WHEELING - There are so many behind-the-scene workers (all volunteers) at the Ron Mauck Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Wrestling Tournament that hardly ever, if ever, get credit publicly.
Marion Stolz has been one of them for many, many years (actually since 1979), and it's no wonder why her picture graces the cover of the program for the 61st annual event, which is being contested throughout the weekend at WesBanco Arena, as the OVAC Wrestling's Dedicated Supporter.
"It was quite an honor for me," Stolz said following the presentation. "When they told me that I was going to be on the cover of the program, that was really an honor."
Over the years, Stolz has performed numerous duties before, during and after the tournament - keeping match scores, calculating team scores, filling the bracket charts, collating weight class results for coaches and fans after each round of the competition, designing awards and much of the artwork for the prestigious event, etc.
She received the Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Championships Service Award in 1991.
"Ron once told me the only way you get out of working the OVAC tournament once you start is to die," she admitted. "I tried that, but it didn't work."
When asked how the tournament has changed over the years, she replied, "we've went to computers. We used to do all the brackets and bout sheets by hand. Now it is all computer generated."
25 Years Ago
Back in 1989, 13 individuals had their hands raised as OVAC Wrestling Tournament champions.
Keeping with the tradition of honoring those matmen, several will be on hand tonight for the festivities.
Those titlists included Union Local's Val Kline (103), Cadiz's Wade Gibson (112), East Liverpool's Mark Emmerling (119), Steubenville's Shawn McGhee (125), Meadowbrook's Troy Keith (130), Steubenville's Jesse Hubbard (135), Cadiz's Reed Case (140), Steubenville's Dunyasha Yetts (145), Bridgeport's Todd Burk (152), East Liverpool's Bob Ankrom (160), Steubenville's Ed Chanoski (171), Bridgeport's Scott Sears (189) and Meadowbrook's Dick Snyder (HWT).
Harrison Central's David Forrester sang the national anthem to start Friday's events, while Bridgeport's Maclaine Murad did the honors for the night session. Both did wonderful jobs.
Two individuals were presented with plaques in recognition of their support to the tournament over the years.
Phil Cupp was given the Sidney A. Stolz Memorial Award, while Dr. Mike Kovalyk was named the Cindy Clegg Memorial Medical Worker of the Year.
And the Winner Is ... ?
During Friday's first sessions, there were 281 matches contested, with 164 ending in pins. Another 82 were decisions, while 18 were major decisions and 11 were technical falls. There were a pair of injury defaults, and four forfeits.
In the night session, referees slapped the mat 55 times, while another 77 went the distance for decisions. There were seven major decisions, four tech falls, two forfeits and a disqualification.