While football and other fall sports are just about upon us, the first thing to remember for everyone involved is safety first. With the heat the way it’s been, I hope every athlete will drink plenty of water and be prepared for cramps. Listen carefully to your coaches and trainers for they know how hard to push you and when you need your breaks.
Some kids, who have conditioned themselves during the off season, can do more than others. If you are working to get in shape, don’t rush it. Work hard, but know your limitations. And spend the next few weeks doing what it takes to get your body ready to play. Pushing too hard and fast can be dangerous and lead to injuries that can sideline you for the entire season and haunt you the rest of your life.
This is the fun time of year, so don’t spoil it by taking chances or trying to impress someone else. All that really matters is that you give it your best. Again, pay attention to your coaches; they know what’s best for you. Let them help you.
During the off season, I’ve witnessed a lot off athletes working to improve their speed and strength. I hope it pays off for every one of you. Some kids are just natural athletes and others have to work harder to compete. Not everyone will be the star, but everyone can contribute.
We will be working hard to bring each school in the area the best coverage we can in all your sports. We will be publishing our football tab in a few weeks and also the tab which will have schedules for all fall sports. We’ll also be watching which athletes stand out and we will honor them each week.
My question to each athlete and team is what will you do to make your school, family and community proud? Over the years many athletes from our area have spent countless hours working to show the rest of the state that sports here in Tyler and Wetzel counties are as good as anywhere in the state.
In the 60’s, 70’s 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s – Tyler and Wetzel counties have had state champion after state champion and many runners-up.
In 1964, Magnolia and Sistersville both won state football titles. In 1968 and 1969, Paden City was the state football runner-up and wound the title in 1970. In 1972, Magnolia was runner-up while Paden City again won it all in 1979.
The 1980’s pretty much belonged to Sistersville and Tyler. 1980 and 1981were champion years for the Tigers while 1982 was a runner-up year. 1983 was an all Tyler County championship game with the Tyler County Red Raiders besting the Sistersville Tigers 16-14 to claim the title. 1984 saw the Sistersville Tigers bounce back and bring home another title 42-11 over Fayetteville. In 1985, they once again flexed their muscle and won yet another championship. 1986 was another great year for Tyler County football as the Tigers and Red Raiders battled it out for the state title. Sistersville again brought it all back to town with a thrilling 14-8 win.
In the 90’s, Magnolia and Valley kept things going playing in the championship game six times – Valley four times and Magnolia twice. Since then, Magnolia has been runner-up once in 2008 and champion twice in 2010 and 2015.
Not bad for two small side-by-side northern counties.
That’s why I always look for great things from our athletes. There has been much more success. Tyler Consolidated and Magnolia have been in the state volleyball tournament on a regular basis for the past several years. The Silver Knights have been to Charleston for the past four straight years. The great team from 2007 will always be remembered. Lets hope the tradition and hard work continues.
Paden City has played in five state basketball tournaments , winning it all on three occasions including a 27-0 team in 1987. Magnolia has been there at least 14 times and claimed the title four times. Sistersville also had some great teams make it to Charleston in 1966, 1974 and 1977. Tyler Consolidated had a great team find their way to the tournament in 1995. The great girls teams from Tyler County High in the late 70’s and early 80’s can’t be forgotten.
Cross Country teams, golf teams, baseball, wrestling and track have also had their share of champions from our schools. The great athletes from the past could not have done it without the help of all their teammates and coaches. Neither can any of today’s teams, so it is vital to all that you condition yourself, listen to the coaches and trainers and work together as a team.
I have heard many coaches over the years tell me “that kid is a great athlete, but he’s just not coachable.” I have seen those kind of kids and so have most of you. My advice to those wanting to play sports – work hard on your own, pay attention to what your parents tell you, but when you join the team, always remember the coach runs the team not mom and dad.