Harrison’s Galbreath is ‘just a spoke in the wheel’

CADIZ — Wins aren’t guaranteed for Harrison Central High School athletic teams. But what is is the support of the Huskies Sports Foundation.

Take this past Friday night’s football game, for example.

As the Huskies battled Buckeye 8 foe Bellaire at refurbished Wagner Field, members of the foundation were there in abundance — parking cars, selling 50-50 tickets, doing a plethora of jobs with one goal in mind, raising funds for Harrison Central athletes.

It’s a job Al Gailbreath has always taken seriously. So much so, that Friday night’s game program was dedicated to him,

”I’m not out for accolades,” Gailbreath humbly said by phone this week from his Cadiz home. ”I just do what I do, that’s all.

”It was very unexpected. I appreciate them doing it for me. But I’m just a spoke in the wheel. That’s all I am.”

Gailbreath was recognized prior to last week’s game against Cleveland Rhodes because he wasn’t able to be at this past Friday’s game. His grandson is a starting senior lineman for Brooke, so he headed over to Wellsburg to watch the Bruins battle University.

That doesn’t mean Gailbreath has abandoned the Huskies. Far from it. The Jewett High grad is still a tremendously active member of the Huskies Sports Foundation, faithfully attending as many meetings as possible.

Why, just this past week, the group had one of its most well-attended.

”We had about 27 people there,” he beamed. ”I seldom miss a meeting.

”It’s a pretty close-knit group and a pretty loyal group.”

Normally, Gailbreath would be helping park cars at football games. This year, though, he’s relegated to other duties, fine with him, as long as their helping the youth of Harrison County.

”I’ll do whatever else,” he said.

That’s always been Gailbreath’s attitude. He’s been a foundation member since 1985 and also coached youth sports for a decade or so years ago. Donnie Madzia, a current principal in the Harrison Hills system and area sports official, was one of his players.

Gailbreath said it’s gratifying to see his former players do well.

”It’s heartwarming, to be honest with you,” he said.

Gailbreath spent 35 years as a mail carrier and has been retired almost five years. In addition to his work with the foundation, he’s a member of Cadiz American Legion Post 34 and helps the local food pantry.

Gailbreath also helps Don Richards take care of Mazeroski Field at Sally Buffalo Park.

”I just do anything that needs done out there,” Gailbreath said of the field, which opened in 1993. ”It’s not a lot of time. I just volunteer to help.”

Gailbreath is excited about what lies ahead for the district, especially the new K-12 school, construction of which can be seen from the existing high school campus and Wagner Field.

”It’ll be really, really, really exciting for everybody,” he said. ”I know some people didn’t want the levy to pass, but we have to keep up with the times. Everyone just needs to move on with it.”

If you know of someone in sports in the Ohio Valley whom I could feature as an Ohio Valley Unsung Hero, drop me a line at rthorp@timesleaderonline.com or via Twitter @RickThorp1