Wahama to induct 5 into Athletic HOF

By Gary Clark - For Ohio Valley Publishing

MASON, W.Va. — A unique group of former Wahama High school athletes will become the sixth edition of the Wahama High School Athletic Hall of Fame this weekend.

The five newly selected inductees will be honored during halftime festivities at the Wahama versus Waterford football game with the official induction ceremony scheduled for the following evening at the annual Hall of Fame Banquet.

This year’s inductees will be a unique group that includes the second Falcon female athlete to join the HOF circle, the first set of brother’s to be honored and three members who will join their father’s in the coveted White Falcon Hall of Fame circle.

The 2015 members of the Wahama Athletic Hall of Fame will be Eric “Rick” Barnitz, a 1980 Wahama graduate; Jason King, a 1996 Falcon grad; Kara Sayre, a 2003 WHS alum; Tim Sayre, a 1977 WHS graduate and Troy Tucker, a 1987 Bend Area grad.

Kara Sayre will become the second female athlete along with 2013 inductee, Lori Bumgarner Zuspan, to join the HOF with Rick Barnitz entering the WHS organization with brother, John Barnitz, a 2014 inductee.

Three of the 2015 future Hall of Fame members will be joining their fathers in the Wahama Athletic Hall of Fame. Kara Sayre will join father Dwight “Keith” Sayre, a 2014 inductee, in the group with Tim Sayre and Troy Tucker entering the HOF with 2010 inaugural father selections Ralph Sayre and Luther Tucker.


Eric “Rick” Barnitz graduated third in his class from Wahama in 1980. Rick was a football and basketball star where he earned six letters in the two sports. Barnitz led the White Falcons in scoring his sophomore, junior and senior seasons and finished his cage career with over 900 points scored. Barnitz was an Honorable mention All-State basketball and was nominated as a McDonalds All-American while being a leader on one of the best Falcon basketball teams in WHS history at 16-4 in 1979-80.

Barnitz was also a two year starter at quarterback for Wahama football and is considered one of the top signal callers to guide the WHS grid program. He was President of the Wahama National Honor Society and is currently a successful part owner of Bob’s Greenhouse. He is a Trustee of Soul Harvest Church and has three children and eight grandchildren with his wife, Lisa, of 34 years.


Jason King graduated fifth in his graduating class at Wahama in 1996. He earned 11 varsity letters with four in baseball, four in football and thee in basketball. Jason was an integral member of the White Falcons first ever state championship during the 1996 baseball season. He assembled some impressive career statistics on the diamond with a .402 batting average, 124 runs scored, 140 hits, 50 extra base hits and 20 home runs. In 1995 Jason set a Falcon school record in baseball with 54 hits. He was a two time Baseball All-State selection in 1995 and 1996 and was chosen as the All-State team captain in 1995. He was also a 1996 USA TODAY honorable mention baseball All-American in 1996. King also was an honorable mention All-State selection as a linebacker in 1995 during his high school sports career.

Jason went on to star in baseball at the University of Rio Grande where he lettered four consecutive years. He was a recipient of the 2000 NAIA baseball Scholar Athlete award and was a 1999 honorable mention American Mideast Conference baseball selection.


Kara Sayre is the second Wahama female athlete to join the Wahama Athletic Hall of Fame. Kara was a 2003 graduate of Wahama where she earned eight varsity letters in basketball and softball. She compiled a .591 batting average her senior season on the softball diamond and stole 43 of 45 bases during her senior season. She was an All-State shortstop in softball and an honorable mention All-State selection in basketball. She also participated in the prestigious North-South softball game. Sayre was a dependable athlete who sported a significant quality of never missing a game during her four year athletic career at Wahama.

Kara was a member of the Wahama National Honor Society with a 4.08 GPA and President of the FBLA in addition to being selected as the WHS prom queen in 2003. She was co-captain of the softball team at Glenville State College and was honorable mention on the All-West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.


Tim Sayre earned 10 varsity letters a Wahama in baseball, basketball and football before graduating in 1977. Sayre was the co-captain of the 1977 football team and caught 50 passes that season. His 800 yards receiving during his senior season is believed to be the second most receiving yards in Wahama football history. During the 1977 school year Tim was a Special All-State Honorable Mention selection in football, an All-Tourney pick in basketball in and was chosen as the Tri-County Athlete of the Year .

He was a four year starter in baseball at the Bend Area School and earned first team All-State honors in 1976. He owns the state record of 50 baseball games played as a freshman and was successful in 50 of 52 stolen base attempts in 1976. Sayre played baseball for three years at Glenville State College and following graduation has earned his Master’s Degree +30 and has taught school for 33 years in Wood County. He has coached boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball, golf and football for 14 years.


Troy Tucker graduated from Wahama in 1987 and earned seven varsity letters in football and baseball. Tucker was the football captain on the first ever Wahama grid team to advance to the post-season in 1986. He was named to the first team All-State team and was selected to participate in the annual North-South All-Star football game. Troy was also a Special Honorable Mention pick in 1985 and was a member of the first team on the All-Little Kanawha Conference football team in 1985-86. In baseball, Tucker posted impressive batting average statistics of .476 as a senior, .314 as a junior and .343 as a sophomore. He was a Special Honorable Mention All-State baseball selection in 1987. He was also a member of the Wahama National Honor Society.

Tucker was a member of the West Virginia Tech football team in 1987. He was an honor graduate from Marshall University in 1992 and earned his Master’s Degree from Muskingum College in 2008. During his professional career he has been a teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal and principal.

Gary Clark is a sports correspondent for Ohio Valley Publishing.

By Gary Clark

For Ohio Valley Publishing