Wetzel County Hall of Fame Honors Henry “Hen” Healy
By, Ed Parsons, Editor
Longtime Paden City coach Henry “Hen” Healy received his due on Saturday night in New Martinsville as a large crowd converged on the Wetzel County Museum to honor Coach Healy as he received induction into the Hall of Fame.
Family members, friends, neighbors, and many of his ex-athletes gathered for the event. Speaking first at the induction was none other than someone who knew Coach Healy as well as anyone. Former Paden City basketball coach Bob Burton an assistant football coach under Healy gave a stirring speech that brought back great memories of days in the 60’s and 70’s under coach Healy at Paden City high School.
Burton recalled how he became a part of the Wildcats and how Healy taught him many of things he used to be successful in his own career. He told of the sucess Healy had at the school, with four undefeated teams and a state championship football team1970.
Coach Healy also coached a state championship basketball team in 1960 for the Wildcats. Burton spoke about the many athletes from PadenCity high school who played under Healy and went on to play Division 1 Football.
Dennis Blatt was one of those players. Blatt told how playing for coach Healy was an honor. He said when he came to Paden City as a freshman he immediately got the opportunity to be a Wildcat football player. He brought back memories of Coach Healy’s way of getting the most out of his players and conditioning them to be in shape to play. He talked about the “Mile” a conditioning tool Healy used where you ran a mile before practice in full uniform
Blatt said it was that kind of hard work that made Paden City players tough. He credited his own career to Healys discipline and speeches which always brought out the best. He added Coach Healy had just a few plays but 42-minus was the main one and at times that was alll we ran. He instilled in us the attitude that a winner never quits and a quitter never wins, when we won Coach gave us all the credit, when he lost which wasn’t often he took the blame Blatt said.
Burton said he recalled the 1963 team that went undefeated and never made the playoffs. He said back then only the top two made it and the Cats ended up third because our rival down the river used an ineligible player. he Added we had three players off that team that went and played division 1 football. He also told of the year Blatt was the starting fullback for Sryacuse and they were playing West Virginia in Morgantown where Mike Nelson another Paden City great and high school teammate of Blatt’s was the starting fullback for WVU.
Linda Alexander, Healy’s daughter brought back great memories to those in attendance of the great time growing up in Paden City while her Dad was Coach at the school She remembered the huge crowd that showed up at the games and the great attitude of the community towards the school and athletic programs. She recalled the famous Wildcat band and the many events that took place leading up to game day. There was much to be said, but the Best was knowing what Coach Healy accomplished during his time at Paden City.
Everyone in attendence had their own stories to tell but the three speakers refreshed our minds with many things we remembered and some we never knew about. It was a great night to be a Wildcat as the stories helped us relive in our minds the great man that Coach Henry “Hen” Healy really was. It was a fantastic evening that brought together all the great moments of past Wildcat football and Basketball under the reigns of one of the Greatest Coaches in Ohio Valley History.