The Rev. George Nedeff watches the construction going on at Stadium Field as he walks 12 laps on the facility's all-weather track.
The three-mile daily walk is not only good exercise for Nedeff, a Roman Catholic priest in Corpus Christi, Texas, but it brings back fond memories of when he attended Parkersburg High School in the 1950s.
Nedeff was co-captain, along with Dave Boston, of the undefeated, state champion PHS football team in 1958. Art Daniels was the halfback, Boston the fullback and Larry Tracewell the quarterback, Nedeff recalls.
Nedeff was named first team all-state at guard that year before graduating in 1959. He was also heavyweight state champion wrestler his senior year and ran track on the cinders at Stadium Field.
Nedeff told me this week, while in town on vacation, his brothers Tom (1950) and Hichael "Hike" (1943) also were first team all-state guards at PHS.
Seven Nedeff brothers graduated from PHS, with six of them playing sports at the Dudley Avenue school.
"I am glad they are restoring Stadium Field," Nedeff said. "It looks like a first-class job. I am proud of the school."
Nedeff noted that athletics at PHS gave the Nedeff brothers an opportunity to attend college.
George was a student (earning two degrees), athlete, professor, wrestling coach and director of athletic facilities at West Virginia University, before entering the priesthood.
Nedeff will celebrate Mass at 5 p.m. today at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Parkersburg. Next Saturday at 5 p.m. he will celebrate Mass at St. Michael Catholic Church in Vienna.
After the Aug. 31 Mass, Nedeff will attend the first Parkersburg High School football game of the season, being played at Marietta College's Don Drumm Stadium, where he will be inducted into the PHS Big Red Football Hall of Fame.
It will be the sixth hall of fame that "Father George" has been inducted into.
Buddy James, adviser to the Big Red Football Hall of Fame, said he will present Nedeff his induction plaque in a ceremony on the 50-yard line just before the 7:30 p.m. kickoff against Warren High School.
Nedeff's picture will hang in the football museum at Stadium Field's Mary Lou Hague Annex, as a member of the fourth year class of the PHS Football Hall of Fame.
The Nedeff family reunion, which George attended, last Saturday at City Park raised money for the Stadium Field restoration project.
Norm Payne is bringing a "Labor of Love" art show to Point Park in Parkersburg on Labor Day, Sept. 2.
Payne, owner of Fidel's Fine Art Studio on Rosemar Road, believes the Ohio River setting near the amphitheater is the perfect place to display and sell artwork, listen to music and enjoy some food. The art show is scheduled from noon to 8 p.m. and will be free to the public.
Payne said he has lined up 13 artists, who will be offering various mediums, for the show. He is especially pleased to be bringing the wood sculptures of Mamerto Tindongan of Athens County to Point Park. You might even see some of Tindongan's carved canoes at the show.
Entertainers lined up so far are Jerry and Lisa Queen, classic country and gospel singers, and Shaileigh Plummer, a young singer of Christian music, Payne said.
Payne wants to establish a concert park near the E.L.I.T.E. Center and Fort Neal Skate Park, off the Fifth Street Bridge in south Parkersburg. He said he plans to attend the public works committee of Parkersburg City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to further discuss his entertainment proposal.
Contact Paul LaPann at email@example.com