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Regan Brothers Go Head-to-Head

September 6, 2012
By RICK THORP - Staff Writer ( , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - If anyone ever selected a ''First Family of Soccer'' in the Ohio Valley, the Regans would have to be in the conversation.

Jim has been wildly successful at Wheeling Jesuit University for the past 30 years. The family patriarch has turned the Cardinals men into one of the top programs in the nation, winning three West Virginia Conference crowns and earning a spot in the Elite Eight in 2000.

Jim's wife, Jill, also carved out a successful coaching resume of her own with the girls' squad at Linsly, achieving quite a bit of OVAC success, including three consecutive conference championships from 2005-07.

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Jim and Jill's love of soccer has rubbed off on their children. And last Saturday, two of them - Sean and Brandon - went up against each other.

Sean Regan is the head men's coach at Bethany, while Brandon is an assistant coach under Rolf Piranian at Washington & Lee.

Father and mother split their allegiances right down the middle as they watched the teams play each other in the Fuzzy Williams Memorial Tournament on the Bison campus.

The Generals moved to 2-0 with a 4-2 triumph.

Jill Regan showed her support for both of her sons by sporting a shirt that read ''I Love Coach Regan.''

It was a big day for a family that has done much to improve the quality and visibility of the sport locally.

WJU Spikers Continue Solid Play

Simply put, Christy Benner has built a volleyball dynasty at Wheeling Jesuit.

In her 11th season, Benner, the former head coach at Bishop Donahue and John Marshall, has guided the Cardinals to an NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearances last fall, an Atlantic Region crown and eight West Virginia Conference titles.

And, get this, WJU has a robust 156-4 (.975) mark in WVC play during the Benners' tenure, including eight undefeated conference runs.

Benner is already among the career winning percentage leaders in D2.

WJU is off to another strong start after finishing 4-0 in the season-opening Nova Southeastern University Tournament last weekend.

Jenna Pew led the way, earning her another WVC Player of the Week honor.

Surprisingly, though, the Cardinals dropped out of the AVCA NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll. After coming in initially at No. 25, WJU fell to 26th.

Wheeling Jesuit will tangle with a number of GLIAC squads this weekend at the Findlay Classic at the University of Findlay (Ohio).

Purple Raiders Reach Milestone

With 10 national titles and 15 trips to the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, Coach Larry Kehres has made Mount Union into one of the top, if not the top, program in NCAA Division III during his 26 years on the Alliance, Ohio campus.

With its 45-7 victory against No. 13-ranked Franklin last Saturday, the No. 2-ranked Purple Raiders became the second D3 program to reach 700 victories and the 21st overall in NCAA annals

Mount Union has always been ripe with Ohio Valley talent and this season is no exception. Former Brooke standout Ryan Lazear, a sophomore, and ex-St. Clairsville star Logan Cook, a junior, are on the roster.

Lazear made one tackle in last week's victory.

Mount Union opens the home portion of its schedule at 7 p.m. Saturday night against Muskingum.

CRC Basketball Clinic Near

Some of the greatest minds in basketball will converge on Wheeling Jesuit University's McDonough Center on Sunday, Sept. 30 for the annual Cancer Research Classic Basketball Clinic.

WJU's Danny Sancomb and Dr. Gregory Merrick, head of Wheeling Hospital's Urologic Research Institute, have lined up another gifted group of speakers.

One of the headliners will be Hall of Famer Bob Hurley. Hurley, the father of former Duke standout Bobby Hurley and a 2010 inductee into the Springfield, Mass. hoops shrine, has won more than 1,000 games at St. Anthony (NJ) High School.

Other speakers will include - Jerome Allen and Dan Leibovitz of the University of Pennsylvania, Andy Toole of Robert Morris University, Matt Langel of Colgate University, and Sancomb.

High school coaches - boys' and girls' - would be wise to take in this day of informative hoops knowledge.

Pre-registration fee is $75 for adults and $30 for students in grades 7-12. The cost rises by $10 after Sept. 20.

For more information, call (304) 243-6412.

Rick Thorp can be reached via e-mail at:

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