‘A definite stalwart’
Reginald “Reggie” Jarvis Dunnavant will be remembered by many for the tremendously positive impact he had on the Central High School athletics community as a baseball and basketball coach.
Lunenburg recently lost Dunnavant, who died amid tragic circumstances at the age of 69, but Central Athletic Director Wallace Owen took some time to highlight what the community gained from the man whose legacy was one of helping young men and women achieve success.
Dunnavant was a three-sport standout in high school, competing in baseball, basketball and track.
He played for Victoria High School, and Owen said he also might have logged a year or two at the then-new Central as a student-athlete before heading off to have an outstanding baseball career at the University of Richmond.
While playing for the Spiders in 1972, Dunnavant was named the Southern Conference Player of the Year and was honored as a member of “Most Outstanding Athletes of America.” He was among the top-10 hitters in the conference in each of his four years of college.
“He was quite an athlete and probably could have gone a lot of different places, but he chose to come back home and coach at Central,” Owen said. “… He was a definite stalwart in the baseball program for many years.”
Dunnavant coached the Central varsity baseball team for 23 years.
“He was an intense baseball coach,” Owen said. “He was very knowledgeable. He studied the game. … He loved the game. I think he loved to play the game, and he loved to coach the game, and he had high standards for his kids. … He knew how the game should be played. I think he had a lot of respect for doing things the right way, and I think that translated to quite a program, quite a few wins for him.”
With Dunnavant as coach, the Chargers went 314-138-2. They won 12 James River District titles, eight regional titles and two Virginia High School League Group A state championships.
“I think anything he did, he was successful,” Owen said, noting that Dunnavant was also an outstanding junior varsity basketball coach and football announcer for Central. “… He put everything into what he was doing. He wanted to do it right.”