Five highly honored prep athletes who competed at the major college level will be honored in the 16th class of Legends of Ohio Valley Athletic Conference schools.
The five Legends selections will be feted at the 17th annual OVAC Hall of Fame banquet on Saturday, August 15 at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling.
The honorees include Ed Bode, a basketball standout at Bethel Township in Monroe County who played at West Virginia University; Bob Bowen, a basketball and tennis standout at Martins Ferry who was a three-year basketball starter at Ohio State; Russell (Bus) LaRue, a three-sport honoree at Wheeling High who played football and baseball at WVU; Robert Lilienthal, a football and basketball standout at Cambridge who was in the Ohio State football program; and Chris Yura, a record-setting football player at Morgantown who lettered four seasons at Notre Dame.
ROBERT LILIENTHAL (Cambridge, Class of 1953): He earned state honors in football and basketball for the Bobcats. A three-season football starter at quarterback, he led the Bobcats as a senior to its first Central Ohio League championship and a No. 11 state Class A ranking by beating third-ranked Zanesville, 20-14. He was named second team All-Ohio and first team All-COL. He played for the South team in the annual Ohio North-South game opposite the first-team All-Ohio quarterback Len Dawson, of Alliance, a future Purdue and Kansas City Chiefs standout.
A four-year starter in basketball, he led the Bobcats, as a junior, to the Central Ohio League co-title and earned second-team All-COL accolades. During his senior season, the Bobcats recorded the school’s first unbeaten regular season and went 23-0 before bowing in the district tournament. He repeated on the All-COL second team and was selected third team All-Ohio Class A by United Press International.
He enrolled at Ohio State and was in the football program for three years. The 6-foot, 174-pounder was one of seven quarterbacks on the 10-0 record 1954 team which defeated USC, 20-7, in the Rose Bowl and was the national poll champion by The AP. The 1955 team went 7-2 and repeated as Big Ten Conference champion.
The Cambridge resident was inducted into the Cambridge Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018.