ST. ALBANS — Logan High School girls’ basketball coach Kevin Gertz is known for many things.
His booming voice is one.
His lighthearted sense of humor is another.
That was on display on Saturday morning at St. Albans as his Logan High School girls’ basketball team scrimmaged the Red Dragons, coached by first-year mentor Shayna Gore.
Gore, a former Logan All-State standout and Marshall University player, was making her first venture in coaching.
It came against her alma mater as her St. Albans Red Dragons hosted the Lady Cats at the St. Albans High School gym.
Gore played four years for Gertz at Logan from 2012-15.
Coach Gertz, in a prearranged prank, had official Brian Holstein call a technical foul on Gore on the game’s opening tip, just as she stood up.
Holstein turned towards Gore, blew his whistle and T’d her up just as the game began.
A bewildered Gore, with her mouth wide open, said “what for?”
Gertz then came over to hug Gore and let her in on the joke as the crowd laughed.
Gertz explained the backstory on his Facebook page.
“In her senior year we played at Winfield. She got upset about a call and told an official that’s BS. She got a technical so I sat her the rest of the quarter, even though I agreed with her,” said Gertz. “Later that quarter I got upset and also said that’s BS. Brian Holstein, a good official and buddy of mine said, ‘Kevin the entire county heard that I have to T you up.’ I said, ‘that’s fine, apparently BS must be the word of the day.’ So when I found out Brian was officiating today I asked him to do me a favor and T her up at the beginning of the game as a joke. The look on her face was priceless.”
The video of the prank was shown on both Facebook and Twitter and received a lot of attention.
“I played my high school coach today and he thought it was funny to start the game with me getting a technical as soon as I stood up,” Gore said on her Twitter page. “I looked so confused. Love that guy and the impact he has made on me as a player and now a coach.”
For Gore, this is her first coaching job of any kind.
Gore, only 22 years old, just finished up her Marshall career last season and this will be her first coaching job really of any kind.
“I want her to do well and she will do well,” Gertz said.
Gore, who ended up becoming the all-time leading scorer in Logan High School basketball history for either gender, led Logan to the 2013 Class AAA state championship game her sophomore season.
Gore orchestrated a storybook year that season.
Logan defeated St. Albans, her current team, on the road in the Class AAA regional championship game then pulled off upsets over Spring Valley and Princeton in the state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center before falling 58-34 to Parkersburg South in the finals.
“She’s the hardest working player that I’ve ever coached,” Gertz said. “She was in the gym probably 350 days a year. She’s done great things and I think she’ll continue to do great things.”
Gore has seemed to energize the girls’ basketball program at St. Albans in a short amount of time. The Red Dragons were 11-12 last year.
Gore dabbled in the professional waters in Spain shortly after finishing up in Huntington, but quickly realized that life that far from home just wasn’t for her. Now back in Huntington and working on a Masters Degree in sports management, she also found the job opening at St. Albans.
“Once I landed over there, it just kind of hit me,” Gore told the Charleston Gazette. “I know I want to coach and I eventually want to coach in college. [St. Albans athletic director] Rick [Whitman] called me in Spain and told me this job had come about. I actually sent in my application from over there.”
“I couldn’t pick a better school to start at. The girls work hard and make good grades.”
While with the Thundering Herd, Gore shattered the 3-point record, hitting 303 of them for her career, besting the old mark set by Sikeetha Shepard-Hall by 157.
Gore left as the school’s third-leading scorer with 2,081 career points and is one of only three women to play at Marshall to break the 2,000-point barrier. She is also the career leader in points at Logan with 1,991 and made three first-team, Class AAA All-State squads while with the Wildcats.
Gore’s Red Dragons are slated to open the regular season on Dec. 5 at Winfield.
A tough Mountain State Athletic Conference schedule is ahead.
St. Albans does not play 2A Logan during the regular season but Gore will find her way close to home on Dec. 27 as the 3A Red Dragons play at Class A Tug Valley at Naugatuck.
Logan tips off the season on Dec. 6 at home against Man.