Sports Columns

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 ...

Patriots primed to pocket sixth Super Bowl ring

SUPER BOWL Sunday has finally arrived. Unfortunately, we have to wait around till 6:30 for the New England-Los Angeles kickoff. A 4 p.m. start would work much nicer for TV viewers, especially for those in the Eastern time zone. Amazingly this is the ninth Super Bowl for New England ...

Ohio-side OVAC schools faced with a busy weekend

Mother Nature has put a full-nelson on Ohio high school wrestling teams that had a busy schedule already on their plates. With postponement of the sixth annual Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Bill Hinegardner Dual Meet Wrestling Championships from Wednesday night and tonight until Friday, ...

Prep mat squads looking ahead to rest of campaign

With the 66th annual Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Ron Mauck Wrestling Championships in the rear view mirror, teams on both sides of the Ohio River can now fully concentrate on the second half of their respective seasons, which ultimately culiminates with state tournaments. However, before ...

Morgan runs into Ohio Track and CC HOF

BARNESVILLE - She is the unquestioned premier female distance runner in OVAC history. Now Stephanie Morgan is being honored for her staggering prep achievements. The former Barnesville High distance phenom is set to be inducted into the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches ...

Ron Mauck showcase begins this evening

The 66th annual Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Ron Mauck Wrestling Tournament will take over WesBanco Arena tonight for three days of what should be exciting mat action. Team-wise Parkersburg South, which has captured the past five tournaments and eight of nine since joining the conference, ...

Crutchfield builds another hoop power

WHEELING — Anyone who doesn’t think coaching matters never met Jim Crutchfield. The West Liberty University legend is in the midst of building his second basketball juggernaut. Crutchfield molded the Hilltoppers into one of the best Division II hoop programs in the nation. He took ...

Stein earns special award in Maryland

WHEELING - A new year was ushered in Tuesday. Kurt Stein, however, will always have special memories from 2018. The Wheeling Central product guided Oakdale High to a sparkling 13-0 season en route to the Maryland Class 2A state football championship last month. Stein was hired as the ...

Park’s Bell finishes grid season strong

WHEELING — He was the top receiver in the state of West Virginia as a senior, now Elijah Bell sits atop the record book at North Carolina A&T. The former Wheeling Park all-stater landed a TD pass against Alcorn State last Saturday, helping the 10-2 Aggies to a 24-22 Celebration Bowl ...