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Mark Batton Named Ohio Valley Dapper Dan Co-Man Of The Year

By Staff | Feb 23, 2011

The most honored football player in West Virginia Conference history and a coach of an unbeaten state championship team have been selected Co-Man of the Year by the Upper Ohio Valley Dapper Dan Club.

Zach Amedro, who set national passing records at West Liberty University, and Mark Batton, who guided Magnolia to a 14-0 record and state Class AA title, were honored at the 44th annual Charity Awards Dinner Saturday at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling.

“Both Zach and Mark had unforgettable, record-setting football seasons,” Dapper Dan Club president Dan Olexia said, “and their efforts earned them our top annual awards.”

They were recognized along with four other annual award winners and 18 Special Achievement Award recipients. Receiving the other annual awards were Justin Fox, the Male Athlete of the Year; and Ashley Vavrek, the Female Athlete of the Year; Larry Shaw, the Carl R. Hamill Award; George Kelchak, the Robert S. McKelvey Award.

Here’s why Batton was selected Co-Man of the Year:

BATTON–The Magnolia High School football coach guided the Blue Eagles to a 14-0 record and a W.Va. Class AA championship, the school’s second playoff  crown, and first since 1964.

Magnolia became only the fifth school in Ohio Valley history to win a state title with at least 14 wins. The others are Steubenville, Wheeling Central, Weir, and Weirton Madonna.

Magnolia’s title was the culmination of several years of championship contention for Batton, who has coached his alma mater since 1999 to eight state playoff berths, a runner-up finish in 2008, three Ohio Valley Valley Athletic Conference Class AAA titles, and back-to-back unbeaten regular seasons in 2009 and 2010.

The Blue Eagles recorded a dominant 14-game season with seven shutouts while outscoring foes by 580-82. The four state playoff wins were 62-0, 56-14, 41-7, and 28-13 over Ravenswood in the title game.

Seven of the Blue Eagles earned first or second team all-state honors including three multi-year selections in Fox, the Kennedy Award winner, plus Traeh Keller and Matt Riggs.

Overall, Batton has coached 24 first team all-state selections and 12 players who earned college letters-of-intent in 12 seasons. His career record of 95-44 is the second winningest in school history. Included is a 45-8 record the last four seasons highlighted by a state title, a state runner-up, a state semi-finalist, and state quarter-finalist.

Batton also has been selected to coach in five post-season all-star games including the upcoming OVAC W.Va.-Ohio game. He also was head coach in 2007.

Before assuming the Blue Eagle head coaching job, he served two stints as an assistant coach from 1982-85 and 1992-98. He’s also the Magnolia softball coach since 2007 with four sectional titles and four regional runners-up. From 1992-2000, Batton was a Blue Eagle assistant boys basketball coach which included the 2000 Class AA state title team.

The 1977 Magnolia graduate is a business education teacher. He graduated from West Liberty in 1981 and is working on a master’s degree from West Virginia University.

He and wife Vicki, a teacher at New Martinsville School, have three children.

“This is a tremendous honor,” Batton says, “and it’s because of what the team accomplished this year. It may have my name on it but it belongs to the players, coaching staff, and the school. This was a season that New Martinsville will never forget.”