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Thursday Morning Briefing

By Staff | Nov 10, 2016

Good luck at the State Tournament Silver Knights.

Grab a cup of coffee because here are some happenings.

Happy Birthday to the U.S. Marines — 241 years of service! Semper Fi!

Paden City High School is holding a Veteran’s Day Assembly today in the multi purpose building at the school at 10:30 a.m. Refreshments begin at 10 a.m. All veterans are welcome to attend!

VFW is doing the Veterans Day Service at 11 a.m. Friday at Veterans Park by the river.

Speaking of veterans, lots of places may be offering discounts and such to veterans on Friday. Dairy Queen is offering a free 16 oz blizzard to active and veterans on Veterans Day with an identification, according to Cathy Post, president of the recently chartered American Legion Auxiliary Tyler County Unit 48. A previous article gave Post’s title as “Commander”, so to clarify, she is president of the group. The Auxiliary has provided tireless service to the veterans in the community.

Sistersville Elementary School is sponsoring a Veterans’ Breakfast for all veterans between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Friday at the school.

If you miss that or are not really a breakfast food person, then the Sistersville Elks Lodge is sponsoring a Veterans Day Dinner for ALL Veterans and their spouses at noon Friday in the Ballroom.

Sports:

The Silver Knights’ volleyball teams will be leaving this afternoon for the big leagues the state playoffs. Tyler Consolidated is 43-13 and won its Class A regional final match over Ritchie County to advance to its fifth straight trip to the state tournament.

The Silver Knights will take on Moorefield at 8:30 a.m. on Friday with the chance to advance to the state semi-finals, which would be played Friday evening.

The dream team is led by veteran coach Richard Summers, who is no stranger to the state tournament along with three seniors who have also experienced the championship round.

“We have three seniors who have done a good job of leading this team,” Summers said. “They have been runners-up twice and made it to the final four last year. They know what it takes to advance, especially on Saturday.”

The group of seniors includes outside hitter Abbie Fletcher who has garnered 1,432 career kills, Libero Madison West who is a four-year starter and has recorded over 1,000 career digs and Macy Long who is the setter and has dished out 1,825 assists in her Silver Knights career.

“Coming into the season, I thought maybe we were a year or two away because of our tough schedule and a lot of young kids but they are really coming along and our seniors have taken on the challenge. They tied a school record with 43 wins this year and have surpassed all of my expectations.

“We have a unique group of girls. When we have practice at 8 p.m., every kid is there by 6:30 working on individual things. The first night of practice, we went from midnight until 6 a.m. and at 3 a.m. they were running and having a good time. You just can’t work as hard as these girls have worked. They are good kids and they all have a good work ethic.”

Per football, as the final games of the weekend were being completed, Tyler Consolidated coach Ryan Walton had to sit and wait.

When all the numbers were tallied, it was official: Tyler Consolidated snuck into the playoffs, edging out Clay-Battelle for the No. 16 spot.

With that comes a date with top-seeded East Hardy at 7:30 p.m Friday in Baker.

“The kids are excited, but they are also looking at is an opportunity,” Walton said. “We want to have fun but we are treating it like a business trip. We have a couple guys on the team that played in the playoff game two years ago and know the feeling.”

Tyler Consolidated (6-4) could have earned the spot with a victory in the season finale, but lost to St. Marys, 52-26, and had to wait it out. The Blue Devils are the No. 2 seed in the playoffs meaning the Silver Knights will take on the top two teams in Class A in consecutive weeks.

In fact, three of Tyler Consolidated’s losses came to teams in the top nine of Class A playoff field. While playing a tough schedule will likely help Walton’s crew, they face a team different than any they have seen this season.

East Hardy enters the playoffs coming off a runner-up finish last season, losing to Magnolia in the state title game in blowout fashion. This season, it was the Cougars on the positive side of the blowouts.

East Hardy’s smallest margin of victory was 22 points and the Cougars topped the 60-point mark on five occasions, including their last four games. East Hardy completed its first 10-0 season with a 61-12 blowout victory against Petersburg.

“It is going to be huge for us to get off to a good start and not get behind early,” Walton said. “We have to get things going on offense early.”

East Hardy provides a big challenged for the Tyler Consolidated defense. The Cougars run a quick offense and will throw a lot behind senior quarterback Corey McDonald.

“They have an athletic quarterback that likes to throw it all over the place and receivers that will go up and get it,” Walton said. “They are a pretty good football team with a lot of experience.

“Matching up with them is going to be difficult. We haven’t seen any team on our schedule that throws it like they do and it will be a challenge to defend their pass.

“But our guys are going to be prepared and are up for the challenge.”

The Silver Knights have their own weapons on offense in Tyler Anderson, Jace Reed and Griffin Phillips. Reed is the leading rusher with 925 yards, to go 14 rushing touchdowns and five receiving. Anderson is a do-it-all player. He has 609 yards rushing and six touchdowns, 527 receiving yards on 37 catches with nine touchdowns. He also has three special teams scores.

On defense, Anderson leads with seven interceptions and is the leading tackler with 54. Phillips is in charge of running the offense, completing 94 passes for 1,051 yards and 17 touchdowns.

“Any time you draw a No. 16 seed and are the playing the No. 1, it is an us-against-the-world mentality,” Walton said. “We are going to come up with a game plan that we think is going to work. The community is really excited and so are these kids.

“We are ready to show that belong there.”

Josh Strope and Cody Tomer contributed to this report for the Tyler Star News.