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Dave Reeves Athletic Scholarship Enters 20th year


Janet Branham Posted by: Janet Branham 4 weeks ago

Dave Reeves

Dave Reeves was born on May 5th, 1944, to parents James and Opal Reeves.  The Reeves family had moved to Huntington in hopes of a better quality of life for their family than coal country had to offer.  James Reeves never finished school but found work collecting milk from local farms and delivering it to the Sealtest Factory.  Dave said he learned his hard work ethic from watching his father work every day but Christmas to provide for his five children.  When Dave was a freshman in high school, his 49-year-old father died suddenly of a heart attack.

Dave began working at a filling station to pay for school lunches and other expenses.  While other teenagers had the family car to go places, Dave had none.  He recounted walking to school, all sports practices, and school social events.

 Despite economic hardships, Dave excelled at sports and was elected by his classmates as a class officer for all four years.  He played on Coach Bob Straight’s 1961 semi-state basketball team and was co-captain for coach Jerry Young’s 1961 undefeated football team. Dave knew his only chance to go to college was through a scholarship.  With the help of his devoted coaches, he gained local fame and attracted the attention of college recruiters.

Ball State University offered Dave a full scholarship to play football.  At one time, Dave, a hard-running fullback, led the state in scoring.  Dave’s senior year found the Ball State Cardinals undefeated, playing to tie in the 1965 Grantland Rice Bowl in Tennessee.  His college career was followed by offers to try out for pro teams, but injuries sustained during college and size limitations convinced Dave that it was time to move toward coaching.  He would continue in his education, obtaining his master’s degree from Ball State.

On June 2, 1968, Dave married his college sweetheart, Marsha. He became the head football coach at Fairmount, IN followed by a coaching position at Muncie Central.  Dave and Marsha welcomed their son Scott and, a few years later, daughter Kristin. When Jerry Young called about a position in Huntington, Dave was anxious to return to his hometown.  He would teach and coach in Huntington for the next 26 years.

While coaching track, Dave began a love for the discus and shot throwers. He immersed himself in training manuals, videos, and workshops to further his knowledge of throwing techniques.  Dave’s throwers began to frequent the state finals.  State finalists Matt Furthmiller and Derek Dyer obtained scholarships to throw for the University of Indianapolis and Notre Dame, respectively.  Derek was second in the state and received the mental attitude award.  Tim Adams received an appointment to West Point, using his throwing success to be recruited for their track team.  Christ Richhart, 1992 state champion, spent time with Dave tweaking her successful throws to the top level.

In 1997, Dave retired from coaching to recover from a third knee replacement.  He was drawn back a year later when the girls needed a throwing coach.  Although coaching the girls’ team required some adjusting, he often remarked that working with the girls was as rewarding as his earlier success with the boys. 

Pancreatic cancer took Dave before he was ready to give up coaching the girls.  In the spring of 2004, he stood with tears streaming down his cheeks at the Fort Wayne regional, knowing that this would be his last time coaching.  Dave passed away on July 19, 2004. Marsha established the Dave Reeves Athletic Scholarship to celebrate his love for the athletes he worked with over the years and to help a male or female thrower with educational costs.  In 2005, Dave was posthumously inducted into the Huntington North Athletic Hall of Fame in recognition of his accomplishments as a high school athlete and coach.