The Press Box: Spring Sports Kickoff
The regular season for high school spring sports kicks off this week in West Virginia, with several baseball and softball games on tap. Basketball and wrestling are still continuing with tournament time right around the corner. We have several kids who play more than one sport and will be competing nearly everyday whether in practice or on game day.
The big game of the week will be tonight at Magnolia with the Silver Knights coming to town looking for a win. It should be a dandy! If you haven’t been following sports lately, now is a good time to get started as the games are played outdoors and the weather has warmed up to make for great playing conditions barring rain. Magnolia Coach Dave Cisar will likely have the Blue Eagles ready to roll, if nothing else in will be an entertaining event.
I can picture some of the past games when these two teams got together and just the rivalry alone can bring out the fight in players, fans and coaches. I’m not talking about real fighting, I’m talking about competitive spirit and hard nosed play. I’m looking forward to it, nothing is better than backyard rivalries.
I think that’s what brings the fans out the most. Not just to watch a good player or two, but to see an upset or some unusual play, some one you don’t expect to get a hit, knock one out of the park. I remember down at Paden City a few years ago when it was bottom of the sixth and the Cats were down by two with two out and a full count. Bam! the next pitch landed over by the railroad tracks for a three run round tripper to win the game. I saw it coming and stayed around, later when I went up down I was imformed the Cats lost a close one. I said, was you there? He answered yes but he left in the top of the sixth. That’s the fun of the game, never leave until it’s over and as one old timer used to say,” It’s not over til it’s over.”
I think there were a few fans who left the UCLA and Gonzaga game last week also. You never know what will happen. A lot of people called the Baylor and Gonzaga game right, but I don’t think many had it as bad as it was.
We are getting close to basketball tournament time and I believe we have a chance to send a couple or three teams to Charleston. I like this four Class change, but I’m not sure it is correct the way they did it. However, it gives more schools the opportunity to get to the tournament. If you plan on making the trip it’s going to be a long week of basketball.
I heard an old coach tell the tale of taking a team to the tournament back when only the top four teams made it. His team had lost 14 in a row during the regular season, but caught on fire in the post season and made it all the way to the finals before losing. You just don’t know what will happen when the going gets tough.
If you are a track fan there is a great meet on Friday down at Williamstown, we have a few local teams competing. It should be a good preview of what will be this season in our area. Monday, the Wetzel/Tyler Track League (WTTL) kicks off at TCHS. It’s a good league and gives all area teams a chance to compete against each other.
Let’s keep up the good work and hope the state events go off as planned and all the area athletes get the opportunity to finish their seasons. Again it’s always fun to attend a high school game not knowing what will happen. Rivalry or no rivalry it’s the unexpected that makes it worthwhile. A few years back I watched as the favorite all year in the 100, 200, and 400 came in a little puffed up and big headed and finished third at the state meet after going untouched all season. In fact it was one of our locals who won two of the three events.
I like going to the state track meet, this years meet will be a little different with each Class, (A), (AA) and (AAA) all competing on seperate days. I think that is a good arrangement and will work very well. One thing I can tell you, if you enjoy high school sports stay tuned, there is an exceptional baseball player you’ll be hearing about. I’ll keep you guessing on that one!Have a great week and enjoy the weather and high school sports.