John Marshall’s West Bids Farewell with State Championship Win | News, Sports, Jobs

John Marshall’s softball coach, Ed West, sat in the dugout at Monarch Field Friday afternoon compiling season stats for the reigning champions Monarchs. This season will be his last as he retires. Ed West ended his long softball coaching career at John Marshall Thursday by saying only his coach could have a dream.

Outstanding pitcher Cadence Pettit strikes out his 614th career strikeout in a 6-2 victory over Cavell Midland in the final game at South Charleston’s Little Creek Park, a personal mentorship for the Monarchs. He was awarded his second W.Va. Class AAA State Championship.

West hasn’t filed his resignation with the Marshall County Board of Education, but he said he won’t be returning in 2024. “He didn’t really keep it a secret,” West said. “Other people asked me, and I said, ‘Yes, I’m going to retire at the end of the year.'”

West was overjoyed when the final out was scored, but not long before that was not the case. With no outs and a runner on first base, first baseman AC Cumberridge saved the day with an unassisted double play to ease some of the tension. Pettit then ended it in style. “I was like, ‘Oh, it’s over,'” he said of his career. “It was a great way to end our season and a great way to end my career.”

And what a career it was. West won his first state title in 2012, posting his 353-96 record in his 14 seasons. His team has so far won the W.Va. Class AAA division title for him 12 times, the regional title for him 8 times and the OVAC crown for him 7 times. His 350th win came in the Region I final against Collegiate.

Before taking over the program, West assisted the last nine seasons of legendary Monarch head coach Pancho Flores, who racked up 405 wins in 24 years. They said, “It was heartbreaking to see them not play as freshmen. If Blake’s twins (Abby and Anna) were seniors and Cadence and Patin were freshmen that year, we would have been a really good team.”

West said the 2012 team featured a lot of talent and finished 35-4. “We lost the first two games that season to Magnolia and Edison, but then we went on a 31-game winning streak,” he recalled. “The next time we lost was in Game 2 of the section final against Wheeling Park. We beat them in the opening game and won Game 3. The next loss was at the state tournament.” was how the combination of experienced players helped the young girls.

“We had experience with Cadence, Patin and[junior]Eva Blake and they helped some really talented young girls. “We knew we were pitching great this year, we knew our defense was going to be solid, but we were worried about the offense. It was,” West said. “In the end, that was probably true. We had some games where we hit the ball and scored a lot, but there were other games where we struggled as a team to hit the ball.”

He said his findings boosted his confidence level since he started checking out other Class AAA teams in. “It’s a pretty big area. We have as many opportunities as anyone.”

The Monarchs beat Mohegan that night, but Blake’s prediction was right. West wanted to thank his coaching staff. “They’ve been with me for a long time.” I was there,’ he said of Blake, Eric Booth and Rod Swoger. “I really appreciate what they have done for our program and the support they have given me.”

He also wanted to thank his family. “My wife (Colleen) and three daughters (Shiloh, Shannon and Abby) have really helped me over the years.” He said he would like to thank the players’ families and the community for their support. “The team bus ran into a long line of emergency vehicles at the Marshall/Wetzel County line with lights and sirens going all the way to the high school,” he recalled. “So when I got to school, the parking lot was full. It was unbelievable.”

So what does a state championship softball coach do the next morning? I did. If you know Ed as I think he will be back on the fence watching the games next season. Have a happy and safe retirement. Congratulations on a Hall of Fame-worthy career.

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