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Charleroi's Reinhardt made wrestling mark in Ohio

| Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

His accomplishments as a standout scholastic wrestler, football and baseball player may long be forgotten but Barry Reinhardt's contributions to the Howland (Warren, Ohio) High School wrestling program will be remembered forever.

This past season during the 52nd annual Howland Invitational Reinhardt, a 1970 graduate of Charleroi High School, was presented with a plaque in his honor that is now placed above the hallway entering the wrestling room. Numerous former wrestlers packed the stands in anticipation of the naming of the wrestling room ceremony, which took place before the start of the finals

Reinhardt's impact on the program was so profound that before the honoring, tournament employees met at a local sports bar and grill to create “the top 10 reasons the wrestling room was named after longtime wrestling coach Barry Reinhardt.”

On the night of the honoring, Howland won the second longest running tournament in Ohio for the ninth consecutive season. The tournament began in 1962 by Lester “Bob” Irwin, who started the Howland wrestling program in the fall of l955.

Unassuming and modest off the mat, Reinhardt's coaching accomplishments would keep a boastful person conceited for a while.

His 38-year involvement with Howland's program included serving as the head coach from 1983-99. He compiled a career dual meet record of 135-37-0 and was the fourth of six head wrestling coaches in school history. Before taking over the head coaching duties Reinhardt coached the freshmen and junior high teams from 1971-83.

He helped develop nine state place-winners, two state champions and created a system that is still used annually, 12 years after he stepped down as head coach. Reinhardt remained on staff as an assistant since that time and retired after this season.

He is also a 2000 inductee of the Ohio Wrestling Hall of Fame, which is sponsored by the Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association. Reinhardt was the first person to receive this distinction from the Trumbull-Mahoning County area and the Eastern Ohio Wrestling League. He is also an inductee of the Eastern Ohio Wrestling League Hall of Fame and Trumbull County Sports Hall of Fame. He now serves on the EOWL Hall of Fame Committee.

Howland's current wrestling head coach is Bill Beasom, a 1991 Howland graduate who wrestled for Reinhardt. Beasom called his scholastic coach a mentor and friend he has absorbed knowledge from.

Reinhardt wrestled scholastically for longtime Charleroi coach, teacher and administrator Lee Hall and won the 145-pound championship at the 1968 Powerade tournament. He is one of five Cougars to ever win an individual championship at the prestigious 47-year event. The others are Bill Dudas in 1967 and 1968 (154 pounds), Mike Rudinsky in 1968 (134 pounds), Fred Vanderveen in 1969 (heavyweight), and Cody Wiercioch in 2009.

“He was a great caliber individual,” said Hall. “Every match was a struggle for him his senior year because he had appendicitis, but he still won most of them.”

Despite standing just 5-foot-8, Reinhardt was a nose tackle and offensive guard on the football field and earned all-conference honors at nose tackle and was a Big 33 All-State nominee. He was inducted into the Charleroi Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

He was the Cougars' team captain in all three sports and was also in the National Honor Society.

Reinhardt went on to wrestle at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in health and physical education in 1974.

Now a resident of Warren, Ohio, he was the youngest player to be invited to play baseball for the Charleroi Magicians and started for the high school team as a freshman.

Bruce Wald is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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