The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Other Sports

December 17, 2012

Tigers off to a good start in AAA debut

Timing can mean a great deal when you talk about sports. The Shady Spring Tigers have a good wrestling squad and recently defeated five Class AA-A ranked teams in the Greenbrier West Duals tournament.

The only problem is that this year Shady has moved up to the AAA classification and did not even get a mention in the latest coaches poll. It will be interesting as the season progresses.

One Shady Spring wrestler from the past whose name might bring out some memories for the old-timers is Howard Lester.

He was a member of the first wrestling team at Shady Spring High School. Marvin Wetzel started the program in 1955-56 and Lester wrestled three years for the Tigers. He was the team captain his senior year. He was the regional champion in 1958 and his only loss was to Parkersburg’s Gene Auvil in the state finals.

After high school, he went to WVU and was captain of its freshmen team. He then was awarded a wrestling scholarship and in 1961 he was runner-up in the Southern Conference. In 1986, he was inducted into the Raleigh County Wrestling Hall of Fame.

n n n

When Bob Simile started the wrestling program at WVU Tech, he knew it was going to take a few years to get established. Sam Gardner took over as head coach last year under the assumption that he had an adequate number of athletes to coach.

Actually, the numbers had dwindled to a handful and have not quite recovered. There are only eight names on the roster.

However, the talent is evident. Three wrestlers for the Golden Bears recently qualified for the NAIA championship tournament. Chance Smith (157), Brad Ponchak (165) and John Walters (149) finished high enough in the Southern University Invitational to qualify for the nationals. Smith and Ponchak won their weight classes and Walters was runner-up.

Smith, a North Carolina native, pinned all of his opponents at that tournament and was named the USCAA Player of the Week. A sophomore, he is the first Golden Bear wrestler to ever win that recognition.

The Golden Bears will continue their season at the Washington and Lee Invitational on Jan. 13.

n n n

This week a squeeze of the water bottle goes to Eddie Smailes of Loops Road, an avid reader of this column.

1
Text Only
Other Sports
  • It’s time for spring cleaning inside my crowded cranium

    My head has been filled with more thoughts than a Hallmark store and more nuggets than a McDonald’s freezer in recent days, so I decided it was time to clear them out and get at least some of them in print.
    Here goes.

    April 24, 2014

  • Beckley Motor Speedway opens tonight

    Beckley Motor Speedway opens the 2014 dirt track season tonight with big prizes for both drivers and kids.

    April 24, 2014

  • Herd staffer completes Boston Marathon

    As Travis Epling watched the events of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings as they were unfolding, he couldn’t help feeling a connection.

    April 23, 2014

  • Beckleyan completes Boston Marathon

    Of the more than 32,000 people who ran in Monday’s Boston Marathon, 59 were from West Virginia.

    April 22, 2014

  • 042014 old white Happy birthday to The Old White

    As Greenbrier owner Jim Justice proudly stood behind the podium on the first tee box addressing a crowd at the 100th anniversary of the historic Old White TPC Course, a surprise guest emerged from the bushes by the tennis center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042014 bubba VIDEO: Watson becoming a West Virginian

    Greenbrier owner Jim Justice was glued to the television a week ago today, watching Bubba Watson try to chase down his second green jacket at Augusta National Golf Club.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 old white Old White to celebrate 100 years

    The home of The Greenbrier Classic will be having a birthday today, and the celebration should be something special.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mullens, Pineville to meet in Anderson Memorial

    After many years away from the sideline, legendary Mullens High School coach Don Nuckols is returning to the game of basketball.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 D'Antoni Lakers mum on D’Antoni

    Mike D’Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014