WHEELING — Droves of individuals had been available Sunday afternoon at Oglebay Park’s Levenson Shelter to rejoice the 50-Yr Teaching Anniversary of Wheeling Central soccer coach Mike Younger.
Former and present gamers, coaches, lecturers, households and mates had been available to honor Younger, who spent 25 years as a coach at St. Clairsville and the final 25 at Wheeling Central.
Younger has gained eight state championships as head coach of the Maroon Knights and was part of three extra as an assistant however extra importantly, he has constructed a program that helps youngsters develop into sort and profitable adults.
“Once I mirror again, it simply tells me that I’ve been round nice individuals,” Younger stated. “My most essential factor is I wish to assist these youngsters go on to achieve success in life and if athletics is an avenue they pursued within the course of to be a greater particular person, father, mom, aunt or uncle, than I really feel like I achieved my objectives.
“I all the time needed to be an educator and I really feel very blessed to have so many success tales that I see proper right here.”
After graduating from Wheeling Central, Younger coached alongside the legendary George Strager at St. Clairsville till Strager’s passing in 1990. That’s when Younger took over the helm.
In his 25 years at St. Clairsville as an assistant and head coach, Younger made an influence for not simply the Crimson Devils however gamers and coaches all around the Ohio Valley.
In reality, former New York Jets Professional Bowler and Bellaire alum Lance Mehl recalled his first encounter with Younger.
“The humorous factor is after I first met Coach Younger, I used to be in highschool,” Mehl stated. “I tore up my arm and I couldn’t straighten it. He was doing an extremely sound so I might straighten it out. We had to try this for 2 or three days after which I performed the subsequent week.
“Then I moved away and after I got here again he was teaching at St. Clairsville.
“He coached my oldest son I believe his final 12 months at St. Clairsville. I helped out a little bit bit with seventh, eighth and ninth grade however he led me by way of that and he was all the time nice to me.”
Legendary Woodsfield and Monroe Central coach Jay Circosta gained 336 video games and 14 OVAC titles in his teaching profession and though he didn’t coach with or towards Younger that always, their friendship blossomed in 1974.
“I met Mike in 1974 after I was the Woodsfield coach,” Circosta stated. “We coached the OVAC Ohio-West Virginia All-Star Recreation and Mike was the pinnacle coach for Ohio. Mike and I’ve saved that relationship going all these years.
“Individuals know and listen to in regards to the profitable custom at Wheeling Central. All of the accolades Mike will get are effectively deserved however he’s extra about different issues. He had a imaginative and prescient, a plan and objectives and he carried these out and that’s why he achieved success.”
In fact Younger left his mark on the St. C. program, as effectively.
“I used to be at St. C. within the 80’s and Mike was my freshman basketball coach,” Joey Maroon stated. “I didn’t know he had a medical diploma however after I sprained my ankle the sport earlier than the championship recreation he taped it so tight I couldn’t really feel my toes. He stated ‘you gained’t really feel the ache both.’
“Then he was the offensive coordinator on by way of highschool and I used to be fortunate sufficient to play QB for him. Mike has been an inspiration and he ended up hiring me as a junior excessive soccer coach and I coached with him for 5 years earlier than he went to Wheeling Central.”
Younger joined forces with Jim Thomas and the Maroon Knights in 1996 as an assistant coach till Thomas handed away in 2004. As soon as once more, Younger was known as upon to step into legendary sneakers.
“Mike realized early on in serving below two legendary coaches,” Circosta stated. “He paid his dues. He realized what he might study and put it to make use of and that’s why he has turn out to be a legend himself.”
The transfer to Central modified Younger’s life however a chunk of St. Clairsville will all the time be in his coronary heart.
“Having relationships with Wheeling Central and St. Clairsville has been the perfect a part of my 50 years,” Younger stated. “It’s a must to have good individuals round you.
“Timing is all the pieces, too. It’s a must to be on the proper place on the proper time. All I did was fold the enjoying playing cards. I didn’t fold the sport after I left St. Clairsville. I took my present the place I felt I might do higher. St. C. received higher, too. Coach Brett McLean is doing an exceptional job there.”
Wheeling Central assistant coach Jason Rine spoke extremely of Younger on the celebration saying ‘he’s an incredible chief by way of service’ and ‘he leads by instance.’
He has additionally helped Rine turn out to be the coach he strives to be.
“What he’s actually good at is, he allows you to coach,” Rine stated. “He employed you to educate soccer and he allows you to do this. He offers with the mother and father, administration, the media, self-discipline issues and he makes it straightforward for me to do X’s and O’s. Clearly, 50 years of X’s and O’s, his enter is all the time enormously appreciated as a result of there’s not too many issues he hasn’t seen on a soccer discipline.”
Younger has earned the nickname “The Bull” through the years by his gamers and as Younger grabbed the mic to shut out the celebration, he had one message for them.
“The Bull’s not achieved.”