Ed West ended his prolonged softball teaching profession at John Marshall Thursday as solely a coach can dream.
The personable Monarchs’ mentor was introduced his second W.Va. Class AAA state championship when standout pitch Kadence Pettit recorded her 614th profession strikeout to finish a 6-2 victory over Cabell Midland within the remaining sport at Little Creek Park in South Charleston.
Though he hasn’t submitted his letter of retirement to the Marshall County Board of Training, West had let it recognized he wouldn’t be again in 2024.
“I actually haven’t saved it a secret,” West mentioned. “Different individuals have requested me and I mentioned ‘Sure, I’m going to retire on the finish of the 12 months.”
When the ultimate out was recorded, West was so glad, but it surely wasn’t that manner moments earlier..
“It was a beautiful feeling (that remaining out). I actually wasn’t too comfy till we received the ultimate out as a result of they’d the underside of their order arising, and in the event that they turned the lineup over, we might be in hassle,” West recalled.
With a runner on first and no outs, first baseman AC Cumberledge saved the day with an unassisted double play that eased a number of the pressure. Pettit then ended it in fashion.
“The sensation was ‘wow, it’s over,” he mentioned of his profession. “It was a good way to finish our season and a good way to finish my profession.”
And what a profession it has been.
West posted a profession mark of 353-96 in 14 seasons, profitable his first state title in 2012. His groups have gained 12 W.Va. Class AAA sectional titles, eight regional titles and 7 OVAC crowns.
His 350th victory got here within the Area I finals towards College.
“That was actually particular to win that sport at house and within the regional finals,” West mentioned.
Earlier than taking on this system, West assisted legendary Monarch head coach Pancho Flores, who gained 405 wins in 24 years, for his remaining 9 seasons.
“Pancho was there a very long time,” West famous. “He gained a state title in 1988. I began serving to him in 2009.”
West was very happy for his senior class, which incorporates Pettit and Paytyn Tucker, each West Liberty recruits. They
“It was heartbreaking to see them not be capable to play their freshmen years. We might’ve had a extremely good staff that 12 months with the Blake twins (Abby and Anna) being seniors and Kadence and Paytyn being freshmen.”
West mentioned the id of the 2012 staff was a number of expertise and completed 35-4.
“We misplaced our first two video games that season to Magnolia and Edison after which gained 31 in a row,” he recalled. “Our subsequent loss was to Wheeling Park within the Recreation 2 of the sectional finals. We beat them within the opener and beat them within the third sport. Our subsequent loss after that was within the state event.”
The id of this 12 months’s squad was how the combination of skilled gamers helped the youthful women alongside.
“We had the expertise with Kadence, Paytyn and (junior) Ava Blake they usually helped the youthful women, who have been actually gifted. They took them below their wings and confirmed them how we do it right here.
“Coming into the 12 months I knew we had excellent pitching and I knew our protection was going to be strong, however I used to be nervous about our offense,” West mentioned. “Because it turned out, that was in all probability true. We had a couple of video games the place we hit the ball and scored a number of runs, however there have been different video games once we, as a staff, struggled to hit the ball.”
West mentioned as soon as he began trying out different Class AAA groups across the state, what he discovered raised his confidence degree.
“That is fairly huge open. We’ve received pretty much as good an opportunity as anyone.
“Earlier than we performed Morgantown within the third sectional sport, one among my assistants, Robby Blake, instructed me ‘if we win this sport, we’ll win the state.”
The Monarchs pounded the Mohigans that night time and Blake’s prediction was proper on.
West wished to thank his teaching workers.
“They’ve been with me for a very long time,” he mentioned of Blake, Eric Sales space and Rod Swoger. “I actually respect what they’ve carried out for our program and the assistance they’ve given me.”
He wished to thank his household, as effectively.
“My spouse (Colleen) and three daughters (Shilo, Shannon and Abby) have been actually supportive through the years.”
He additionally wished to thank the gamers’ households and the neighborhood help the staff acquired whereas in Charleston and once they returned house late Thursday night time.
“The staff bus was met on the Marshall/Wetzel county line by an extended line of emergency autos who had their lights and sirens going all the way in which to the highschool,” he recalled. “Then, once we received to the college, the car parking zone was stuffed. It was unbelievable.”
So what does a state championship softball coach do the next morning?
“I performed a spherical of golf with my grandson, Ethan Cook dinner.”
If I do know Ed like I believe I do, he’ll be leaning on the fence subsequent season watching the motion.
Have a cheerful and secure retirement.
Congratulation on a Corridor of Fame worthy profession.
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