After committing a substantial portion of his life to the Eastwood wrestling program, which evolved into a state power within the last decade, Ralph Cubberly also has evolved.
Some 28 years after he graduated from Eastwood, where he was a superb wrestler for the Eagles, Cubberly graduated from Bowling Green State University last month with a bachelor of science degree in education. Now the 46-year-old former chemical technician will embark on a new career elsewhere in Ohio.
Cubberly recently accepted his first position in his new field as a social studies teacher at Urbana High School, where he also was hired as wrestling coach.
"I have an opportunity to teach and coach there," Cubberly said. "I didn't have that opportunity here. It's a big move but, these days, with the economy the way it is, you have to take a job if you can get it."
The next step for Cubberly and his wife, Brenda, will be selling their house in Webster Township. Brenda has been a para-professional working for Wood County Educational Services.
Cubberly's move will end his 33-year connection with Eastwood wrestling, which began when he competed in the middle school program. As varsity coach over the past 20 years, Cubberly and his staff have built the program into a dominant force in the Suburban Lakes League and into a state power in Division II.
In Cubberly's 20 seasons, the Eagles were 304-94 in dual meets, won five straight SLL team titles (2004-08) and were D-II state runners-up in 2005 and 2006. Also in 2006, Eastwood was ranked No. 1 all season in the state coaches poll, and defeated perennial power St. Paris Graham to win the D-II state dual-meet championship.
In recent years his wrestlers won four individual state titles and had five state runner-up finishes. His younger son, Eric, won the 152-pound state title in D-II in 2007 and captured another crown as a senior in 2008 at 160. His other champions were Ben Llanas and Drew Lashaway.
Older son Ryan placed third, second, second and third, respectively, in four trips to state (2003-06). Both sons are currently wrestling at Central Michigan University. Lashaway recently concluded an outstanding season at Kent State.
Cubberly, who attended college briefly right after graduating high school in 1981, started from scratch in May, 2004, at BGSU and five years later earned his degree. Being a student his age led to a few awkward moments over the past five years.
"I would be standing outside a classroom on the first day and some [younger] student would come up to me and ask if they had the right book for the class," Cubberly said. "They thought I was the teacher. Stuff like that happened a few times."
With those moments behind him, others await.
"It's going to be really tough leaving Eastwood," he said. "It was a tough decision for me and my wife. I've been involved in Eastwood wrestling since 1976, so to up and leave is going to be difficult. But it's something I have to do."
Dennis Marzec, an 11-year assistant wrestling coach at St. Francis de Sales, has been named the Knights' head coach on an interim basis for the 2009-10 school year. Marzec succeeds longtime coach Carl Janke, who recently retired his coaching post but will continue as athletic director.
Marzec, a captain for the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department, has three sons who have wrestled for the Knights. His youngest, Alex, will be a senior next year.
Tandy Bradford has moved up from her position as junior varsity coach and varsity assistant in girls basketball to head coach at Toledo Christian.
Bradford, who guided the JV team to a 13-4 record last season, is a language arts teacher at Sacred Heart elementary.
Bradford has an extensive basketball coaching background that includes three seasons as a college head coach at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, Ky., and six seasons as a college assistant. Included were stops at the University of Toledo and Georgia Tech.
Six area players represented the winning northwest Ohio region team last weekend at the 2009 Mizuno All-Ohio Baseball Tournament in Chillicothe. Recent graduates Drew Kuns of Clay, Mike Frank of Anthony Wayne, Blake Schmenk of Perrysburg, Mike Fuller of Southview, Tyler Grogg of Springfield and Michael Hamann of Danbury helped the Mizuno Green team to a 4-0 record and championship in the annual June series.
Kuns, Frank, Grogg and Hamann will next compete for Team Ohio in the 2009 Sunbelt Classic in Norman, Okla.
Kuns, a pitcher/firstbaseman who will play at Bowling Green State University, led Clay to the City League championship and was CL player of the year. Frank, the Generals' ace, helped AW reach the Division I regional finals. Hamann, a pitcher, was selected in the 24th round of the amateur baseball draft on June 10 by the Indians.
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