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Tyler Sports Off to A Slow Start

By Staff | Mar 22, 2017

Flowers were blooming, leaves were filling the trees and people were actually mowing their yards. Coaches were getting ready for scheduled games and excitement over the spring sports season was everywhere. Temperatures were running anywhere from the 60’s to near 80 when all of a sudden reality hit. The bottom dropped out and suddenly it was in the 20’s and 30’s with light snow and rain.

College kids who were heading south for spring break got a taste of winter weather from South Carolina to Florida. Local high school kids found themselves in the gym practicing softball and baseball. With several scheduled games canceled this past week due to cold weather and snow flurries, teams will be hard pressed to get back on track.

Last week, the boys’ high school state basketball tournament got under way and although the local area didn’t have a representative team, it was still a good event to attend.

At the championship Class A game on Saturday, Paden City’s 1987 undefeated state championship team was honored on their 30th anniversary of the event. Many Wildcat fans attended the recognition of former players and coaches and it was nice to see some of the players from that great Paden City team led by Coach Bob Burton, who also won a state title in 1973 and made several other tournament appearances.

It was also quite the experience the weekend of March 10, as I traveled to Marietta for the reception of Sistersville’s Craig Carse. It was a fine event held at the Gallery in Marietta and was attended by many of Carse’s friends.

Following the reception, we made our way over to Marietta college for the game between number 1 Whitman (29-0) and Carse’s Hardin-Simmons (27-4). Carse’s Cowboys put up a good game but faltered in the end falling 108-102 to bring Carse’s coaching career to and end.

It was quite an experience meeting up with two of the best people I know and two great coaches. Coach Burton was my coach in high school and has always been a good friend, he is a quality individual who is quick to express his love for people.

Coach Carse is also a good friend and a super person. He reminded me that we used to compete in the outdoor summer leagues.

Sistersville and Paden City have had some great sports memories over the years and these two gentlemen have been a major part of bragging rights for both schools.

I look for some big things to happen this spring locally as the Knights and Wildcats will both field experienced baseball and softball teams. The Silver Knights look to have some state contenders in track as well. Both boys and girls!

Get out if you can when the weather is permitting and cheer on these young athletes. You never know who will become the next great legend 20-30 years from now.

New Martinsville native Preston Boswell sure was exciting to watch this season. I made the trip on two occasions to watch West Liberty and Jesuit with both games going into overtime. Preston was impressive in both contests getting the Cardinals back in the game at West Liberty before the eventual loss and then hitting a three in the tournament game at Fairmont with six seconds left to lift Wheeling to a triple over time win. He sure knows how to come through in the clutch. New Martinsville raised a dandy here and he has three more years to go.

Hopefully, the weather will break and the local teams can get going on a regular schedule. Coaches, if you get dates for make up games let us know and we’ll try to get the word out through our social media page.

Wildcat baseball field is looking fantastic. Some of the school supporters have put in a lot of time to make some upgrades. New concrete was poured and new wire for the pitching and batting cage installed work is being done to the backstop and the fence is getting covered with sponsor signs, thanks to some hard public relation work.

Coach Bob Huggins is back at it. He has his team well prepared and with two straight tournament wins they are off to San Jose for a Sweet 16 game with the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Gonzaga got by Northwestern on Saturday but with the Mountaineers’ shooting and pressure defense, the Bulldogs will have their work cut out for them. They may be 34-1 but look for that to drop to 34-2 as the Mounties move on to the Elite Eight. eparsons@tylerstarnews.com