RACINE — The Southern Local School District Hall of Fame grew by two on Friday evening with the induction of the Class of 2020.
The late Michael “Mick” Winebrenner and the late William “Bill” Wickline were recognized as members of the Class of 2020, with family members of both men taking part in the celebration.
On Jan. 9, 2013, the Southern Local Board of Education unanimously voted to establish the Southern Local School District Hall of Fame. The purpose of the Southern Local School District Hall of Fame is to recognize Southern Local School District graduates, employees, and major contributors who have distinguished themselves by their individual contributions in scholarship, athletics, career, community service, and or society as a whole.
Individuals can be nominated by anyone, but must be approved by the selection committee. The committee voted on and confirmed two candidates for this year.
Michael “Mick” Winebrenner
Winebrenner was born on Sept. 25, 1946, in Gallipolis, son of the late Dana and Bernice Martin Winebrenner. He was a teacher and coach in the Southern Local School District for 28 years from 1975 to 2003. Over this span he served as an influential member of the community, making a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of students and athletes. Prior his tenure at Southern he taught several years in Columbus.
Prior to his teaching days, he was a star athlete at Pomeroy High School and at Capital University, where he was a two sport letterman.
He coached junior high basketball, varsity football, track, baseball and golf at Southern, dedicating countless hours to the betterment of student-athletes.
He was the Southern varsity baseball coach from 1985 to 2001, where he guided teams to eight sectional titles, four district titles, four district runner-up, and two regional runner-up titles in 1988 and 1993. His teams won three league championships in 1988, 1994, and 1997 and in 1994 he was named TVC Hocking Division Coach of the Year.
In 2000, he reached 200 career wins as baseball coach — the most in school history.
As golf coach from 2003 to 2012, he led teams to a 2005 District Championship and the 2006 TVC Hocking Division championship. In 2005, his team became the fourth team in school history to advance to a state tournament. In 2006, one of his players, Bryan Harris, advanced to the state tournament as an individual player.
He was a varsity assistant coach from 1976 to 1981. He was the Southern varsity track head coach during the 1977-78 school year and the 7th grade basketball coach from 1982 to 1996. His instruction along with fellow coach and longtime friend James Ray Lawrence was recognized as a major factor in Southern producing winning basketball teams for many years.
Although perhaps known more for being a great coach, he was equally recognized as a great history teacher. He had that ability to get students attention, make it interesting, and bringing the lesson to life. He taught many of life’s little lessons to many students as well.
Outside of school and in retirement, he was an avid golfer and gardener. He took great pride raising quality crops in his garden, where you would often see him in his straw hat working the soil each summer. He was the Mason Golf Course senior champion on several occasions, and competed many days “just for fun” with his local golf buddies.
He remained a fixture in the community after retirement, where he would often be seen at ball games or at the park hitting golf balls. He enjoyed time at his grandchildren’s sports activities and enjoyed spending time with his family. He was a member of Racine United Methodist Church, but more predominantly wore his Christian faith on his sleeve by setting an example daily, modeling honesty, integrity, and friendship in his daily walk of life.
Among those accepting on behalf of Winebrenner were his wife, Cindy, daughter and son-in-law, Shelly and Dave Barr, grandchildren, MacKenzie Barr, Matthew Barr and Katie Cullen; siblings and their families.
William “Bill” Wickline
Wickline was born in Racine, the son of Doug and Inez Wickline. He was affectionately known to his friends and in the community as Peanuts — a name that he earned as a youngster and carried into adulthood. He was a former teacher and coach, touching the lives of many students, before moving on to politics when he became Meigs County Auditor, a position he held for 10 years until his passing in 1993.
He was on the first football team at Racine-Southern, where he enjoyed playing for Coach Bill Priddy, as a fullback for all four of his high school years. As a four-year letter winner in football he held many of the early Southern rushing records.
He also was a three-year letter winner in basketball under Coach Mike Morrison. He played on a team that for two years went undefeated and he was one of the “Big Five” that proved they could play basketball. This team went to the district tournament for two straight years, but came up short 51-52, and 54-57 in the district finals.
Since football was in its early stages, he became one of the first three-sport letter winners, playing baseball for Coach Morrison on several winning teams. He batted .389 and was a leading RBI man on these teams. His success in high school led him to a try-out with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but his efforts came up short and from there he enrolled at Rio Grande College to become a teacher and a coach. His coaching career began with the Racine Royals, where he helped coach and develop the minds of future ballplayers. He moved on to coach both of his sons — Scott and Kyle — as the coach of the Letart Blackhawks. He later moved on to coach football and baseball. He instilled integrity and high principles in his sons, who both also became involved in coaching and teaching.
He taught and coached basketball in the Meigs Local School District for four years. He also served as the time-keeper for the Meigs County Highway Department among other jobs.
He was a member of the Racine United Methodist Church and was a member of the Buckeye Hills/Hocking Valley Regional Development District Executive Committee. He served on the Meigs County Budget Commission, and served on the Meigs County Records Commission, and Public Assistance Examining Committee.
No matter what role he was in, he became well-liked and well-respected. He was very civic-minded and cared deeply about his community and the people in it.
He was a big purple and gold fan his entire life. He enjoyed attending ball games of kids of all ages, but especially the Southern Tornadoes. He watched his son Scott coach his last game against Gallipolis — a game where he suffered a heart attack and left this world cheering on the Tornadoes.
His legacy and dedication to scholarship and sports continues in his sons and grandchildren.
Among those accepting on behalf of Wickline were his wife, Bev; son and daighter-in-law, Scott and Carrie Wickline; son, Kyle Wickline; and grandchildren, Will, Jake and Katelyn Wickline.
Information provided by Southern Local School District.