Sunday, May 22, 2005

QB Yurachek now gladly a receiver - to Hall

Friday, May 20, 2005

Bob Yurachek used to do the passing. Now, he's on the receiving end - of a high football honor.

After once going eight years between snaps, the former Virginia Ravens quarterback has been named to the American Football Association's Semi-Pro Hall of Fame.

Induction ceremonies will be June 3-5 in Chicago.

"It's the biggest honor there is for semi-pro players," the Chester resident said. "I've been very fortunate."

After starring at Henrico High (Class of '81) and Chowan College, Yurachek stashed away his shoulder pads from age 21 to 29.

He was lured from retirement by Ravens coach Hal Lockhart and a belated, but glorious, semi-pro career was launched.

With the Ravens, who compete in the Mason-Dixon League, Yurachek passed for 6,048 yards and 59 touchdowns. He rang up 1,670 yards and 20 TDs in 1992 alone.

"Undaunted courage," is how Lockhart describes Yurachek.

Lockhart's voice trembles with emotion in speaking of his close friend.

"We didn't always have the best offensive lines, but Bob stood in the pocket. . . . He stood tall in the pocket and kept completing passes. Let me tell you: The boy took some licks."

The Ravens captured numerous divisional and Mason-Dixon titles with Yurachek barking the signals.

"Such a smart player," Lockhart said. "I remember one game, against Lynchburg, Bob used 22 different formations. He was a master at disguising a play."

Yurachek, an account executive for Medical Home Health, never earned a dime for exposing his 5-10 frame to mean-spirited, weekend warriors.

"Nobody gets paid," Lockhart said. "It's really adult amateur football."

Yurachek will be joining some select company when he is presented his plaque at Chicago's Oakbrook Hilton Suites.

The Semi-Pro Hall of Fame includes such names as John Unitas, Vince Lombardi, Otis Sistrunk, Tom Dempsey, Garo Yepremian, Joe Gilliam and Bob Kuechenberg - all of whom went on to earn reputations in the NFL.

"Kinda cool to be mentioned with those folks," Yurachek said.

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