BUFFALO GAP – Three coaches and two former athletes were inducted Friday night in the Buffalo Gap Hall of Fame.
The ceremony consisted of a reception in the school’s old gymnasium prior to the football game between the Bison and Parry McCluer Blues.
The class of 2015 was then introduced at halftime.
Joining the school’s Hall of Fame were coaches Lucille Salatin, Dennis Dull and Mike Harmon along with athletes Tiffany Acker Hewitt and Maria Hill.
Salatin, who was on the original faculty when Buffalo Gap began as a high school, retired in 1984 after being a health and physical education teacher.
She was the progenitor of organized athletics for girls in Augusta County before girls’ athletics were allowed. She created an intramural program, then started Saturday Play Day for all Augusta County schools.
“They wanted to do something,” Salatin recalled. “They wouldn’t let girls have interscholastics.”
Once girls’ competition was approved, Salatin coached track and gymnastics.
“I never expected it,” she said of the induction. “I was here when (Buffalo Gap) was new in 1962.”
Since retirement, Salatan has been busy in numerous activities. She volunteers a lot at the Smith Center in Staunton and is an usher at the Blackfriars. She is also a member of the singing group, the Happy Notes.
Dull taught physical education and coached many sports at Riverheads, Robert E. Lee and Buffalo Gap from 1985 until 2013.
His sports included football, basketball, softball, baseball and volleyball. He had numerous district and regional championship teams and state qualifiers.
He had a pair of state runner-up squads, those coming in 1989 and 1994 and a state championship in 1995.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for the work done,” Dull said. “It’s all about your teams and players. They bought into our system.”
Dull said his favorite sport to coach was basketball, both boys and girls.
“I started teaching in 1977 at Riverheads, came to Gap in the fall of 1986 and retired last year,” he said.
“Since I retired, I have been trying to get well, and it’s going well. And I’ve done some subbing at Gap.”
Harmon taught science at Buffalo Gap from 1985 to 2015 before retiring. He started coaching cross country in 1986 and did so for 24 years.
During a five year span, the men’s team won the district title with perfect records. Harmon’s squads also participated in the state championships many years and had numerous top five finishes, including a pair of second places in 1996 and 2000.
Harmon’s winning percentage was 75 percent.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for the hard work the kids did,” he said.
“Now I’m staying busy with projects at home, mainly in conservation work. And I’m staying committed to the school. Come spring, I will be back as an assistant athletic director.”
Hewitt who graduated in 2004, excelled in three sports for the Bison, basketball, track and soccer.
In her senior year, her basketball team was the Region B runner-up. She was selected all-district in both her junior and senior years, leading her team in scoring both seasons. As a senior, she averaged 17 points and six rebounds a game.
In soccer, she was selected all-district in 2004 when the Bison won the district championship.
“Athletics has made me more dedicated, and that has come more from the whole team aspect,” she said.
After graduating from the Gap, Hewitt played basketball for four years for Shepherd University. She currently works at Sunnyside Retirement Community.
Maria Hill graduated in 1986. She played basketball and ran track for the Bison.
Her basketball team won the state championship in 1985. Meanwhile, she still holds the school record for most points in a game, 53.
In track, her team set the record in the 4×100 relay.
Hill went on to college at West Virginia Wesleyan and Norfolk State. At Wesleyan she played basketball for two years.
After college, she entered the U.S. Army. For the past 16 years, she has worked at Bestbuy Distribution Center.
Hill said she has passed down some of her athletic experiences to her son, a junior who plays basketball for Robert E. Lee. She also has a daughter.