James Wood Athletic Association’s - P. Wendell Dick Hall of Fame

WINCHESTER, VA-Six athletes and a former coach will be inducted into James Wood High School’s P. Wendell Dick Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, September 12, 2014. Ceremonies for the 15th annual induction begin with a reception at 5 p.m., followed by the 5:30 ceremony in James Wood’s Don Shirley Gymnasium. The inductees also will be recognized at halftime of the football game between JW and Warren County High Schools. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Jerry Kelican Stadium.

Randolph Scott Wingfield, class of 1964, is being inducted for his excellence in football, track and field, and wrestling. In football, he was a three-year letterman, playing defensive guard, corner back and end positions and intercepting two passes his junior year. He also returned kicks and kicked extra points for the Colonels.

In track and field, he was a hurdler, high jumper and pole vaulter who had numerous three-event first place finishes throughout his four-year career. As a freshman he helped the Colonels win the Northwestern District Title and his junior year he won both hurdle events and the high jump in the City-County Meet. Wingfield scored 85 points for the Colonels his junior season. As a senior, he lead the Colonels to another Northwestern District Championship, winning the high jump and both hurdle races.

In wrestling, he participated on the school’s first wrestling team in 1964, winning four of six matches and setting the standard for what would become one of the top high school wrestling programs in the state for many years.

After high school, Wingfield continued his track and field endeavors at Shepherd College (now university) where he competed in hurdles, high jump, pole vault, javelin, and distance-running events. He captained the Shepherd team in 1970 and also ran on the college’s first cross country team.

He still runs competitively today and has run in 36 Apple Blossom races as well as several triathlons and biathlons. He is a middle school coach of track, cross country, and volleyball in Frederick County.

David E. Wert, class of 1969, is being inducted for his legacy in football and track at James Wood. In football, he earned two varsity letters and was instrumental in the Colonels 19-1 record spanning the 1967-68 seasons. He was a starting defensive back as a junior and led the secondary with five interceptions.

His senior year, in addition to his defensive play, he saw time as a running back, scoring five touchdowns on 44 carries, leading the undefeated Colonels to the Northwestern District Championship. He was named to the Winchester Star All Area First Team as a defensive back in 1968 and later selected to the All-Time Area Football Honor Roll in 1988 by the Winchester Star.

Track was Wert’s top sport and he still is listed among the school’s top performers today. He lettered all four years in track, excelling in both the low and high hurdles and the mile relay. He ran the lead-off leg of the school record-setting mile relay as a freshman and led the entire James Wood track team in scoring his sophomore, junior and senior years.

He set a new school record in the low hurdles his junior year and lowered that record as a senior. He was the Northwestern District Champion in both hurdle races his junior year. He anchored the record-setting mile relay team that won the district title both his junior and senior years and also anchored the indoor state champion mile relay team his senior season.

Wert was named the Colonels’ Most Valuable Track Athlete in 1967 and he won the JWAA’s cherished Calvin Shirley Award in 1968. After high school, he ran track at Virginia Tech as a freshman and had three first-place finishes in dual meets in the 440 yard intermediate hurdles. He also had several other top-five finishes in the hurdles and ran on the varsity mile relay team. He was the 1970 AAU State Champion in the 440 intermediate hurdles.

He coached youth league sports for 11 years in Christiansburg, VA, including little league baseball, pee-wee football and rec-league basketball.

Darren L. Brown, class of 1984, is being honored for his excellence in football, wrestling, and track and field. He played football all four years at JW and was named the Outstanding Defensive Player and received the JWAA Football Award his senior year.

Wrestling was his top sport. During his four-year wrestling career from 1981-84, he posted a record of 64-16-1. His senior season, Brown’s record was 24-4, including first place finishes in the district and region and a sixth place finish in the state. In dual meets that year, his record was 12-1.

As a junior, he was the only JW wrestler to go undefeated in dual meets (13-0) and he finished second in the district, won the regional title, and finished fifth in the state. He wrestled in the 176 and 185 pound weight classes.

Brown received the JWAA Wrestling Award in both the 1983 and 1984 seasons.

In track and field, he threw the discus and was a triple jumper, and he was voted the Most Athletic in his class his senior year.

Christopher P. Kees, class of 1998, is one of the top baseball pitchers ever to play at James Wood, and is being inducted for his excellence on the mound for the Colonels, and later at Shenandoah University.

Currently holding seven all-time-bests in the Colonels’ record book, Kees is also ranked among the top 10 in three other categories of James Wood baseball. He is the all-time leader in strikeouts (167), innings pitched (146.1), wins (15–tied with Josh Dick), and appearances (34). In the single-season category, he is tops in wins (8), appearances (15), and complete games (6). He also ranks fourth in all-time ERA (1.72) and fourth in saves (4), as well as ranking eighth in all-time doubles (11).

Kees lettered three years (1996-97-98) in baseball and made the Winchester Star’s All-Area Baseball Team each year. He also made the All-District Baseball team his junior and senior years.

