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Wahama to induct 5 into 2014 Athletic HOF

Gary Clark Special to OVP

August 19, 2013

MASON, W.Va. — The Wahama High School Athletic Hall of Fame Board of Trustees proudly announce their 2014 Hall of Fame inductions. Forrest Bachtel, Lori Bumgarner Zuspan, Gary Fields, Larry “Rainbow” Gibbs and Johnny Johnson were recently chosen to characterize the highest honor among former Wahama High School athletes.


The five newest inductees of the prestigious Wahama Athletic Hall of Fame institution will join 20 previous WHS Hall of Fame members by being recognized at halftime of the White Falcon-Trimble football game followed by an induction banquet the following evening at the New Haven Lutheran Church.


Forrest Bachtel, a well known teacher and coach at the Bend Area School, is credited with initiating the foundation for athletics at Wahama during the 1930-40 eras. The current WHS football stadium is named in his honor and he is a Hall of Fame member at West Virginia Wesleyan College.


Lori Bumgarner Zuspan graduated from Wahama in 1998 and is considered by many as the greatest female athlete in WHS history. Her induction will represent the first female honoree to be selected to the WHS Athletic organization chapter.


She excelled in basketball and softball at the Mason County School where she scored 43 points in a single game while amassing 1760 points during her cage career. Bumgarner-Zuspan was also chosen to the West Virginia, Class A, All-State softball team four times with a first team selection her senior year in 1998.


Gary Fields graduated from Wahama in 1969 where he was a football, basketball and golf star. Fields was a quarterback and linebacker for the WHS football team and guided the White Falcon gridders to what is perceived to be the greatest upset in Wahama football history with a win over the highly ranked, Class AAA, Ripley Vikings.


Fields also threw for 322 yards in a game against Alexander High School and has further given back to Wahama High School as a teacher and coach for over 36 years.


Larry “Rainbow”Gibbs graduated from Wahama in 1981 where he was a standout football, basketball and baseball athlete. Gibbs scored in double figures in all 22 basketball games his senior year while averaging nearly 21.0 points and 12 rebounds per game.


His 461 points during the 1980-81 basketball season is the fourth largest single season total in modern WHS history. Gibbs was the team leader in scoring, rushing and tackles his senior football campaign with his 96 points ranking him as the 14th highest scorer in the State of West Virginia during the fall of 1980.


Johnny Johnson was a three sport athlete who graduated from Wahama in 1992. Johnson was a versatile baseball athlete who played all nine positions in college and was a member of two WVIAC championships playing for the Yellow Jackets of West Virginia State College.


John was a second team All-State selection in football in 1990 and a second team All-State pick in baseball during the 1992 season. He sported an impressive .390 career batting average and struck out 154 batters in 121 innings for the WHS baseball team. As a quarterback of the WHS football team he threw for 831 yards during the 1990 grid campaign.


The distinguished five Wahama Athletic Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at halftime of the Falcons football game with Trimble on Friday, Sept. 6. The induction banquet will be at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 at the New Haven Lutheran Church.


Anyone wishing to attend the Hall of Fame banquet are asked to contact Ken Greene at (304) 882-2389 or Ralph Sayre at (304) 882-3259 prior to August 30.