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The Press Box For Nov. 29

By Staff | Nov 29, 2017

Seems like every time a new sports season starts there are lots of conflicting views on how each team will perform, there is talk every year about this coach or that coach. Many will question why certain athletes gets more playing time than the others. There are some who question the positions the kids play.

As always referees and officials are drawn into the conversations. Things like, I sure hope we have better officiating than last year, are heard quite frequent. There will be much talk and many different views about athletic ability. I would venture to say most of the blame for teams who don’t win too often will fall on the coach’s.

We just finished a season where both of the local high schools had highly successful volleyball seasons. Several of the girls were awarded for their outstanding performance, by being named to All-Star and All-State teams. I was one of those who had an opportunity to vote on the selections. Some of the girls who were chosen I voted for.

I think for the most part the West Virginia Sports Writers were right in their selections, I was surprised that a couple girls were left but as a whole it was pretty much right on. . The WVSWA will also be naming the soccer teams soon and an All-State football team. I submitted some kids names from this area along with their stats. Hopefully they are recognized.

I was very proud of all the girls on these two teams and wish they all could have received awards. Most of them were recognized at one point or another during the season. It’s just not possible for everyone to be chosen All-State. I for one congratulate them.

For the past two weeks I have been traveling around to get pictures of the boys and girls basketball teams and the wrestling squads. I appreciate the coaches setting aside the time during their practices to talk with me and allow me the opportunity to get pictures, it gives the teams some exposure prior to the season beginning.

I can tell you this, every team practice I have been to has been a good experience. The coaches are carefully evaluating the athletes, there is no favoritism of any kind. The talks with the coaches have produced nothing but positive comments about their teams. Not one coach has spoken a negative word towards any player. I have always believed that coaches are teachers first, and that the kids are kids. However, we have to remember they are students first, and it is still high school sports, even though it has changed immensely over the years. Pretty much what the coaches told me!

I spoke to one coach and his assistant about how they handle criticism from parents and the affect officiating has on the outcome of games. Here is what I was told.

“We try to block it out, we know every parent wants their child to add to the success of their team. Most want their child to be a starter or get a significant amount of playing time. However that’s not always possible but we are as fair as we can be. We want to win and we want our kids to be successful. That’s our job! We give everyone on the team the same chance in pre-season to prove themselves and show us what they can do. Some are just more talented than others, as the season goes on if someone steps up we recognize it and they get their time.”

“As far as officiating is concerned, games are not usually won or lost by the officials, so we try not to make an issue over questionable calls. Sure there will be some that we don’t agree with but in most cases it all equals out. We also teach the kids to be respectable and to stay under control and let us do the coaching.”

Mistakes are made in about all areas of life, we all make them, no one is perfect, not this side of Heaven. The only perfect human ever is in Heaven at the right hand of God. So in case you think you know more than him, guess again

There has been a lot of talk lately about the all-star teams, we even had an irate parent come into the office questioning the selection of one of those chosen over his daughter. Again it’s the West Virginia Sports Writers Association vote that decides and I can assure you coach’s have very little if any influence in the process. Competition is tough and today’s athletes are very competitive. So, as I stated before, hard work and dedication play an important part in the success of athletes. It has nothing to do with who you may or may not know that determines the selections to an all-star team or who gets to start or the most playing time.

As we enter into this new season of sports lets do the best we can to support our teams, schools and coach’s in a positive way, lets show good sportsmanship and lets not embarrass ourselves and our kids. It will be a much more rewarding experience for everyone involved. I was very proud to see Paden City Girls Middle School volleyball team win the sportsmanship award for the second year in a row from the local volleyball officials.

There is going to be some exciting basketball played this year. It looks to me like the Silver Knights girls team may be one of the best around, while the boys team has several skill players and a lot of athleticism. I look for them to have a banner year under veteran coach Rick Leach, who returns to the helm after several years absence. Paden City’s girls are once again rebuilding so they will need all the support they can get. The Wildcat boys team doesn’t have a lot of height but they have a lot of heart and there is significant improvement among those returning from last season and some of the newcomers are filling in quite well. Look for them to have some success under coach Jeff Hohn, who brings a lot of basketball knowledge to the Wildcat sideline.

The Silver Knights have a solid wrestling program headed by coach Chad Snider and assistant Matt Peters. They open on December 8, at Ritchie County. Paden City has wrestling for the first time in school history and is coached by Mike Owens and assistant Mike Shreves. They start the season on Wednesday, December 6, at Cameron. Watch out for these two teams they have some competitors.

Silver Knights freshman cross country runner Gavin Corley, participated in the 39th annual foot locker cross country regional championships, held at Charlotte, NC. Gavin was competing against runners from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands and U.S. Citizens in Overseas Military Operations. The race was a 5000 meter and Corley finished in a very respectable 36th place finish.

This is a fine example of what hard work, dedication and determination can do to make someone a better athlete. Congratulations goes out to Gavin Corley on a job well done.

Good Luck to all area teams and athletes during the winter sports season. eparsons@tylerstarnews.com