University High announces inaugural athletics hall of fame class

MORGANTOWN — University High School has been through many changes from 35 students in the Old Tea Room in 1925 to the opening of University Demonstration High School on North Price Street in 1933 to our current University High School on Bakers Ridge Road.

In 2018, a group of interested faculty and alumni met to consider the idea of establishing a University High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Believing athletics plays an integral role in the pride and vitality of the high school setting, members of the committee sought and selected the first 10 individuals who are to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

This year’s ceremonies will be held Sept. 14 prior to the University vs. Wheeling Park football game at UHS.

An honorary reception is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. During the reception, inductees will be honored with a special ceremony which will include the presentation of commemorative plaques and the unveiling of the University High School Athletic Hall of Fame Wall.

During the game, inductees will be introduced to fans. The new members of the Hall of Fame are:

Bobby Watts

Watts played for the Hawks from 1979-’82 and was a three-sport standout in football, basketball and baseball. At WVU, he was a four-year starter in baseball, all-district NCAA and a first-team Atlantic 10 pick. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Edward Solomon

Solomon played football and basketball for the Hawks from 1946-’49. He went on to play basketball at West Virginia Tech and was a four-year starter and an all-American. He was a fifth round draft pick into the NBA but made his name in the National Industrial Basketball League, where he played for the Caterpillar Diesels. He won the NIBL/AAU National Championship in 1952 and was the NIBL MVP.

Homer Fizer

Fizer was at UHS from 1940-’72 and is considered the Father of University High School Athletics. While there, he was a physical education teacher and athletic director, and also coached football, basketball, wrestling, track, baseball and boxing.

Jedd Gyorko

Gyorko played for UHS from 2003-’07 and was a baseball and basketball standout, named first team all-state in both sports. At WVU, he was Big East Rookie of the Year in baseball and was a second team all-American. In 2010, he was named the NCAA Best Shortstop and was a second round pick of the San Diego Padres in the MLB draft. He is now with the St. Louis Cardinals.

John Harvey

Harvey was at UHS from 1972-2006 as a PE teacher and also coached football and soccer. He also served as an athletic director and assistant principal. He helped transitioned UHS into the Big 10 Conference and North Central Athletic Conference. He started the boys’ and girls’ soccer programs, as well as softball, volleyball, golf, boys’ and girls’ swimming, and boys’ and girls’ lacrosse.

M. Steven Davis

Davis was at UHS from 1973-2002 as a social studies teacher, visionary baseball coach (1973-2002) and basketball coach (girls’ basketball 1981-2002; boys’ basketball 1992-’93). He coached the baseball team to 450 wins, eight sectional and one regional titles.

Marc Magro

Magro played at UHS from 1999-2003 in football and baseball, but was a first team all-state pick in football. At WVU, he played for the Mountaineers for four seasons and was an Ideal Mountaineer Man Award, Iron Mountaineer Award and Gridiron Gladiator Award winner. He was second team all-Big East and team captain in 2007.

Rebecca Burbridge

Burbridge played at UHS from 1992-’95 in basketball and softball. She was a Morgantown Touchdown Club West Virginia Player Of The Year and was first team all-state in basketball. at WVU, she was a Big East Scholar/Athlete Of The-Year and was a 1,000-point career scorer for the Mountaineers.

Ronald ‘Duke’ Pride

Pride played at UHS from 1960-’63 in football, basketball and baseball and is considered by many to be one of the best all-around athletes in school history. He was a Meritorious Awards winner in all three sports.

Rich Braham

Braham was a football and basketball standout for the Hawks from 1986-’89. He was named MVP of the West Virginia North/South All-Star game and ended up being a four-year starter at WVU. In 1993, he was the Mountaineers’ team MVP and captain He was a third round pick to the Cincinnati Bengals and spent 13 years with the organization.

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