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Jerry ‘Woody’ Burns, Will ‘Scheny’ Schenerlein entering mat HOF

PARKERSBURG — Five new members, including locals Jerry “Woody” Burns and Will “Scheny” Schenerlein, will be honored next Sunday afternoon at the Embassy Suites in Charleston with their induction into the West Virginia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum.

Burns, a 1976 graduate of Parkersburg South, and Schenerlein, a 1991 grad of Parkersburg High, will be joined in this year’s class by Ted Zervos, Gene Monteleone and Dr. Bill Welker.

“It’s a pretty big honor. The biggest one I’ve ever had,” said Burns, who retired after 39 years from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, was state runner-up as a senior at 105 pounds and was a member of the Patriots’ first state championship team in 1975.

“Not everybody gets nominated. Burton Rodgers, he broke me in and kind of taught me everything I knew. He broke me into refereeing and Paul Jackson nominated me.”

Schenerlein, who currently teaches world history at Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota, Fla., placed fourth at 160 as a senior, was on the 1989 state title squad and proceeded to lead his alma mater from 2000-2009 where he served as the Big Reds’ fifth all-time head coach.

“I was definitely honored,” said Scheny, who helped guide PHS to four Class AAA state titles, two runner-ups, 25 individual state champs along with being named the USA Wrestling National Coach of the Year.

“Bill (Archer) sent me a letter, snail mail, listing the other guys and I received a letter from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame congratulating me. At that point it kind of sunk in. Me of all people. I’m getting into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Was pretty surreal, actually.”

Scheny started the Anna Maria Island Wrestling Club four years ago, where he budgeted for a dozen kids and had 30. He left that position as recreation director and moved on to Cardinal Mooney, where he’s also involved in the athletic department.

“It’s a great honor to be in there too with some guys like Bob Dutton and Mike Litton and Jim Hamric and especially Joe Handlan,” Scheny stressed. “Another person, too, coach Monteleone from West Liberty.

“A lot of guys in there I really look up to and have a lot of respect for. It’s pretty humbling to be put in there next to them.”

Burns spent three decades as a mat official and was a referee for 13 state tournaments. Along with coaching the Mineral Wells peewee program from 1977-80, he also was the president of the Ohio-West Virginia wrestling board and was named the 2003 Most Outstanding Referee in the Mountain State.

“I’ve got to know a lot of different coaches and a lot of different referees,” added Woody. “There aren’t too many places in West Virginia I could go where I couldn’t stay the night.”

The five-member class will have a banquet starting with the social hour and memorabilia display at 1 p.m.

A father of four children, Scheny said being around wrestling as a youth definitely shaped his life in more ways than one.

“Every day I tap into something I got from wrestling, whether it be in the classroom or parenting,” Scheny said. “There have been many times in life I thought to myself how am I going to do this?

“I believe because I wrestled, and that includes all the people I wrestled for and with, it’s gave me the tools to be able to handle it.”

Those same beliefs and early work ethic also were key for Woody, who added “there’s a lot of these young coaches.

“They need to realize these young refs coming in, they need to lay off them a little bit because without a referee you don’t have a match.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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