After being away for nine weeks recovering from my (second) knee replacement surgery, I'm officially back to work. It has been a struggle to say the least, but all the prayers have been answered and I'm ready to get back to the sidelines and start covering some football, volleyball, soccer, and cross country.
I got to cover one golf match before I went inactive, and the kids from River, Paden City, and Magnolia had a blast. Not everyone can always be a medalist and move one toward the state golf tournament. But, at Magnolia there is one freshman that seemed to get that medal quite often during the regular season and feed off it to earn a spot in the state tournament.
That young man is Peyton Moore, who did quite well in his first high school varsity golf season. Well done, Peyton.
I would like to take this time to thank Bill Abraham for taking over for me while I was away. I'm sure he did a wonderful job and I thank him so much for holding down the fort.
I also would like to thank Brian Croasmun for helping with Magnolia football stories and Chuck Clegg and Cris Jenkins for taking pictures every week.
Thanks, also, to R. J. Goode, Magnolia's statistician; River Volleyball Coach Jim Turner; Fred King, Paden City's athletic director and volleyball coach; Velisha Shepherd, Valley's volleyball coach; Shane Highley at Valley and Rex Rush at Hundred for faithfully sending stats and providing other information as needed.
You're still welcome to send those statistics and pictures, for it will take me awhile to get back into the swing of things.
I would also like to thank my editor, Amy Witschey, for doing all those other things that go on to make a sporting event come to life in a newspaper. Especially for her help in putting the finishing touches on the Football Tab that I couldn't finish because of my surgery.
I thought this second knee replacement was going to be a breeze. I worked out at the New Martinsville Prodigy Wellness two months, five days a week, getting my knee strong before surgery. But, other complications, as well as my knee not bending properly, put me back in the hospital a week after my surgery and started from scratch, again.
After extended stays at the Ohio Valley Medical Center and Wetzel County Hospital, my wife Lynne, my sister Sheila Estep and my friend Mike Powell, for keeping me focused, which helped me get better every day.
Starting next week, I would like to start a small quarter page that will be called Friday Night Lights. I will use this page to showcase the many different types of pictures you wouldn't normally see in a newspaper, but are taken by fans who attended the event.
If you would like to help me out with pictures from area sporting events, other than action shots of the events, send them to bcrawford@ wetzelchronicle.com.
Like I said after the first knee replacement a year ago, kids, stretch, stretch, and stretch your legs before starting any exercise and you won't have to suffer when you get older like I have.
I would like to tell a little story that happened to me while I was off. After getting out of the hospital for the third and final time, my wife pulled the car around for me to get in.
When she got out to help me into the car, an older gentleman yelled at my wife and asked her how she liked her car, a Kia. She told him she had to help her husband into the car, then she would answer him. The man replied, saying he thought I was her father. My wife chuckled. I did not.
But, on the serious side, many people held doors open for me or offered to carry groceries and made similar gestures that showed their good nature. Made me think twice about non-handicapped folks who park in handicapped parking places.
One other thing stands out during my recovery. I observed many people driving and talking on their cells. And even a few appeared to be texting. Shame on you. It's now a law!