Blankenship’s Career Detailed at Wall of Fame Program

The John Marshall High School 2017 Wall of Fame induction was different this year!

During the past 12 years, an average of four individuals per year were inducted. However, this year for the first time, one person, Stanley Blankenship, was inducted.

Of course with only one inductee, everything centered on Blankenship and the person who presented him for induction. That person was Dr. Hal Gorby, who is one of the 12 Wall of Fame committee members. Gorby, in addition to being a history professor at West Virginia University, is also a historian.

Gorby told those in attendance that he had done research pertaining to Blankenship, and that the majority of information he had gathered was from JMHS yearbooks of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

First of all, it was noted that Blankenship is a native of Nicholas County which is bordered by Clay, Webster, Greenbrier and Fayette counties.

From there he begin his trek to the north by first attending West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, where he lettered in four sports — track, cross country, basketball and football.

Gorby said, “Stanley arrived at John Marshall, where he would make his mark at a time of major changes at JHMS. The late 1970s were a difficult time in America as the energy crisis, the Iran Hostage Crisis and the Disco Crisis were taking place. John Marshall itself was barely 10 years old.”

Gorby added, “As noted by the high school yearbook the school year of 1977-78 marked a year of big changes, like new coaches and a new sense of school spirit.”

He said, “How fitting that one of the new debuts was by youthful coach Stan Blankenship. That year his ‘determined and aggressive squad’ finished 12-10, led by Lori Chambers and Lisa Grimes.

“His ability to build the John Marshall Girls Basketball team was truly remarkable,” Gorby said, noting that he turned the team into a powerhouse within five years.

“While everyone can picture Stanley running up and down the sidelines, it would be hard to picture Stanley leading his team wearing the top looks for the 1978-79 school year, it being the year of corduroy, tweeds, wool, velour, leather and denim. Also, a year marked by straight legs, vests and neck ties. Images of Stanley show him to be be truly ‘in’ with the style of the times, which always helped him be reliable to his players as the years went on.”

Over the years, Stanley built consistent and improving winners, following his coaching philosophy, which was preaching tight and smothering defense, Gorby pointed out.

Another unique feature of Stanley’s style began at this time. As many can recall, it was the warm-ups before each home game, which featured tight drills with intense music providing inspiration and instilling fear in JM’s opponents. Maybe that was true in 1978-79, as pre-game warm-ups were to the music of “Grease,” which became the dominant psychological factor for the girls’ team.

In 1979-80, the team improved to 14-7, the best record in history at that point, and finished second in the OVAC rankings.

Gorby said, “You probably could see here a trend — slowly building a winning program, providing a greater sense of school spirit behind a popular team and having a good time while doing it, were hallmarks of Stan’s teams.”

By the 1981-82 season, school dress trends had changed from the disco era to include those wearing the Calvin Kleins and Izod shorts of the “preppy look” and others sporting the “punk rock haircut” as well. Stan’s main concern, however, wasn’t fashion trends, but rather the success of his teams. As noted in the 1981-82 yearbook under a picture of Stan still sporting the tweed jacket look: “Coach Stanley Blankenship, five year coach with a career record of 80-29.”

All told, Stan Blankenship has been a success as a coach, a teacher, and as a friend. His career record of 542-240 makes him the most successful girls’ basketball coach in the OVAC and the state of West Virginia. When he retired in 2011, his Lady Monarchs had won nine OVAC championships, including an impressive five in a row from 1981-85 His teams also won 18 sectional and nine regional championships. His teams also had three statewide successes, winning the state championship in 1982, and being runner-up in both 1991 (23-3) and 1994 (20-5).

The state championship team, 25-1, was led by OVAC top scorer Amy Gamble. The championship game was a 55-46 win over Elkins.

Dennis Aston, a 1988 graduate of Cameron High School, will be awarded the Honorary American FFA Degree on Oct. 27 in Indianapolis at the 2017 National FFA Convention and Expo, at which time he will be presented with a certificate and medal.

Aston, who is president of the Cameron FFA Alumni organization, was nominated for the honor by the school. The nomination was sent to the state FFA, which also gave its approval. The final approval was from the board of directors of the National FFA organization.

As to the award, it is presented to those who have helped advance agricultural education and the local FFA through outstanding personal commitment.

