by Brian Hoffman
Glenvar’s Jason Cline was named the high school Coach of the Year when the Roanoke Valley Wrestling Association held its annual Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet on April 25.
Cline and Scott Fike of Staunton River were named top coaches while the Wrestler of the Year Awards went to J. B. Dragovich of Hidden Valley and Jacob Henderson of William Fleming.
Cline has done a great job with the Glenvar program. The Highlanders won the Bruin Brawl at Blacksburg, placed second at the Titan Toughman, won Region 2 C Tournament, and Cline was named Coach of the Year for Region 2 C. He took eight wrestlers to state with five placing in the top three. His team has placed in the top five at Class 2 State Tournament the last two years.
The RVWA also inducted five new members into the Roanoke Valley Wrestling Hall of Fame for 2018, including two former Salem High head coaches, Mike Gibson and Randall Sell. Don Cox, a former wrestler at VA School of the Blind, Talena Williams, a long time trainer at the Virginia State Wrestling Tournament, and Ronnie Wood, a former William Byrd wrestler and volunteer coach at William Byrd for many years were also inducted.
Gibson began wrestling in eighth grade for Glenvar High School. He wrestled through his senior year under Dickie Myers and Stan Parker. “Gibby” qualified for the State Tournament with a 5th-place finish in the Region III Tournament in 1973. Unfortunately, his senior year was cut short when he had a broken sternum.
Mike went to James Madison University where he was a walk-on and wrestled in the 142 lb. class and 150 lb. class. After graduation from JMU, Mike taught Art and coached boys’ basketball and football at Craig County from 1978 through 1980. From there he went to William Byrd where he taught Drivers Ed and Art 1980-1993. Gibby coached football, wrestling and tennis from 1980 through 1988. While coaching at Byrd, he worked with Barry Trent for eight years, won the Blue Ridge District and Region III for several years. In 1982 he helped coach the wrestling team to the AA State Championship.
Gibby moved to world of officiating in 1988. He was a member of the Roanoke Valley Wrestling Officials Association, and was a referee for middle school and high school matches and tournaments including the state tournament. Mike also officiated at the college level including the CAA Wrestling Championships.
His next stop was Salem High School where he taught Art from 1993-2019. While at Salem, he coached wrestling, boy’s and girl’s tennis and girl’s basketball.
Mike and his wife Becky have two daughters Hayley and Valerie. Hayley and her husband, Matt, have three daughters, Ellie, Alyssa, and CeCe. Valerie and her husband, Matthew, have a son, Dane, and a daughter, Lacey.
Sell comes from a wrestling family. He wrestled at William Byrd High School where he was a four-year starter and won multiple district and region titles. He placed three times in the AA State Tournament including 6th place as a 112 pounder and 3rd place as a 119 pounder.
After graduating, Randall wrestled at Messiah College and Longwood University.
Randall has coached at several schools throughout the Roanoke Valley. He spent several years as the head coach at Staunton River, and then moved to Salem High School as head coach. He also served as a volunteer assistant coach at Lord Botetourt and head coach at Andrew Lewis. Randall has worked with several youth programs including the Botetourt Wrestling Club.
In 2021, Randall became a host of the Noke Wrestling News where he and Coach Yetzer give updates on the Roanoke College wrestling program and the Blue Ridge Wrestling Training Center. They introduce us to the wrestlers and coaches and talk about the successes and plans for the future.
Randall and his wife, Alicia, have two sons, Hunter and Collin, and a daughter, Olivia. Both Hunter and Collin carried on the wrestling tradition and Randall has been able to help coach them.
Another Salemite, SHS senior Cameron Martindale, was awarded the Stan Parker Scholarship. Cameron was an outstanding wrestler for the Spartans for three years, but missed his senior year after suffering a late season football injury.