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Plenty Of Sports Happens In Summer

By Staff | Jun 8, 2016

When high school sports season winds down, the first thing I hear is there’s not much to do, so we have to find something to cover the sports page. Really? Well, I have news for them – lots of things are happening on the local sports scene, and much more is yet to come. I thought about a week at the beach, but it doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen anytime soon.

This past week was filled with all kinds of events. Let’s take a look at what went on at the Tyler County Speedway.

On Saturday night, May 28, 2016, I took in one of my first races in many a years and man, what a treat. It was the first night of the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series Jackpot 100. That didn’t mean anything to me, but I soon found out it really is a big thing. Josh Richards dominated the track. He became the first series driver to win back-to-back races at the track since Darrell Lanigan turned the trick in 2012-13.

At the start of the weekend, my mind was on hockey, more hockey and the NBA playoffs.. Never reallly thought much about the speedway but looks like I may have found a new pastime. It is still not my favorite but I have to admit there is plenty of excitement.

“It’s great to come home,” said Richards to a standing hometown crowd. “They’ve done a great job with this track. You could race all over it….I’ve never seen that track like this before. But it was a lot of fun. I want to thank all the fans for coming out, and we’ll see you tomorrow for the finale.”

For the win, Richards picked up the first place prize of $8,875. I didn’t make it back for Sunday’s or Monday’s races ,but I’m sure the excitement and entertainment level was just as great. Richards was right about the track conditions , it seemed to be in perfect shape.

Not that I would know anything about that but it just looked that way. It definitely won’t be my last race. I just hope I don’t get hooked. Oh yeah, concessions out there are great. These drivers invest a lot of time and money into this sport, and from what I can see, it would take a lot to recoup your investment. Great hobby and entertainment.

This week has been just as eventful. I took in several youth ball games and not once was I dissappointed. There are some great kids coming up, and to top it off, I never heard any negative comments or saw any arguments. Fan participation seemed to be just plain old cheering and encouragement. Coaches seemed under control and the kids seemed to be having a good time. Let’s hope it stays that way.

The basketball court at Sistersville seems to always be busy and the swimming pool has been a big hit for not just them but the surrounding communities.

I want to commend the citizens of Paden City on coming together to try to save the pool. The Park and Pool commission is a great group, and at a meeting on Friday, it reversed its decision and the swimming pool will soon be opening. The pool has been deemed safe and volunteers are working to have it ready by Friday.

The main problem now seems to be operating money. Many suggestions were made as to how to get operating funds but the best and quickest is donations.

Donations can be given at the library or by calling Joel Davis. The funds will be used only for the pool operation and upkeep. Several local businesses are stepping up to help and more are expected to as well. Let me say this – the Park and Pool Commission was faced with a tough decision. It wanted to open the pool, but there were underlying circumstances at the time had to be worked out. With everyone working together, we can have a pool as nice as any around. For this year things are starting to look up.

On Saturday, June 4, the Paden City Foundation had its 5K race. It was a very well-organized and well-run event.

Rodney McWilliams chairs the race and puts on a good race with many awards for all ages. This year, as it turned out, both top finishers in the overall bracket male and female were Paden City residents. Several adults and children from Paden City ran or walked very well. The weather was very humid, which has a tendencey to slow one down, but the times were very good. Bill Hornbrock of New Martinsville, a longime friend of mine, came in at 25:59, which was better than his time last year. I guess the saying is true – you get better with age. Bill was the first finisher in the 70 and over age group for males. I have always loved the races and back in the late ’70s and early ’80s my favorite event was the Elby’s Wheeling Distance Race. My first year running, it was the year world class runner Bill Rogers set the course record with nearly 1,000 runners that day, not including the wheelchair runners who came down the back side of Wheeling Hill and you had better get out of their way.

Summer basketball, volleyball and football camps and tournaments will kick off soon. I would encourage all kids to get involved, give it a try. One of the better basketball camps for kids in the local area is the B&K camp held each year at Paden City High School. This year’s camp will kick off on June 27 and finish up on Friday, July 1. To sign up, contact Fred King at 304-337-8614 or 304-771-5287 or Jeff Bowers at 304-771-1738.

The TCHS Knights Golf Team and Sistersville Country Club will also hold their camp for kids, entering grades three through eight. It will be a three-day camp held on June 13, 14 and 15, from 6-8:30 p.m. at the country club. To register, contact Coach Griffith or Coach Tucker at 304-652-5191 for Griffith and the high school for Tucker 304-758-9000, ext. 185.

I encourage everyone to stay involved with what’s happening during the summer, whether it’s sports, community help, supporting the pools, going on vacation or church camps and Bible schools. Pitch in and help out – that’s what makes a good community to live in. Everyone have a great summer!