It takes a special kind of student to balance a full class schedule and a full athletic calendar. Those Pocahontas County High School students who are experts at the balancing act were honored at the annual Athletic Banquet Wednesday evening.
Athletic Coordinator Kay Wiley and scholarship donor Mali Minter presented students with elite awards for their dedication, sportsmanship and pride in being a Warrior on the field, on the court, in the diamond or on the track.
Minter presented the William Dilley Track Scholarship Award. The scholarship is in memory of Dilley, a 1978 graduate of Pocahontas County High School who passed away in 2008.
“This scholarship not only honors the accomplishments in track but the kind of man William was,” she said. “The three words we have engraved on the plaque are dedication, sportsmanship and teamwork. We feel these three words describe William, but not only in regards to track but with regards to his life.”
The award was presented to Stephen Mick and Cary Robertson.
“Both of these senior track members have been dedicated to giving their very best and have worked at it over the years,” Minter said. “They demonstrate good sportsmanship to other athletes and have proven, over and over again, that they are truly team players. They both work at helping the younger athletes and their teammates throughout the season.”
Wiley presented the following awards:
Coalfield Conference Male Athlete of the Year – Cary Robertson; Coalfield Conference Female Athlete of the Year – Natalie Hartzell; Arch Wooddell Sportsmanship Award – Natalie Hartzell and Chad Burns; WVSSAC Sportsmanship State Award – Ally Dunbrack, Olivia Knisely and Stephen Mick; and WVSSAC Award of Excellence – Bruce McKean, statistician and dedicated supporter of the sports teams at PCHS.
Track coach and math teacher Laurel Dilley presented the June Riley Mathematics Award to Patrick Collins.
Coaches shared memories, awards and a few jabs with the athletes as they recalled the 2014-2015 seasons.
Football coach Doug Burns began his speech with a dedication to former Marlinton High School and PCHS coach Elmer Friel, who passed away May 13.
“I was putting together a few remarks for tonight and I would be remiss if I didn’t remember tonight a legendary football coach in Pocahontas County who we lost a couple weeks ago – coach Elmer Friel,” Burns said. “I went to his funeral and one of the things that really struck me was all the former players who came back to be there that day. Two of them spoke and they didn’t call him Mr. Friel, they didn’t call him Elmer, they called him ‘Coach.’ To me – and I know all these guys and ladies up here feel this – we have a big responsibility, and I don’t take it lightly and I know they don’t either. It means so much to be a part of the young people’s lives and the lives that you touch.”
Burns recalled that in 1967, Coach Friel led the Marlinton High School Copperheads to the state football championship, where they won 26-0. That same year, Friel led the basketball team to the state championship where it came in second.
“To be runner-up in basketball and state champ in football – my God, that’s awesome,” Burns said. “I think the world of the man. What he did when he came to [PCHS] in 1970 when this was consolidated and he was able to take Marlinton, Green Bank and Hillsboro and put them all together and make a team, that is so tough to do, but yet, he did it and he coached here until 1982. He was a very good man and a great coach.”
Burns recognized the football team and announced honors several students received during the season.
Potomac Valley All Conference Team: honorable mention, Nash Rose, defensive line; Brady Jones, defensive end; and Wyatt Workman, defensive back. Second team: Nash Rose, offensive line; and Dalton Irvine, running back. First team: Chad Burns, defensive line; and Cary Robertson, defensive back.
Coalfield Conference second team, defense: Brady Jones and Cary Robertson; second team, offense: Dalton Irvine; first team, defense: Nash Rose; and first team, offense: Chad Burns.
All State: Dalton Irvine, honorable mention; and Chad Burns, first team offensive line.
Assistant football coaches are: Damian Brock, Kendall Beverage and Mark Landis.
The PCHS football team: Michael Morrison, Christian Smith, Gus Foe, Logan Dilley, Shane Peacock, Mark Jordan, Briar Wilfong, Walker Shinaberry, Hunter Wilfong, Andy Sipe, Jake Gardner, Morgan Baldwin, Kyle Lester, Ryan Irvine, Wyatt Workman, Logan Davis, Drake Warder, Morgan Mason, Keith Harrah, Brady Jones, Danny Kimble, Justin Hendrick, Matthew Varner, Dalton Irvine, Cade Walker, Chase Erlewine, J.D. Hensler, Tyler Owens, Cary Robertson, Stephen Simmons, Chad Burns and Nash Rose.
