The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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June 3, 2014

Woodrow’s Daniel named coach of the year

BECKLEY — When Mark Daniel took over as the head baseball coach at Woodrow Wilson in 2001, his goal was no different than anyone else.

“Your goal is always to make it to the state tournament and eventually win one,” he said.

A career spanning 14 seasons has taken the Flying Eagles to five state tournaments, but they are still looking for their first championship. The last trip to Charleston came last year, and even though it resulted in a loss in the Class AAA semifinals, it did earn Daniel some recognition.

Daniel has been named the West Virginia High School Baseball Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Federations.

Daniel will be presented with his award Saturday during championship day of the state tournament at Appalachian Power Park.

“It always means a lot when your peers vote for you,” Daniel said. “I would trade it for the chance to play in another state tournament.”

Woodrow’s appearance in Charleston last season was its first since 2007, when it lost to Jefferson in the title game. Many of the contributors on that team were also big this season, which ended with a sectional loss to rival Shady Spring.

“We had a good year last year,” Daniel said. “The kids played hard and the coaches did a good job.”

The Eagles lose utility player Logan Wriston, pitcher/shortstop Chris Metrick, left fielder Jacoby Webb and pitcher/third baseman Josh Rakes from this year’s team. But coming back are the likes of pitcher/second baseman Brandon Chandler, outfielder/designated hitter David Rose, first baseman Hunter Halstead and right fielder Brent Osborne.

“Next year is looking pretty good,” Daniel said. “We get a couple of guys back and they will play a ton of games this summer, in our summer league and junior league and Babe Ruth League.”

— E-mail: gfauber and

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