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Six to be inducted to Brooke Hall of Fame

October 17, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

WELLSBURG - Brooke High School Principal Toni Shute has announced six Brooke graduates will be inducted to the Brooke High School Hall of Fame this weekend.

The six are: Bernie Bertus: Class of 1979; Heather Brown Conwell, Class of 1988; Wendy Neel Bacdayan, Class of 1990; Tom Townsend, Class of 1993; Nathan White, Class of 1996; and Brian Melnyk, Class of 1998.

It's the 24th year for the hall of fame recognition ceremony, and the six will join 74 other Brooke alumni selected for distinguishing themselves at the intercollegiate level, on and off the field of play.

The ceremony will be held Friday during half-time ceremonies of the Brooke-Weir game. The six also will be honored at a dinner and induction program at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Brooke High School.

Tickets for the dinner are $10 each and may be purchased by calling (304) 527-1410 or stopping at the school's main office.

While at Brooke, Bertus lettered in football for two years, basketball for two years, track for one year and golf for one year. He went on to play football at Glenville State College, where he graduated in 1983.

As a player on the pioneer football squad, Bertus was a four-year varsity letter winner in football starting 29 consecutive games.

He was a three-year starter as defensive back, team captain his senior year and co-captain of defense, received WVIAC Conference Honorable Mention and was named WVIAC Conference Player of the Week Honoree.

Following graduation, Bertus went to the AFA in 1983 and played for the semipro team, the Charleston Rockets as a defensive back and led the team in interceptions.

Bertus' love for the game has kept him active as a coach, including time at Parkersburg High School and Blennerhassett Junior High School. He has served as a coach and commissioner for Wood County Sports since 2000 and is its current vice president.

He and his wife live in South Parkersburg, They have three children, and the youngest plays for the Bethany College football team.

Conwell participated in basketball, volleyball and track, was an All-State selection in basketball for three years, USA Today All-American Honorable Mention and All-OVAC for three years. She was on the first girls' team to qualify for state tournament play, all-tournament team state finals and the 1986 state runner-up team.

In track, she held the school's record for high jump and shot put and participated in the state track meet her junior and senior years, medaling her junior year.

Attending Marshall University on a full scholarship, Conwell was a four-year letter winner in basketball and led the team in shooting percentage her sophomore and junior years and in blocked shots her senior year, when she was co-captain.

Her basketball career with the Thundering Herd included three Southern Conference Championships.

She graduated from Marshall in 1999 and is manager of the claims department for Progressive Insurance of Cleveland, where she lives with her husband and four children.

Bacdayan participated in track and field and basketball. Her accomplishments in track and field include qualifying for the states in the 100 for three years, placing first at the regional competition in the 100 in the 1987 and 1989 regional competitions, placing third in the 100 and place fifth in the long jump. In the OVAC competition, she placed third in the 100 and long jump in 1988 and third in the long jump in 1989.

In basketball, Bacdayan was a starter and was selected to the OVAC All-Star Team.

She continued to compete in track and field at Washington & Lee University, where she was a four-year letter winner, Freshman Athlete of the Year and three-year team captain, and set school records in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.

In the ODAC Indoor Championships, Bacdayan took awards in long jump , 55m and 60-yard dash and in the ODAC Outdoor Conference Championships, took awards in the 100m and long jump and set a long jump record.

She was recipient of the NCAA Scholar Athlete Award and Conference Scholar Athlete Award.

Following graduation in 1994, she went on to the West Virginia University School of Medicine, completing her pediatrics' residency at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Bacdayan is a pediatrician at Pittsburgh Alliance in Pittsburgh, where he lives with her husband and three children.

Townsend participated in tennis, basketball, football and baseball. He was a three-year letter winner in tennis, achieved a 22-1 record in singles, and was Brooke Invitational champion and OVAC singles and doubles champion and singles regional finalist.

He went on to play tennis at Wittenberg University, where he was a four-year varsity letter winner, team captain and Most Valuable Player; was named Second Team All- North Coast Athletic Conference, Honorable Mention All-NCAC, gained the No. 1 title in singles with a 14-6 record and still holds the Wittenberg record for No. 1 singles victories.

He is employed by the Seattle School District and lives in Seattle with his wife and daughter.

White participated in football, basketball, baseball and soccer. He was named West Virginia AAA All-State First Team Place-Kicker, OVAC Big School First team Place-Kicker, OVAC Big School Honorable Mention Place-Kicker and OVAC Big School Honorable Mention Place-Kicker.

He was winner of the Roger Simpson Memorial Award, a four-year varsity letter winner and set an OVAC record with a 53 yard field goal.

White was also a three-year letter winner in baseball and OVAC Big School Honorable Mention Firstbase for baseball, basketball two-year letter winner and soccer two-year letter winner.

White played football for Fairmont State College, where he was named Associated Press Little All America First Team punter and held school records for punts and field goals in a season, field goals in a game, career and consecutive extra points and career punts.

He also helped teams win the Division I-AA National Championship, Southern Conference Championship, Mid-Atlantic Conference Championship and WVIAC Championship.

He is employed by Arnett Foster Toothman, Certified Public Accountants, and lives in Morgantown with his wife and two sons.

Melnyk played football, basketball and baseball. He finished his final season at Brooke High with 81 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings while permitting only 30 walks. His final record was 3-6; however, he posted a 3.47 earned run average and hit .386 from the plate.

He went on to Garrett Community College in Maryland, where his NJCAA division final statistics were 53 2/3 innings pitched, 72 strikeouts, 1.34 strikeouts per innings, and ranked fourth in the nation in NJCAA baseball.

He later transferred to Point Park College in Pittsburgh, where he achieved 63.1 innings with a win-loss record of 8-0 in 12 games.

He had 21 earned runs, an earned-run-average of 2.99, 79 strikeouts, and 11.23 strikeouts per game. He was named American Mideast Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Year Award and received the All-American Award.

Melnyk was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 21st round and now lives in Pittsburgh, where he owns Melnyk Cleaning, a commercial cleaning business.

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