Need more good guys
One thing never lacking here in the Mid-Ohio Valley, for the most part, are good people.
Working in the sports department through the years, I’ve had a plethora of opportunities to form relationships with countless coaches and folks who are always there to help our area youth.
Two people who definitely fit the mold as “good guys” happen to be former grapplers — one from each side of the Little Kanawha River — in Mike Litton and Gary Porter.
The duo, which has spent countless hours during the past two-plus decades making local wrestlers the best they can be, will join seven others this afternoon inside the Embassy Suites in Charleston where they are being inducted into the West Virginia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
They will be recognized permanently at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in Stillwater, Okla.
Porter won a state title at 119 pounds back in 1985 for Parkersburg South, which captured the team crown that year under the guidance of Rod Oldham.
The ex-Big Red Litton was a two-time state runner-up — once in 1970 at 130 and then again in 1971 at 132. Both of those years Litton also was a member of the Parkersburg High School state championship squads of head coach Bob Dutton.
Down in Jackson County, a longtime “good guy” said his good-bye to coaching on Saturday in Ravenswood’s Tim Rector, who watched the Red Devil cross country team bring back runner-up Class AA/A boys honors.
Rector, who spent four years as the Ravenswood cross country coach from 1989-92 before being an associate head coach to Bryan Canterbury from 2001-18, definitely went out on a high note.
“He is definitely one of the good guys,” Canterbury said of Rector, who helped bring 11 state cross country crowns back to Jackson County — two girls (all classes) and nine boys (Class AA/A). “If you can call Tim a friend, you consider yourself lucky.
“We’ve been friends for 50 years. It’s just so lucky that we actually got to coach together. I tell people I’m the luckiest coach in America. I’m as close to his family as I am my family.”
When it comes to sports and success in them, one can usually bet a family-type atmosphere is one of the biggest reasons for success.
Although I can’t pinpoint the year, I’ve known Rector for quite some time and was fortunate to cover both of his children — Brett and Emily — who both went on to play college basketball.
“He was producing great teams when there was just one class,” Canterbury added. “He joined me in 2001 and I let him do all the training and I tried to take care of everything else and it just worked out for us. I felt like we made a great team.
“He’s meant so much for Ravenswood, first and most importantly as a teacher. He’s one of the great teachers at Ravenswood High School. A math teacher who had many successful students score high on the ACT, SAT and AP exam every year.”
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org