Ironton ushers in 5 new Hall of Fame members

Published 3:14 am Monday, January 27, 2014

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Jim Walker

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It was about talent and variety.

Those were the two main qualities of the second class inducted Sunday into the Ironton High School Hall of Fame.

The second Ironton Hall of Fame class included former NFL linebacker Danny Pride, outstanding all-around athlete and basketball star Ralph Snead, outstanding football player and current college coach Mark Snyder, high school and college golfing standout Justin Collins and All-American track star Anissa Campbell, the first female athlete inducted.

Snead’s presenter was Mike Burcham, a member of last year’s first Hall of Fame class.

Snead was a long-range shooter in basketball who set a school record with 45 points against Lancaster in 1958. Almost every shot was from behind the 3-point line except for the fact there was no 3-point line during his playing career.

He was a third team All-Ohio in the Ohio Class AA large school division. There were only two divisions in Ohio at the time. He played in the North/South All-Star Game with future Ohio State greats Jerry Lucas, Mel Nowell and John Havlicek.

“Ralph was the fastest guy in the school, he was a very good football player, a very good basketball player, and a very good baseball player but Ironton did have baseball at that time,” said Burcham.

“He was the best basketball player to ever play at Ironton. He was just a great athlete.”

Snead went to Ohio University and started as a freshman. He led the team in scoring and set the single-game scoring record in the Bobcats’ old arena. He left school to join the Navy and was flown to other military bases to play in tournaments.

Snead once scored 45 points against the William and Mary freshman team. He had several professional offers but declined.

Pride is one of the all-time great football players at Ironton, but he was also an outstanding basketball player.

“I’m really honored to be inducted with this group,” said Price. “Being born in Ironton was something really special to me. That’s where I built my foundation. It all started in Ironton. If I had been somewhere else, I wouldn’t have been as successful.”

Pride earned All-Ohio honors in football and was signed by Jackson State in Jackson, Miss. He played at Jackson State and Tennessee State before being drafted in the 10th round of the NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers.

Released in training camp, Pride signed with the Chicago Bears and had impressive camp to not only earn a spot on the roster by found himself starting along side future Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus.

A torn thigh muscle injury ended his second season prematurely and he was released the following season.

Pride went to work in California where he taught and coached form 30 years.

While in California, he took a two-week vacation and tried out for the Southern California Sun franchise of the newly formed World Football League. He made the team and played the 1974 season. He opted not to play the following season and the league folded before the end of its second year.

After a successful career in California, he returned to Ironton in 2008 where he once again found himself helping coach Ironton football, girls’ basketball and softball.

“I had to think about all the opportunities here. Thank God I made some decent decisions,” said Price.

“I wouldn’t change the round I went. I appreciate the opportunities I’ve received. I came back and was really accepted in this town.”

Snyder was an All-Ohio quarterback and safety at Ironton and helped the team to a Division III state runner-up final. He also played basketball and ran track.

He originally signed with then-Division I Morehead State but later transferred and played at Oklahoma State, helped Northeastern Oklahoma Junior College to the 1986 national title and then to Marshall where he set a school and Southern Conference single-season record with 10 interceptions and the 1987 NCAA Division I-AA national runner-up finish.

Snyder was named an All-American and elected to enter college coaching.

He had stints as an assistant at Central Florida, Youngstown State, Minnesota, Ohio State, South Florida and his current position as defensive coordinator at Texas A&M.

Snyder was part on NCAA I-AA national title teams at Youngstown and the 2002 Div. I-A national title at Ohio State. He also served a stint as the head coach at Marshall.

Due to recruiting commitments, Snyder was unable to attend but sent a tape video message.

“I’m truly honored and humbled to be with this group of people going into the Ironton Hall of Fame,” said Snyder.

“Ironton has made a difference in my life. The reason I am in coaching is because of the people in Ironton, especially the coaching staff. Ironton sets the stage for young people’s lives.”

Campbell put up some amazing numbers in track.

She won five state track titles including three straight 100-meter championships. Her winning time of 11.86 seconds in 1994 stood as a state finals record for 10 years. She broke that record a week later when she ran an 11.81 at the Midwest Meet of Champions.

“Being around different people and different cultures, I’m so proud to be from Ironton, Ohio,” said Campbell who now lives in Texas. “I’m just very honored.”

During her senior year, Campbell helped Ironton to the Class state runner-up in track. She won the 100-meter dash, the 200, was fourth in the long jump and anchored the winning 4×100 relay team that included Christina Saxton, Kristen Roach and Shawnta Allen.

From her sophomore to her senior seasons, she was 41-0 in the 100-meter dash. Campbell signed with the University of Tennessee where she lowered her time to 11.62 seconds.

With the Vols, Campbell was part of the 1996-97 4×100 relay teams that placed in the NCAA Division I national meet and earned All-American honors.

Collins was part of five state titles himself. He helped Ironton to the Class AA state golf championships from 1995-97 and a runner-up in 1998. He was that state medalist as a junior and tied for medalist honors as a senior. His winning score in 1997 was a state record that still stands.

Dejected because the team just missed a record fourth team title, the despondent Collins lost the medalist playoff.

Collins was a four-time All-Ohio first team golfer. He was fourth overall as a freshman and second as a sophomore.

Former Ironton golf coach Bill Washburn handle Collins’ induction.

“Justin was one of the hardest working kids. He inspired the other kids,” said Washburn.

Before high school, Collins won three straight Ohio Junior Tournament titles, tying a record set by Jack Nicklaus. When Collins signed with Ohio State, former coach Jim Brown said Justin was the most decorated golfer he had ever recruited.

Collins was also an outstanding 3-point shooter in basketball. He averaged 19 points a game as a senior and was first team All-Southeast District.

At Ohio State, he rose to the No. 1 player as a freshman. He was a three-year captain and at one time was ranked No. 11 nationally.

Collins planned to attend the induction, but a work emergency forced him to return to the Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport, W.Va., where he is the club pro.