Coaches from area honored
Trumbull County and the rest of the Mahoning Valley have produced, through their high school athletics programs, numerous student-athletes who have gone on to great success in the college and professional ranks.
While in high school, those student-athletes have been stellar representatives of the area, finding success on the regional and even state levels of competition.
This past school year was no excpetion with a softball state championship won by Champion, a handful of individual state champions in track & field, and plenty of team success on the conference and district levels.
One of the important factors in the success of the area’s young people is the coaching expertise provided by numerous individuals from seventh grade through the varsity ranks. Coaches in school situations are not paid nearly enough to compensate for the time they put in to their coaching.
Some only stay in the field for a few years, while others spend their entire working careers coaching youngsters and helping them to develop all those skills that are learned from playing sports — teamwork, good sportsmanship, work ethic, fighting through adversity and many others.
Several longtime area coaches were honored in recent months for that work they have done throughout their careers.
Warren native Jack Wendle was inducted into the Ohio High School Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame after a long career as varsity tennis coach at Chaney High School in Youngstown and a stint at Youngstown State.
Wendle was mentor to hundreds of students in the classroom and on the court and influenced many coaches in the Mahoning Valley.
Wendle coached boys tennis at Chaney from 1964-82 and developed a girls program in the mid-’70s. He coached several players who went on to great success and had an excellent record at Chaney.
In addition to his direct impact on tennis players at the school, he also had a positive effect on high school tennis as director of the Mahoning Valley Tennis League from 1972-82. Wendle built the league from eight teams to 20, directed the league tournament which fed into the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament, established a coaches clinic and established a recognition banquet for the MVTL.
He also was sectional tournament director for many years before become YSUs men’s and women’s coach in 1993.
Grand Valley icon Tom Henson was inducted this spring into the Ohio High School Athletic Association Officials Hall of Fame as a school administrator.
Henson coached multiple sports for more than 37 years at Grand Valley, while also serving as athletic director for 13 years. He died in May 2015.
He was boys basketball head coach and also football head coach later in his time at Grand Valley.
Henson was nominated for the OHSAA honor by the Trumbull Interscholastic Umpires Association.
Two other area former coaches were honored with OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Awards for the 2017-18 school year.
Lakeview graduate Scott Taylor and Boardman graduate Rich Washinko were nominated for volleyball and football, respectively.
The coaches associations of the sports sanctioned by the OHSAA had the opportunity to select one of their own for the award. Recipients were recognized during the state tournament of their respective sport or at their annual coaches clinic.
Individuals selected reflect the values of sportsmanship, ethics and integrity through their professional responsibilities and are role models for others.
Taylor was a longtime volleyball coach at Lakeview and Washinko coached football for many years, primarily in Columbiana County.