Tallman, Maisel finalists for OVAC Coach of the Year award

WHEELING – Six very worthy candidates have been announced as nominees for the prestigious Bill Van Horne OVAC Coach of the Year award which will be presented during Tuesday night’s Banquet of Champions inside WesBanco Arena.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m.

All but one of the finalists won a state championship in their respective sports this past school year.

The nominees include Ken Maisel (University High wrestling); Holly Pettit (Cameron girls’ basketball); Jayson Stephen (Barnesville wrestling); Dave Tallman (Morgantown boys’ basketball); Ed West (John Marshall softball) and Ryan Young (Wheeling Park girls’ basketball).

MAISEL led the powerful Hawks to the W.Va. Class AAA state championship in Huntington. They had a trio of state champions and 11 overall place-winners. University also won the Region I Tournament title and the Class AAA state dual meet championship, as well as the OVAC Ron Mauck Class AAAA Division and the Wheeling Park Duals titlists.

The Hawks also finished atop the team standings at the Amityville (N.Y.) Tournament; the Union Local Rick Link Invitational; and the Nurse Pro Plus Tournament. They were a sparkling 22-1 in dual meets and had half a dozen wrestlers win at least 40 matches.

PETTIT led the Dragons to their third consecutive W.Va. Class A state championship in Charleston. It was the program’s fourth straight appearance in the title game and Cameron became the first public school to win three straight Class A crowns.

The Dragons finished with a superb 23-5 record against a very challenging schedule.

Cameron had never appeared in the state tournament until recently.

STEPHEN coached Barnesville to its first OVAC Ron Mauck Tournament overall title since 1985. The Shamrocks piled up an impressive 259 points and had a trio of champions. 

Barnesville went on to win the Ohio Division III sectional and district titles before finishing as state runner-up in Columbus. The Shamrocks also won their 13th consecutive OVAC Ron Mauck Class AAA crown, as well as their third straight OVAC Bill Hinegardner Class AAA Dual Meet championship.

Two Shamrocks, Reese Stephen and Skyler King, won state championships. It was the second straight for Stephen.

TALLMAN and the Mohigans won the W.Va. Class AAAA state championship for the third consecutive year. It was their fourth straight appearance. They avenged their lone loss to Spring Mills in the championship game in Charleston.

Morgantown also made it back-to-back titles in the OVAC Class 5A tournament.

WEST led the Monarchs to the W.Va. Class AAA title last spring in South Charleston with a 3-2 win over Cabell Midland. The Monarchs finished with an impressive 30-5 record. They defeated Morgantown in the Section I Tournament and then University in the Region I Tournament.

Four Monarchs earned all-tournament.

YOUNG coached the Patriots to the OVAC Class 5A championship and W.Va. Class AAAA state title, both victories coming against Morgantown. The Mountain State title came by a 65-51 margin and avenged a loss in the 2022 state championship game to the Mohigans.

Wheeling Park finished with a sensational 25-4 record.

By KIM NORTH/The Intelligencer