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“The Press Box” for 11/25

By Ed Parsons - Editor | Nov 25, 2020

The Wetzel Chronicle and Tyler Star News All-Star Volleyball team will be out next week. We will have a10 player first team, made up of girls from Tyler, Magnolia, Paden City, River, Valley and Hundred. We will also have a 10 player second team and an honorable mention team. Pick up your paper next week to see who has made the teams and who the Coaches of the year are. We will also have two Captains on the first and second teams.

There have been a lot of disappointments in area high school sports, including last spring when baseball season was completely wiped out due to the COVID-19. Here we are heading into winter sports season and we still are out in the dark with no sign of the lights coming back on. We had a glimmer of hope during fall sports season, with football, cross country and volleyball taking full stage, but that too came to a halt when the virus raised its ugly head once more cutting short the dreams of several local athletes.

While local athletes can not control what happens they can still prepare themselves for normalacy. Staying in shape, or getting in shape is never easy, but the benefits far outweigh the alternative. Preparing for the upcoming sports season can have a huge impact on your teams success as well as how you perform individually. I have noticed there seems to be some lost interest and negativity surrounding local sports, especially since some of our teams have taken a beaten from the Covid-19. However that might be a good thing to use for an incentive. Part of being successful is the will to succeed under adversity.

There are times in all of our lives when we just feel like giving up, but winners don’t do that. Winners never quit and quitters never win, I remember back in my day when we spent hours on the outdoor court honing our skills, never expecting to make it to the state tournament or championship game, but always preparing just in case and working to get better because we loved it.

Somethings in life are just not fair, but they happen anyway and we use the experience to become better people, while moving on with our life. I want to relay a story about an athlete we had from Paden City who never played high school sports, but was one of the best overal athletes to ever grow up in the area. Some of you will remember this person, I won’t mention him by name, because he would not want me to. He loved sports, he was a natural! If you went to the field you would often find him kicking a football, he could drill it through the goal posts from 40 yards out, he could punt a spiral for 40-50 yards, and he could throw a perfect pass 50 yards.

Go to the basketball court and he was the best, he controlled the court. On the tennis court no one could beat him. His other skills included golf, ping pong and boxing. His downfall was he had no competitive nature. See, that is an important quality for any athlete. In order to be successful in sports and in life, you must be competitive. You must be willing to compete for positions, while accepting the fact that you will not always win and everything will not always be equal and fair.

I think it is more like that today than it was 40-50 years ago. I see it more and more in public office, where family members and friends are selected for good paying jobs over those more qualified. My Dad once told me to work for everything I get, he said no one is going to hand it to you. That has changed, if you take a good look at county and state offices, you will see people have used their positions to recruit or influence family into job openings and often times positions are created for them.

Things that use to be considered conflicts of interest are today normal hiring practices, and people are afraid to speak out in fear of retribution. That is one thing you will not find when you open up the county paper next week and see the 2020 Wetzel/Tyer All-Star Volleyball team. We will have looked at the numbers and carefully weighed the options when selecting the team. We will have checked the stats, team records and player success before making any selections.

Will the selections be 100 percent correct? Probably not, but they will be based on what we have witnessed and what has been reported to us by local coaches. There will be no politics involved. I encourage every child who wants to be an athlete to work on their game, whatever it may be. To spend the necessary time to improve and condition themselves even if there will not be a season. Conditioning the body and mind to perform to your maximum not only improves your athletic skills, but offers health benefits beyond anything else you can do.

Good luck to all area athletes and students for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year! We at the local newspaper wish the best for you and your friends. Stay safe.