My Condolences to Cisar Family
In this week’s column, I want to express my deepest sympathy to Magnolia head baseball coach Dave Cisar and his family on the loss of their son, Ryan.
As a youngster, Ryan was one-of-a-kind and was a pleasure for all to watch in the local youth leagues and throughout his career.
I knew Ryan quite well and would have loved to know him even better. I coached the Hawks in the New Martinsville grasshopper league with Bill Makris and we had some very good players on that team which included Ryan and his brother Sparkie Markie. Ryan, however, always stood out among the others and helped us win many games. The fun thing was it wasn’t always about winning, we were more like family. We played, laughed and cried together, not just about the game but about life in general.
Coach Makris and I really enjoyed ourselves and developed a special bond, not only with ourselves, but our players, too. It was an honor and a privilege to have Bill as my friend and to coach that special group of kids. Truly it was. I’ll never forget the memories we shared with them. It was special!
In the last season that Bill would coach, we set out to go in style and grace, and I believe we did. Our goal, however, never changed, it was always to teach the kids the fundamentals of the game and have fun along the way.
Bill and I shared a lot of memories from that team till his death some years later. When the opportunity to coach grasshopper basketball came along, it was awesome. I always wanted to coach kids. I wanted to be a teacher and coach, I never got to go to college, so this became my chance to coach.
I loved it so much, I later took over the league from Charlie Morris, and a short while later I inherited the Little League baseball as well. After I had spent 27 years in the coal mine, to my surprise I took Charlie’s place as the Wetzel Chronicle sports writer when I retired from the coal mine.
I ended up coaching grasshopper for more than 25 years, along with guys like Joe Mollendick, Steve Pallisco, Stanley Shreves and Mike Powell, who like me didn’t have always have kids playing in the grasshopper league. They all had the same ideas about the game as Bill and I. We had an awesome league.
The memories I share with my fellow coaches and players trickled down to the New Martinsville Baseball Little League, where I also coached and was the commissioner for more than 25 seasons.
There was just as many memories coaching and running the baseball league as there was in the youth basketball.
We had many many kids playing in our leagues in grasshopper and Little League and never had to leave New Martinsville till all-star time. I remember, all the good times and the many kids playing ball in New Martinsville, those are great memories. I never had the Cisar boys on my baseball teams except in all-stars, but what a bunch of good kids they were. They were all very talented – Aaron, Mark, Ryan and Derek, wow!
Talk about memories of Little League, those guys left lots of good ones. I remember my youngest son Jeremy who was facing Bubba in the minor leagues and he would hit Jeremy nearly every at bat time because he had such a small strike-zone. Bubba couldn’t get him out and he said that if he was going to walk all the time, I may as well throw less pitches and hit him and get it out of the way. Awesome, to be that young and understand the game so well. Ryan was mostly a pitcher and a catcher in baseball, while Aaron, Markie and Bubba played everywhere, as well when I coached soccer at Magnolia, and coaching girls basketball at Paden City. Many memories!!
What I’m trying to say without getting too mushy, youth sports in New Martinsville was quite a memory with the Cisar boys while I was coaching.
I think a lot about what if, but the good Lord has a plan. He always does, and I believe that we need to hold on to our memories, and make some new ones before its our time. But, in the meantime, be happy, honest, sincere and enjoy each day of our lives, just like Ryan did.