On Friday night, the historic run of West Virginia state title game appearances for coach Brad Dingess and his Timberwolves came to an end.

Nobody in Wayne County could have predicted how it came to an end, with a 31-0 loss, but that is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

What must not be lost is the fact of just how rare and impressive the Wolves have been over the last four years. Three consecutive trips to Wheeling Island Stadium and the state title game for a program that struggled for years to find its footing after consolidation is nothing short of masterful.

Coach Dingess and his coaching and support staff have built not only a few good teams; they have created a program, a program that will continue to produce winners and help young men achieve their dreams.

The Timberwolves have built a staggering amount of college football talent over the last decade, too many to list, and for fear of leaving anybody out, I will not, but the proof is there.

Coach Dingess and the Wolves’ coaching staff look after their players and help them gain scholarships to the next level; I believe that is what has impressed me the most. Too often in the world of high school sports, it seems that ego and winning at all costs take precedence over the well-being and development of the young people, but not at Spring Valley. They win, and they help kids grow and mature into great young people.

So, while the loss hurts for the Wolves faithful, I, for one, was privileged to be along for the ride and enjoy the powerhouse that the coaching staff at Spring Valley has built.

Good luck to the Cabell Midland; somebody has to slay the beast, might as well be a valiant Knight.

Matthew A. Perry is a history teacher at C-K Middle and writes about the odd side of history at www.theoddpast.com.

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