Crosier honored as official of the year

T-L Photo/KIM NORTH RICK CROSIER was honored as the 2019 Larry Deaton OVAC Official of the Year prior to the start of Friday night’s action at the 66th annual Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Tournament at WesBanco Arena. From left are Steubenville head coach Mike Blackburn, Crosier, Deaton and long-time official Jack Regis.

WHEELING — Rick Crosier was named the 2019 “Larry Deaton OVAC Official of the Year” prior to the start of Friday night’s action at the 66th annual Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Ron Mauck Wrestling Championships. The award is presented by the OVAC Wrestling Coaches Association.

It marks the second time the Steubenville native has been honored as such, but this time it means a whole lot more to Crosier.

“Tonight is really special to me because the health problems I’ve been going through,” Crosier said. “I had bladder cancer they totally rebuilt my bladder. Hopefully, when I go back to the doctor in a month or so, then I’ll be done with that. That chapter will be put behind me and I can anew and living normal again.

“It’s been a tough six months for my family and myself.”

Crosier has been officiating wrestling for more than three decades, but it all started as a wrestler . Under the tutelage of legendary high school coach John Craig at Steubenville High, Crosier compiled a record of 105-11-1 and was a two-time OVAC champion his junior and senior years. He was also a four-time district champion and third in the Ohio State tournament his senior year in 1981.

As a “Hilltopper” wrestler for legendary college coach Vince Monseau, he was a two-time All-American, placing fifth his junior and senior years for West Liberty University.

Crosier was previously named the “OVAC Official of the Year in 2004 and 2011” for his outstanding skills as a mat arbiter.

“I miss it big-time,” he said of not being able to officiate. “I miss being around all the guys and all the camaraderie.”

Crosier and his wife, Kristen, have two wonderful children – Kasey and Zachary. They reside in Steubenville.

Miller Makes History

When Parkersburg South’s Samantha Miller pinned St. Clairsville’s Gannon Kazmirski in their 106-pound second round match Friday afternoon, she became the first female to reach the championship quarterfinals in the tournament’s 66-year existence.

However, her dream of placing as a freshman was not to be as she was eliminated Friday night.

Like Father, Like Son

Mark Emmerling was a 4-time OVAC Tournament champion during his prep days in East Liverpool. He never lost in the Wheeling Civic Center, now WesBanco Arena.

His son, Mark Jr., is continuing that family tradition as he picked up a pair of victories before being sent to the consolation bracket Friday afternoon. He did, however, bounce back and will stand on the podium later tonight.

“I like watching him wrestle,” the older Emmerling said. “He’s a really good wrestler.”

It marked the first time a 4-time OVAC Tournament champion has had his son/daughter wrestle in the event.

2018 Coaches of Year

Prior to the start of the tournament on Thursday, plaques were presented to the 2018 Coaches of the Year.

Receiving the honors were Parkersburg South’s Sean Smith (Class 5A); Steubenville’s Mike Blackburn (Class 4A); Barnesville’s Jayson Stephen (Class 3A; and Madonna’s Jamie Lesho (Class 1A/2A).

Former OVAC Champion Honored

Jerad Patterson was named the OVAC Assistant Coach of the Year.

He is a 2013 graduate of Meadowbrook High School where he was an OVAC Tournament champion his senior season at 120 pounds.