As far as the local sports scene goes, many teams are probably glad the 2012 calendar year is coming to a close.
As a whole, it was not a very successful season year for Logan County teams.
For only the second time since 1999, no major Logan County high school athletic team brought home a state championship.
Although some success was to be had and there were some great individual performances the year 2012 brought a lot of heartache and disappointments to many county teams.
Before we lift our glasses, say a toast and bring in the new year of 2013, let’s look back one more time to 2012 and the top five Logan County sports stories of the year.
1. Chapmanville basketball hires Allan Hatcher as coach. Over the summer, three-year Chapmanville Regional High School boys’ basketball coach Harry Kirk resigned his post as the Tigers’ mentor.
Out went Kirk and in went Allan Hatcher.
Hatcher, a legendary coach in Kentucky and West Virginia and a former assistant on the collegiate level, was hired by Chapmanville to take Coach Kirk’s place in late August.
Hatcher, the father of highly successful Logan High School coach Mark Hatcher, came to Chapmanville from Perry Central (Ky.). He had once led the old Williamson High School Wolfpack team to a state championship.
While Kirk turned around Chapmanville’s program from a losing program to a winning one, Hatcher has stated he wants to take the Tigers to the next level — to not only make it to the state tournament for the first time in school history but to win the state championship.
As of this weekend, the Tigers were off to a bit of a bumpy start as Chapmanville was just 1-3 heading into its own annual Bob Runyon Memorial Tournament.
Hatcher has more than 700 wins in his prep coaching career.
He took Perry Central to Kentucky’s Sweet Sixteen state tournament at Rupp Arena two years ago.
2. Logan basketball advances to state. It was another successful season for the Logan High School boys’ basketball team, which finished 17-9 and advanced to the state tourney for the third straight year in March.
The Wildcats lost 63-50 to Martinsburg in the first round of the Class AAA state tourney at the Charleston Civic Center.
Coach Mark Hatcher’s Wildcats were led by 6-foot-3 senior guard Stevie Browning, who averaged 24.9 points per game.
Junior Da’jon Streeter (15.4) and senior Keaton Johnson (11.1) were other key Logan players. Streeter ended up transfering to a school in Las Vegas, Nev., for the 2012-13 season.
It was the second straight season the Wildcats lost in the state tourney quarterfinal. Logan had won the 3A state title in 2010, led by Paul Herbert Williamson and Noah Cottrill.
3. Man basketball team advances to state tourney. The Man High School boys’ basketball team had a standout 2011-12 season as Coach Harvey Arms’ Hillbillies advanced to the Class A state tournament in March.
Man gave Charleston Catholic all it wanted before falling 62-57 to the Irish in the first round of the state tourney at the Charleston Civic Center.
The Billies were led by their dynamic senior backcourt tandem of Jordan Simpson and Seth Hainer.
Simpson, a 6-2 guard, became Man High School’s all-time leading scorer in the ‘12 season. Simpson, a fine baseball shortstop for the Billies, went on to sign with West Virginia State.
Man finished the basketball season with a 14-12 record.
The Billies advanced to the state tourney with a 64-45 win over Huntington St. Joe in the Class A regional co-championship. Man beat Van and lost to the same Charleston Catholic basketball team in the sectional tourney.
4. Logan softball team advances to state. For the fourth straight season the Logan High School softball team moved on to play in the Class AAA state tournament.
Logan finished 1-2 at state, eventually being ousted 6-0 by Parkersburg South in Vienna.
The Lady Cats, coached by Randy Robinette, closed out with a 28-7 record.
Logan’s senior class players went 112-23 — an impressive winning percentage of .830 in four seasons.
The loaded Lady Cats’ roster was led by senior pitchers Morgan Aguirre and Taylor Norman and senior catcher Katie Chryssofos. Senior first baseman Lara Sedlock and senior outfielder Emily Vinson also finished off solid prep careers.
Chryssofos was 3-for-9 at the plate in the state tourney with a home run and three doubles. Rachelle Toppings led Logan with four hits. Sedlock and Vinson had three hits apiece.
For the season, Aguirre hit .449 with 38 RBI and eventually signed on to play collegiate softball at the University of Charleston.
Norman hit .485 with 16 RBI in the 2012 season.
Chryssofos had a .376 batting average with 10 home runs. She hit 32 homers for Logan in three seasons.
The Lady Cats advanced to the state tourney after crushing Greenbrier East 7-0 in the regional championship game.
5. Post-season upsets. It was a rough ride for the Chapmanville Regional High School baseball and softball teams and the Logan High School baseball team in 2012.
All three teams were upset and unexpectedly fell short of the state tournament.
The Roger Gertz-led Logan baseball team saw its streak of 13 straight sectional championships in 13 years come to an end as the Wildcats were upset 3-1 in the Class AAA sectional finals at South Charleston.
The Wildcats had moved on to the finals after beating George Washington, 15-5, in an elimination game at home.
Logan finished with a 21-7 record and lost longtime pitching coach and assistant Jim Willis Jr. at season’s end due to retirement. The Cats also lost key senior players Matthew Greene, twins Adam and Alex Mareske, Justin Oney, Cody Frye and Codie Doss.
Alex Mareske led the Cats with a .442 batting average, three home runs and 26 RBI. Greene, who later went to play baseball at WVU, batted .436 in 2012. Freshman Z. Minnick also had a fine season with a .375 batting clip, a homer and 22 runs knocked in. Minnick, a hard-throwing right-hander, was one of Logan’s top pitchers as well.
The Chapmanville Regional High School baseball team also was a victim of the upset in 2012 as the Tigers lost 6-5 to Wayne in the Class AA regional semifinals at Chapmanville’s Ted Ellis Field.
The Pioneers plated two runs in the top of the seventh and held off the Tigers in the last part of the inning to seal the win and send CRHS packing with a 20-11 record.
The upset dethroned the Tigers, which were the defending Class AA state champs. Chapmanville was coming off its 35-3 state title season of 2011.
Chapmanville was led by seniors Jordan Banks and Tyler Cox. Banks hit .474 with three homers and 31 RBI. Cox had a .420 average with five homers, 19 RBI and six doubles.
Senior Tyler Collins also had a good season with a .375 batting average, two homers and team-bests in RBI with 32 and doubles with 10.
Banks, a fireball throwing lefty, was the ace pitcher for Coach Eric Ellis’ Tigers as he was 5-2 with a 1.44 ERA. In nine starts, Banks struck out 72 in 48.1 innings of work.
The Chapmanville girls’ softball team, led by 32nd-year head coach Ronnie Ooten and senior twins Allison and Jenna Evans, were also an upset victim in 2012 as the Lady Tigers lost 8-3 to Wayne in the Class AA regional semifinals at home.
Wayne, a team which had many times lost to Chapmanville in the regional tourney in recent years, went on to win the 2A state championship in Vienna.
It was the end of brilliant softball careers for the Evans sisters.
The two didn’t stray away from each other, however, as both signed on to play collegiate softball at the University of Charleston, joining Logan’s Morgan Aguirre.
Senior Alyssa Bailey, Chapmanville’s three-year starting catcher, and senior outfielder Heather Nagy, also played their final prep contests for the Lady Tigers.
Allison Evans hit .424 for the Lady Tigers in the 2012 season. Her sister Jenna Evans hit .395, while Savannah Vance hit .393 and Nagy .357. Brandi Broom (.372), Talya Berry (.350) and Bailey (.309) also turned in fine seasons.
Chapmanville breezed to wins over Mingo Central (21-0) and Scott (1-0 and 2-0) to win the sectional title.