The Press Box For July 5
Believe it or not, sports is not the only thing happening in the area, although you wouldn’t know it by looking at the outdoor basketball courts and ball fields. New Martinsville doesn’t have an outdoor summer basketball league but the outdoor court at Bruce Park is alive with action day and night. I can’t drive by there without noticing the people playing ball.
Sistersville’s court has activity nearly all the time and on Monday’s and Thursday’s don’t even think of playing unless your on a team as both courts are going full blast. Sistersville always has had a great summer basketball league but this is one of the best I’ve seen in a while, lots of good athletes from the local area playing.
The last time I played in a summer league was in 2001 at Sistersville, we were the old man team but we won the league tournament. I don’t remember everyone on that team but I know Mike Carson, Jimmy Willison, Kent Yoho, Billy Ebert and myself were part of the team. I think TCHS’s newest coach Rick Leach was also with us.
Kelly Sine wanted to start the Paden City league back up this year but he had trouble finding anyone to help run the league so again that court is normally empty. I have saw a few younger kids using it lately but it needs some work before it would be safe for league play. Someone did put up new nets but there are some huge cracks in the blacktop and it’s not very level. Several years back we used to have lights and would play till way after dark. That didn’t set well with some city officials so the lights got turned off and no one has ever been able to get them back.
I love the new look at Bruce Parks tennis courts. A new surface, freshly painted, not a weed anywhere, new nets, what a nice sight. They look good enough for professional play. I would love to see Paden City do something with their tennis courts, they have been an eyesore to the park for several years.
Middlebourne has made some fantastic improvements to their park, their splash pad is a big hit as is Sistersville’s. Parks are for the people to enjoy and should be a top priority for every community. They draw people into your area and are major reasons families with children move to small towns.
Paden City had it’s annual alumni weekend this past week and although I’m sure many enjoyed getting together with old school mates and friends, I heard the same old thing from them, “What do you do here, this place is dead, what happened to the Paden City we knew?”
I actually don’t know how to answer those questions except to say come back on Labor day we still have a nice parade.
New Martinsville had a great weekend with lots of visitors for the first annual Appalachian Art & Music Festival. The streets were crowded with people and the campgrounds were full. What a great Idea by the Wetzel County Convention & Visitors Bureau organizers. It was a first class event with lots of top notch entertainment a great draw for the community. Good for the local businesses as well.
As I said there is more to do than just sports, I’m thinking of all the fairs, festivals and activities that are scheduled in Sistersville alone. Not to mention the annual Tyler County fair and Wetzel County Town and Country days.
People are out enjoying the summer on the river, people are spending time fishing and camping. Many are getting caught up on home repairs and keeping up with the yard work.
With the fourth of July holiday once again in the past the next big holiday Labor Day will signal the end of summer and the start of another school year. Paden City will have it’s annual street fair at the fire hall, when they close off the street and provide games, and food concessions by the fire department. Music will also be provided at the stage on the corner of third and main.
Paden City and Tyler Consolidated both have new basketball coaches this year so let’s wish them the best and support them with good attendance. Football however comes first and nothing is better than Friday night football and a hot dog from the concession stand. It still amazes me how hot the August football practices can be and how warm the first couple games are and then before you know it the change happens and it’s freezing along the sidelines and in the stands. As the playoffs begin everyone is watching the weather forecast to know how many pairs of socks to wear.
Hot chocolate and coffee become the big sellers, to go along with the hot dogs and blankets are seen all through the stands. Hopefully we have another mild winter to get us through the season.
This is how life is in small town America. We hardly ever change, season after season we continue on and life passes us by. I say take full advantage of life as we know it. Attend every event available, do what you can to be an active part of your community, go watch the school programs and sporting events. Attend the Church of your choice and most important of all do so with a true and honest faith.
Work to make the community you live in a better place, even if you feel unwelcome. My longtime friend and co-worker Bruce Crawford mentioned in his column last week about the condition of the railroad crossings in New Martinsville, I have to agree they leave a lot to be desired. I told Bruce they remind me of the streets in Paden City. I mentioned one street in particular to the mayor a month ago but I think it fell on deaf ears.
It stirs my soul when someone loses a loved one and then does everything they can to carry on the memory of his name. Dianne Cecil organized the first annual ALS (Lou Gehrigs) disease awareness and walk which was held on Saturday at Paden City park. The event was a fund raiser to help fight the disease which claimed the life of her beloved husband of 50 years and friend Jerry and their neighbor Jim Amos. Another Paden City graduate who is also a neighbor of Cecil’s and Amos’s has also been diagnosed with ALS. Special thanks to all who helped with the event and all who participated.
Keep are local sports in mind, attend some games, encourage the kids to play, support our athletes, work to keep our kids off drugs and set positive examples for the kids to follow, but remember there is more to life than sports. firstname.lastname@example.org