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Press Box

By Staff | Mar 8, 2017

With just a little over a week to go before the first local high school baseball game and the start of spring sports, all area teams are busy getting ready.

There will be something going on nearly everyday of the week, including Saturday’s. Maybe the biggest chore will be getting the fields ready. I know Paden City is doing some updates to their facility and from what I’m told, it is looking good. I’m sure Tyler Consolidated will be up and ready to go as well. It takes a lot of work, but it seems like it always gets done. I know the athletes are working hard to get ready, it takes a lot of work to jump right out of one sport into another and never miss a beat, but that’s the kind of kids we have around here. Dedicated to their schools and one another.

Coaches are putting in a lot of hours for very little pay to try and make their teams better and bring success to their schools. From what I hear, we should be excited. It looks like Tyler and Paden City will have solid teams, both in baseball and softball. Both schools have good coaching and plenty of talent.

Tyler Consolidated gets things started here locally with the first baseball game scheduled for Friday, March 17, at St. Marys. The Silver Knights’ girls softball then kicks off the season with a home opening doubleheader against always tough Ravenswood on Saturday, March 18.

Paden City will also play their first softball game the same day, on the road, against Trinity Christian. The high school baseball team will take the field at home on Monday, March 20, against Hundred. The girls’ softball team also plays Hundred at home that night.

Silver Knights track kicks off on Saturday, March 25, when they travel to Ritchie County for a tri-meet.

The Wildcat track team will get underway on March 31, at the Tyler Invitational. There will be a little over two months of activity starting with the first baseball game and ending on May 20, the final day of the state track meet.

This gives everyone an opportunity to get out and support your favorite team. This is one of the busiest times of the year for us as we try to make as many games as possible. With multiple games being played and track meets going on it is impossible to cover them all, but we’ll be around getting pictures for the paper and talking to coaches. When you count up all the games and track meets between the two schools there is over 150 events in a 60 day period. That’s a lot of sports, lets hope the weather holds up and we have good playing conditions.

Many of these kids have been playing organized ball for 12-13 years and for some this will be their final year for their school. They deserve the support of everyone. We will once again be giving an award to the top athletes from the schools at the end of the school year, so if you are a senior give it your best. We look back at what you have accomplished over your career and make our decision based on the information we have received and what we have observed.

Coming down the road from a West Liberty basketball game on Saturday, March 25, I heard a comment about how nice the John Marshall baseball field was. What a shame that the recent rain brought flooding once again and did so much damage to ruin the hard work and effort so many put forth to make such a beautiful complex.

Every community has so many good people, who year after year put in tireless hours to keep our kids playing sports. Without all the volunteer workers it wouldn’t be possible, nothing is better than driving down through a city park on a warm day and seeing the fields and playing areas filled with kids, it’s a sure sign summer is near.

It’s kind of exciting to see Paden City and Tyler Consolidated playing each other in softball and baseball on March 21, at Paden City and March 23, at Tyler Consolidated. That’s an excellent opportunity to watch four games between the local favorites. Should be interesting!

If you’re one of the picture takers and you want to share with me a good shot for the paper feel free to do so. I will be taking a lot myself, but if you get something really good send it down. Thanks to all who help out, my biggest concern for pictures will be track. So if you get track pictures post them or send them to me and I’ll do what I can to get them in. It’s going to be nice getting outside and out of the gym for a change.

Well it looks like Wheeling Central boys and girls basketball teams are off to Charleston again. I would love to see one of these small single A schools get the opportunity to make it back to the big dance. It’s not going to happen to often as long as there are only three classes. A realignment is needed and a fourth class added. Hopefully baseball or softball can get some other schools in the finals. It’s not always the size of the school that matters, more often than not it’s where they get their players. It’s just not fair that kids with less than 100 students in 7-12 have to compete with such larger schools that are allowed to draw from other areas. Track is a different story, it’s more of an individual sport and if you train hard enough and want to win you really can. It’s up to you.

It made me feel really good for St. Marys this year as they went undefeated and won the state football championship. I was told the other day by Brad Billeter that his son, St. Marys’ quarterback Will Billeter has been offered a spot with the Mountaineers this fall. I hope he takes it and makes the best of the opportunity. eparsons@tylerstarnews.com.