By Ben Robinson
COVINGTON. — The winter weather spoiled most area athletic contests in the area, but it sure didn’t spoil the Hall of Fame festivities at Covington High School on Saturday.
That’s because Covington High School inducted two well deserving members into its prestigious Athletic Hall of Fame in a ceremony conducted in the high school commons with current Hall of Fame members on hand to welcome the new inductees.
The two inductees were 1973 graduate Gale Long and 2011 graduate Chloe Shell, two former athletes who left a legacy of excellence throughout their time at Covington High School.
Gale Long is a 1973 Covington graduate and the son of Robert and Frances Long. Throughout his four years at CHS, Gale excelled as a runner in Cross Country and Track – earning a combined eight varsity letters.
In his four years in Cross Country under coach Duane Bollenbacher, Gale ran in the state championships in 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972, becoming the first athlete in Covington history to qualify for the state championships in four consecutive years of high school. Gale finished tenth at state as a senior and was also a two-time All-Ohio selection, two-time Southwest District selection and a two-time All-Mad River Valley League selection throughout his cross country career.
Gale was also a four-year letter winner in track and field under coach Don Garman and earned All-Mad River Valley League honors twice. He was a member of the Ohio River Roadrunners Club and Ohio AAU Track & Field Team.
Gale is married to his wife of 44 years, Paula (Shoup) Long, and they have three daughters; Adele (Long) Simon (CHS Class of 1992), Kara Long (CHS Class of 1995) and Stacy (Long) Gassman (CHS Class of 1997).
Chloe Shell is a 2011 graduate of Covington High School where she excelled all four years in softball and golf, as well as participated in basketball for two years.
In golf, Chloe was a four-year letter winner for the Lady Buccs and was an all-league (CCC) performer in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. She helped lead the Lady Buccs to the district tournament as a junior and recorded a personal best 9-hole score of 42. She was also a team captain during her senior season under coach Ron Schultz.
But it was the sport of softball where Chloe left a legacy as one of the premier players in school history. Playing for coach Dean Denlinger, Chloe earned varsity letters in each of her four seasons, was an all-league selection in both her junior and senior seasons and earned district and state honors as a senior. In her four years as a pitcher for Covington Chloe compiled a 44-7 career record, had 390 career strikeouts and a career ERA of 1.18. At the plate, Chloe recorded a .315 career batting average, had 83 career hits, scored 76 career runs and drove in 61 runs. After helping lead the Lady Buccs to a district runner-up trophy as a junior in 2010, Chloe put together one of the most dominating pitching performances in school history in 2011 – a season in which she help lead the Lady Buccs to the State Final Four for just the second time in school history. During her senior season Chloe recorded a 20-4 record in the circle and had an ERA of 1.61. She batted .431 on the season, recording 31 hits on 72 at bats and drove in 24 runs.
After graduating from Covington in 2011, Chloe took her talents to Bluffton University where she played four years of softball for coach Heather Bruder. Throughout her Bluffton career, Chloe established herself as one of the top pitchers in the history of the program as she stamped her name in the history books as a top-ten performer in nearly every pitching category. She is second in Bluffton history in most career games started (82), most career appearances (99), and most career shutouts (10); third in most career wins (43); fourth in most innings pitched (460.1); sixth in most strikeouts (199) and seventh in most complete games (37). Chloe graduated from Bluffton in 2015.
Chloe is the daughter of John and Kim Shell of Covington and is currently the Athletic Director at Mississinawa Valley High School.