In 1997, Kees lead the Colonels to the baseball district championship and was the game-winning pitcher against Loudoun County where he went 12 innings in the title game. He was named the MVP of the James Wood baseball team in 1998 and also was named James Wood Pitcher of the Year that same season. In addition to high school competition, he played for American Legion Post 21 for three seasons and was the top starting pitcher in the rotation each of those years.

Kees had a very successful four-year college career at Shenandoah University and set numerous records there. He was a big factor in Shenandoah’s first ever national ranking in the 2000 season, and he still holds 13 all-time-career or single-season marks among the university’s best baseball players.

In college he was named first team All-Conference, All-Region, and All-State in 2000 and named among the 100 top prospects in Division III baseball in 2001. Kees also played in the Valley Baseball League, where he played for the Front Royal Cardinals and the Winchester Royals and was named Pitcher of the Year in 2001.

James Michael Connelly, class of 1998, stands out as one of the Colonels all-time best distance runners in track and cross country and is remembered as a dominant force at the district, regional and state levels. He currently is tied for fifth place all-time in the Virginia High School League with six individual state records.

At James Wood Connelly earned four varsity letters in cross country, four in track and one in basketball. He was the Winchester Star Cross Country Runner of the Year in 1996 and ’97 and the Star’s Track and Field Performer of the Year in 1997 and ’98.

He won the cross country district championship in 1997 and was district champ in the 1600 meter track event all four years from 1995-98. In the 800 meter race, he won the district title three years (1996-98) and was part of the district winning 4 X 800 relay team twice (1997-98).

At the regional level, he won the 1600 meter event in 1998, the 800 meter event three years (1996-97-98), and the 4 X 800 relay twice (1997-98).

He won state championships six times, including the cross country title in 1998, the 1600 meter title in 1998, the 800 meter event in 1996 and 1997, and the 4 X 800 relay title in 1997 and 1998.

Currently at James Wood, Connelly either holds the school record or ranks among the top six all-time performers in the 800 meter, the 4 X 800 meter, the 400 meter, the 1600 meter and the 3200 meter events.

After high school, he distinguished himself at Clemson University where he lettered in both indoor and outdoor track three seasons and was named ACC All-Conference twice in the 800 meter event. He also earned a letter in cross county for the Tigers. He currently is in the Clemson record books with the second-fastest times in the 4 X 800 relay and the distance medley relay.

Melanie Heaps Nelson, class of 1999, is being inducted for her excellence in volleyball, basketball and softball. She was the Northwestern District Volleyball Player of the Year and the Winchester Star Volleyball Player of the Year her senior season, 1999. She played volleyball four years and was captain and recipient of the JWAA Volleyball Award as a junior and senior. She is remembered for having 15 service aces in a three-game match in 1999.

In basketball, she scored 978 career points, which ranks her second in all-time scoring in the Colonels’ record books. She also ranks fourth in career assists (166), fourth in career steals (213), and 11th in career rebounds (373). She is listed among the leaders in single-season steals with 66 and she was team captain both her junior and senior years. She received the JWAA Basketball Award in 1996 and in 1999.

In softball, she was an outstanding first baseman and was named first team All-District and second team All-Region, as well as winning the JWAA Award both as a junior and senior. She lead the team her first three seasons with 25 RBI’s, 25 stolen bases and a batting average of .311.

Her senior year she had a batting average of .452 and as a junior she hit .419. She also had 27 RBI’s as a senior and was team captain that year and was voted Most Athletic Female in her class.
After high school, she played softball at Southern Utah University for four years and has coached at the high school and collegiate levels over the past 10 years.

Jerry A. Tingle, who wore many hats and was a household name at James Wood from 1974 until 2003, is being inducted as a coach. While at JW, he coached golf, football, and baseball and also served as athletic director.

He was head golf coach from 1975-99 and produced three Commonwealth District Championship teams. His golf coaching record is 181-126-4 and two of his former players, Tim Ganse and Any Hersey, are currently PGA professionals.

In football, Tingle was assistant varsity coach from 1974-81 and played a role in the Colonels’ 10-0 undefeated season in 1980. In baseball, he was assistant varsity coach from 1994-99 during which the Colonels were district champions.

As athletic director from 1999-2003, Tingle spearheaded the founding of the P. Wendell Dick Hall of Fame and during his tenure with the school system he served as biology teacher, guidance counselor, athletic director and assistant principal at various times. After retiring from the school system in 2003, he was the golf pro at Carper’s Valley Golf Club from 2004-05 and at Jackson’s Chase Golf Club from 2006-08.

In addition to the Hall of Fame inductees, the late Scott Wingfield will be recognized as an outstanding baseball pitcher who graduated from Gainesboro High School in 1942. Wingfield is the 19th Pre-James Wood athlete from Frederick County high schools to be honored by the JWAA.

Prior to the construction of James Wood in 1955, high schools in Stephens City, Middletown, Gainesboro, Gore and Stonewall competed and produced some excellent athletes that are being recognized.

 

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