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By Staff | Dec 7, 2016

Abbie Fletcher

Tyler Consolidated has a history of having great volleyball teams. This year was no exception.

As a sports writer, I have the privilege of voting for the All-State team and I never let that pass me up. I have only been watching high school girls volleyball for the past nine or 10 years, but I certainly have seen some good ones and I have learned a lot about the sport.

I know that to be selected to the All-State team you have to be one of the best. You have to have drawn the attention of the media and earned the respect of opposing coaches. I can tell you one thing the choice was clear this year with the selection of Abbie Fletcher to the Class A first team.

Several times during the season her power hitting lifted the Silver Knights to victory. Getting 1,000 kills in a career is not an easy task. I think Abbie ended her career with more than 1,150. There were times in many sets this year where the opposition just couldn’t handle her power and several times I saw girls jump out of the way just to avoid contact.

It sure did help to have a setter the caliber of Macy Long, but Fletcher who is only about 5′ 7″ had a skill that many hitters don’t have and that is placement. When she wasn’t slamming it straight down at you she was aiming for the corners or end lines and way more times than not she was on target.

A few years back the Silver Knights had a gem in Cameron Yoho who became the Gatorade Player of the year and went on to a stellar career at Marshall. Although I wasn’t the sports writer at that time, I did have the opportunity to watch her a few times and her skills were unmatched by any in the state.

I feel that way about Fletcher, her timing, her leaping ability, her placement skills and her power make her one of the best in any Class in WVa.

I don’t know what her future plans are, but she certainly has what it takes to play at the next level. I took in a couple West Liberty games recently and she is good enough to be a starter there now. Hopefully, she continues to play somewhere local and provides us with an opportunity to have another local favorite to go watch.

Speaking of local favorites, we went up to Wheeling Jesuit this past week to watch Magnolia’s Preston Boswell as the Jesuit Cardinals played host to Fairmont in a battle of unbeatens. Boswell, who has became an important part of Wheeling’s success, played a nice game and helped spark a comeback by the Cardinals to send the game into overtime.

Boswell plays a great floor game and is a tough matchup for any team. With the Cardinals down by 12 with just over four minutes to play, he went to work scoring eight points including a deep three while drawing a foul for a four point play to give Wheeling the lead. Fairmont came back in the end to take the game by three but rest assured Boswell is a player, the Cardinals hit the lottery with this one.

The All-Valley Soccer Team was released this past Saturday and Tyler Consolidated had three members selected with Quintin Richmond making second team honors and Luke Daugherty and Nate Lantz earning honorable mention. The Silver Knights’ soccer team had a good year making it to the sectional finals before bowing out to a quality Weirton team. Richmond, Daugherty and Lantz were leaders on this fine team and helped the younger kids as coach Scott Wall continues to build a quality program.

Get ready for some good high school basketball as there have already been some great games and many more are on tap leading up to the Holidays. Good luck to all teams. Play with all you have and never give up because that makes you a winner.