JM’s Zervos earns National Mat HoF honor
MOUNDSVILLE — Ted Zervos learned from some of the best wrestling coaches around when he was growing up in Marshall County. Now the former John Marshall state champion will join those mentors.
Zervos, who retired following the 2019 high school wrestling season after 32 years, will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame West Virginia Chapter during a banquet on Sunday, Oct. 27. He will receive the “Lifetime Service to Wrestling” award.
He will be joined by Ohio Valley natives Gene Monteleone and Rick A. Welker, along with Will (Scheny” Schenerlein and Jerry W. “Woody” Burns. A social will begin at 1 p.m., with the dinner at 1:45 at the Embassy Suites in Charleston.
“It’s quite an achievement to be honored with all the people previous to me and the class I’m going in with I’m very high on,” Zervos said.
“Gene Monteleone (Wheeling Park) and Scheny Schenerlein (Parkersburg), we’ve done a lot of battling back and forth with our teams,” he added. “The competition we had with Wheeling Park and Parkersburg and going in with those two guys means a lot to me.
“I really didn’t really to get to wrestle against or coach against Rick because he was a different age group, but he has been a very strong supporter of wrestling,” he said of fellow inductee Rick Welker. “He’s had his hat on in every area you can imagine with the sport.
Zervos began wrestling as a 7th grader at Moundsville Junior High in 1976 at the advice of his brother. He was coached by Hall-of-Fame coaches Larry Chambers and Ed West.
He continued his wrestling career at powerful John Marshall High School under Hall-of-Fame coaches Bill Hinegardner and Ed Dugas. Zervos was a three-time OVAC placer, finishing as runner up as a senior; a three-time state placer and John Marshall’s first back-to-back state champion in 1981-82.
The fall of 1987 was the beginning of Zervos’s elongated coaching career. He spent two years at Union Junior High, half-a-dozen years at Moundsville Junior High, 12 years as an assistant at John Marshall High School and a dozen years as JM’s head coach.
He continued a traditionally strong program at John Marshall, leading the Monarchs to a pair of OVAC Bill Hinegardner Dual Meet championships. His final season saw the Monarchs finish fifth in the W.Va. state tournament with Anthony Carman becoming a state champion and also being named as Co-Outstanding Wrestler.
Two of Zervos’s proudest wrestling accomplishments were spearheading the fundraising and construction of one of the finest wrestling facilities in the Ohio Valley and state of West Virginia at John Marshall. Also, seeing the unification of the little league, middle school, and high school programs that will allow John Marshall to remain competitive for many years to come.
However, when asked what his top moment would be, the classy Zervos had to think for a while.
“Difficult to say. It’s been a career of many good, positive, things that have made my career so successful. The family that has long been John Marshall’s tradition — I was the fourth head coach — and the three previous ones are already in the (national) hall of fame, but that tradition hasn’t changed. Those guys are still in the wrestling room every day with me. I still seek their advice.
“Overall, it’s just been the family tradition and atmosphere that we’ve fostered over all those years that I’ve been associated with John Marshall wrestling.
“I think that tradition will continue even though the ‘chain’ has been broken,” Zervos acknowledged. “I wrestled for Coach West. I wrestled for Coach Dugas, and I wrestled for Coach Hinegardner. Coach West wrestled for Coach Hinegardner and Coach Dugas, so it’s been that long-storied passing on of the torch.
“Ryan wrestled at Oak Glen for Larry Shaw. He comes from another traditional program. He’s been my assistant for 5-6 years now. He brought with him the tradition they had at Oak Glen which is very similar to that here at John Marshall,” Zervos noted. “He has developed into a Monarch himself and bought into what we are doing. I don’t see a lot of drastic changes taking place, but I want him to make it his program. It’s his now.”
Zervos resides in Moundsville with his wife Shawna and two daughters, Zara and Zoe.