Cheerleading coach Darlene Arbogast recognized the cheer squad which has the longest season of all sports, beginning in August and finishing up in March. The squad cheers for football, as well as boys and girls basketball – home and away games.
Members of the cheer squad are: Harley Francisco, Tristin Day, Olivia Knisely, Ally Dunbrack, Allie Plate, Brice Galloway, Faith Coleman, Michaela Everette, Tessa Jordan, Bryce Kranc, Lauren Shisler and Caitlin Keatley.
Arbogast also thanked her co-coach Melodi Knisely for a great season.
The girls soccer team had a good season with several players winning slots on the All State and Coalfield Conference teams, coach Shannon Arbogast said.
All State: honorable mention, Harley Fransisco.
Coalfield Conference, honorable mention: Natalie Hartzell, Emily Boothe and Haley Duncan; second team: Heather Pritt; and first team: Harley Fransisco, Kayleigh “Pippy” Arbogast and Brittany McMillion.
The girls soccer team is: Allie Burns, Tessa Jordan, Bryce Kranc, Lindsey Hartzell, Savanna Davis, Sidney Rose, Tiffany Hoover, Samantha Collins, Haley Duncan, Emily Boothe, Brittany McMillion, Kayleigh “Pippy” Arbogast, Brice Galloway, Natalie Hartzell, Heather Pritt and Harley Fransisco.
Boys soccer coach Cully McCurdy said the team finished the season 14-5-1 and were sectional champions. The team was 14 out of 41 in the Single A/AA category for West Virginia and 26 over all out of 77 high school programs.
All State: second team, Phillip Green; honorable mention, Chad Friel and Brandon Cassell.
West Virginia Sports Writer Association named Phillip Green and Chad Friel honorable mention.
Coalfield Conference, honorable mention: Shane Alderman, Logan Burks, Conlin Halterman and Patrick Collins; second team: Connor Pyles, Trey Walton and Austin Hubbert; and first team, Phillip Green, Kendel Ober, Chad Friel and Brandon Cassell.
The boys soccer team is: Matthew Pritt, Trey Payton, Joe Whalen, Logan Burks, Kevin Bennett, Conor Pyles, Kendel Ober, Chad Friel, Trey Walton, Austin Hubbert, Conlin Halterman, Phillip Green, Brandon Cassell, Shane Alderman and Patrick Collins.
Volleyball coach Jessica Hays recognized several players for receiving honors this season.
All PVC: first team, Megan Galford.
Coalfield Conference, second team: Tresten Taylor; and first team: Megan Galford and Tristin Day.
The volleyball team is: Tristin Day, Briana Mills, Megan Galford, Lylia Cottle, Kourtney Cohenour, Makayla Malcom, Makayla Marks, Sarah Lambert, Kristen Bennett, Tresten Taylor and Bobbie McNabb.
The golf team, led by coach Phillip Anderson, won at regionals and moved on to state this season.
All Tournament PVC: B.J. Wilfong, Stephen Mick and Matt Rao.
The team consists of: B.J. Wilfong, Stephen Mick, Matt Rao, Austin Sharp, Chase Alkire and Brandon Halterman.
At the end of the basketball season, the girls team, led by Mike Kane, and assistant coaches Mike Murphy and Phillip Anderson, was ranked fourth in the state.
The team won its 14th consecutive sectional and has been regional champs nine times.
PVC Team: Melissa Murphy, Tristin Day and Bobbie McNabb.
All State: honorable mention, Bobbie McNabb and Sarah Ryder; and second team, Tristin Day.
The girls basketball team is: Lauren Shisler, Briana Mills, Catlyn Sparks, Haley Bennett, Kourtney Cohenour, Brittany Sharp, Lindsey Hartzell, Mary Kelley, Tiffany Hoover, Sarah Ryder, Melissa Murphy, Michelle Murphy, Kayleigh Arbogast, Olivia Knisely, Natalie Hartzell, Tristin Day and Bobbie McNabb.
The boys basketball team also had a successful year with a big win at the Webster County Christmas Tournament, coach Tim McClung said.
PVC Team: Dalton Irvine and Cary Robertson.
All State: honorable mention, Cary Robertson.
Webster County Christmas All Tournament Team: J.D. Hensler and Cary Robertson.
The team consists of: Jarrett Taylor, Morgan Baldwin, Levi Ryder, Mark Jordan, Brandon Wilfong, Briar Wilfong, Trey Payton, Brady Jones, Danny Kimble, Drake Warder, Ryan Brumfield, Brandon Halterman, J.D. Hensler, Dalton Irvine, Conlin Halterman, Braxton Rider, Chad Friel, Chase Erlewine, Cary Robertson, Adam Irvine and Stephen Mick.
