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The Press Box: Bad Raps

By Randy Rutherford - Sports Writer | Jul 29, 2021

It has been a fast and furious few days for my wife and me. We were lucky enough to return to Michigan and share in the joy of the marriages of two close family friends. They were wonderful summer celebrations that were extra special because of the beautiful location, and we had been away for so long during the confines of the pandemic. And as beautiful as the shores of Lake Michigan are in the summer, we both confessed our quiet little town of Sistersville here along the river had everything we wanted and needed. Family being number one.

We were hoping to catch my grandson’s all-star baseball game on our way back home. Several factors, including summer traffic and road closures, caused us to miss seeing his team play. Leo is only in the third grade and on the smaller side in size which is something he got from his mom’s side of the family. But what he lacks in size he makes up for in quickness and heart. He was so pumped to be selected for the team, and by all accounts from his other grandpa, Pappy Rich Danser, who was able to attend, played a great game. Proud of you, Leo. Keep up the hard work.

All star teams sometimes get a bad rep. They have been known to shorten the season of regular play for those kids that aren’t selected for the team, and often some people feel it is only the coach’s sons and friends that make the rosters. But usually the players selected for the team are worthy of the honor, and you will find each athlete earned their spot on the team by their performance through-out the season. And when kids get to an all star level, every athlete that takes the field is good at hitting and fielding, so the competition heats up. It takes more than two or three players to pull out a win. The entire squad has to play strong or better than the other top performers on the opposing team. It is all part of the learning process for kids in sports.

If your child was selected for an all-star team, congratulations to him or her on their great work ethic and performance! If your kid didn’t get selected this year for all-stars, keep encouraging them! Build up confidence by putting in practice hours. Remind them often you believe in them and they can be successful. I have used this quote before by Babe Ruth, “It is hard to beat someone that never gives up.”

This all-star discussion leads nicely into the much anticipated Tycon Sports season opening this week. If you have read any of my past articles about youth sports, you know I believe these programs provide kids a giant benefit. One of the most recent advantages added to the long list is better vision for kids. “Children who spend time outdoors playing, especially organized sports, are less likely to develop vision problems,” according to an article published by Stanford Children’s Health. Makes me wonder if we are seeing more vision problems in our youth because of the colossal amount of time kids are on screens.

Another plus for our kids is managing a healthy weight. Obesity rates, especially in children, are increasing at an alarming rate in West Virginia. Data shows that children, who are more active, particularly after school, are more likely to be of normal weight. Organized sports for youth can help fight this battle. After school is when kids are at most risk of being less active. We need choices for kids and parents to keep our young people moving and off screens.

Sportsmanship and social skills round out my top advantages. Kids that learn the rules of the game, have respect for their teammates, coaches and referees become young adults able to succeed when placed in volunteer positions or the work force. It’s all about learning to get along, taking orders and being accountable. And I haven’t even mentioned the wisdom that comes from learning to stay positive even if your team is losing. These are all valuable life lessons for young people. Go Tycon Knights Youth League. Keep up the good work.

Tycon Knights Youth League Football and Cheer began this past week. It is open to all children ages Kindergarten through 6th grade in Tyler County, and is a member of the LKC Youth Football League. They have a great Facebook Page, but you must join the group to get updates and information. It takes a tremendous amount of planning and organization to run a successful group like Tycon Knights. Here are some of the people volunteering their time to make it work.

A team Football (5 & 6th grade): Coached by: John Satterfield, Todd Smith, Eric Mason, Anthony Farrell, Eric Glover, Jimmy Tennant and Justin Billiter. This year the A team has 26 players.

B team Football (3rd & 4th grade): Coached by Cody Henthorn, Kevin Roberts, James Jones, Steve Kastigar, Mike Baker, Jimmy Shields & Frankie Wilson This season B team has 29 players.

C team Football (K – 2nd grade): Coached by Greg Starkey, Joe Farrell, Bryan Owens, Jonas McEldowney and Danny Thomas. This season the C team has 26 players.

A team Cheer (5 & 6th grade): Coached by Rachel Henthorn and Savannah Forrester. This season the A team cheer has 12 girls.

B team Cheer (3rd & 4th grade): Coached by Annie Moore and Sasha Farrell. This season the B team has 21 girls.

C team Cheer (K-2nd grade): Coached by Kayla McEldowney and Becky Weaver. This season the C team has 24 girls.

Flag Cheer (3- & 4-year-olds): Coached by Samantha Zills and Marisa Gogan. This season the Flag team has 11 girls.

Tycon Knights Youth League Football opens at home on Sunday, August 15th with Braxton County at 2:00 p.m. You can find the remaining schedule and lots of other useful information on their Facebook page.

And in other youth camp news, TCHS Spirit Camp 2021 will be running on July 30th from 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. and again on July 31st from 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. It is for children ages 4-14 or grades Pre-K to 8th and held at the TCHS Gymnasium. Cost is $30 a child or $50 for more than one. Spirit campers will learn sideline cheers, the fight song and a short cheer. Campers will get to stunt and tumble with hopeful 2021 TCHS cheerleaders, and they also will be invited back to cheer pregame at the first home football game. Cost of camp covers a tee shirt, but unless you made early registration, your child’s shirt will not be delivered until the last day of camp. Signups will be held at the door on July 30th from 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Parents are invited to watch performances on July 31st at 11:00 a.m.

Good luck to all area youth participating in camps and youth league play. It is a big commitment for families. Often moms and dads find themselves juggling diving schedules to get kids to practices and games, but most families know the benefits of participating in youth sports. That makes them willing and wise to accept any short-term difficulties getting their kids where they need to be.