The national FFA organization works to enhance the lives of youth through agriculture education and without the efforts of highly dedicated individuals young people would not be able to achieve success that, in turn, contributes directly to the overall well-being of the nation.

The Honorary American FFA Degree is an opportunity to recognize those who have gone beyond valuable daily contributions to make an extraordinary long-term difference in the lives of students, inspiring confidence in a new generation of agriculture persons.

The national FFA organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agriculture education to 649,355 student members who belong to 7,858 local FFA chapters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The U.S. organization is also supported by 225,891 alumni members in 1,934 alumni chapters, one of which is that of Cameron High School.

Aston has been associated with the Cameron High School FFA Alumni for some two decades.

He lives on the same farm on Irish Ridge where he grew up, and where he now raises beef cattle.

He also works for Williams Energy, and he and his wife, Amber, own and operate Aston’s General Store in Pleasant Valley.

Congratulations to Suzanne Park and Gary Workman, the recipients of the two special awards given by the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce at its annual dinner meeting.

Park, the executive director of the Moundsville Economic Development Council (MEDC), received the Dr. David L. Ealy Community Service Award. The award was presented by David R. Ealy.

Workman accepted the Business Award on behalf of Bob’s Lunch. Workman is the business owner.

The Salvation Army Service Center in Moundsville will be accepting Christmas assistance applications this week. The hours are from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Service Center is located at Seventh Street and Jefferson Avenue.

Individuals signing up their families will need to bring documents listing proof of income, proof of expenses, a picture ID, and know their child’s shoe and clothing sizes to be put on the Angel Tree.

During the week of Oct. 16-20, families in Wetzel and Tyler counties will be able to sign up for Christmas assistance at the Salvation Army Thrift Store at 416 N. State Route 2 in Steelton. The building formerly housed the Radio Shack. The hours are 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Also, starting the week of Oct. 16, the Salvation Army in Moundsville will be taking applications for seasonal bell ringers. These can be businesses, organizations or individuals. These applications can be made at the Service Center office. Anyone having questions pertaining to bell ringing can call 304-845-0510.

The Marshall County Strings Fall concert will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the John Marshall High School gymnasium.

The concert will feature some 170 middle and high school students, who will be performing a variety of fall music. The students will be dressed in festive costumes.

The concert is free and open to the public. The Marshall County Strings Program was established in 2008 and is under the direction of Shelby Genberg, Justin Jones and Alex Talkowski.

The Marshall County FRN will hold a general membership meeting at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the FRN office, 1501 Second St., Moundsville.

The meeting gives those in attendance a way to share information and to learn about activities and programs going on in the community with person in attendance to have an opportunity to briefly discuss their organization.

Those attending are to bring bring their business cards and any other materials they would like to distribute.

For additional information, call 304-845-3300 or email to marshallcountyfrn@comcast.net

This coming Saturday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., Marshall County residents will be able to rid their homes and garages of several different types of items.

The site for the program is the north parking lot at Monarch Stadium in Moundsville.

The Marshall County Commission and the Marshall County Solid Waste Authority, along with the state REAP program, are joining forces to enable residents to dispose of unwanted items in conjunction with the Fall Operation Pride endeavor.

Members of the REAP staff will be present to receive car and light truck tires (17 inch and smaller), while MCSWA officials will be accepting white goods, and electronics, namely computers, air conditioners, humidifiers and dehumidifers.

No televisions will be accepted.

Those bringing items should be prepared to show proof of Marshall County residency.

Anyone having questions about this service should contact the Marshall County Solid Waste Authority at 304-780-0866.

If you are going to enter a float in the Moundsville Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade on Nov. 18, you may be interested in having someone build one for you. The Chamber of Commerce has worked with a firm that builds floats.

That company’s name happens to be Creative Floats.

A business or organization can choose from several designs, which they can see online.

The firm’s website site is www.creativefloats.com. The phone number is 330-432-3449.

Most people don’t go to the library with a shopping bag, that is unless they are going to a used book sale.

This past Friday was the first day of the four day Fall Used Book Sale at the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library, and when the doors opened at 10 a.m., 31 persons made their way into the section of the library which used to house the library’s bookmobile.

The majority of the books sell for $1. The book sale is conducted members of the Moundsville Woman’s Club, with proceeds going to the library.

The sale which was also held Saturday, will continue tomorrow from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and on Tuesday from 10 a.m. until noon.

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