SCMAT Exclusive Wrestling Article 5-8-09

National Wrestling Hall of Fame SC Chapter year 3,
... a Rock, a Ref, a Reeve, a Rotary
2009 NWHOF Inductees from SC.jpg 2009 NWHOF Inductees from SC (left to right) Ed Coles - "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" Award Bo Willard - "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" Award Wayne Reeve - "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" Award Tom Bates - "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" Award Eddie Cook - Chairman for the NWHOF South Carolina Chapter The May 3, 2009 Banquet for SC's Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame was another great success! Thanks to the hard work of our State Chairman for the NWHOF SC Chapter, Coach Eddie Cook, the 2009 event was attend by approximately 150. The National Wrestling Hall Of Fame (NWHOF) had our National Director of State Chapters, Michael Clair, in attendance. Each inductee from S.C. will have some great details below, but it's important to note that the honor of being inducted into the National Wrestling Hall Of Fame is not just a state honor. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame, through the South Carolina Chapter, recognizes the efforts of coaches, teachers, and contributors to the sport of wrestling through several awards. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame recognizes individuals in one of three categories: Lifetime Service to Wrestling (awarded annually) Medal of Courage (awarded when appropriate) Outstanding American (awarded when appropriate) The Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award honors and recognizes dedicated individuals for their years of commitment to wrestling. The award is not about win/loss records. It is about a person's dedicated efforts to help young people to not only succeed in wrestling, but also in life. The Medal of Courage Award is given to a wrestler who has overcome overwhelming adversity to be successful on the mats and in his own life. The Outstanding American Award is presented to an individual who was a former wrestler and has received state or national acclaim in his/her chosen profession. Each award recipient is permanently recognized in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame (Stillwater, Oklahoma) with a embossed name plaque, and each will receive a plaque and jacket to commemorate the honor. Thanks to the many coaches and volunteers that made this third year a success! Now, let me tell you a bit about each of the 2009 Inductees into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame: Thomas B. Bates - "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" Award Tom Bates has been a devoted volunteer and leader with expanding wrestling in S.C. He has: Designed, built and donated 6,000 square foot Wrestling Room “Bates Hall” to Spring Valley High School Initiated Spring Valley Rotary Taco Bell Invitational Tournament where outstanding wrestler received $1,000 scholarship Was Chairman of S.C. USA Wrestling from 1991-1995 Devoted 45+ years as a Volunteer Coach with 20+ state champions In addition, one of Tom's most noted contributions in S.C. came from his Philanthropy He recently donated $1 million to the Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital He is a retired insurance financial consultant and auditor As he noted in his evening talk, he is 70 years old and 60+ years he has lived with juvenile diabetes. He thanked his doctors, who he said had helped him make it to this day. His maternal grandfather, J.C. Gorman, was the captain of Lehigh’s wrestling team in 1910. Gorman helped lead a student-appointed committee which founded wrestling at Lehigh and he also became the first team captain. Tom always looked at the team wrestling picture from Lehigh in 1910 and was motivated by his grandfather’s accomplishments. Tom would attend Lehigh but did not graduate from there, noting it was one of the biggest regrets he had. He never wrestled in high school but wrestled at Lehigh. He wrestled Freestyle until he was 46 years old, noting his last match was against former Coach Dave Maas (Irmo) in an Open tournament. His two greatest memories from watching South Carolina wrestling was seeing Chris Burns (Summerville) hit three straight Back Saltos and seeing Dan Wirnsberger and Chris Burns wrestled into OT at a Freestyle tournament. Dr. Xan Smythe gave the introduction for Tom Bates Dr. Smythe arrived in South Carolina