Five more into West Branch Hall of Fame

BELOIT — The West Branch Hall of Fame will induct five individuals into its Class of 2018 this weekend.

They will be introduced at 6:35 p.m. Friday at Heacock Stadium before the football game against Alliance. A reception, sponsored by the West Branch Alumni Association, will follow the game in the athletic building adjacent to the stadium. The event is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, induction ceremonies will be at 7 p.m. in the high school commons. There is no charge to attend. Desserts and refreshments will be provided.

New West Branch Hall of Fame inductees include:

Justin Burton

(Class of 1999)

Burton was a key player on West Branch’s 1998 state semifinalist football team. As a senior he was the Northeastern Buckeye Conference Defensive MVP and set eight school records, six of which still stand today (most quaterback sacks in a game, season, career and most quarterback pressures in a game, season, and career) He was a three-year letterwinner and a three-time All-NBC selection in football. He was also a two-year letterwinner and two-year All-NBC selection invasketball and earn All-NBC honors in track. Burton continue his academic and football careers at Mount Union, where he graduated from in 2003. There he was a three year-letterwinner in football and and a member of three straight NCAA national champoinship teams. While in college, his teams had a record of 54-1 and he was named Defensive MVP of the 2002 Stagg Bowl. He currently is the vice president of Business Development at Solid Waste and Recycling Services. Burton and his wife, Dana, live in Homeworth with their two children, Lara and Cade.

Sue Deas

(Class of 1971)

Deas, a 1973 graduate of Mount Union with a master’s degree from Ashland University, began her teaching career at West Branch in 1975. She served as the school’s head girls basketball coach for six years and also as the head girls track coach. In 1976, she started the West Branch volleyball team and coached for 31 years before retiring from coaching in 2007. Deas earned 21 coach of the year honors at various levels and her volleyball teams won two Northeastern Buckeye Conference championships, 21 sectional titles and eight district runner-up or championship showings. In 1987, she coached the state all-star match and was named the Ohio coach of the year. She was a member of numerous coaching organizations and was named to the Mount Union M Club Hall of Fame in 2007. Sue was inducted into the State Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2005. Deas, now retired, and her husband, Douglas, have two children, Kyle and Ashley, and four grandchildren.

Rick Mulinix

(Class of 1997)

Mulinix was a two-year letterwinner in basketball and a three-year letterwinner in baseball. He was the Northeastern Buckeye Conference player of the year in 1997 and a two-time NBC first-team selection. He broke the school’s career and single season home run records and was named a first-team All-Ohio catcher. Following West Branch, Mulinix continued his baseball career at Youngstown State University before transferring and finishing his career at Mount Union, where he got his degree from 2001. At Mount Union, he was a three-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference first-team selection and broke 10 school records. He still holds Mount Unitedrecords for career batting average and career and single season stolen bases. He was named an NCAA All-American catcher as a senior in 2001. He continued to play baseball for 18 seasons with the Canton Stallions, where he was a part of three national championships. He was inducted into the National Semi-Pro Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Canton Amateur Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. He has been coaching varsity baseball for the past 17 years. He is currently a teacher at Leetonia and West Branch’s assistant varsity baseball coach. Mulinix and his wife, Angie, have two children, Boston and Hayden, and live in Beloit.

Marcia (Riesen) Phillis

(Class of 1988)

While at West Branch, she lettered in four different sports. She is the third member of her family to enter the West Branch Hall of Fame following her two brothers. She is a 1993 graduate of Hannah E. Mullins School of Practical Nursing and in 1996 obtained her RN at Sharon Regional School of Nursing. She served eight years in the United States Army Reserve. She is currently involved in nursing research after spending the majority of her career in labor and delivery. Marcia is a member of First Christian Church and is the mother of four children, David, Daniel, Julie, and Jennifer.

John R. Yaggi

(Class of 1963)

Yaggi has been a lifelong supporter of West Branch athletics. He is the unspoken leader of the “Let’s Go Green” chant and never misses an opportunity to cheer on the Warriors. Following graduation, he worked as a general laborer and truck driver for T and W Forge for 43 years. He was a member of the Northeast Ohio Forestry Association, the Mile Branch Grange, and the Columbiana County Farm Bureau. He is also a member of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. He is a lifetime member of Bethel United Church of Christ, where he has served as both elder and deacon. Yaggi and his wife, Beverly, live in Alliance, and have four children, Margie, Jennifer, John and Abby, all of whom are West Branch graduates.