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Glenn Clark Remembered

There’s a line in the old Bob Seger song Hollywood Nights that says … “see some old friends, good for the soul.

Glenn Clark


When Reynolds Wrestling alumni gather at the Transfer Harvest Home grounds for the annual picnic on July 13 there will be a lot of smiles, handshakes, hugs and high fives. If seeing an old friend is good for the soul then I would propose that seeing an old teammate is at least as therapeutic.


But with that considerable amount of camaraderie will come a measure of sadness. Because for all the friends who will be there, there are some who won’t be attending.


For me, one of my best friends from the 1980s won’t be there. His name is Glenn Clark.


Glenn was one year behind me in school. I graduated in 1980 and Glenn in ‘81. Because we played the same position in football and competed in the same weight class for two years, it seemed we were always butting heads. But we never let that keep us from becoming the best of friends.


Various pics of Glenn from the RHS yearbooks


“Clarkie” wasn’t blessed with the greatest athletic ability, but he was blessed with a competitor’s heart. You were guaranteed to get every thing he had every time he stepped on the mat.


That is probably the biggest reason he served as team captain for the 1981 RHS team – the one that went undefeated for Coach Doug Groover. It would be the only unbeaten team of the decade.


After graduating from RHS, Glenn stuck with the sport like many other Raider alumni have. First as a competitor and graduate of Edinboro University, then as a coach in the WPIAL at Penn Hills and Mars.


Glenn was the first ever head wrestling coach at Mars High School. He served in that position from 1998 to 2002. He was instrumental in developing the program on the junior high level several years prior and was named the school’s first head wrestling coach prior to the Planets’ first varsity season in ‘98.


Things were going extremely well for Glenn and his wife, Annette. Behind Glenn’s leadership, the Mars program was finding its footing, Glenn was named the Section Coach of the Year and the couple had just found out that Annette was expecting their first child.


But on Saturday, June 15, 2002, Glenn and Annette were riding in their pickup truck near their home in Butler County when they were struck head-on by a drunk driver. Glenn died about an hour later after being life-flighted to Allegheny General Hospital.


In what can only be described as a miracle, Annette survived the accident and gave birth several months later to a perfectly healthy son, Michael, despite her still being in a coma. As fate would have it, Annette never recovered and remained incapacitated until she died on June 15, 2007 - five years to the day after Glenn died.


Less than a year after Glenn’s death, I moved into the Mars School District where my two youngest daughters graduated. It’s one of those cruel twist of fates I’ll never understand. I often wonder what it would have been like to rekindle my friendship with Glenn all those years later. I miss the what could have been.


Mars has done a wonderful job of keeping Glenn’s memory alive. The school still hosts the Glenn Clark Memorial Tournament each year and for many years presented an annual $1,000 scholarship in his honor.


Here at Reynolds, many of us still remember Glenn, too. It will be nice to hear his name spoken among the hundreds of stories being told on Saturday, July 13.

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The 4th annual Reynolds Wrestling Legacy Club summer picnic will honor wrestlers, coaches, mat maids and cheerleaders from the 1980s. The event will be held on Saturday, July 13 at the Transfer Harvest Home grounds. Tickets are $28 for adults and $18 for students and can be purchased here.


All proceeds from the event will benefit the Legacy club’s annual scholarship programs. The legacy club awards two annual scholarships named in honor of Coach Neal Lineman and Coach Brian Hills and, to date, the club has awarded $20,000 in scholarships.

 

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