West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

Christmas is a time of miracles and a time for counting our blessings. The wrestlers at Weirton Madonna High School have much to be thankful for this Holiday Season!

The wrestling program at Madonna was initiated in 1973. since that time, the "Blue Dons" have gradually developed their mat sports tradition. They have produced many state participants, including the first girl to qualify for states, Amy Alvaro.

The school has also had five individual state chamnps over the last three decades: Ed Neely, (1988-89-90), Jeremy Nagy (1991), and Anthony Valles (2002). The have also been blessed with some outstanding coaches the likes of Rich Mahoney, Alan Boniti, Ray Pernell, and their present mat mentors, Jamie Lesho, Randy Pryor, and Ray Larkey.

Now for the good news. The "Blue Don" matmen will soon have their own Madonna Wrestling Facility. Due to the dedicated efforts of Madonna's Athletic Director, Michael Arlia, and fundraising chairman, Michael Edward Nogay, the construction of the athletic edifice should tentatively begin this spring.

The wrestling complex will include a "Madonna Wrestling Wall of Fame" with the names of past OVAC and state place winners. It will also be utilized by the football coaching staff, as well as the cheerleaders, boys' baseball and girls' softball teams.

The fundraising committee has received nearly $65,000 of the approximately $75,000 needed for construction from over 70 contributors. Mike Simon and Mike Nogay are also co-chairing a "Night at the Races & Vegas Night" on Friday, April 16, 2004. They believe the poroceeds from this event will certainly surpass the monies needed to build the Madonna Wrestling Facility.

Yes, it's a great Christmas blessing for the "Blue Don" wrestlers. They can surely be thankful to have benefactors who are working so hard to enrich their educational experiences at Madonna High School.

Should you wish to make contributions or have inquires regarding this worthy athletic endeavor, you may contact Mike Arlia at Madonna High School or call Mike Nogay at (800) 424-5529.

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