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Scholarship honors former MHS athlete

Rinard

A local athlete who died at the age of 33 will be memorialized by her son through a scholarship at Marietta High School.

Wana Rinard, a 1977 graduate of Marietta High School, died in 1993 from breast cancer.

“It was breast cancer that metastasized to her bones,” said her son, Patrick Engle.

Engle said Rinard was well-known in the area for her abilities playing tennis, volleyball and basketball.

“Every sport she played, she excelled at. She was a force to be reckoned with, but she was a vital force in any team sport,” he explained. “Once again she’s a vital force in teaming up with a Marietta High School student to help send them to college.”

Photo by Michele Newbanks Patrick Engle gives a reflexology massage to a client on Friday. He is donating 10 percent of the profits from his services at Engles Natural Healing & Massage to the Wana Rinard Scholarship.

The Wana Rinard Scholarship will be given to the winner of the Wana Sue Rinard Excellence Award this spring.

Engle said the scholarship has been in the works for some time. He owns Engles Natural Healing & Massage in Marietta, and wanted to use his business to help fund the scholarship. At his business, which is located inside the Platinum Salon and Spa on Greene Street, he offers massages such as deep tissue, relaxation, hot stone, anti-aging and reflexology. Appointments are available by appointment by calling 740-434-8195 or online at englesnaturalhealing.com.

“My family and I had talked about it before, but we never really decided on doing it,” he said. “Then last year, it kind of hit me. (Marietta High School has) been handing out this award for 20 years. Why don’t we do a scholarship? So I decided to donate 10 percent of all my services and gift certificates to the scholarship from now until April 30. On May 14, we’ll be doing the scholarship presentation along with the award.”

Engle said there will also be a fundraiser for the scholarship from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Bob Evans in Marietta. Flyers will be available and when customers turn in the flyer with their checks, 15 percent of the bill will benefit the scholarship fund.

He added that with the money they are raising through the spring, they are setting aside $500 to help volleyball players who may not be able to afford equipment like knee pads.

“The $500 is what the volleyball coach said they would need,” Engle added.

Marietta volleyball coach Ron Kidder said the winner is announced in May and the award goes to a senior volleyball player.

“This award is given annually to the senior volleyball player who has demonstrated strong leadership by example, pursuit of attaining team goals, and who has demonstrated a determination to get the job done and a ‘never give up’ attitude in pursuit of personal and team excellence,” Kidder said.

Marietta resident Paul Garrison said he remembers Rinard’s athletism well, as he organized the YMCA junior program where Rinard played tennis.

“She started off in tennis and she basically was so good that a lot of the other kids her age kind of dropped out. She was a Serena Williams of Marietta girls tennis,” Garrison said. “She was a prodigy.”

He said players started off in the 12 and under age group, then moved up to the 14 and under group.

“When she went into the 14 and under, no other girls were interested in coming out for tennis,” Garrison said. “There was no chance for them to win. They didn’t have a prayer.”

Once they had no one in her age group to play, they asked permission for her to play in the 16 and under tournament.

“The way the tournament went, she never lost a set. She never lost a game,” Garrison said with a laugh. “They were just furious. She was that good. I think at that point, with no one to compete against her, she went into volleyball. She was a wonderful young lady, but she was tough on the court.”

Engle is trying to get his mother into the Marietta Athletic Hall of Fame next year.

“To me, with the sports just starting for women, and as good as she was and the awards and stuff she got, she was probably the first girl to be that talented at school,” he said. “I don’t think there’s that many girls in the Hall of Fame.”

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

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