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By Staff | Jun 13, 2018

With all the awards from the 2017-2018 sports season being handed out, we have several local players who have received some big honors. All-LKC, All-OVAC, All- State, and numerous others. During the tabulation of stats for the local players, it often becomes difficult to get everything exactly right.

As you all know, everyone keeps stats different. I have a desk full of stats – everything from baseball to volleyball. Last week, while compiling my stats for the two Paden City baseball players who made All-OVAC, I think I might have looked at the wrong players. Wasn’t off too far, but let’s see if we can get it right.

I had Trey Slider hitting .312 while his actual average was .370; his on base average was .470, instead of .370. Kolton Elliott – I had at .295 over the course of his career, which I believed is correct. His average for 2018 was .370, and his on base .524. Both ball players did an excellent job for the Wildcats on the mound as well, with Slider recording 39 strikeouts and walking 11 batters. Elliott struck out 30 batters and walked 20.

I tried to keep stats on the NBA championships, but that’s next to impossible. I made the trip up to Cleveland on Friday for the second home game; with the home team down 3-0 going in, there wasn’t much excitement. Once again, just like last year, it was next to impossible to get downtown near the arena; that’s where they have the big screens outside and the crowd is larger than inside. However, we did manage to get in the lounge at the local Marriott where the party was going on, and you had to continue to drink and eat, or you got expelled. It ended up costing around $250 just to watch the game, drink enough ice tea for 10 people, and pig out on chips and salsa. We didn’t have to spend much on food, because people were leaving when Golden State had control.

It took another 35 minutes to get out of the parking lot and on to the interstate for the four-hour trip back home. We planned on spending the night at relatives, but duty at home was calling. We got in at around 4:30 a.m.What a great time! There was nothing better than being around family and old friends while watching Cavaliers basketball. However, from everything I hear, it may be the last time Cleveland makes the finals for a while. It was a great time regardless of the loss. James will certainly be somewhere else next year, and that’s “nuff” said.

The local American Legion baseball team is playing good ball. The coaches are doing a great job, and before the season is over, there will be great improvement in these local players. Some of the opposition have already played college ball, and the rest are the best of the best from their area. In a game last week with Post 1 from Wheeling, the local team played well but ended up dropping a 6-1 decision Some mistakes on the base paths cost them in the sixth inning when they had the bases loaded with one out. Paden City’s Trey Slider worked 3.2 innings, giving up two walks while striking out three. Magnolia’s Pat Mirandy added two singles and pitched two innings – striking out two batters.

The two teams tangled again on Friday in New Martinsville with Wheeling once again getting the win, but the New Martinsville team played hard and will get better. Regardless of the outcome, it is really nice to have a local American Legion team where some of our best athletes can display their skills and improve against tough competition.

I remember back some 40 some years ago just trying to find a place to play ball. Lots of times myself and a couple others would catch the greyhound bus from Paden City to New Martinsville, go over to the Red Star and get a bottle of pop, and head to Bruce Park for some outdoor hoops. Occasionally we would get in a good softball game; that’s the only way you could find different players to play against. Now that I’m thinking about that, it was more like 50 years ago.

Often, if you missed the bus from Martin Lemasters’ grocery to the Red Star, you would end up hitch hiking or walking the railroad tracks. After playing ball for a few hours, it was always nice to take a jump in Bruce Pool. Paden City’s basketball court was the one by the high school. In the evening hours it was always a crowded place with just two baskets, one on each end, so it was hard to get on the court. If you did, you played hard to stay. Winners always got another to keep playing until they lost.

Driving by Bruce Park this week brought back some of those memories when the court was packed around 11 p.m. Also, the Sistersville summer basketball league has started back up and is going full blast. Looks like they have a lot of players and around 5-6 teams. If you get a chance, go down and take in a game or two; it’s real competitive. A lot of young guys, some middle-aged fellows, and a few old geezers. I thought about playing, but then I’d have to have had the half dead group.

Any (hoot), there’s a lot of things going on, so make the most of your summer. Paden City’s swimming pool is offering a lot of free swim days, compliments of various groups and individuals along with the Friends of Paden City Pool; Sistersville’s pool is open, and Lewis-Wetzel pool is open. Shelters are available for use and rent at all three parks, and the ball fields have games nearly every night.

Paden City has one of the best walking trails in the area. New Martinsville and Sistersville both offer walking trails as well. Middlebourne has a nice park with an area for the kids to cool off, and they also offer music a couple times a month with Bands on Broadway. Paden City has its Thursday night concerts in the park, featuring some good musicians, starting at 7 p.m. And of course Sistersville seems to have a street fair or something nearly every month.

If you get a chance, don’t miss the Tyler Consolidated Silver Knights’ annual summer volleyball tournament this Saturday, June 16. There will be some quality teams from throughout the state and Ohio. The Knights have a senior-loaded team returning for next season and will get a chance to improve during this tough event. Speaking of volleyball, Paden City has a new coach and some veteran players and could provide some real excitement this season. I hope they are in the tournament.

The other big event in the area taking place this weekend is the New Martinsville Vintage Regatta where some of the best boat racing in the entire country will take place. For all you kayak enthusiasts, stay off the river; it could be dangerous. eparsons@tylerstarnews.com