A man who devoted four-plus decades to the education field will be among those inducted this weekend into the Collins/Oak Hill High School Red Devil Hall of Fame.
Mount Hope resident H. Ray Londeree began his career as a teacher and coach at Collins High in 1970 and was head coach in 1971 of the school’s first baseball team, which he said was spurred on by a suggestion from the student council. He remained as head coach until 1978.
With the support of Principal Wayne Wriston, fundraising efforts were initiated and the Collins High team was formed in 1971.
Greg Nunn, Randy Rosiek and Joe Davis were some of the stalwarts of the 1974 team, which lost 5-2 to Huntington East in the rain-delayed 1974 state tournament, the school’s first appearance in the state event.
“There were some really good baseball players at Oak Hill,” Londeree recalled in a 2016 interview.
Londeree, who was a teacher, coach and/or administrator at several schools during his career, has fond memories of his time at Collins/Oak Hill. One of his best recollections was coaching freshman basketball and working with legendary basketball coach Jim Lilly. “He was a jewel,” Londeree said.
Londeree, who retired in 2016 as an assistant executive director of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, will be among those honored this Saturday. The Class of 2017 inductees will be recognized during the Oak Hill-Wyoming East football game, set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16. That night, a banquet will be held at the Holiday Lodge in Oak Hill. A social will be held at 5:30 p.m., with the banquet beginning at 6 p.m.
The Rev. Sam Calloway will have the welcome and the invocation, followed by the dinner. A 2016 Red Devil Hall of Fame inductee, Cornelius Jackson, who is currently an assistant basketball coach at Marshall University, will be the guest speaker.
Calloway will then introduce the Class of 2017: Adam Bowland, Ryan Fell, Alisha Hopkins, William Jackson, Marcellus Summerville, Pervires “PG” Green, Jerry Epperly, Fred Ferri Jr., Paul Nichols, Ray Londeree, Steve Vaynes, Adam Toney and Charlie Toney.
Following is a look at the inductees:
Adam Bowland graduated from Oak Hill High School in 2001 after four years of participation in football and baseball. During Bowland’s football years, he played quarterback and cornerback, besides handling kicking extra points. He was selected to the 2000 all-state football team, the 1999-2000 all-Coalfield Conference team, 2000 Register-Herald All-Area Team, and was co-captain of the 2000 OHHS football team. Bowland was also selected to the 2nd team all-state baseball in 2001 and was a four-year letterman in baseball, pitching and playing shortstop and center field.
After graduating from high school, Adam attended Carnegie Mellon University, where he lettered all four years as a member of the football squad. At the conclusion of his college career, he received the Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association Academic Athletic Achievement Award, given to the football player who was a four-year letter recipient with the highest GPA.
Bowland is currently employed as a structural engineer with Digioia Gray Inc.
Ryan Graham Fell
Ryan Fell attended Oak Hill High from 2004-07, during which he participated in football and wrestling. Ryan was a two-time second-team all-state defensive end in football and placed three times in the West Virginia State Wrestling Tournament. In his senior year, he was the state champion in the 215-pound division. While participating in wrestling, he was selected two times as the NHSCA All-American and recognized as an Academic All-American. Ryan’s overall high school wrestling record was 152-21.
After his high school graduation, Ryan attended West Virginia Wesleyan, where he participated in football. He later attended West Virginia University and participated on the wrestling team. He was also a two-time All-Eastern Wrestling League Academic Award recipient.
Ryan graduated from WVU in 2014 with a doctorate of pharmacy. He now works as chief science officer at Genesis Performance Academy and is a pharmacist at WVU School of Pharmacy. Ryan also is a genetic and epigenetic athletic performance specialist and produces a podcast about sports performance.
Alisha Monique Hopkins
Alisha Hopkins attended Oak Hill High for four years, graduating in 2001. She participated in basketball and track and field, lettering in both sports during her school years. During her time in track and field as a long jumper, Alisha placed in the West Virginia State Track & Field Meet all four years, culminating with a first-place finish in the long jump her senior year. She also won numerous invitational and conference meets and was a member of the school’s basketball team, which won the sectional tournament in 2001.
After graduation, Hopkins attended High Point University for two years before transferring to East Carolina University. While attending college, she had numerous track and field accomplishments, placing in many USA Indoor meets. Alisha qualified for the NCAA Division 1 East Regional outdoor meet and currently maintains the 6th-place ECU women’s indoor long jump record and 8th-place outdoor record. She also received an academic excellence award while attending ECU.
Alisha currently resides in Kensington, Md., where she is committee management specialist at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.
William McKinley Jackson
William Jackson attended OHHS from 1995-99, during which he played football and basketball. He was selected as a first-team all-state football player in both 1997 and 1998. After graduation, he attended Marshall University and West Virginia State College. William received many regional and state recognitions in basketball and football.
Jackson currently lives in Oak Hill. He continues to be an avid Red Devil fan and is a big supporter of football, basketball and various other OHHS activities. William works for Covenant Vending in Fayetteville.
William says he’s “extremely proud” that he follows his father, Jerome Fruit (a 1984 inductee), and his brother, Cornelius Jackson (a 2016 inductee), into the Red Devil Hall of Fame.
Marcellus Summerville attended Oak Hill High from 1986-90, participating in football and track. Marcellus lettered in both sports and was selected to the all-state football team his senior year. He went on to attend West Virginia Wesleyan College, where he played on the football team and was a member on the special team that finished number one in the conference in total yards. He graduated from college in 1994 and is currently employed as a lead systems engineering architect of Ally Bank.
Marcellus competed in his first half-marathon in November 2015.
Marcellus’s son, Koree, began his collegiate football career at North Carolina Wesleyan College this fall.
