WEHS honors state baseball champions
by John Conley
Wyoming East’s state championship baseball team was honored at a dinner last Tuesday evening at WEHS.
The school’s commons area was decorated in green and black, and a slide show featured scenes from the state tournament.
Desserts on the buffet line featured a baseball theme.
The Warriors defeated Herbert Hoover, 1-0, in Charleston on June 3 to win the school’s first baseball title.
“It seemed like this championship was meant to be,” said East Principal Barry Smith.
He pointed out that this year’s team hit just four home runs—compared to 34 last year—and had a modest .260 batting average.
But the Warriors gave up just one unearned run in their last four tournament games, carried by pitchers Travis McKinney and Derek Thornton and a strong defense.
“It’ s all been a team effort,” Smith stated..
“I can’t quit smiling,” said assistant coach Kevin Hedinger. He said head coach Ron “Chief” Mayhew has won about 800 games in his 39 years as coach, including 286 in 14 years at East (an average of 20 wins per season).
Mayhew, who introduced each of the players, received a standing ovation.
Concord Athletic Director and Pineville native Kevin Garrett was the guest speaker.
Garrett said “character is the most important (factor)” in having a championship team. “Character is doing what’s right when no one is looking.”
He urged the Warriors “not to forget everyone who helped you along the way.”
Garrett said Mayhew “affected my life and had the winner mentality.”
Del. Linda Phillips praised the team and introduced Kimberly Groce, who presented certificates from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to the coaches and players.
Jarrett Caldwell and Travis McKinney, the two seniors on the team placed the championship trophy in the school trophy case near the gymnasium.
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