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Former Flyers still remember their coach

No matter how much time passes, they never forget the Bear.

More than 50 years after graduation from Ironton St. Joe, the players from the 1950s era haven't forgotten their coach, James J. "Bear" Mains. A group of former Flyers got together on May 19 for a luncheon with Mains.

Andy Waginger, Paul Joe Holtzapfel, Joe Gleichauf, Joe Swarts, Fred Lavender, Bill Lawless, Larry Dunworth and Ray "Gabby" Gibson gathered for lunch.

"We had a great time. After 50 years, for a group of athletes to remember me was very touching," Mains said.

Mains began his coaching career at Ironton St. Joe in 1941 and guided the Flyers to their first undefeated football season in 1946. He also took St. Joe to its only regional basketball appearance in 1951 with the "Famous Five."

Mains was the head football coach at Ironton High School from 1953-56 and later served as principal. He became the first director of the Ohio University branch campus now known as Ohio University Southern.

Mains was a member of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors, serving as president in 1976. He served as the Southeastern Ohio Athletic Association Board's secretary for more than 26 years.

Mains is a member of the Ohio High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, the Ohio High School Officials Hall of Fame and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

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Cold Pizza for Carpenter

John Carpenter, the man from Firebrick, Ky., with the world's largest private sports memorabilia collection, is headed for New York.

Carpenter has been asked by producers of Cold Pizza, the ESPN2 morning show, to be a guest in early July.

The sports memorabilia collection includes more than 5,000 items and has been verified by Ripley's Believe It or Not to be the largest private collection.

Many of the items are on display through the summer at the Highlands Museum on Winchester Ave. in Ashland, Ky.

Carpenter recently submitted Tennessee Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt's name to Ripley's for becoming the all-time winningest college basketball coach.

A Ripley's cartoon paying tribute to Summitt has been printed and includes Carpenter's name.

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New coach at West

When Ironton plays at Portsmouth West this football season, it'll be like a trip into the past.

Ironton and West met three times from 1988-90 with Bob Lutz coaching the Fighting Tigers and Dick Tipton coaching the Senators.

The two will meet again this year after Tipton returned to take over the program following coach Mike Sammons moving back to Kentucky.

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.