NEW RICHMOND — He is the dean of Wyoming County scorekeepers. Around the county Tim Stewart is simply known as Timbo.
It’s a safe bet that some people don’t even know his whole name. But generations of Wyoming East players and fans, and even many of the other side of the county, know the Warriors’ long-time keeper of the scorebook.
“It keeps me young at heart, I guess,” Stewart said of his duties with the squad. “I like being around the coaches, I like being around the players, I like being in the gyms. I’m a people person and I like to talk to people.”
Wyoming East coach Derek Brooks said Stewart is more than just a person tracking scoring in a game. He is vital to the program and his dedication is beyond just showing up for games.
“Timbo is more than just a scorekeeper for us, he does so much for our kids that a lot of people probably don’t know,” Brooks said. “He brings them snacks on every road trip, he sometimes pays for the team’s meals even though he does not have to. He pays for a lot of our summer travel tournaments and leagues, not to mention one of just the nicest people you’ll meet.
“He will also buy dress clothes for kids who don’t have much. He always goes out of his way to do and get whatever we may need that all on top of being the best scorekeeper around,” Brooks said.
He has been around almost as long as the school has, even longer.
Stewart started as a scorekeeper at the now-consolidated Glen Rogers.
Stewart grew up in McGraws in Wyoming County.
A numbers person his whole life — hence his career as an accountant — his school needed a scorer and Stewart jumped at the opportunity.
“That was in 1972, Gene Reid was a coach there, Tom Brooks was the head coach,” Stewart said. “I did that for two years and I really enjoyed that. It was a lot of fun.”
After he graduated high school, he would sometimes fill in while he was in college. But for the most part, Stewart took well over two decades off. Stewart was commuting to Beckley doing the only job he ever had, as an accountant for Beckley Water Company.
In 1998, when Wyoming East opened, Gentleman Gene Reid was back as head coach and he asked his old scorekeeper at Glen Rogers, if he would like to resume his old job.
Stewart did more than that. He also worked with the football program, starting part-time with Bob Gunter as the Warriors were busy going undefeated and winning the 1999 state championship.
One day, Justin Grogg, whose dad Kevin was the successful coach of the Warriors at the time, was walking through the field house and he saw Stewart.
“He said, ‘Timbo, how long was my last punt in the Oak Hill game?’” Stewart said. “Somehow, the name just stuck.”
He has been Timbo ever since. Like Elvis or Eminem, he has seemingly become a one-name man, and he loves it. His Warriors jacket simply says “Timbo.” Even at work in Beckley he is now known by the moniker. Even online rosters call him Timothy “Timbo” Stewart.
Again, after being the scorer from 1998 to 2006, Stewart took a hiatus when his mom got sick.
He returned in 2014 and has been with Brooks.
He has game time rituals like making sure players have chewing gum prior to the games.
“Early on, when Jason Spears and those guys were here, they wanted Big Red (cinnamon) gum,” Stewart said. “It changes, though.”
Along with pregame rituals, he has seen a lot of memorable moments over the years.
Three certainly come to mind.
“No. 3 would be any Wyoming East-Westside game,” Stewart said. “I grew up in McGraws, but a lot of my family lives in the western part of the county and I have a lot of friends there. This has been a great rivalry since 2002 and the rivalry itself is always memorable.”
No. 2 came on the road.
“Wyoming East was early on when Mark Houck hit a game-winning shot to beat Man in the Logan Field House,” Stewart said. “That sent Wyoming East to its first state tournament appearance.”
No. 1 came in Beckley, where Saturday Stewart scored yet another Wyoming East vs. Westside rivalry game in front of a nearly packed Armory. This one was in 2001.
“Wyoming East was playing No. 1 Winfield and we got a big lead on them and ended up winning that game,” Stewart said. “Tank Tunstalle was one of the great players on that team and he blocked a shot into the scoreboard so hard it put a dent in it. That whole game was surreal.”
East would assume the top spot that year, play one of that year’s great games when it lost in overtime to Marsh Fork in a battle of No. 1-ranked teams in the state, and eventually fall to Winfield in a rematch at the state tournament by one point.
“I can’t think of anything I enjoy doing more than being a scorekeeper and talking with people and being around this program and coach Brooks and his coaches and the players,” Stewart said.
Brooks realizes what a big part of the program Stewart is.
“He’s part of the Wyoming East Basketball family for as long as he wants to be, as long as I’m there,” Brooks said.
“I’m grateful for the coaches allowing me to do this,” said Stewart, who took coaching classes and is certified as a coach, although he doesn’t plan to ever coach. “I enjoy every part of the job. I like doing the scorekeeping. And I enjoy calling the games in (to media organizations). I couldn’t imagine not doing this.”
And fans couldn’t imagine not seeing Timbo courtside at Wyoming East games.