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 the South Carolina Athletic Administrators Association?s 3A Athletic Director of the Year. The award was presented March 12 at the annual SCAAA conference in Charleston.

“To be recognized statewide by your peers is very humbling,” Apicella said. “This award enables everyone to realize what we are doing here.

“It is also a showcase of what our kids are doing on the field and in the community,” he added. “I am extremely proud to shine a positive light on the school and the community.”

Apicella has served as Lake City High?s athletic director for six years. He is also the head varsity baseball coach. Since being named athletic director, he has focused on student-athletes performing community service. He was selected from among the eight 3A Region Athletic Directors of the Year after being nominated by other athletic directors in Region 6-AAA.

“Over the past six years, our student-athletes have performed 10,000 hours of community service work,” Apicella said. “They make weekly visits to schools, mentor students and do community cleanups. They have really embraced this.

“Every year, I have the honor to work with the best kids around and they inspire me every day to keep grinding and looking for ways to make our vision work,? he said. ?I am thankful for Superintendent Laura Hickson-Evans? unwavering support and for always granting me the leeway to make things happen. This honor is a testament to a complete group effort from kids to coaches to administration.”

Apicella has been at Lake City for 20 years, the last 10 serving as the school’s head baseball coach. Two seasons ago, his Panthers went 23-8 pocketing the Class 3A region and district championships. As a result, Apicella was accorded several coach-of-the-year honors.

“We are in a full rebuilding mode this year. We start four sophomores and two freshmen. We also play in a shark tank of a region,” he added. “If teams are going to get us, they better get us this year.

“I am in a great spot and a great place here at Lake City,” he added. “We try and raise expectations every year so they become next year’s standards.”

Apicella was an all-state baseball player for Shadyside in 1994. He subsequently enjoyed a stellar baseball career at Muskingum University.

After finishing up his collegiate degree at Ohio State University, Apicella landed a teaching job at Lake City High, located just 45 minutes from Myrtle Beach, in 1999. The past two decades have seen him author an honors-filled career as head baseball coach and athletic director.

Apicella’s mother, Susan (Foster) Apicella still resides in Shadyside.

HOOP OFFICIALS

SEVERAL LOCAL basketball officials have been honored for their outstanding duty this past season.

Bellaire’s Todd Coyne — a rising star in the profession — was named the Ohio District 12 Official of the Year. He also worked his first OHSSA state tournament game this past weekend. Coyne officiated the boys’ D-IV state finals contest. He arbitrated that game with highly-regarded veteran Don Giffin. It was an impressive 11th state tournament assignment for the St. Clairsville resident. He also serves as offensive coordinator for the St. Clairsville High Red Devils.

Todd’s father, Mike, was the District 5 Boys’ Official of the Year while Giffin was the District 5 Girls’ Official of the Year.

Meanwhile, Barnesville’s Matt Hissom, another young star in the profession, worked the OHSAA Girls’ State Tourney D-I semifinals.

BUBBA’S BITS

JOE WALLACE needs commended for the quality work he has done with building a quality men’s basketball team at Franciscan University. The former Bishop Donahue standout has been in charge for three seasons now, showing amazing improvement. Franciscan went 4-20 and 5-25 during Wallace’s first two campaigns before finishing at 13-12 this winter and earning a berth in the AMCC Tournament. Wallace is weaving his coaching magic without the help of athletic scholarships.

THE MOUNTAINEER Athletic Club, in conjunction with the Belmont Mountaineer Athletic Club, will be holding the annual WVU Wheeling Coaches caravan on Monday, May 6 at River City Restaurant. The WVU contingent will include new football coach Neal Brown, men’s hoop coach Bob Huggins, women’s hoop coach Mike Carey and athletic director Shane Lyons.

A DEDICATION ceremony is set for Sunday, April 7 at the new Beallsville Field House. The wrestling room is being dedicated to Gary W. Davis. He started the Blue Devils’ mat program in 1969. An open house of the entire field house will be held from 1-5 p.m. and refreshments will be served.

FORMER CAMBRIDGE High hoop star Geno Ford is returning to the ranks of a head coach in the D-I ranks. Ford is the new head coach at Stoney Brook University (NY), being elevated from his assistant’s role. Ford was a previous head coach at Kent State and Bradley University.

BRENT CROASMUN announced this past week he is stepping down as Paden City head football coach after 20 years at the Wildcat helm. Brent was one of the real good guys in the coaching profession. He did it with class and really cared about his players. Brent kept the program competitive despite extremely low numbers.

THE ANNUAL OVAC football Spring Recruiting Night is set for Wednesday, April 24 at 6 p.m. at Generations. Schools owing fees for dues or plaques are asked to bring their payments that night. Any questions please call Ty at 740-695-0072 or Mike at 304-312-9125.

SOME NFL mock drafts have WVU QB Will Grier going in the first round to the New England Patriots.

MEADOWBROOK HIGH has named Coular Clendenning as it new head football coach. He is a 2007 Meadowbrook grad. Clendenning replaces Jeff Twiddy who left for the Louisville High head post.

COMMENTS