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From My View

By Staff | Nov 9, 2016

Dedication is a feeling of very strong support for, or loyalty to, someone or something – personal or business, and motivation is used to help pump one up to do a job well.

While writing my columns these past several months, I was wondering about these two subjects, and how they go hand-in-hand with sports in our area in general.

The dedication of a player and/or coach fits our people well. The dedication of someone to motivate a crowd, as well as players and coaches. The River Pilots are undefeated, and are playing their first playoff game tonight, as I write this column. The dedication that these players and coaches have, to get them here, is remarkable in itself, nevertheless a former player and son of River Head Coach Mike Flannery.

Joey Flannery just graduated last season and led the Pilots to an amazing 9-1 season, before bowing out in the playoffs. But the motivation to get them to this point comes from a lot of people, just like it was when Magnolia went on to capture an undefeated regular season and win the WVSSAC Class-A title.

It’s necessary to have the good players, but to give them the motivation to dedicate themselves to get to this point of the season takes a lot of people to perform day-in-and-day-out, as well as getting prepared for battle.

Joey Flannery is doing just that right now with his blog for River High School and River Alumni, as well as on Facebook.

His blog motivated me to write this column, as well as his dedication to help motivate River fans, as well as the coaches, players, and the Pilot fans of all ages.

This is only one of many ways to motivate someone; there are many, many other ways. In some instances, there is the old school and the new way of motivating someone. Everyone is different, and some ways to motivate someone is difficult for another.

When I was younger, motivating me was easy. I wanted to succeed in the worst way. However, I was dedicated to study to be able to play sports. It wasn’t easy; I was not the brightest light bulb, I and had to work really hard to get by.

I had many different coaches that motivated me in different ways. I only played football for two seasons, as I wanted to dedicate myself to basketball and baseball, after being injured my sophomore year and decided to not play football. It’s something I regret to this day. But, it gave me the opportunity to meet my future bride, and for that I’m not regretting it as much.

River Head Coach Martin Flannery motivated me much differently, as Assistant Coach Mike Matsakis. Coach Flannery was a realist and a teacher, while coach Matsakis was old school and did things to motivate. They both worked, not just on me, but for many players. In basketball, I had two different motivators in the late Dick Potts and Gard Curtis.

I respected them both, but Coach Curtis saw something in me that all my other coaches didn’t see, and I’m glad I can still call him COACH.

I used his coaching philosophy in my years, as a coach to motivate my players, and now as a sports writer. Then there was my baseball coach, Dave Bush. He walked the walk, and I learned many life-long things from him as well.

Since moving to New Martinsville almost 43 years ago, I have seen first hand the many great motivating coaches and teachers we have in Wetzel County, not just at Magnolia and New Martinsville School.

I could write a story about each one, but I won’t, but I have a fond memory about most. To dedicate yourself, as a player or coach, you MUST realize there is more to the sport than winning.

Most of our teachers and coaches understand that, and I applaud them in more ways than you can think. However, there are few that don’t just get it, besides the motivation aspect of coaching and teaching; we must dedicate ourselves to do what we can to promote the sport and give the kids the best possible thing to succeed.

We must change our way to give our players and students the best possible way to succeed. There are different ways to do that, and for me as a sports writer for five high schools, is to give this reporter a chance to give the athletes a chance to see their name in the paper.

I have written numerous times about coaches not sending in stats for me to help their players get motivated and dedicate them to the sport they participate in, by putting their names in the paper.

And to the players that goes out for a sport – stick with it, don’t quit. Hang in there and do your best, dedicate yourself to the sport like the Magnolia football boys did last year and the River boys that are living the dream this season.

And for the many, many people like Joey Flannery trying to motivate our athletes and fans to get behind and cheer on your favorite team – well done.