No sport is more associated with the City of Parkersburg than wrestling.
Parkersburg High School won the first state wrestling championship in 1948 and leads all schools with 21 state titles. Parkersburg South, which didn't win its first title until 1975, now has 18, including the last four.
So it only stands to reason that when West Virginia inducts members into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Parkersburg is well represented.
On Sunday, the eighth person associated with the sport of wrestling in Parkersburg was inducted into the Hall of Fame, headquartered in Oklahoma.
This is a particularly special one to those of us who work at The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, for the honoree was one of our own -long-time sports editor Jim Snyder.
Snyder was the first state sports writer to cover high school wrestling on a regular basis. He was the pioneer, the one most responsible for publicizing the sport and keeping it in the public eye.
In 1979, the state wrestling coaches decided to name their annual Sports Writer of the Year Award, the James B. Snyder Award.
It is now known as the Snyder-Miller Award, honoring both Snyder and Dr. Tim Miller, who promotes West Virginia wrestling through his website wv-mat.com.
It is the perfect mix of the old scribe -or ink-stained wretch, as Snyder often referred to himself - with the modern-day journalist whose tool is the Internet.
Snyder joins a prestigious group of Parkersburg legends in the Hall of Fame. Previously inducted were Parkersburg High School head coaches Bob Dutton and Joe Handlan Jr., Parkersburg South head coach Rod Oldham, Williamstown head coach Bob Pickens, local youth wrestling pioneer Vernon 'Tiny' Marlow, George Nedeff, a PHS?and West Virginia University wrestler who later coached the Mountaineers, and A. James Manchin, who coached wrestling at Jackson Junior High School.
Accepting on behalf of his father, who passed away in October 2002, was son Ross Snyder, who spoke about his Dad's love for the sport of wrestling. Quoting his father, Ross said in Parkersburg football was No. 1 and wrestling was No. 1A.
Ross was accompanied by his wife, Kim. Also on hand were coach Handlan, Ronald Wines Sr., a two-time state champion at PHS, and his son Ron Wines, Jr., a former South wrestler; and Brent Sams, who organizes local middle school and youth wrestling tournaments.
This marks the third Hall of Fame to which Snyder has been inducted. In 1995, he was so honored by his alma mater, West Virginia Wesleyan College, and in 1998 he was a charter member of the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame.
Snyder was a beloved figure, both in Parkersburg and in our newsroom. We still have a list of 50 'Snyderisms' that is priceless.
This was a great honor for a great man.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org