The softball team had a great year, mainly because it finally has a home field. The team debuted the new field this year at its first “real” home game, coach Rick Hartzell said.
Hartzell thanked Interstate Hardwood, Glades Building Supply, Snowshoe Foundation, Frost Fire Department, volunteers, parents and assistant coach Steve Tritapoe for helping build the new field.
The team had an interesting season which included Lauren Shisler hitting a foul ball into the windshield of coach Hartzell’s wife’s car, and Sarah Lambert breaking her leg as she slid into home plate.
The softball team is: Harley Fransisco, Natalie Hartzell, Sarah Lambert, Bobbie McNabb, Kayleigh Arbogast, Emily Boothe, Makayla Marks, Lindsey Hartzell, Tiffany Hoover, Bryce Kranc, Savannah Arbogast, Adrienna Fuery, Briana Mills, Canessa Parker and Lauren Shisler.
Although he has coached for six decades, Skeeter Workman stood at the podium as a baseball coach for the first time in his career. Workman and Toney Minter took the reins of the team mid-season to help the students finish what it started.
For awhile, the team went without coaches and continued to practice on their own.
Logan Davis set a record this year by having six RBIs [Runs Batted In] in one inning. He hit two triples with bases loaded. Wyatt Workman pitched a no hitter against Tucker County, another impressive feat.
Team members presented Workman and Minter with team-signed baseballs and team photos to thank them for coaching this year.
The baseball team consists of: Austin Hubbert, Braxton Ryder, Conlin Halterman, Drake Warder, Brandall Carr, Austin Sharp, Logan Davis, Caleb Mullenax, Wyatt Workman, Morgan Mason, Cedric Wooddell, Christian Smith, Jake Gardener, Dewayne Lambert and Briar Wilfong.
New to the sporting world of Pocahontas County, archery coach Jody Spencer recognized members of the high school team.
The high school team ranked seventh at the state archery tournament and five individuals qualified for state: Carlie Ervine, Laura Leyzorek, Stephen Simmons, Jacob Pyne and Clayton Shinaberry.
The team is: Audrey Lore, Austin Sharp, Brandon Squires, Caitlin Barnes, Carlie Ervine, Clayton Shinaberry, Dalton Sharp, Hunter Tankersly, Jacob Pyne, Kailey Carpenter, Kyleen Alkire, Laura Leyzorek, Matthew Pritt, Michael Leyzorek, Stephen Simmons, Tresten Taylor, Zack Young and Catlyn Sparks.
The boys and girls track team had two new coaches – Laurel Dilley and Aaron Pugh – and a lot of high ranking athletes.
Track members with more than 100 points: Conner Pyles, Dalton Irvine, Melissa Murphy, Cade Walker, Stephen Mick, Stephen Simmons, Cary Robertson, Patrick Collins, Miles Goodall, Megan Galford, Michelle Murphy and Sarah Ryder.
PVC Champs: first place 400 meter dash and 800 meter dash, Connor Pyles; first place 1600 meter run, Melissa Murphy; first place 100 meter dash and 300 meter hurdles, Stephen Simmons; first place boys 4×1 – Stephen Simmons, Kendel Ober, Stephen Mick and Dalton Irvine; first place boys 4×4 – Cary Robertson, Cade Walker, Dalton Irvine and Connor Pyles; first place 4×8 – Cary Robertson, Patrick Collins, Miles Goodall, Conner Pyles; and first place boys shuttle hurdle – Cade Walker, Stephen Mick, Dalton Irvine and Stephen Simmons.
Regional Champions: first place high jump and 110 high hurdles, Dalton Irvine; first place 1600 meter run, Melissa Murphy; first place 300 meter hurdles, Stephen Simmons; first place girls 4×8 – Megan Galford, Michelle Murphy, Melissa Murphy and Brittany McMillion; first place boys shuttle relay – Cade Walker, Stephen Mick, Dalton Irvine and Stephen Simmons.
Also qualifying for states: Cora Hedrick, Kendel Ober, Cary Robertson, Patrick Collins, Connor Pyles, Miles Goodall and Samantha Collins.
The coaches also recognized the winners at the state track meet.
Wiley thanked all the students, coaches, families and friends for attending the banquet and for their continued support of the PCHS teams.