Bath Kid Wind Coaches on Championship

Sustainable energy isn’t just a buzz phrase at Bath County High School. A group of students have been working for a few years to develop a wind turbine that generates electricity. They took their final products to the National Championship for Kid Wind Ccmpetition in New Orleans year before last, and learned what it takes to be the best.   After their return from Chicago on May 12th, I asked two of their coaches how it felt when Team Redwood Express was announced the overall 2018 winner. Coach Ed Ozuls, and then Joey Altizer.

“The moment they announced ‘Redwood Express’, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.”

“Uh the moment they announced Redwood Express, I think I blacked out, but I did watch a video, so I kind of vaguely remember it. It was a really nice trip, and I was really, really proud of our high school kids.

Mr. Ozuls mentioned the suspense.

“When we didn’t get announced in third place, and we didn’t get announced in second place, I’ll tell you what, I was crossing my fingers. It was like winning the Super Bowl.”

In addition to visiting the show floor of the National Wind Energy Association Convention, meeting industry professionals, and researchers alike, and attending a Chicago cubs baseball game, these two coaches agreed there were some highlights of the trip that were outside of the competition.

Joey Altizer, “My favorite part was the Chicago pizza. It’s delicious. If you’re ever in Chicago, get a piece of Chicago pizza.”

Ed Ozuls, who was also awarded Coach of the Year, is a native of the Windy City, and commented, ”For me it was being able to share the city with the kids, because you know it’s my original home, and being able to show all the kids the neat things that happen up there.”

I was curious about what this success for students and coaches may mean for their futures.

“Well the great thing about this is, this is held in conjunction with the American Wind Energy Association Convention. A lot of the companies that are there are actually hiring students right out of high school. Some of the companies are paying for their training to be a technician. Some of the companies are paying for them to go to school to be an engineer. SO there are a lot of opportunities for students to benefit from the relationship between Kid Wind and the American Wind Energy Association. Some of our kids, the people from the American Wind Energy Association told them to stay in contact. Let them know what was happening, and I think that we have a good chance of having a couple of people actually get jobs if we go to the national competition in Houston next year, and I should say, when we go, because we will go.”

And again with Mr. Altizer, “Have you ever been to Houston before?”

“Never been to Houston either. Aah, New Orleans was a first; Chicago was a first, and I’m like Mr. O., Houston will be a first also.”

If you’d like to see the all the names of the team members in middle school and both high school teams, and all the coaches, please look at this story on

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Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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