from Washington state and contacted Tom Bates, who he heard was involved with wrestling. They decided to take initiative at Spring Valley and the first practice they held saw 38 wrestlers come out. Noted that Tom Bates gave rides to wrestlers, bought shoes, paid entry fees to tournaments. Tom always gave generously to ensure every kid had a chance to wrestle. Coach Wayne Reeve - "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" Award Wayne Reeve was born in Emporie, Kansas in 9-10-32 He wrestled at Valley Mills High School, Indiana 1946-50 (undefeated three years) And he wrestled at Earlham College 1950-54 (most outstanding wrestler), returning in 1963-64 He also wrestled at the University of Nebraska 1959-1960 (wrestling scholarship) He noted it took him 17 years to complete his college degree, but he accomplished it! Married his wife in 1956 (and as he turned to look at her, he was proud he remembered the exact date!) While they dated she knew he was kind of involved with wrestling but not to what extent. After the honeymoon, he woke up and said he was going to practice. His wife said “What practice?” He has been going to practice ever since. Placed 3rd at Midwest Olympic Trials AAU National Champion YMCA National Champion 55 years wrestling, coaching and officiating Started wrestling programs at several YMCA’s Before arriving in South Carolina in 1971, Wayne was in Cleveland, Ohio Accepted Executive Director position at Greer YMCA in January 1971. Stayed until 1981. Moved to Kentucky and later returned to Laurens YMCA for 11 years. Sons Mark (3 state titles) and David (1 state title) wrestled at Greer High School Wayne volunteer coached at Greer, Laurens and Abbeville Coach Anthony Martin (Abbeville) gave the introduction for Wayne Reeve Three priorities drive Wayne - God, Family and then Wrestling He was impressed that Wayne was so humble and never bragged When Abbeville won the State Title in 2009, he noted Wayne gave him a whole Strawberry pie Theodore “Bo” Willard - "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" Award Bo Willard has been "The Longest serving S.C. Wrestling Official since 1967" SC Official of the Year 2004, 1993, 1982, 1980. Lifetime Achievement Award 2005 – South Carolina Wrestling Coaches Association. First Official in South Carolina 1967. Officiated every state wrestling tournament from 1969-2007. 42 Years Officiating. Head Official in South Carolina 1967-1990. District Director for Midlands Officials 1991-2005. As he noted in his evening talk, he fell into wrestling after being cut from JV basketball. Wrestled at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, NC and graduated in 1959. Wrestled at The Citadel for 4 years and graduated in 1963. First job after college was back in Charlotte where he became a wrestling Official. Moved to Columbia and went to the S.C. High School League office to see about starting wrestling in S.C. The SCHSL was supportive and wanted to help get it going. 3 coaches meant a lot during career – Brad Porter, B.D. LaPrad, Ken Wilson. Hank Hammond gave the introduction for Bo Willard. Hank noted that Bo wrestled in an era where wrestlers did not have to wear shirts - just see his yearbooks! Noted that Bo was a traveling salesman and went around the state during the day and officiated most evenings and weekends. Bo never ejected a coach in all his years. Hank noted that he averaged at least 3 a year, until Coach Jim Barnes moved to Charlotte (audience big laugh, Jim in attendance). It was noted in the evening that the key reason Bo has not had to throw a coach out is that he is very “approachable”. Estimated, very conservatively, that Bo has officiated over 64,000 individual matches in his career. Coach Ed Coles - "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" Award Ed Coles was a fabulous coach at St. Andrews and later moved to Eastside and helped build the power house it is today. 