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Taking In My First WVU Men’s Game

By Staff | Mar 9, 2016

NEIL?MARSHALL?AND?BRUCE?CRAWFORD

It’s been an exciting week.

I got to go see my first D-1 men’s basketball game. Earlier in the year I wrote my column about my first D-II men’s college game; I mentioned that I have never seen a D-I game. Later, Neil Marshall stopped me at a game I was covering and asked me if that was true. I said of course I haven’t, and he said you are now. He had a spare ticket for the Mountaineers’ final home game against Texas Tech on senior night.

I didn’t hesitate at all. But, I had to make a decision. The Blue Eagles boys were playing their first sectional game against Madonna and the MHS girls were playing St. Marys in their Region I co-championship.

Having a lot of friends is a blessing, and I asked Maureen Winkler if she could get me a picture or two. She didn’t hesitate at all. And of course her husband, our chief of police, was keeping the book and would get me whatever I need to write the story.

But, I still was worried about the boys’ game.

However, never fear I had Robbie Parsons there, and he said if I needed a picture he would give me one. And, since we just hired Zach Blair at the Wetzel Chronicle to sell ads, and his dad is the assistant coach, I had that covered, too.

Mr. Marshall picked me up at my house and we had many pleasant talks concerning sports in our area. Neil has been the voice of Magnolia football for years and years. He also has been the girls’ basketball voice, as well as the Blue Eagle boys’ home games. too.

After taking a boat-load of pics from the Jerry West and Hot Rod Hunley statues outside the Coliseum, we went inside where a gentleman was handing out free items. I took a small towel and a program but said no to the t-shirt. (Only had small and mediums left.)

After Neil showed me where we were seated, he showed me around. After going around a time or two, I went on my own to see what I could get into or see. I saw many friends from home at the game, and 99 percent of the 13,000 fans were for the Mountaineers.

During warmups, and watching Logan Routt dunk the ball a time or two as well as many other WVU teammates and Texas Tech players, I set out to find Bob Huggins and Tubby Smith. After that, I tried to get somes pictures of former Magnolia cheerleader Aly Smith. It was hard because they had so many blonde cheerleaders. She didn’t disappoint. She was mostly on the other side of the court.

The introductions of the seniors were also nice – they laid out the red carpet and all it was great, and when they came out one by one, Coach Huggins greeted each one with a hug. It was truly touching that a coach and players cared so much about each other.

I won’t go into great details of the game, but WVU won, 90-68, and I was like a little child in a candy store. The D-1 game is fast-and-furious, and the player control is like watching Preston Boswell, truly amazing.

What stuck out the most was the best sixth man in college basketball, Jaysean Paige. He makes things click, and you can tell when he is on the floor, everyone picks up their game.

One more thing about the game… after WVU got a big lead, the 13,000 West Virginia fans led by a very vocal student body was chanting Romero, Romero for Richard Romero III from the six-minute mark until “Huggs” put him in at the three-minute mark. It was awesome.

We left before he got on the floor, but heard the chanting. When he got on the floor, it was electric. He then swished a three-ball that rocked the house. It was truly a great day to be a Mountaineer.

And thanks to Dr. Marshall, he enabled me to scratch off one more item from my bucket list, as well as the Maureen and Tim Cecil and Rob Parsons too.

Now to Zach Blair. He has just joined our Wetzel Chronicle family. He will be the main guy to buy ads for our paper. He is excited about working with the public and to help our excel.

If you would like to advertise with us, give Zach a call. He can be reached at 304-455-3300, or e-mail him at zblair@wetzelchronicle.com.