In November 2013, Recreation Specialist Jeff Wetzel of Harrison County Parks and Recreation began the Harrison County Challenger Basketball League with the help of MaryJo DeMarco.

“Jeff had acted as referee and umpire at Challenger baseball league games and he really liked what they were doing,” said DeMarco. “He also wanted all kids to have the opportunity to play basketball.”

Jeff Wetzel, a long time employee with Harrison County Parks and Recreation (HCPR) and an integral part of many sports programs in the area, who dedicated much of his free time to the youth, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly following a very brief illness in October of 2015.

“We will be renaming the league after Jeff and honoring his family,” said DeMarco. “then we will introduce the players and have an exhibition game. Danny Ingold will be singing the National Anthem and Lincoln High School Dance Line will also be performing.”

Wetzel, was not only a longtime employee of HCPR, but also first and foremost a dedicated family man. That family graciously shared him with the community, because they understood his calling.

“On behalf of myself, my mom, and brother, we give our utmost gratitude to HCPR and to Harrison County for the honor of renaming this league.” said Wetzel’s son Jay. “He loved to see the smiles of all the kids that participated. He was very dedicated to all the events that HCPR held, but this one meant the most to him.”

Harrison County Commissioner’s Ron Watson, Frank “Chunki” Angotti and Bernie Fazzini, would like to invite everyone to attend this ceremony that will be held at The First Baptist Church’s Gym (also known as The Lighthouse), on 70 Rebecca St in Shinnston, on Saturday, January 9 at 1:30PM.

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For more information, please contact MaryJo Demarco at