6x Region Coach of the Year SCAAU Board of Directors Coached 30 high school state champions with 47 titles among them. Coached 6 All-Americans. Coached as Head or Assistant 19 Region Championship teams Coached as Head or Assistant 13 High School or AAU State Championship teams Came from New Jersey and then Maryland where he wrestled in high school Wrestled at The Citadel for 2 years Transferred and Wrestled at Slippery Rock (Pa.) University While at Slippery Rock, he knocked out several teeth, injured his elbow, tore his knee – -- and his Dad asked him “Do you want to keep doing this?” Of course Ed said “Yes”. Ed moved to Virginia after college and was looking for a teaching/coaching job with no luck. Mark Agner (from the same high school in Roanoke, VA as B.D. and Steve LaPrad) and a wrestler at The Citadel, called Ed because he had two job offers (St. Andrews and Fort Johnson) but could only accept one. Mark took Fort Johnson job and Ed later was offered and accepted the job at St. Andrews. Ed was at St. Andrews High School from 1978-1984. Won 2 state titles at St. Andrews (1982, 1984) Ed was married on Thanksgiving day, and he held a wrestling practice that morning before the wedding since the wrestlers would have the rest of the weekend off. Moved up to Mauldin and then went to Eastside as head coach from 1985-1995 Moved into Administration and started co-coaching with Jack Kosmicki at Eastside Cliff Poynter came in from Michigan and wanted to start a youth program Launched AAU at Eastside and helped start SC AAU His family needed him to start focusing time with them. Eddie (his son) started wrestling at the age of 3 and Ed was often in other tournaments with high school wrestlers. His daughter would later nickname him Pyscho-Dad for his intense passion and hyper-enthusiasm when he participated at his children’s events. Ed would go with BD and Steve LaPrad with a bunch of S.C. wrestlers up to Nationals at UNI. Transportation was always a big challenge and he recalled once getting a Winnebago to make the trip. Another trip to UNI they lucked into getting a private jet to fly them up there but when they had to get a ride to the hotel they decided to rent an Impala and fit 12 people in it from the airport to the hotel. Dr. Xan Smythe noted later in the evening that B.D. LaPrad picked out the Impala because it had a great heater system to give the wrestlers a good sweat during the car ride. When Ed was up at UNI on one trip to Nationals, he talked with Coach Jim Humphries who said he was ready to get out of the sport at the age of 35 because of the toll it takes. Ed was about 30-32 at the time and it was a wake-up moment that he better hurry up and do something before he hit 35! As he noted several times - Wrestling is one big family; a fraternity that never gets separated. It gets in your blood. And, it's often about being in the right place at the right time. Coach Jack Kosmicki (Eastside) gave the introduction for Ed Coles At one very funny moment, Jack lost his train of thought and blamed it on Sonny Justice’s jacket. And for all interested in the photo highlights of the 3rd National Wrestling Hall of Fame South Carolina Chapter Banquet, here are some pictures from this year's Banquet: 2009 NWHOF Inductees from S.C. with Coach Eddie Cook, State Chairman Michael Clair - NWHOF Director of State Chapters Tom Bates receiving the Lifetime Service to Wrestling Tom Bates photo 1 Tom Bates photo 2 Tom Bates photo 3 Tom Bates photo 4 Wayne Reeve receiving the Lifetime Service to Wrestling Wayne Reeve photo 1 Wayne Reeve photo 2 Wayne Reeve photo 3 Wayne Reeve photo 4 Wayne Reeve photo 5 Wayne Reeve photo 6 Wayne Reeve photo 7 Wayne Reeve photo 8 Wayne Reeve photo 9 Wayne Reeve photo 10 Wayne Reeve photo 11 Wayne Reeve photo 12 Bo Willard receiving the Lifetime Service to Wrestling Bo Willard photo 1 Bo Willard photo 2 Bo Willard photo 3 Bo Willard photo 4 Bo Willard photo 5 Bo Willard photo 6 Bo Willard photo 7 Bo Willard photo 8 Ed Coles receiving the Lifetime Service to Wrestling Ed Coles photo 1 Ed Coles photo 2 Ed Coles photo 3 Ed Coles photo 4 Ed Coles photo 5 Ed Coles photo 6 Ed Coles photo 7 Ed Coles photo 8 Ed Coles photo 9 Ed Coles photo 10 Ed Coles photo 11 Ed Coles photo 12 Ed Coles photo 13 Ed Coles photo 14 Ed Coles photo 15 Banquet room photo 1 Banquet room photo 2 Banquet room photo 3 Banquet room photo 4 Banquet room photo 5 2009 NWHOF Inductees from S.C. And, in case you missed last two years of this main event, visit the links below: 2008 Banquet - National Wrestling Hall of Fame SC Chapter 2007 Banquet - National Wrestling Hall of Fame SC Chapter Hopefully in this SCMAT exclusive article the history of SC wrestling is defining itself as an exciting past with a future awaiting more greatness. These historical articles at SCMAT will hopefully provide accurate facts though we may always have missed some data at some point. If you notice a correction, addition or just want to comment please send a reply to thanks, Mark Buford