When David Williamson began coaching the Chapmanville Regional High School girls’ basketball team eight years ago the Lady Tigers were a program that had fallen into the depths of mediocrity.
Chapmanville had went to the state tournament back in the 1990s and had some success but were always up and down.
Williamson brought stability and consistency to the program, which reached its zenith in 2011 with a berth in the Class AA state tournament.
Chapmanville was eventually beaten 80-38 by state powerhouse and No. 1 seed Summers County in the first round of the Class AA state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.
The Lady Tigers haven’t been back to the state tourney since but under Coach Williamson’s tutelage, Chapmanville tasted success, enjoying six out of seven winning seasons.
The Williamson era at Chapmanville ended on Wednesday night, however, as the Lady Tigers were ousted from the sectional tournament with a 56-49 loss to Tolsia in the semifinals at Logan High School’s Willie Akers Arena.
Williamson, a graduate of rival Scott High School, announced that he was stepping down as the Lady Tigers’ coach.
“This is my last year,” Williamson said. “But this team will have a lot coming back with two good freshmen with Kaylee Blair and Madison Webb. They played a lot this year. They had great years.”
Chapmanville closed out the season with a 12-10 mark.
Williamson had hoped the Lady Tigers could have gone further in his last year. A win over Tolsia would have put Chapmanville into the sectional finals and also next week’s regional tournament.
“We had six out of seven winning seasons,” Williamson said. “One year we just missed and were 11-12. When I came in here we were transitioning to the Cardinal Conference. In my first year we had Burch and Williamson on the schedule. That’s who Chapmanville had always played. The next year we were in the conference and it was a big step up. It was also a big step up for our middle school kids who were coming in. In middle school ball you see straight 2-3 zones. In the Cardinal Conference you see man-to-man, traps and presses.”
During Williamson’s tenure Chapmanville had two 1,000-point scorers in Kelli Garrett and Kristin DesRocher, who is still active in the game as a member of the Glenville State College women’s basketball team.
“It’s been a good run but it’s time for somebody else to take it,” Williamson said.
Williamson was assisted the last few years by former Chapmanville boys’ coach David Elkins, P.D. Clemens and Kristina Gore, Garrett’s older sister and a former Lady Tigers’ player.
Williamson said he recommends Gore to be his replacement.
“That’s not my decision at all but deep down Kristina Gore puts a lot of effort into this,” he said. “When this opened up when I came here it was just me another one other person going for the job. In the seven years since I’ve been here we’ve got new locker rooms and new uniforms. I feel like the program is in good shape whoever gets it.”
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).