WHEELING - For the longest time, Triadelphia's Arley McCormick couldn't understand why he had been left behind. A member of seven state bowling championship teams, he was the only the one of the five participants not to be inducted in the West Virginia Bowling Hall of Fame.
At 80 years old, McCormick will wait no longer. At the Aug. 20 Youth Awards Hall of Fame banquet in Fairmont, McCormick will officially be inducted. He'll receive a plaque and a commemorative ring.
''It made me feel good for what he's done in the past,'' said Jeff Germann, who is not only the director of the state board, head of the tournament committee at the state level, and the director of the Wheeling chapter of the USBC, but is the man who nominated McCormick. ''It's a lot of history and I didn't want it to be forgotten.
''He was one of the best bowlers in the state at one time.''
Germann said McCormick has not competed for ''10 or 12'' years, but when he did it was a sight to behold. McCormick also won the state doubles tournament and finished 10th at the ABC National Tournament, which occurred in approximately 1968.
''Wheeling kind of lost some power at the state level for a while, so we've been tapping on shoulders,'' Germann said. ''I was fighting and fighting to get him in.''
This whole thing almost didn't happen. Germann said McCormick's application had unknowingly expired after a year's time.
''He was no longer on ballot so I took it over,'' Germann said. ''I looked at the state records, saw all the titles and re-filled out the ballot.''
Change is Needed
As has unfortunately been the case lately, there was controversy at a West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission championship event. Last weekend Wheeling Park was handed a one-point loss by George Washington in the Class AAA boys' title game, and the final decision came down to a video replay.
I've got a few issues with that, and none concern the Patriots not winning the championship. First and foremost, it's absolutely ridiculous not to use video replay all season, then suddenly make it a part of the equation in the state championship. Bad call or not - the replay says the officials got it right - you can't tell me that an incorrect ruling in a state title contest is more important than one in a sectional final. In both cases a team's season ends, right?
Furthermore, a team that loses in the sectional or regional and is still permitted to compete, is a joke. Look, I'm happy for Weirton Madonna, which won the Class A title, just as I would have been if Park had done the same.
The problem, however, is that at no other level of basketball do you get an opportunity to redeem yourself after a postseason loss. How do you think a Preston team that did what it was supposed to by winning its regional semifinal felt being 'rewarded' with having to play host to a Park team that had already been knocked off?
Lastly, something needs to be done with the seeding process. Wheeling Park, which lost to Morgantown, went to the state tournament as the No. 1 seed, while the Mohigans were second.
Locally in Class A, Wheeling Central beat Madonna soundly head-to-head in the sectionals, but when the teams went to Charleston the Knights were No. 5 and the Blue Dons No. 3.
I fully realize the seeding is done prior to the sectionals. It shouldn't be. How archaic can you get?
Is it not possible to have a conference call between the coaches before the state tournament? That would also solve another problem, that being coaches giving out shady seeds because he/she knows they don't have to be accountable. It's hard to imagine a coach trying to pull one over when the other guy is on the line listening.
Three Cheers for Wheeling
A group of area competitive cheering teams recently walked away with gold during the Hard Rockin' Nationals in Cleveland, Ohio. The Youth Level 3, Level 4 and Senior co-ed teams captured national titles, the latter being named Grand Champion, while the Level 2 outfit finished second by a single point.
But perhaps the surprise of the event was the Wheeling All-Stars, which competed in what's called the 'Tiny' portion of the competition. The All-Stars, who are girls up to the age of 6, took home first place.
What makes that special, you ask? It's the fact that particular group hadn't won an event until nationals.
The champion teams, which are coached by Chris Scherich (Tiny) and Diane Raab, each received national champions hooded sweatshirts, as well as electric guitars - the event was next door to the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame - as trophies.
Shawn Rine can be reached via e-mail at Rine@theintelligencer.net