Pocahontas Community Honors Retiring High School Basketball Coach
Dunmore, WV – Bob Sheets has coached basketball at Pocahontas County High school for 30 years and will hang up his Chuck Taylor sneakers at the end of this season. During a post-game party following the boys’ basketball game Friday night, former players and members of the community honored Sheets for his years of dedicated service to student-athletes.
Tim Helmick played for Sheets during the coach’s first two years, 1982 and 1983. Helmick says the coach taught him a lot about basketball – and life.
“Coach was very energetic – younger, of course, at that stage of his life,” he said. “He had all kind of energy. He had a ton of basketball knowledge, which he still does, and worked real well with the kids – myself included. I thought a lot of him then and I still do. He was a great coach. He spent a lot of time with us and taught us a lot about the fundamentals, and about life, in general, and things that have carried over for the last 30 years of my life.”
Helmick says Sheets taught him nothing good comes easy.
“Work ethic,” he said. “Nothing’s going to be give to you. You work hard everyday and good things will happen. You’re not going to win, every single time, but you give it your best. If that’s the best you can do, then you’ll be a winner.”
Allen Taylor played four years at PCHS under Sheets. The successful businessman says the coach had a special talent for working with youngsters.
“He was a great coach,” he said. “I mean, he taught me a lot about basketball. He taught me to respect the game and respect people and play hard. Leave it out on the court. Don’t take nothing in the dressing room with you. Leave it all out there. Taught [us a] lot of heart and desire. A lot of people can’t put that in kids; I resepct everything he’s ever did here.”
Taylor says Sheets led the Warriors to the state tournament for the first time ever in 1987.
“Our junior year, we took some whipings, but our senior year, we gave a bunch of them,” he said. “My senior year was the first time we ever went to the state tournament. So, we did great.”
Former player Steven Taylor says the coach remembered a foul shot from nearly 20 years ago.
“We was playing Shady Spring and we won by one point,” he said. “I actulally made the foul shot that sent us to states. I think coach remembered that because he mentioned it to me there, tonight. We had our ups and downs, but, all in all, he was a great coach.”
Sheets says he was gratified to be honored by Pocahontas players and fans.
“It’s very rewarding to see so many people, that have played a huge role in this gymnasium, come back to share the evening with the community and with me,” he said. “That’s rewarding.”
The coach says teaching his players teamwork was his most important goal.
“I wanted to teach them how to play,” he said “how to play the game; because as I learned the game from Coach Retton at Fairmont, the game is an exercise in share. It was an exercise in making people around you effective and making people around you successful. If you do the things you’re capable of doing and they do the things they’re capable of doing, then, you have a team.”
Sheets says the lessons of basketball can transcend the sport.
“I am happy to be able to say that most of these kids that have come out of here and have played successfully for me – they know how to play,” he said. “That makes them not only good basketball players – but it also makes them good people. You see them go out and you see them be successful because they know what it is to share. They know what it is to give of themselves and they know what it is to sacrifice and make something work.”
Sheets will coach at least one more game for the Maroon and Gold. The Warriors play a sectional playoff game at home on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.