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The Press Box for June 6

By Staff | Jun 6, 2018

Someone asked me the other day what I was going to write about now that sports season is over. Well, we got into a long discussion over that. I was sitting in the office at my desk while we were talking and six emails came in, all sports related.

Upcoming events like 5K races, half marathons, golf tournaments, little league games, and all the adult summer league stuff going on. Not to mention the high schools will be having their three week summer games in another week or two.

Girls volleyball will be going full blast with Tyler Consolidated hosting its annual summer spikeout; Paden City will, no doubt, host some teams and play in other schools’ tournaments.

Boys and girls basketball will also grab a few weeks of the summer vacation time. There are some coaching changes, so it’s not exactly clear who will be doing what, but I’m sure there will be plenty to keep the kids busy.

The high school football teams will be working out, and most will play in some seven-on-seven. Conditioning will continue all through the summer. When school starts up this fall, you’ll see a major difference in the skill level of the athletes. Kids can really mature over the course of the summer with all the opportunities available.

Sistersville has started up its co-ed softball league once again and will soon begin its summer basketball league. The league is a good way for high school athletes to play against some tough competition. Nothing will prepare you any more than getting on the high school team and playing against former players and older athletes on the outdoor court.

It happens every year. Just when you think everything is going to come to a standstill, it all starts over again. The OVAC All-Star Football Game will be here, before we know it, to officially kick off the new season.

A lot of the local athletes are playing on traveling teams and working out at summer camps all in hopes of making a difference for their schools when next season rolls around. That’s the kind of commitment it takes to produce winners.

Right now the NBA finals are happening. I’ve watched nearly every game ,and if it hadn’t been for Direct TV going out three times during the conference championships, I would have watched them all. A lot of people quit watching NBA due to the rough play and the lack of good officiating; however, I still find it fascinating to see players hit three point shots with someone bumping you and hanging on your arms. Some of those shots are from 25-30 feet, and they make them with consistentcy.

I can’t believe how players can go to the basket with such force and get knocked around and still make the shots.

I think they just play as hard as they can, block everything out, and hope that every once in a while they will get a favorable call. Most of the time I think the play is just too fast for the officials; by the time they decide to blow the whistle, the ball is at the other end of the court. I hear people talking about how the professionals do too much whining, but from what I’ve seen, they might not do enough.

It’s way out of hand. Walking has gone from a step-and-one-half to three and sometimes four steps. Fouls are no longer “the hand is part of the ball.” It has become no blood, no foul. Three seconds in the lane doesn’t exist. In the lane too soon on foul shots doesn’t exist, and body fouls do not count if you block the ball.

Plays that are reviewed are more often than not, wrong after being corrected. I don’t know if that sounds right, but it doesn’t really matter. Nothing’s right anyway!

I am, without a doubt, a Cleveland fan, but I am still amazed at the calls that went in their favor in the final game with Boston at the Garden. Was it just me or does it seem like Cleveland and Golden State were going to be in the finals no matter what? Yeah, Golden State came back and won, just like Cleveland did.

Golden State has taken the first two games of the finals on their home floor although they got a little help in game one. The officiating hasn’t got much better and in game two they took the sails out of Cleveland early. The Cav’s now have to win four out of five which doesn’t seem likey, although it might just be what the book keepers want. I might be wrong, but it looks to me like that’s how it’s supposed to play out.

It’s good to see American Legion baseball starting back up here locally after an absence of 20 years. Nothing is any more exciting in summer sports than taking in an American Legion baseball game. Some of the best talent in the area will be showcased. They will no doubt draw some big crowds to Magnolia’s field on the warm and often hot summer nights. New Martinsville’s Post 28 will feature talent not only from the home town but Paden City, Tyler Consolidated and Pine Grove Valley. Special thanks goes out to the Post, to the Coaches and to all that helped make this happen.

The quality of competition the local team will face and the experience they recieve will for certain make our local high school teams more competitive. I hope to make as many of the games as I possibly can. Nothing can ever take the place of the old fast pitch softball games that were played at Bruce Park but if anything can rival it American Legion Baseball is the choice. Looking forward to seeing some great games. Good Luck to Post 28 as they bring back quality summer baseball to the area.

Stay tuned in a week or two – I’m going to be writing an article to expose a couple or a few local gentlemen’s escapades. eparsons@tylerstarnews.com