Sports Columns

West Liberty mat standout lands post at Mississippi St.

WHEELING — From the Hilltop to the Southeastern Conference. A transition such as that doesn’t come down the pike too often. It is one, however, Isaiah Myers is ecstatic to make. The former Wheeling Park High two-sport standout recently concluded his junior wrestling campaign at West ...

Changes to mat calender cause concern

The Ohio High School Athletic Association made a decision recently that infuriated wrestling coaches. It’s decision to switch the state wrestling tournament from its annual Thursday through Saturday format to Friday through Sunday did not sit well with coaches, especially those involved in ...

OFF THE TEE: Plans under way for annual Niekro Classic at Belmont Hills

Plans for one of the area’s largest and best scrambles are well under way. The 21st annual Niekro Classic will be held on Friday, June 21 at Belmont Hills Country Club. There will once again be an open division and an all-Bridgeport division. The defending champions in the Bridgeport ...

Donahue grad thriving as OVC commissioner

WHEELING - It’s a long journey from Benwood to Nashville via New York. But it is one that Travis Tellitocci has navigated quite successfully. The Bishop Donahue High grad continued his academic career at Marist University. After picking up his college diploma in 2004 from the Poughkeepsie, ...

OFF THE TEE: Barnesville Alumni Band Scramble set for May 11

The Barnesville Community Alumni Band has become a staple within the Western Belmont County community. Comprised of some 50 members, the band has been playing at Shamrock sporting events and other community functions since 2013. The band has also been part of the lineup for the annual Cancer ...

OVAC extends its borders with expansion into Tuscarawas Co.

WHEELING — Is bigger better? That appears the question after the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference has expanded to another new geographic frontier - that being Tuscarawas County. Dover and New Philadelphia are the latest additions to the OVAC after being unanimously approved at ...

Madonna grad changing BC hoop culture

BOSTON - A 14-16 record may appear only mediocre. Such is not the case when you are talking Boston College women’s basketball. Joanna (Bernabie) McNamee’s initial year at the Eagles’ helm was marked by drastic improvement for a program steeped in losing. The Madonna High athletic legend ...

OFF THE TEE: Dowler Scramble set to tee it up on May 20 at BHCC

The annual Thomas R. Dowler Memorial Golf Classic has become a staple of the spring calendar. For the eighth time, the event will be held at Belmont Hills Country Club and is expected to attract a large field of competitors. The event’s proceeds benefit the Thomas R. Dowler Fund at Belmont ...

Tiber guides North Alabama to season of success in D-I

FLORENCE, ALA. - Missy Tiber just completed her sixth season as head basketball coach at the University of North Alabama. It is one she will not soon forget. The former Bellaire High hoop standout led the Lady Lions to a most memorable campaign. First, it marked North Alabama’s transition ...

OFF THE TEE: Wheeling’s Vail to be inducted to W.Va. Golf HOF

WHEELING — Calling Sue Vail a pioneer of women’s golf in the Ohio Valley wouldn’t be doing her enough justice. Because, she’s more than that. The Wheeling resident is a hall of famer. Vail recently received word that she had been chosen for induction to the West Virginia State ...

Apicella gains A.D. honors in S. Carolina

SHADYSIDE - Matt Apicella is making a positive difference. The Shadyside High grad is cast in the role of athletic director at Lake City High School in South Carolina. It is a job he performs with great expertise. So much so, for the second successive year, Apicella has been selected as ...

Crutchfield taking Sharks to Elite Eight

EVANSVILLE, Ind. - It was no secret that Jim Crutchfield was one of the nation’s premier basketball coaches during his tenure at West Liberty University. What he did with the Hilltoppers was nothing short of amazing. Now his encore performance in the Sunshine State may be even more ...

Alexander nets second state title

WHEELING — Coaching state championship teams is often, at most, a once-in-a lifetime opportunity. No so for Nathan Alexander. The Martins Ferry High grad recently pocketed his second state title ring as coach of the Osceola High boys’ basketball team. The Kowboys defeated Wellington ...

Shadyside’s tournament run won’t soon be forgotten

COLUMBUS — If someone had told Shadyside’s girls basketball team that it would win 24 games, a district and regional championship and play on the biggest stage in Ohio at the Schottenstein Center, it’s a safe bet that any of the 12 players and two coaches would have signed up for that in ...

Daniel Koch: From prep standout at St. John to Ironman

NEW YORK - He was a star athlete in high school. Now, Daniel Koch is conquering new and brutal athletic challenges. The St. John Central product is a successful businessmen in New York City. While not investing time in the real estate business, Koch is investing it in athletic ...

Lewicki brings enthusiasm to WJU baseball

WHEELING — You can’t fake passion. Ryan Lewicki has it. Be it the game of baseball or Wheeling Jesuit University, Lewicki oozes passion. The John Marshall grad is the new head baseball coach at WJU. He didn’t take the post until Feb. 6, giving him virtually no time to prepare for ...

Jesuit hoop team made history in 1988-89 season

WHEELING - Time flies, especially if you are a Cardinal. This March marks 30 years since the Wheeling Jesuit University men’s basketball team made history. It was then when Coach Jay DeFruscio’s locally-flavored squad won the school’s first regular-season conference title before ...

Peckinpaugh has his Cardinal men trending upward

WHEELING — The Cardinals are starting to take flight. It hasn’t been the best of seasons for Wheeling Jesuit University men’s basketball. That comes as no surprise. Highly successful head coach Dan Sancomb was bizarrely dismissed last spring. His termination remains a head-scratcher ...

River grad Bell reaches coaching with 500 victories

WHEELING - Forty-eight years is a long time. In prep coaching circles, it is an eternity. But for Bob Bell a near half-century of coaching high school basketball as flown by with no end in sight. The former River High hoop great reached a major milestone recently. Bell collected his 500th ...

Panther Classic has 29-team field despite no teams from W.Va.

Despite not having a school from West Virginia, the Ohio Coatings Panther Classic Wrestling Tournament has a field of 29 teams entered for Saturday’s event at Buckeye Local High School in Connorville. The Mountain State is staging its regional tournaments this weekend for area teams in East ...