Archived Story

Fairland gym dedication to honor York

Published 2:17am Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Jim Walker


PROCTORVILLE — The new gym at Fairland High School won’t change, but the name will.

Fairland will pay tribute to its legendary basketball coach Carl York on Jan. 4 when the gym will be renamed in his honor during a halftime ceremony of the game between the Dragons and Chesapeake.

Gary Salyer — a former player who went on to a successful coaching career at Symmes Valley and Coal Grove — was part of a group that was responsible for the dedication ceremony.

The idea surfaced when dinners were held in honor of the late football coach Jim Mayo. The school’s football stadium is named in Mayo’s honor.

“They’ve been talking about it for a lot of years. When coach Mayo got sick we had a couple of dinners in his honor. Then we talked about honoring both of them. There’s a scholarship in coach York’s name,” said Salyer.

A former football and basketball standout at Marshall University, York coached at Fairland beginning in 1954 and ending in 1978. His tenure was interrupted for a year and a half while he served in the Army. He returned in 1956 due to an exemption because he was a teacher.

York later coached at South Point and his 1980-81 team went 18-0 during the regular season.

During his coaching career, York posted a 423-159 record including 321-138 at Fairland. During his 23-year tenure, York had four 20-win seasons and his teams won seven Ohio Valley Conference championships, six sectionals, two district crowns and a regional title.

“Coach York was an outstanding coach and an outstanding individual. He influenced a lot of lives,” said Salyer.

York was named to the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches’ Hall of Fame in 1967 and the Naismith Memorial OHSAA Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997.

York had some outstanding assistant coaches that included Sam Hall, Ed Wilgus, John Eaton and Salyer.

York had the famed 1961 team nicknamed “The Untouchables” who finished the regular season unbeaten and reached the state tournament before losing in the quarterfinals to Ayersville. The team finished 25-1.

The starting lineup had Ronnie Kingery at point guard, Vic Lewis and Doug Curry were the forwards, Jim Harper was the center, and Junior Waldo and Joe Blazer were also in the starting mix.

The team was comprised of Eddie Capper, Charles Workman, Victor Lewis, Junior Waldo, Doug Curry, Gary Stanley, James Harper, Tommy Day, Joe Heinz, Joe Blazer, Ronnie Kingery and Larry Guthrie.

Even though Curry and Heinz graduated, the Dragons went 25-2 the next season.

The 1965-66 team also went undefeated. The starting lineup included Tim Roberts, Tom Russell, Ernie Hall, Eaton and Salyer.

York played high school football and basketball at Mullens, W.Va. His basketball coach was Lewis D’Antoni.

York originally played safety for the Marshall football team before an injury shortened his career. He switch to basketball and played for the legendary Cam Henderson.

York, who died in 1994, and his wife Barbara had three daughters, Beverly, Sharon and Linda.


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