Friday night football is back for what looks to be another interesting season.
The official start of the 2016 season was Aug. 26 in West Virginia and several local teams were in action.
In most areas around the state, fans were out in droves, the lights were on and the action was ready to start.
Someone said, “who turned the heat on?” Friday was certainly a scorcher; near 90 degrees at game time.
As always in high school football, the unexpected can easily happen and usually does – “you win some and you lose some.” This week was no exception. Many favorites won, but there were still plenty of good football along the way.
Paden City took its young team down the river on the Ohio side to meet up with a new opponent, Symmes Valley, with hopes of getting an early season victory to raise the confidence level in some young kids and send them on to what might be the extraordinary. Although things didn’t turn out the way they had planned, the trip was not a failure. The boys got the first game under their belt and will be ready for more action when Tygarts Valley comes to town.
Traveling together on a bus for two hours each way bonds kids closer together and friends are made that last a lifetime. It’s an experience that all high school children should receive. There is always laughter, tears, pep talks and the occasional car sickness that helps to make the trip worth while. Symmes Valley turned out to be a great host as it fed the visitors team coaches and cheerleaders following the game.
Although the Wildcats tasted defeat at the hands of a much larger school, they never backed down. Nobody who ever gave his best has regretted it. You see, failures are expected by losers, but ignored by winners. The Wildcatsdid what they’ve always done; they stayed humble, had class and were focused, and with that they were winners. Don’t count Paden City out. There’s a lot of heart left in Wildcat town and on Friday they represented the school and town well.
The Silver Knights of Coa ch Ryan Walton came out ready to play. They had been fighting the heat all month in preparation of the new season. With one of the top-anked class A teams in the state coming to town, they were fired up from the beginning. The boys played hard and just came up a little short. Several players made some big plays and no one on either team came up any bigger than Brandon Keys. Keys made his presence felt with some great tackles and hard hits. I’m sure some Williamstown players will be sore this week. For more about Keys, see page 12 – he’s Athlete of the Week.
Tyler Anderson’s kickoff run of 95 yards was the highlight of the game. Anderson showed when he gets open, he’s hard to catch. I look for him to have a big year as he is especially dangerous. When Anderson rounds the corners, he sees the openings very well. It was also good to see Jace Reed back in the lineup as a power back. I believe that could be a one, two punch running game that would be hard to stop. Make the trip to Doddridge on Friday night if you can as this promises to be an exciting season for Silver Knights’ fans.
Tyler Consolidated’s boys soccer team has gotten off to a great start. There are several talented players on this year’s team and the younger kids are picking up on that and they are becoming better players. This team has a lot of hustle and desire to go along with their skill. Add that all together with a great relationship with the coaches and you have a recipe for success. After watching them play in their first three home games, the first thing I noticed was how well they work together as a team. Passing and helping each other out have been the two keys to the early season success.
Coach Scott Wall does a great job with the kids and seems be in control. The team is playing fast paced, but is also relaxed. During a couple tight games, they never let the pressure get to them which is a good sign. Pressure to me has always been something you feel when you don’t know what you’re doing. Things can always change, but this looks like a composed team that won’t give up. In a recent contest when the Knights were down 2-0, a player said, “Don’t let negative thoughts enter your mind, we can do this.” That’s good advice – stay positive, you may start slow but finish fast and that’s exactly what happened. The Knights never gave up and finished with a 2-2.
The start of a new volleyball season is about to begin with several games on tap starting tonight when Coach Richard Summers and team host the Magnolia Blue Eagles in a JV and varsity match.
Fred King’s Wildcats host a tri-match against Bishop Donahue and Valley.
On Saturday, TCHS Coach Summers and the Lady Knights will play on the road in the Oak Glen tournament starting at 8 a.m. After watching a couple of scrimmages, it looks like both teams could have good years. The Knights have been to the state tournament the past four years and there is no indication this year will be any different.
If you happen to get a chance take in one of Coach Joe Griffith’s teams golf matches, they have been playing very well lately and have several kids at the middle school level who are up and coming. This program is coming into it’s own and with Griffith’s leadership they could soon be a team to contend with.
Tyler’s cross country team is also competing very well under Coach Brenna Haggerty. It recently competed at the Elizabeth Broughton Invitational in Marietta. During the race, the heat index was over 100 degrees, so they look to be in tip top shape. The heat is supposed to continue for the next several days, so drink plenty of water.
These athletes need the support of the whole community, so if you get the chance don’t pass it up. Go out and support your favorite team. Nothing makes them feel any better than to see large crowds of people watching them do what they do best. It is also uplifting to the coaches to know others are interested in their program.
Good luck this week to all the teams and athletes.