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By Staff | Dec 26, 2018

Just a thought here! At the end of last year, I wished success for all area teams, coaches and athletes. My column included hopes for success, for good sportsmanship and for a great New Year to all my readers. As far as I know most of that came to realization.

I have watched, during 2018, as the Silver Knights Boys Basketball team worked its way through the sectionals and regionals to earn a berth in the West Virginia State Basketball Tournament. That was great success! The Paden City and Tyler Consolidated Girls and Boys Basketball teams played tough schedules but still ended with some big wins, and several players stood out. There were 47 games in which individual athletes had 20 plus points. Out of 89 games that’s a lot of points. Nearly every game had a double-figure scorer, and sometimes there were two or three in double digits. The coaches did great in leading the teams.

The Knights and Wildcats Wrestling teams performed well, and several wrestlers won individual meet titles. Tyler had a wrestler qualify for the state tournament. Paden City wrestled at the OVAC in the ‘Cats first year of having a program. Tyler wrestled in the LKC Conference. Tough competition for both teams, but they had success!

Both schools had a good spring season. The baseball teams and softball teams were competitive. I watched several good games in which our athletes hit home runs, made great plays in the field, and I witnessed some fantastic pitching from both schools – boys and girls. There were loads of success!

There were games played in the rain, snow and sunshine. There were cold days and hot days, but they kept playing. Dedicated athletes under the coaching of dedicated coaches. Dedicated fans and parents standing out in the elements to watch their athletes compete. All part of success, good sportsmanship and a great New Year.

Track season saw much more success. The Silver Knights and Wildcats scored well in the regionals and at Charleston. The Knights put several athletes on the podium and brought home several metals. Just making it to the state track meet is success in itself. I watched all through the track season as each athlete gave their all, some faster than others, some stronger in the distance races, some jumping farther and higher. Some throwing the discus and shot put, pole vaulting and hurdling. Great success!

I like success, and I like watching people do well. It is uplifting just to watch as high school athletes run hard or give extra effort. It is really something to watch young kids doing amazing things. Who would have ever thought Tyler Consolidated would send kids to the state track meet, basketball players to Charleston, volleyball players to the state volleyball tournament, a wrestler to the state meet, and a cross country team to the state cross country meet for the first time ever.

How about making the playoffs in Class A football? Talk about success!

Who would have imagined Paden City High School could start a wrestling team and have immediate success? Both of these schools are winners; they field good athletes, and they have great coaching and fantastic support from parents and school officials. It’s been a great year in local sports. We didn’t win them all, but we sure had fun. We had great sportsmanship. I don’t know why, but every year seems to get better.

With winter sports going on, it looks like there will continue to be success and great sportsmanship. I watched some great wrestling this past week. I saw some veterans of the sport and some first-year high school wrestlers get into a couple pretty good scraps. One Paden City wrestler fought his way through an injury to get a pin over his opponent, never giving up – never saying uncle. I watched one of the Silver Knights wrestlers in the heavyweight class finish in the top three at the Knights’ Larry Ritchie Tournament. These guys are a handful; they have success written all over them.

Paden City’s boys won a big cross-county basketball game over Valley on the Wildcats floor. A little over a week earlier the ‘Cats dropped a 26-plus-point loss to Valley, but this time, the underdogs turned the table and got a 17-point win. That’s a 43-point turnaround. That’s success at its best.

To top all of this off, several athletes from each school made All-State in their respective sports. The Knights and Wildcats Volleyball teams each won their Conference titles. Paden City captured the Class-A OVAC, while Tyler Consolidated won the LKC. Both schools landed athletes on their All-Conference teams in multiple sports. Great Success!

As readers of this column, I hope you had a great year! I understand we all have difficulties one way or another, but stay positive, and work hard. Support your family; help your friends; be kind to one another, and work for the betterment of your community. Give the kids and athletes something positive in their lives. Offer good advice, and as my mother used to tell us: Everyone makes mistakes; no one is perfect. Look for the good in people. I was so proud this week to hear someone say his child didn’t play very well. He then said “That other boy sure did play a good game.” That’s the kind of support it takes for success.

I want to give a big shout out-to Tyler Consolidated Boys Basketball Coach Steve Nutter for qualifying for the Boston Marathon. It takes a lot of dedication and training to run 26.4 miles. Nutter averaged seven minutes per mile. Great work coach!

I am also very happy with the coaches so far. They are under control and have their teams under control. I wish the best to everyone for the rest of this year and for a great 2019. Let’s all work together to make 2019 another year of success. Tell your kids to give their best; support your school, coaches and all athletes. Be nice to the referees, even when it’s hard. Most important of all, be extra nice to your local sportswriter. Have a great 2019! eparsons@tylerstarnews.com