THE NET PRODUCT FOR OCT. 17
I’m sure that you have heard the slogan “Once a man, twice a child.” It really didn’t mean much to me until I looked behind me and discovered I had more road behind me than I had left to travel in front of me. Yes, the Knights Volleyball Team has a head coach who spends much of his time reliving childhood. And as odd as it may sound, volleyball and childhood seem to be intertwining.
As I take my evening strolls along the Ole Ohio River, I often recall as a child being awakened by the roar of the New Martinsville regatta. Oh, how I wanted to be the driver of Ms. Budweiser, the mighty and powerful boat who always won. And oh, how I want to be the coach of a volleyball team that roars into the post season. Ms. Bud. There was something special about her. While others had mechanical issues or flipped over, the driver of Ms. Budweiser just kept it full throttle and both hands on the wheel. Full throttle, ladies. Let’s goooooo! And stay away from Budweiser. I’m talking about a boat here.
The smell of fresh grass being cut takes me back to the days of attending Magnolia football games and watching Brian Book and Fuzzy Filliez play. Brian was the quarterback and Fuzzy was the receiver. At the snap of the ball, Fuzzy shot off the line and would break to his right. Instantly the ball would arrive dead on and Fuzzy would catch the ball. Time after time after time. In fact, one season Book once threw it 40 straight times, a state record. Wonder how many times they practiced that? Flash forward. I hope my setter and my hitters can execute like that. To see them transition off the net, come full speed and instantly have that ball hovering above them to hit. Wow! Book to Filliez. JoLee Walton to Josey Jones, Alexa Johnson, Emily Lancaster and a wide array of hitters. Thanks, Brian and Fuzzy. You are remembered in the volleyball world at Tyler.
Many weekends, my neighbor would take me down to Paden City to watch Coach Bob Burton’s basketball teams play. I vividly recall how the gym smelled and how loud the pep band played the school song. The gym was always packed, and even as a little tyke I admired how Coach Burton always had teams that made the community proud. I hope that during sectionals, our community packs our gym like the Wildcat Faithful did. I hope they are proud of this volleyball team. And some day when “Once a woman, twice a child” applies to one of the little girls watching, they will flash back to the days of watching Knights Volleyball.
The smell of popcorn at our concession stand causes me to flashback to the Lions Club Tournament in Sistersville. The smell filled the gym as I sat and watched the likes of Ohio State All-American Alan Hornyak, Fairmont All-American Bill Lindsay or current WVU coach Bob Huggins play. I wanted to be just like them. They played so hard, loved the game and were so kind to this young bothersome kid who wanted an autograph or wristband. I hope my girls love the game like they did. And I know for sure they are kind to the little ones. I had not forgotten Coach Huggins’ kindness when he returned to the SHS gym four years later to watch me play. “Thanks for being so kind to me,” are the first words I said to him. Girls, these young kids will remember you.
Young people: age is nothing to fear. Having so many memories to reflect on is an awesome thing. And I hope in 30 more years that something on my walk or while being pushed reminds me of that special year in 2018 and those twenty-one magnificent Knights Volleyball girls.
I’m quite sure that will happen. Come out and watch the Knights, and you will have one more memory down the road for all of you.