The Press Box For Dec. 20
I am really excited about sports at Paden City and Tyler Consolidated. Both schools have been playing extremely hard, and the result has produced several team wins. The Silver Knights boys basketball team is on a run and has yet to taste defeat; however, there have been a couple times when the result could have been different if the boys would have had a let down.
They have done what I expected and each time picked up the pace and added pressure to gain the wins. They may not win them all, but I will say they are as athletic as any team around and play way above their size. New head coach Rick Leach has done a fantastic job getting them prepared. He plays no favorites and uses eight to nine players to get the job done.
The Knights girls team is also on a run, and when they are clicking, they are a tough match for anyone. Just like the boys team, they are very unselfish, and you can expect two to three double figure scorers every game. Both teams are relatively young, so it looks like things will be good for a few years at least. I am also impressed with the way coach Cathy Boggs puts together the game plan. She works very well with the kids.
Paden City boys, under the tutorship of new head coach Jeff Hohn, is an exciting team to watch; coach has put in some new schemes for the kids, and they are picking up on his system very well. They are not very big, but they are a scrappy bunch who will mix it up, and if you let them, they can bury the outside shot. They had a meltdown on Friday against St. Mary’s but I look for them to correct some things and get back on track.
Hohn has about eight kids he can use, and he is not afraid to use them. They are 2-2 at this point and improving with each outing. I look for them to get some big wins before the season is over. With a little luck – and some hard work – they just might surprise some good teams.
The Wildcat girls squad only has eight kids out, and so far they are 2-4, with both wins coming against Hundred. Coach Allen Miller does an excellent job with the girls, and it is evident they are working hard to learn the game and be competitive. I think, before all is said and done, they will have several wins under their belt for the season. Go out and watch them if you get the chance; they are fun to watch.
While the Wildcats have a wrestling squad for the first time in school history, they have won several matches so far. They have 14 kids and have won by default but also on the mat. Coach Mike Owens works very well with the kids and is willing to go the extra mile to help them as they test a sport they have never undertaken. Owens and assistant Mike Shreves, both ex-grappler’s, have the sport knowledge to build the program for the Cats.
As always, Silver Knight wrestling is tough to beat. They have a couple of the best in the state, but once, again they don’t have the numbers they need to win the tournaments. Coach Chad Snider is high on this year’s team. His enthusiasm and love for the sport carries over from his days at Tyler Consolidated. The Knights just hosted their annual tournament on Saturday. The tournament is always one of the best and most organized, and this year was no exception.
My Christmas wish for all the local teams and the athletes is to have fun, win games, get plenty of experience and playing time, be good sports, and most importantly, avoid injury.
My wish for the coaches is for them to teach the kids the sport, encourage them to do their best, be fair and honest with each athlete, have respect for the officials and have a successful season.
To the parents of each athlete and to all the fans, thank you for supporting your kids and teams, coming to their games. Supporting what they do means more to them than you can even imagine.
I want to take this time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. It has been my pleasure to be your local sportswriter throughout the year, and it is a great Christmas present to me to watch such great kids as they give their best each and every game to make their schools and parents proud. From the beginning of the school year to the end,and throughout the summer, there is nothing better than keeping up with high school athletes. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.