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County Hall of Fame to add six

April 01, 2003|by BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

The Washington County Sports Hall of Fame will induct six new members into the class of 2003.

Inductees include Smithsburg track and football coach Walter "Buddy" Orndorff, Williamsport's John W. Bowers, golf developer Joseph "Bert" Yingling, former Maryland baseball great Robert "Turtle" Smith, fisherman Nelson "Butch" Ward and Hagerstown native John David "Dave" Russell, who was the first men's basketball All- American from Shepherd College.

The inductees will be honored at the organization's annual banquet scheduled for the Hagerstown Elks Club on Saturday, July 19.

Buddy Orndorff


Orndorff, who starred as a three-sport athlete at Fort Hill High School in the mid-70s, was inducted into the hall on the strength of his incredible nine Maryland State Championships in girls track and field since 1992.

Under his guidance, the Lady Leopards have won seven consecutive titles in Class 1A, a feat of domination equaled by only one other program in the state.

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Orndorff, the head boys track coach until 2000, guided Smithsburg to two runner-up finishes.

He attended Western Maryland College in Westminster where he captained the football and baseball teams.

John Bowers


Bowers attended Williamsport High School where he starred in football, basketball and baseball.

In 1975, Bowers passed for more than 2,000 yards and pitched a two-hitter as Williamsport won the state baseball title.

Earning a master's degree in education in 1981, Bowers became a college football coach, a profession he pursued at numerous schools for just over 18 seasons.

Currently, he is a physical education teacher in the Ohio public schools and a head football coach.

Bert Yingling


Yingling, of Hagerstown, was a major factor in the continuing development of golf in Washington County.

Credited as a founder of the Beaver Creek Country Club, Yingling was also a primary board member for the Black Rock Golf Course and a major promoter of junior golf programs throughout the county.

He was also instrumental in developing interest in and giving direction to golf programs in several Washington County high schools.

Turtle Smith


Smith starred as a third baseman at the University of Maryland from 1959-1963.

Smith, who earned team captain honors as a senior, won the coveted Berger Cup that year as the one athlete designated as making an outstanding contribution to athletics at Maryland.

A native of Hagerstown, Smith earned his scholarship to Maryland after a stellar career at Hagerstown High School.

Since his career there, Smith has continually supported the University in both athletics and scholarship capacities.

The baseball office in the new complex on the Maryland campus is scheduled to be named for him upon its completion.

Dave Russell


Dave Russell became Shepherd College's first All-American basketball player under current South High coach Bob Starkey.

Russell, who starred at St. Maria Goretti in the early 70s was a prolific player at Shepherd shattering several offensive records that still remain intact today.

He was inducted into the Shepherd College Hall of Fame in 1986.

Signed by two National Basketball Association teams, Russell played in Europe for the World Cup team where, in 1977, a tragic automobile accident in France took his life.

Butch Ward


Ward was the President and Tournament director of the Maryland Bass Federation up until his death in 1999.

Named Bass Angler Man of the Year in 1987, Ward was nationally acclaimed for his stand on environmental issues that impacted all sportsmen and reknowned for his prowess as an angler and instructor.

Ward organized several youth tournaments and was instrumental in promoting tournaments for the handicapped.

In 2001, the first scholarships were awarded to youth through the Nelson L. Ward Memorial Scholarship Fund - an idea actually originating with Ward.

Ward left a legacy of devotion to youth and dedication to to the promotion of bass fishing for everyone.

Members elected to the hall of fame have a plaque permanently placed on the second floor of the Athletic and Recreation Complex on the campus of Hagerstown Community College.

Tickets for this year's induction banquet are available by contacting Schultz at 301-790-3399.

The Washington County Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to promoting sports.

Over the years, the organization has also presented scholarships to Washington County student-athletes.

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