Vinton County High School
Athletic Hall of Fame
Class of 2023
The VCHS Athletic Hall of Fame committee is pleased to announce our 2023 Induction Class. Our three inductees include a remarkable 3-sport athlete, a historic football squad, and a record-setting basketball star. This year’s ceremony will be held December 2 between the varsity girls and varsity boys basketball games against Logan.
1993 Football Team
Thirty years after its completed season, the 1993 Football Team remains the benchmark for all succeeding Vinton County Viking Football seasons.
The Vikings steam-rolled most of their regular season opponents, in 1993, finishing the regular season with a 9-1 record, scoring the highest point total at that time, 348 points, while holding their opponent to only 8 points a game. Coach Jack O’Rouke’s wishbone offense and Coach Tom Reid’s hard-nosed defense was formidable and a daunting task for any Viking opponent.
At a time when making the Ohio High School State Football Playoffs was an achievement in itself, the Vikings finished in the top 4 in Division III, Region 11 final computer rankings for the first time, punching their first ever ticket to the postseason.
Their first round opponent, perennial powerhouse Thornville Sheridan.The unproven Vikings were up to the challenge. After trailing early to the Generals, 14-0, the Vikings dominated the rest of the game, taking a 14 point lead late in the fourth quarter, before winning with a seven point margin, 42-35.
The Vikings next opponent, the much exalted and historic number one seed the Ironton Tigers. Again, the Vikings showed grit and determination, by having an eight point lead late in the fourth quarter. The Tigers would score late in the game and convert a two-point conversion to tie the game and send it to overtime. Unfortunately, the Vikings succumbed to the Tigers in overtime, 27-21.
The accolades would rightfully come to the young men of the 1993 team, five All-TVC players, including defensive player of the year, six All-District players, including defensive player of the year, and five All-Ohio honorees. And Coach Jack O’Rouke was named Southeast District Football Coach of the Year.
This senior class boasted a 35-7 record, including the Vikings’ first playoff victory, a regional runner-up and two TVC titles in 1990 & 1991. Seven individuals from the roster would go on to play college football and be a part of three national collegiate championships. The freshmen and sophomore of this roster would go on to win two more TVC Championships in 1995 and 1996.
That twelve weeks in the fall of 1993, galvanized the Vinton County community and for possibly the first time since consolidation, gave birth to a true Viking Nation.
Kayla Jewett-Maerker (2004) Volleyball, Basketball, Softball
Throughout four memorable years from 2000 to 2004, Kayla demonstrated her skills and dedication across various sports, namely basketball, volleyball, and softball. As a relentless competitor, she earned a remarkable total of 12 Varsity Letters, an extraordinary feat highlighting her unwavering commitment to excellence in school sports.
On the basketball court, Kayla consistently showcased her talent, earning numerous accolades and leaving an indelible mark on the sport. Her outstanding performance included leading the team in scoring and assists during her career, and winning a TVC Championship in 2002. Kayla garnered numerous team awards reflecting her leadership, heart, and hustle throughout her career, affirming her natural ability to inspire and lead her teammates. Kayla's exceptional basketball career was further distinguished by her selection to the All TVC team in 2002,2003, and 2004. Kayla also earned All District selections in both the AP and Coaches District 13 underpinning her consistent excellence and undeniable contribution to VC's basketball program.
In volleyball, Kayla also left an indelible impression, utilizing her athletic prowess and versatility to propel her team to success. She showcased her all-around skills, registering Most Digs in 2002 while consistently leading her teams in offensive categories as well. Her contributions were further acknowledged with selections to the 1st Team TVC in 2002 and 2003 and All District in 2004. Her outstanding performance and leadership skills as the Senior Captain propelled her to secure a volleyball scholarship at the University of Rio Grande.
Kayla's leadership extended to the realm of softball as well, as she played a prominent role on strong teams with exceptional batting skills and solid defense in the infield. She achieved the highest Slugging Percentage of .629 and an impressive Batting Average of .443 in 2002. These remarkable statistics, combined with her consistent stellar performance, led to her inclusion in the All Team TVC and All District teams in 2003 & 2004. Kayla played an instrumental role in guiding the team to the TVC Championship in 2003, anchoring a tremendous defensive team that season. Her exceptional skills culminated with a selection in her senior year as All Ohio Honorable Mention, further solidifying her reputation as an elite softball player.
Amidst her athletic achievements, Kayla's exceptional talent and contributions were acknowledged when she received the distinguished title of Female Athlete of the Year for 2004. This prestigious recognition aptly summarized her unparalleled dedication, consistent excellence, and outstanding performance across multiple sports. Maintaining a strong connection with her alma mater, she has served as a coach for girls' youth and high school volleyball and also has been a girls' youth basketball coach over the years. Kayla's pure joy of competition along with dedication, hard work, and passion have led her to her place in the VCHS Hall of Fame.
Tristan Bartoe (2017) Basketball
From an early age, Tristan Bartoe's dream was to become a Vinton County Viking Basketball Player. With a basketball in his hands every time you saw him, his passion for the sport was unmistakable. Even when diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the tender age of four, Tristan’s love for basketball never wavered. Fueled by an unwavering dedication, relentless drive, and an unparalleled work ethic, he became one of Vinton County's greatest basketball players.
In 2013, Tristan entered high school, carrying his unwavering passion, determined drive, and steadfast work ethic. Despite his undersized physical stature, his talent was immeasurable. As a freshman, he made a significant impact, often serving as the sixth man and seeing considerable playing time.
During his sophomore year, Tristan's commitment to developing his body paid off as he gained thirty pounds. His remarkable work ethic and desire to excel led him to become a three-year captain. This was the year when Tristan's determination to win shone brightly. He not only raised the level of performance of those around him but also held himself and his teammates to high standards. As long as Tristan was on the court, the Vinton County Vikings were a formidable force to be reckoned with.
As a junior, Tristan set a record, scoring 483 points, the highest ever achieved by a junior player and the third-highest overall in Vinton County's history. In addition to his scoring prowess, he also led the team in assists, showcasing his ability to involve his teammates while still being a dominant force himself. Under Tristan's leadership, the 2015-2016 team clinched Vinton County's second district championship, narrowly missing out on a regional title to eventual state champion John Glenn.
Continuing his exceptional performance, Tristan led the Vikings to their second consecutive 20-win season and secured their third district championship. Although they fell short in the regional finals, Tristan's impact on the Viking Community remains everlasting. In his senior season, he achieved an impressive 497 points while surpassing the single-season assist record with 117 assists.
Tristan's graduation marked him as the most efficient basketball player in Vinton County's history and the second-winningest player overall. His outstanding achievements include earning four varsity letters, amassing 1,327 points and 285 assists in 95 games, solidifying his name at the top of Vinton County's all-time records. He was honored as an All-TVC player for three seasons, including Player of the Year in 2017, received All Southeast District recognition for three seasons, including Player of the Year in 2017, represented the North/South Game, and achieved All-Ohio status in his junior and senior years.
Today, Tristan continues to be an integral part of the Vinton County Viking Basketball Program. His unwavering passion, determination, and work ethic shine as he trains, teaches, and mentors the next generation of young Vikings through his Title Town Training initiative.
Tristan Bartoe's remarkable journey is a testament to the power of dedication and resilience. His legacy as one of Vinton County's greatest basketball players will inspire generations to come, embodying the true spirit of Viking athletics.