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Blazers turn to Grabill

Williamsport graduate will try to continue Clear Spring's success on basketball court

April 07, 2010|By TIM KOELBLE

CLEAR SPRING -- The first time Clear Spring and Williamsport get together next season in boys basketball will be interesting from a coaching standpoint.

Williamsport junior varsity coach Ryan Grabill has been named the new boys varsity head coach at Clear Spring, replacing Mark Shives, who stepped down recently.

Grabill accepted the position on Tuesday afternoon.

"It's bittersweet, but an exciting opportunity," said Grabill, who has known the Wildcats' colors all his life. "I will be leaving what I have called home my entire life."

Grabill, 27, graduated from Williamsport in 2000 before playing at Frostburg State until graduating in 2005.

He coached Williamsport in summer league basketball while at Frostburg State, and when the Wildcats' JV job opened, he took over for the 2005-06 season.

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"My high school coach (Deron Crawford) had a lot of trust in me as a sophomore, and I admired Kevin Murphy and had the itch to become a coach when I was in middle school," said Grabill.

As a coach, Grabill learned under Williamsport varsity head coach Scott Mowbray.

"I'm so thankful for everything Scott has done for me," said Grabill. "He's been a great influence and taken me under his wing. He told me from the first day he would prepare me for this day. He is the major reason I feel I am ready for this."

Grabill is a physical education teacher at Bester Elementary School, and works with Mark Shives.

"We are very excited to have Ryan as our new head coach," said Clear Spring athletic director Lisa Shives. "I've seen him coach for many years and am impressed by how he handles his teams. He is young, has experience and definitely is a basketball person. He will continue the enthusiasm that Mark brought into our basketball program."

Grabill plans on continuing to build on what Mark Shives has constructed, down on to the junior program. He said he wants to create an identity on down through middle school.

Grabill is the second new boys coach in Washington County. Boonsboro recently hired Skip Chambers.

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