West Virginia State University Sports Hall of Fame to Induct 10 New Members

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109
Sept. 20, 2017
West Virginia State University Sports Hall of Fame to Induct 10 New Members

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – West Virginia State University’s (WVSU) athletic booster organization, the National “W” Club, will induct 10 new members into the Sports Hall of Fame with a brunch at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, in the James C. Wilson University Union.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is taking place as part of WVSU’s annual Homecoming activities. Following the brunch, where the new inductees are given gold jackets to wear, they will walk to the nearby Canty House, home of the Hall of Fame, and be led through a cheering lineup of previous Hall inductees.
The new “W” Club Sports Hall of Fame members are: Bob Ashley (class of 1988) for football; Alleatha Lynetta Bell (class of 1986) for basketball and track; Steven Barry Crosier (class of 1984) for baseball and basketball; Varian Cunningham for football and basketball; Raymond J. Davidson (class of 1975) for football; Samuel A. Hrko (class of 1995) for football; Curtis T. Townes (class of 1985) for basketball: and John “Val” Valentine (class of 1975) for football and track. Honorary “W” Club Sports Hall of Fame inductees are Dr. Edward E. Dickerson, IV and Dr. Sami Mitri Ghareeb.

Ashley was a three-year letterman for the Yellow Jacket football team from 1985-1987, and was co-captain of the team in 1987. Ashley earned first team All-WVIAC (West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) honors on defense in 1985 and 1987 and on offense in 1986. In 1987, Ashley was a second team All-American among NAIA players. Following his playing career at WVSU, Ashley has spent 25 years coaching high school football in Ohio.

Bell was a four-year letterman for the Yellow Jackets in both basketball and track. She was a member of the WVSU track teams that won the WVIAC Championship in 1981, 1982 and 1983. She holds the WVSU track and field record in the javelin throw and qualified for the 1983 NAIA nationals in the javelin and high jump.

Crosier played baseball and basketball for the Yellow Jackets and was a three-year starter on the baseball team. In 1983 and 1984 he was named to the All-WVIAC team, and was an Honorable Mention All-American. After graduating with a degree in education from WVSU, Crosier went on to teach and coach in the Kanawha Valley for over 30 years. In addition, he has coached at the high school, collegiate and professional levels.

Cunningham was a member of the Yellow Jacket football and basketball team. As a member of the football team, he was named freshman of the year and in his senior season he was named to the first team All-WVIAC. He now works for Frontier Communications and is also president of the West Virginia Xplosion AAU Organization and is vice president of the West Side Biddy Basketball League. 

Davidson was a four-year starter for the Yellow Jackets in football. In 1975, he was named to the All-WVIAC team after leading the Yellow Jackets with 48 tackles and 29 assists. He was a key member of the 1975 game against West Liberty that went into triple overtime and ended in a 54-54 tie, the highest-scoring deadlock in college football history.

Hrko played football for the Yellow Jackets for four seasons. As a freshman he appeared in every game for the Yellow Jackets on defense. His sophomore season he switched to the offensive line, where he was a three-year starter and was the team’s co-captain his junior and senior seasons. During his playing career, Hrko attained first team All-WVIAC honors in 1991, 1992 and 1993.  He was also named NAIA Honorable Mention All-American in 1991 and 1993.  Additionally, he received the One Valley Bank WVIAC Senior Scholar Athlete Award in February of 1994. Following graduation from WVSU, Hrko continued his education and in 1998 earned a law degree from the Ohio Northern University College of Law. Today, he is a partner with the firm Bailey & Glasser, LLP.

Townes was a member of the Yellow Jacket basketball team and was a two-year starter, and captain of the team his junior and senior seasons. During his senior season, Townes was named first team All-WVIAC and was recognized as the Outstanding Senior. He was also named to the WVIAC All-Tournament Team in 1984. Townes scored more than 1,000 points during his Yellow Jacket career. After his playing career was finished, Townes was honored as Mr. State and he also served as a student assistant, filming all games during the 1985-86 athletic season.

Valentine was a member of the Yellow Jacket football team as well as the track and field team. Valentine lettered in football as an offensive lineman, and also participated in the track and field program as a shot put, discus and javelin thrower. After graduation, Valentine was a WVSU assistant track coach for two years and a WVSU student advisor. He is a member of the WVSU “W” Club and a member of the WVSU President’s Circle.

Honorary inductee Dickerson attended West Virginia State, where he received a Presidential Scholarship and graduated with honors with an undergraduate degree in chemistry.  Dickerson was commissioned in 1988 by the ROTC program and branch Medical Service Corps. During his time in Institute, he portrayed the Yellow Jacket mascot. Today, Dickerson is the owner and medical director for Cape Fear Aesthetics, Rejuvenating Med Spa, and Fayetteville Plastic Surgery. Sixty-two members of Dickerson’s family have graduated from WVSU. The WVSU football stadium was dedicated Dickerson Stadium in recognition of their generosity to the University during Homecoming 2016.

Honorary inductee Ghareeb was born in Lebanon and came to the United States in 1965 to study at West Virginia State. During his time on campus he served as the WVSU International Club President from 1966-1969. Following graduation, he went on to earn has master’s degree from Emory University and his doctorate degree in dental surgery from Meharry Medical College. Today, he operates the Ghareeb Dental Group, a large family-owned practice with five locations. He has been active in supporting WVSU through service on the WVSU Foundation Board of Directors, the Campaign Steering Committee and as a member of the WVSU President’s Circle. The ticket booth at the Walker Convocation Center is named in honor of the Ghareeb Dental Group.

Admission to the Sports Hall of Fame Induction brunch is $10, and tickets will be available at the door.  
The WVSU Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony is part of Homecoming activities at WVSU. For more information, and a complete schedule of Homecoming events, visit http://connect.wvstateu.edu/homecoming or call (304) 766-3387.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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