OHIO VALLEY UNSUNG HERO: Smith helps wrestling in the OV run smoothly


WHEELING — As the OVAC wrestling “family” gathers Monday night at WesBanco Arena for its annual workshop and start-of-the-season presser, Sean Smith will be in the middle of it all.

Although he doesn’t have an official title with the conference, Smith is as much a part of wrestling in area as any athlete, coach or administrator. In fact, he’s the point man for many when it comes to the sport.

“I’ll tell everyone (at the workshop), if you have a question, let me know,” Smith said. “I may not have the answer. But I guarantee I know someone that does.”

Smith estimates that when the season begins in earnest he averages between 15 and 30 emails a day from folks inquiring about a variety of matters.

“They’ll want to know when do I turn this or how do I get a hold of this guy?,” Smith said. “Or, they’ll just want to pick my brain about something.”

Smith will spend most of his time at Monday’s get-together talking to coaches about schedules and the like.

“I’ll explain to them how to get their information into Baum’s Page and explain the dual-meet standings and to make sure their schedules are correct and updated.”

That’s one of Smith’s main job’s with the OVAC, tracking the dual-meet standings and compiling a master schedule. It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun for the wrestling lifer.

“I make that, and when (the coaches) come to the meeting they have all the changes,” Smith said. “When they make the changes, they can’t change it again. That’s what I go by to keep the dual-meet standings.”

The season doesn’t get under way for another month, but Smith’s work is, basically, year round of one figures in the work he puts in with the website ovaec.org. The site, christened in 2002, is a one-stop-shop for local wrestling info past and present.

“I’ll update anything that’s taken place over the summer on there, too,” he said. “Within the last month, though, things have really started picking up.”

The site contains information about a plethora of tournaments, including the Ron Mauck OVAC event, and also features rankings of OVAC wrestlers by weight class.

“I know the rankings have helped considerably at the (OVAC tournament) seeding meeting because people already have knowledge when they walk in.”

The conference now has a large footprint, and no one knows that more than Smith, who’s been teaching in the same building at Wellsville for 25 years. The East Liverpool grad was the head coach for the Tigers in the late 90s and, through that job, formed a relationship with most of the OVAC brass.

Eventually, he was asked to bring his computer expertise to the head table at the Ron Mauck Tournament.

“I enter the seeds there, I make the brackets, make all of the bout sheets and keep the score as the tournament progresses,” Smith explained.

“Every bout sheet that comes in, I enter it in the computer and that creates another bout sheet that’s put out. That goes on and on until the end of the tournament.”

Like most tournaments throughout the Ohio Valley, the Ron Mauck is a well-oiled machine. Smith’s tech savvy has help streamline scoring at the event.

“It’s a pretty busy job, no doubt,” he said. “I don’t have much time to watch the wrestling, though, which stinks. It is what it is.”

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