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Lets Talk Sports

By Staff | Feb 19, 2014

With high school basketball and wrestling winding down in a month, baseball, softball and track will be taking center stage with the coming warmer weather, I hope.

However, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves and give the winter athletes our attention ’till the spring season officially make its debut.

There has been quite a stir in girls’ and boys’ basketball as well as wrestling this season. It wasn’t too long ago that the Paden City Wildcats came into New Martinsville as a heavy underdogs and came away with a victory.

It has been years since these two teams have played each other, and it was nice to see all the friendly faces in the crowd cheering all the kids. I was not stunned, at all, that the Wildcats came in and beat Magnolia. They have three junior starters as well as a sophomore and a freshman who are as good as anyone in the game in our area.

Maybe the Blue Eagles were too confident and weren’t on their game, but let’s not take anything away from the Wildcats as a whole. They came into the HammerDome and took everything Magnolia had to offer and did what they were focused on doing – and playing as a team and beating a really good boys’ basketball team.

Will it happened again and only time will tell. The Eagles will be entering Wildcat territory Feb. 21 in a rematch and will only hope they can gain a split. Or the Paden City team is for real and can do it once again.

I can only hope that it will be a very good basketball game against two quality teams as we get ready for sectionals and, hopefully, regionals and state.

Don’t forget either Lady Wildcats or the Lady Blue Eagles. Even though they didn’t play each other during the season, but maybe they will do so in regional play. Both the Lady ‘Cats and Blue Eagles made the cut in the OVAC and lost to the number one seed in their respective divisions.

Keep an eye out for both. Maybe we will see these two meet, and then maybe not. Only time will tell.

However, there are other teams in our area, as well. We have Hundred, Valley and River, too. Although they have not fared as well as both Magnolia and Paden City, they do have a chance to make it to the next level of play in tournament action.

It’s there for them, to succeed or to give way to a better team. But, what counts is that they give it their best shot. They all have that Wetzel County and Pilot pride and can turn it around in a hurry. Only time will tell if they will.

The Lady Pilots have done quite well this season. They earned the second seed in the OVAC Class-2A and lost a heart-breaker to the eventual champion, Lady Cougars of Frontier, who also won the Boggs Pizza Roundball Classic.

In wrestling, both the Pilot and Blue Eagle grapplers have did quite well, too. Both earned a spot in the respective OVAC Class-2A and Class-3A tournament, and both have had quite the season.

I want to wish both the Magnolia and River wrestling team the best in their regional and district playoffs and hope they all can bring home state championships in the near future.

But, what it’s about is not so much about winning championships as it is being the best they can be. And, it’s about improving along the way. So let’s give all our area kids our attention and give them all the encouragement we can to succeed.

In addition, I was asked if the Wetzel Chronicle was going to do anything for 100 years of basketball at Magnolia. I checked around and found that Magnolia High School started basketball in 1914, and baseball started two years later in 1916.

So I’m going to start getting some statistics and information together in the near future on both sports and start planing on what we can do here at the Chronicle to promote 100 years. So start gathering up information and turn it in the me at the Wetzel Chronicle office at 1102 Third Street in New Martinsville or send what information you might have to Bcrawford@wetzelchronicle.com.

Pictures, quotes from former players, coaches and fans may be used, to spice up the stories. Plus, if you can, list where you got your information from so I can check it out to make sure all information is on the up and up.

I know there’s lots of stories out there on both basketball as well as baseball, but before we start doing this type of things we need to get the proper statistics first. Like a list of coaches wins and loses top players. State Tournament results as well as sectional, regional and other tournament games played. The list could be lengthy. All-state players, team captains, as well as cheerleaders, pep-bands, mascots and managers will also be needed in putting all this together.