The players don't run as fast nor jump as high, but in their minds Huntington High's boys basketball players from 1969 are as dominant as ever.
The Pony Express state championship team will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their 75-57 victory over Oak Hill Collins in the Class AAA title game when they get together at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 3 at Fat Patty's in Huntington. Coaches Jim Ward, Jack Cook and Toby Holbrook said they expect to attend the reunion of the team that went 24-2, ended Charleston High's 48-game winning streak in the regional tournament and routed Bridgeport and Oak Hill Collins in the state tournament.
"We're going to try to honor the guys," said Jeff Heath, a 1969 HHS graduate and part of that year's YMCA state championship team. "The luncheon is for the basketball players, cheerleaders and coaches."
The group, led by most valuable player Greg Hawkins, who went on to play at North Carolina State University, has been together at class reunions, but never for a specific gathering of the team. Heath said he would love to find film of the team's games, as well as any newspaper clippings and photos anyone might have. Anyone with such items may contact Heath at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heath said most of the team's players have agreed to attend. Along with Hawkins, Tom Nash, Scott Archer, Billy Wellman, Bob Hamilton, Kent Pigman, Jett Andrick, David Johnson, Bernard Williams and Robert Lewis said they plan to be there. Willie Nash is deceased, Reid Templeton will be out of the country and Heath said he has been unable to locate Greg Dailey.
RECRUITING ROUNDUP: Spring Valley basketball standout C.J. Meredith received a scholarship offer from Glenville State College. ... Fairmont Senior basketball star Jalen Bridges picked up an offer from Indiana University. ... Raceland's Lincoln Howard signed to play baseball at Wilmington College. ... Garret Beegan of Portsmouth Clay signed to play basketball at Eastern (Pennsylvania) University. ... St. Albans left-handed pitcher Ayden Hodges committed to play baseball at Marshall University. ... Spring Valley baseball standout Tyrus Baumgardner was offered by West Virginia State University. ... Rowan County pitcher A.J. Hacker, originally committed to Morehead State University, now says he will sign with Indiana University. ... Boyd County's Jasmine Parker signed to run track at Alice Lloyd College. ... Huntington Prep basketball star Jaemyn Brakefield picked up, an offer from Indiana University. ... Ambler Triplett of Lawrence County signed to play softball at the University of Pikeville. Her teammate, Abby Fletcher, signed with Asbury College. ... Marshall University offered Poca basketball standout Isaac McKneely. ... Belfry girls basketball player Katie Ball committed to Cleveland State University. ... Hurricane baseball player Joel Gardner committed to West Virginia University.
NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES: Nitro baseball coach Brian Withrow resigned. ... Fairland won the championship of the Cedarville University boys team basketball camp. ... Former West Virginia University running back Kerry Marbury, 67, died last week. Marbury was regarded as one of the better high school running backs in West Virginia history. He played at Monongah High School, which consolidated with three other schools in 1979 to form North Marion. ... Fairland's Joel Lambiotte, Coal Grove's Nate Harmon and Gallia Academy's Justin McClelland were winners of $500 scholarships from the Southeast Ohio District Athletic Board. ... Winfield hired former Generals player Jade Smith as its new girls soccer coach. ... Former Spring Valley football standout Trey Malashevich, now at Kentucky Christian University, won the school's Blanton Collier Leading With Character Award. ... Former Ashland star pitcher Logan Salow, now in the Los Angeles Dodgers' minor league system, made the California League All-Star game. ... Rich Skeen resigned at girls basketball coach at Sissonville. ... Sophomore quarterback/defensive back Zander Schmidt transferred from Chesapeake to Fairland. ... Sophomore two-way lineman Jacoby Thornsbury transferred from Belfry to Mingo Central. ... Fairview hired former Eagles player Daniel Armstrong as head football coach. ... Former West Carter player Dennie Webb is the new boys basketball coach at Boyle County. ... Savannah Hawkins, 12, of Hurricane, West Virginia, shot a three-round total of 241 to win high junior honors at the West Virginia Women's Amateur golf tournament. ... Former Fairland runner and current Kentucky Christian University track and cross country runner Chuckie Wentz was selected to participate in the Emerging Elite Coaches Camp.