Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

June 15, 2013

MARK MAYNARD: Marsh belongs on wall

ASHLAND — When Vic Marsh looks up on the Elks Sports Day Wall of Fame, it’s hard for him to picture his photograph being up there with them.

That has been a common refrain from the many who have been enshrined after some of the great honorees since the Sports Day program started in 1975 with Jimmy Anderson being selected.

When asked about his mentors in life on Friday, Marsh rattled off the names of Ernie Chattin, Jack Fultz and Herb Conley. No surprise all three men are on the Wall.

Marsh said Chattin took “a special liking to me, kind of put me under his arm.” If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that statement — not just from the honorees but from anybody who lived during the era of Ernie Chattin — I could retire. That was Ernie Chattin.

The special men — and one woman, Meg Neyer — that have been selected as Sports Day honorees can tell a sports history lesson all their own. They were great in their sport, be it playing or coaching or even umpiring, had a love for their community and have proven themselves over time to be great ambassadors and role models.

Vic Marsh fits the mold just fine, thank you.

They are also incredibly humbled with the Sports Day honor.

Ditto for Vic Marsh, who said he never got nervous coaching but was a little “out of my comfort zone” with the attention coming his way from Sports Day.

It was Jack Fultz who taught Marsh to “sell the program to the kids and to always remember you’re a teacher first.”

Marsh, an outstanding history teacher, never forgot that lesson.

It was Herb Conley who rescued Marsh from an incredibly difficult coaching situation at West Carter High School, which had started varsity football in 1973 without first having a youth league or even junior high program.

The Xs and Os were replaced with teaching these young men how to put on shoulder pads and hip pads and how to snap on a helmet and form a mouthpiece to fit your mouth.

The Comets predictably went 0-11 but what Conley saw wasn’t a coach from a winless team but a coach who was dedicated to teaching, a hard worker and a man of patience.

That’s why he offered Marsh the chance to join the Tomcat coaching staff and Marsh says that’s where his football education began.

Conley had a good feeling about Marsh and he was right. That paid dividends later when Herb’s son Greg was the quarterback on Marsh’s 1982 team.

Ashland went 9-4 that season against one of the toughest schedules in school history. The Tomcats defeated a Bryan Station team 14-13, in Lexington, that had four future NFL players, including a Hall of Famer.

They lost to Bryan Station 12-6 in Putnam Stadium with a late fumble return for a touchdown being the difference.

The week leading up to that game, Marsh’s father had died and he was not able to be at practice. He came into the lockerroom about five minutes before the start of the game on Friday night.

Conley said he couldn’t have asked for a better coach to guide his son than Vic Marsh.

“That season may have been Vic’s greatest coaching job,” Conley said. “He had a bunch of blue-collar workers that season.”

Marsh’s teams were built in Conley’s image — fundamentally strong, tough and hard-hitting and prepared for anything.

“Of all my coaches, Vic and I were more alike than anybody,” Conley said. “We were both very emotional and neither one of us put up with any nonsense. You’re going to move forward and not move backward.”

Marsh coached the Tomcats for 15 seasons, winning 112 games and a state championship.

His face goes up on the Elks Wall of Fame tonight with so many others who meant so much to him.

Vic Marsh may not feel like he belongs but, rest assured, he does.

Those legends would be proud to have him up there alongside them.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0420chattin0397.jpg Pole vaulters conquer wind in Chattin

    For obvious reasons, pole vaulting records and windy conditions don’t go together.
    Raceland’s Connor Messer and Fairview’s Morgan McIntyre raised the bar anyway at Saturday’s Ernie Chattin Memorial Invitational.
    Despite a windy challenge — especially for Messer — on the hilltop at Ashland Athletic Complex, both athletes set new pole vault marks for the 11-year-old meet and received Outstanding Performance awards.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • 0415eastSB0170 copy.jpg Stock soaring for East eighth-grader Fouts

    With a name like Montana, you just have to go big.
    Six-foot eighth-grader Montana Fouts isn't a big talker, but when it comes to the business of softball, her skills convey a loud and clear message.
    The East Carter pitcher is making herself a can't-pass-up commodity with her flawless throwing form and sizzling speed.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lewis snaps 4-game skid, beats Ashland, 2-1

    Question: What four-game Lewis County losing streak?

    Answer: the one the Lions snapped Saturday by knocking off visiting Ashland, 2-0, in the third annual Lewis County Autism Awareness game.

    April 20, 2014

  • HIGH SCHOOL ROUNDUP: Hensley fires 2nd no-no in 2 days, Kittens split

    Ashland junior Megan Hensley no-hit Portsmouth West on Saturday, one day after dealing a perfect game, as the Kittens beat the Lady Senators 16-0 in five innings at the Valley of Thunder at Symmes Valley.

    April 19, 2014

  • west.JPG Streak snapped: Comets end 40-game losing streak to Raiders

    Nineteen years and 40 games between East Carter and West Carter have passed since the Comets have beaten the Raiders.
    Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” was the No. 1 song the last time West got a win over East.
    The visiting Comets ended almost 20 years of futility against the Raiders in dominating fashion on Friday night, defeating East Carter, 8-0.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Williams steps down as Lady Vikings coach

    Jen Williams did not make this decision lightly.

    April 19, 2014

  • HIGH SCHOOL ROUNDUP: Hensley spins perfect game

    Ashland’s Megan Hensley fired a perfect game and drove in the only runs of the game with a two-run homer as the Kittens topped Upper Arlington (Ohio) 2-0 in the Valley of Thunder at Symmes Valley on Friday night.

    April 19, 2014

  • 0418ashlandBB0268.jpg One-run fun: Ashland on smiling side of close game vs. East

    After opening the season with a 2-1 victory, Ashland has had a hard time cracking the close game code.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418_Ash_vs_JC_0003.JPG Hensley rises, fires as Kittens win big

    Johnson Central softball coach Jason Hurt’s already high opinion of Ashland junior Megan Hensley rose to another level Thursday night.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041714_29a.jpg Diller, Mackie spark Raceland

    It is time for the 16th Region to take notice of the Raceland softball team.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos