Wrestling Coaches Stage a Comeback

The West Virginia High School wrestling season concluded Saturday at Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington, and among those in attendance were the three former John Marshall High School head wrestling coaches

You might think that Bill Hinegardner, Ed Dugas and Ed West would have been spectators, but that was not the case as all are JMHS wrestling coaches, again.

Two years ago Hinegardner came out retirement to be a volunteer coach, and was followed last year by Dugas on a limited basis. However this season Dugas changed his retirement plans and agreed to be a voluntary coach on an everyday status, and also this year West agreed to join the coaching ranks again.

Head coach Ted Zervos is very pleased to have had these three coaches on his staff, all of whom he wrestled for during his junior and senior high school days, and was West’s top assistant before assuming the head coaching job 2007-08. He also served previously on Dugas’ staff at JMHS.

In talking to Hinegardner about this unique situation, he commended, “We are family.” Dugas commented, “It has been fun this year.”

When West announced his retirement as the head wrestling coach, he was quoted as saying, “The most rewarding thing in coaching wrestling is the relationships you build over the years.” Thus, this past wrestling season he had the opportunity for additional relationships.

The three former coaches all commented that during their coaching careers at JMHS they were blessed with a lot of good young men and a lot of good wrestlers. They said they still have former wrestlers come back and visit and reminisce about the times they had. They added, “It’s just a real strong bond which has become life-long.”

Hinegardner and Dugas both said Zervos still calls them “Coach,” even more than 30 years after he graduated from high school.

“It is great to have these three gentleman on the staff.” He added, “While I seek their advice, I make the final decisions.”

Zervos joking said, “With these three men, along assistants Bob Wilson, Roger Simmons and Paul Simmons, it would seem I wouldn’t have too much to do.”

Zervos added, “Since we have all been a part of the ‘system’ everything seems to go smoothly.” Hinegardner and Dugas both stated that Zervos is a very organized individual, and because of this it makes their “job” very easy. They termed it an opportunity to be a part of a program which they were fortunate enough to have been there when it started.

Hinegardner and Dugas are both members of the state chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame located in Stillwater, Okla., and also, the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Mr. Mats.

Zervos, who spoke at the meeting of the Moundsville Lions Club last week, said, “Our job is not always about teaching wrestling fundamentals, but life in general.” He added, “This year we have a very young team. Some needed guidance out the realm of wrestling, and our staff knows when and how to communicate in a positive way to these youngsters.”

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Teams are needed for the 15th annual Young Life Basketball Tournament, which will be held March 19-22 and March 26-28 at Moundsville Middle School.

The event will consist of two divisions, both comprised of eight teams. The divisions are for adults and high school students. Any high school players who have participated in varsity level play must play in the adult division. There is no limit to the number of players on a roster, and each team is guaranteed to play in two games.

The tournament will help sponsor youngsters from the Ohio Valley to attend Young Life camp this summer, as they will earn money toward camp by working jobs at the tournament.

Young Life is a non-profit, inter-denominational, Christian outreach to adolescents. The staff, leaders and committee members represent a large number of area churches, businesses and individuals. Formed in 1941, Young Life is now an international organization with established work in 72 countries outside of the United States. Young Life owns 20 camp properties.

Ohio Valley Young Life was established in 1970 by a group of concerned adults. Getting back to the “March Mania” five on five tournament, any teams interested in taking part are to contact Doug Pettit at either 304-845-3792 or 304-639-0792.

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My contact with the military Family Assistance Center in Charleston, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Noble W. Lanham, has retired from that position.

Col. Lanham and BG (Ret.) David Kent were part-timers, however, the federal contract was awarded to another agency that does not employ part-time personnel, and neither wanted full-time employment.

They have been with the FAC for nine years, working with the West Virginia National Guard and other military families.

Over the past few years I have been receiving emails at least a couple times a week dealing with individuals I knew or knew of, and information dealing with retired military personnel.

Col. Lanham was assigned to the 152nd Military PW Detachment in Moundsville, and any of the former members of the unit who might wish to contact him can do so at the websi noblewlanham@yahoo.com