Jerry L. Epperly
Coach Jerry Epperly graduated from Collins High School in 1973. While a Red Devil, Jerry participated and lettered in football (four years), basketball (two years) and baseball (three years).
After graduation from high school, Jerry attended Concord College in 1973-77, participating in baseball for three years and tennis for one year, and was a four-year letterman. He graduated with a degree in physical education and a minor in library science. Upon graduation from college, Epperly returned to Oak Hill High School to begin a 34-year teaching-coaching career.
At Oak Hill, Jerry coached football (assistant), girls (head) and boys (assistant) basketball and was the head coach of the Red Devil baseball team for 17 years. He took the baseball program to three state tournament appearances (1981, 1988 and 1989), coached the girls basketball team to its first state tournament appearance and was an assistant boys basketball coach on the 2010 and 2011 boys state title teams.
Epperly also was selected four times to coach in the North-South Baseball All-Star game and one time in the Scott Brown Basketball Classic. Jerry, who retired in 2012, has been honored by the naming of the OHHS baseball field after him for his years of dedicated coaching and tireless hours spent in building the current baseball complex.
Fred Ferri Jr.
Fred Ferri graduated from Mount Hope High School in 1973, where he played basketball for the Mustangs. Fred attended West Virginia Institute of Technology and participated in baseball, and he later enrolled at WVU for his graduate studies. He graduated from college with a degree in physical education and graduate school with a certification in communication studies.
Fred’s coaching career included stints as an assistant baseball coach at Oak Hill (1978-96), assistant basketball (1982-2001) and head basketball (2001-12). As the head basketball coach, the Red Devils were the 2003 state runner-up and became state champions in 2010 and 2011. Other honors achieved while coaching basketball included WV Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year (2001-02), Coalfield Conference of the Year (2005-06, 2006-07, 2008-09 and 2009-10), WV Boys Basketball Coach of the Year (2012) and National Federation of High Schools Basketball Coach of the Year (2012).
Ferri, who retired in 2012, was selected to coach in the 2012 West Virginia North/South All-Star game, two years in the Scott Brown Basketball Classic and the Coalfield/Cardinal Conference All-Star Game. The basketball floor at Oak Hill High is named after him for his many years of dedicated service to Oak Hill basketball.
H. Ray Londeree
H. Ray Londeree graduated from Concord College in 1970 with a B.S. in education and from the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies in 1992 with a masters of arts in educational administration. He started his teaching/coaching career at Collins High School in 1970 after graduating from college.
Londeree’s coaching career began as the head baseball coach at Collins High School, where he started the program in 1971. He also was head coach for the freshman basketball team, assistant football coach and head cross-country coach. His 1974 baseball team advanced to the West Virginia State Tournament.
Administration was Londeree’s next education adventure, as he assumed the position of assistant principal/athletic director at Oak Hill High School in the spring of 1995. He became the principal at the high school in 1997 and held that position until 2001.
Londeree was elected to the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission Board of Directors, on which he served for six years (with two of those years as the board president). He was hired in 2007 as an assistant executive director for the WVSSAC, a post he held until his retirement in July of 2016.
Steve L. Vaynes
Steve Vaynes D.D.S., has been a contributor to Oak Hill High School activity programs since the early 1980s. Steve is a 1967 Collins High School graduate and participated in basketball and track during his four years at Collins.
When Steve completed his education at Vanderbilt with his BA, and from West Virginia University with his D.D.S., he returned to Oak Hill and became a loyal supporter of Red Devil activities. A great deal of his effort was with the boys basketball program, but he was always ready to help with many of the student-centered programs at the high school, school supporters say.
Countless times when the team was on a long road trip, Steve would help provide after-game meals. He was always ready and willing to assist the school, and often it was without it being requested. Steve continues helping today as he says, “harassing the basketball program” and always ready to assist wherever possible.
Adam Toney and Charles Adam Toney
Adam Toney graduated from Collins High School in 1957, where he participated in football and track. After graduation, Adam attended West Virginia Institute of Technology, graduating in 1961 with a B.S. in education and business. Adam was an avid bowler and turned professional, winning the Professional Bowlers Tournament as well as many more finishes at the professional ranks. He was involved in building three bowling centers in Oak Hill and served as chairman of the West Virginia Sports Festival for 12 years.
Adam taught school in Fayette County for three years before entering private business and had a 14-year stint in the West Virginia House of Delegates.
Charlie Toney was a 1978 graduate of Oak Hill High. Charlie played basketball and was a member of the 1976 basketball team that advanced to the state tournament. He was also a member of the cross-country and track teams. After entering the business world, he has been an active member of the community, serving as president of the Joe Aiello Basketball League, Oak Hill Little League coach and was an active participant in the Professional Bowlers Association being elected to the Bowling Hall of Fame in 2015.
Adam and Charlie are the owners of C. Adam Toney Discount Tires, which has several locations throughout West Virginia.
The Toneys are recognized for giving of their time and financial support to the many activity programs at Oak Hill High School.
Paul Nichols is being inducted into the Collins/Oak Hill High School Red Devil Hall of Fame as a longtime teacher/administrator at Collins/Oak Hill High School. He served for many years as an outstanding biology teacher for the students at the school from which he graduated.
He became an assistant principal during the tenure of Avis Partain and went on to become the principal for several years.
Pervires “PG” Green
Pervires (PG) Green was an outstanding basketball player during his time at OHHS. Prior to graduating in 1989, Green was selected to and named captain of the all-state basketball team. He received the Evans Award as the West Virginia Player of the Year in 1989.
PG was also a member of the school’s 1989 state basketball championship team and was selected to the all-tournament team.
He went on to attend West Virginia University, where he played four years on the Mountaineer basketball team.
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