Virginia Division of Labor. Also, in the spring of 2017, he was an assistant coach for the Oak Hill Minor League Yankees.
Brian and his wife, Tiffany Dawn, reside in Mount Hope.
Courtney was a three-sport athlete at Oak Hill High School, participating in girls soccer, cheerleading and tennis. She was a four-year letterman in all three sports and was the first four-year starter in soccer for the OHHS program, as well as being the leader in scoring and assists all four years.
During high school, Vargo was selected to the first-team All-Coalfield Conference. She was also named Fayette County female athlete of the year, second-team all-state and played in the North-South all-star soccer game. In cheerleading, she was selected as an NCA All-American Cheerleader, participated on an Oak Hill High School regional championship team and was co-captain of the cheerleading team her senior year. Courtney qualified for the state tennis tournament in singles during her junior and senior years and state tennis in doubles all four years. As well, she was chosen as the 1999 Miss Red Devil.
After graduating as a valedictorian, Vargo went on to continue her education at Concord University. She received her bachelor of science degree in elementary education, K-6, and her masters in reading specialist. Courtney is employed by the Fayette County Board of Education as a kindergarten teacher at New River Elementary. She is has also been active in her community by coaching various activities over the past years.
Courtney currently resides in Oak Hill with her children, Ethan and Cade.
Angela Lea Donnelly Keffer
Angela was very active as a student-athlete during her years at Oak Hill High. She participated in cross-country, track and was a member of the cheerleading team. In cross-country she qualified with her team all four years and was a member of the state qualifying 4x100 and 4x200 teams in track as well as the 300-meter hurdles during her freshman, sophomore and junior year, placing in all events. In her senior year, she qualified in the 300-meter hurdles and the 400-meter dash, placing in both events.
Angela was very active with the cheerleading team, being selected as an All-American cheerleader during her four years of participation. She was also selected as the 1993 Coalfield Conference Female Athlete of the Year.
She coached the OHHS cheerleading team for 11 years. Her teams won 10 regional titles and had 11 state tournament appearances, including a runner-up finish in the state cheer championship. She also has been a cheer choreographer for 17 years.
After graduating from high school, Angela attended West Virginia University, where she earned her bachelor of science in childhood education/family and consumer science. She was also a member of the WVU cheer squad and served as team captain. She went on to earn her master’s degree in career and technical education from Marshall University.
Keffer is currently employed by the Fayette County Board of Education at the Fayette Institute of Technology.
She and her husband, Jason, live in Oak Hill with their children, Issac, Allie, Ivy and Axton.
Jim Lively Family
Jim Lively Insurance was established in Oak Hill in 1961 by Jim and Loretta Lively. Jim was always involved in athletics as a player (Montgomery High School and West Virginia Tech) and coach (Mount Hope High School). He is in the WV Tech Sports Hall of Fame and was quarterback of Tech’s only undefeated football team in 1949. Loretta was crowned Miss Mustang in 1951.
One of the earliest and most memorable involvements with Red Devil sports was Jim’s organizing and financing of 13 buses to take students and fans to every game of the 1969 West Virginia high school basketball tournament in which the Red Devils finished as state runner-up. Over the next 50 years, the Jim Lively family has been involved with Red Devil sports both behind-the-scenes and through funding projects. Jim Lively Insurance was awarded founding contributor status for the Fayette soccer complex at Oak Hill High School in 1990. As president of the Fayette Chamber of Commerce, Jim Lively Jr., led efforts to fund the Oak Hill girls softball field and improvements to the high school soccer field. They have made contributions over the years toward the building and improving of the Oak Hill baseball fields, as well as helping maintain the basketball facilities and programs. The Jim Lively family has helped Red Devil sports over the years with everything from facilities to feeding athletes, cheerleaders and band members to serving as officers of football and soccer booster organizations.
The entire Lively family has also been involved in Red Devil sports as students and participants. Leah Lively participated in girls basketball, was a cheerleader and Miss Red Devil in 1973; Jim Lively Jr., was a letterman in basketball and track for two years and football four years, as well as serving as captain, and he had state level recognitions; Brett Lively participated in track his freshman year and lettered in football three years; Mike Lively played football his freshman year and lettered in baseball three years; and Matt Lively lettered in football, participated in track and went on to become a sports medicine physician then serving as WVU medical director and team doctor for 20 years.
Jim’s son, Jamie, lettered in soccer three years and his son, Luke, lettered in football four years, being named honorable mention all-state in 2005. Mike’s son, Jared, lettered in soccer three years and his daughter, Kathleen, lettered in soccer for three years.
The Lively family continues to serve the community of Oak Hill and Fayette County.