Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on May 19, 1974 · Page 69
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 69

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 19, 1974
Page 69
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Page 69 article text (OCR)

Team surprised Mrs. Chapman with this special "Coaches Trophy." They Call Her 'Ms. Coach 9 By Martha Smith Photos b\ Frank Wilkin In addition to young Shuman, team members include Phil Sandy, David Arnold, Keith Lewis, Ronald Lewis, Kevin Albright, Tommy Albright, Steve Allen, Verlin Chancy, David Hines, Albert Frame, Dennis Frame, Andy Rapp, Bernard Moyers, and Brian Shuman. · " Virginia Chapman never has been contented with spectator sports. She admits with a laugh she likes to play rather than watch, and she likes winning best of all. When her boys are on the floor, the coach warms the bench by hopping up and down and pounding assistant coach Devon "Red" Johnson on the arm. Johnson, an amiable laborer who works on a construction crew completing part of the interstate highway, insists the coach ' has turned his arm black and blue by hitting him with her tiny fist. "She gets pretty excited," he says with a grin. "She hollers and punches me in the arm when the team scores." Mrs. Chapman was married and her two sons in school before she started college at Glenville. "I started out in phys. ed.," she says. "But I was too old, so I changed to elementary education. Now I can do both." Her husband Arnold, a former independent league ba- seketball player, has helped coach the coach on some fine points. He also attended all the Frametown games and took great pleasure in informing male members of the audience that the coach was his wife. . . · Prior to the Gassaway tournament, the Frametown Tigers were undefeated in their eight-game season. That was a complete rever- sal of the previous year when the team played eight or nine games and lost them all. The team was so highly touted going into the tournament, in fact, it was given a bye on the first round and automatically moved into the second round of play. The schedule sent to the schools brought a regretful chuckle from Virginia Chapman. All the other schools -with male coaches ---were listed by the coaches' last names. Her school, however, appeared on the table simply as Frametown. It doubtless rubbed salt in the wounded male prides when Ms. Coach and her boys ran the socks off everyone in the tournament. She recalls the games: "They would schedule three games a night and we didn't usually play till 7 or 8 p.m. The fans usually would leave before those games. But when they knew it was Frametown playing, nobody moved a muscle. Everybody stayed for our games." +·' Mrs. Chapman doesn't like to run a score up on another team. When her boys are ahead, she sends in the second, and, usually,-the third string teams to play. One night, though, the boys wanted to play a full court press and the coach vetoed the idea. So they got foxy. "They were dying to go to the press," she explains. "I told them we couldn't show the other team all our moves. So they fooled around and let the other team get way ahead. I finally had to say 'Okay, let's press!' " The Tigers came away from Gassaway Junior High with the winner's trophy, then compounded their victory by sweeping a countywide field day. "Some of the other coach- es didn't believe we could do that much," Mrs. Chapman says. "I really wanted my boys to beat the other teams in volleyball -- and they did!" The coach isn't resting on her laurels, though. With the thrill of beating Gassawy 21-18 in the final game behind her, Coach Chapman is looking to next season. Several of her boys will go to secondary school, and she's looking among her fourth graders for team-building material. *· She has warm praise for the school PTA which, under leadership of another woman -- Sam Hall -- raised funds to build a new basketball court behind the school. The coach says she'll be using it herself to practice and get a lot more basketball knowledge in before next season. Despite a handicap not normally found in your typi : cal winning coach, Virginia Chapman has prevailed and tasted victory. And, because she's a woman, she got added responsibility. Shaking her head, she explains: "I had to take the uniforms home and wash them every night." , Mrs. Chapman is teacher, p r i n c i p a l and s t u d e n t . Throughout the year she has driven to the College of Graduate Studies at night after school and lacks only a course or two to complete her masters degree. Tiny, full of energy, and determined, Virginia Chapman points to a gigantic poster on the wall behind her desk. "When I'm down, that-, keeps me going." It reads: "I am strong. I am invinci-. ble. I am a woman." State Magazine,. May 19, 1974 -.·iiiii..-;, -\i. : -V · ···.·y \',' !·'". ,V-".' | V-vr'\'.··/··.· '- CHARLESTON, W.VA:.3m

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