1971 George Washington Patriots - Not many teams played better as a team than this bunch. Coached by Fred Aldridge, every player played his role. Among the players were Trippi Adams, Clyde Childers, Rick Greene, Albie Wiliams, Ned Tiley and Joey Holland. They had size and high basketball IQ's.
Kermit Blue Devils - Support was incredible for small-school teams in the coalfields. The 1975 Kermit team won a Class A state title under coach John Preece and were led by Guy Dillon, J.W. Endicott, Barry Richardson and Manny Rose. Even more impressive has been life after basketball for students at the school. Of the 25 students in that graduating class at Kermit, three are now doctors, including Endicott.
Northfork Blue Demons - When the Blue Demons from McDowell County came out in their red, white and blue uniforms, the games were over before they started. Northfork set a national high school record by winning an amazing eight straight AA titles from 1974-81.
Oak Hill tradition - Overshadowed sometimes by Woodrow Wilson in the Fayette-Raleigh county areas, the Red Devils also have an incredible tradition. Who wouldn't want to see Tom "Speedy" Jones (Maryland), P.G. Greene (WVU) and Tracy Shelton (WVU) play one more time.
Dwayne Wingler - In the rich history of Woodrow Wilson basketball, Wingler is considered the Flying Eagles' greatest player. Think about that. In his era, Beckley won four straight state championships in 1951, '52, '53 and '54. Wingler scored 44 points in his state title finale, and went on to Kentucky to play football for Bear Bryant and basketball for Adolph Rupp. In high school, in a head-to-head game with Jerry West and East Bank, Wingler scored 34 while West scored six. Jerry, though, was only a sophomore.
George Zamberlan - For a time, the Secondary School Activities Commission had a rule that it was an automatic technical foul for coaches who stood up on the sidelines. At the state tournament, the former Charles Town coach would take a rope and tie himself to his chair so that he would not stand. Fans loved seeing him scoot along in his chair on the floor.
Finally, here are some coaches I would love to see on the sidelines one more time: Jennings Boyd (Northfork), Bob Burton (Paden City), Lewis D'Antoni (Mullens), Paul Greer (Oceana), Sam Mandich (Parkersburg), Skip Prosser (Wheeling Central), George Ritchie (Williamson), Romano (Charleston), Donnie Smith (Huntington Vinson), Joe Snodgrass (DuPont), Don Stover (Stonewall Jackson), Stewart Way (Huntington), Tex Williams (St. Albans) and "Preach" Wiseman (Woodrow Wilson).
Frank Giardina is a free-lance columnist for the Sunday Gazette-Mail.