From My View For March 28
I was recently asked to attend a gathering of some of our Sardis Grade School and River Alumni. I attended, but I told them I would have to leave early because I had a hot date with my mother. We were going to go watch and listen to the Ebert Family and Friends Show inside the historic New Martinsville Lincoln Theater.
I was curious to see some of my friends I had while growing up at the Sardis and River schools, and if I could remember what they looked like after we all graduated in 1973.
I spotted Danny Isaly right away, and he hasn’t changed too much, as did my “Forearm” Paul Fetty buddy and his lovely bride Nancy who were also close. Looking around, I saw Karen Jones Pugh and her daughter Jennifer that I see quite a bit. Right across from them was Helen Ball. She still looked the same, and to hear she lost her husband of 22 years made me sad.
Also in attendance was my deceased friend Gary Hoskinson’s wife Nancy, as well as Linda and Marlon Workman, who I couldn’t remember. Ed McCammon and his wife Lori from North Carolina were the guests of honor as they drove in to see friends and family.
We all told each other what we have been up to since we graduated; it was an honor to be with this group, and I hope and pray we can all do it again when we have our 45th year River High School Alumni Banquet.
Another good friend of mine, Dale Stewart, came after I left on my date with my mother, and I was sad not to be able to see how he has been doing. We were somewhat close and bowled together for years. If you read this Dale, give me a call. Better yet, stop by the Wetzel Chronicle and surprise me with your presence.
The Ebert Brothers Family and Friends show was awesome with loads of outstanding music and singing. The show included my friends, Ben Tharp and Robby Parsons, along with the Ebert Brothers Band – as well as many others singing their tails off for the whole show.
But, when you have a show like this and a packed house to boot, it’s a gimme that you better have an emcee. And the best around in my book is my friend Carman Harmon. He is a great emcee, as well as a local celebrity. His charm and wit, as well as his humor, set him at the top of his craft.
Afterward, I took my mother home and then headed home to sit down with my bride to tell her of my day and to hear about hers. When she is working I see her around 9 p.m., and we only communicate when she goes to lunch or is on a short break and texts me about how the day was going for me and to let me know she is HUNGRY.
After another pair of great sermons from our preacher Ed Melott Sunday, I sat down with my mother and brother Bob before heading home to talk my wife and settling in for the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Marshall University Thundering Herd second-round game in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
It was a great to see two West Virginia teams playing each other in the greatest college basketball tournament. I was sad it couldn’t have happened later in the tournament and closer to home, but just to have two great universities in West Virginia to play each other as far as San Diego, California was amazing.
The game was somewhat close in the first half, and the Mountaineers just came out in the second half and dominated. I was proud to have watched both teams play, but was sad afterwards for a bunch of people scrutinizing Marshall.
The name-calling and all wasn’t what West Virginia, in a whole stands, for. I was ashamed of those that were not nice on social media.
However, I learned something in seeing comments. I learned what a Thundering Herd is, from a loyal Marshall graduate. He said, in a nutshell, the Thundering Herd represents courage like no other school can imagine. The Herd represents faith that has been proven and a determination and willingness to take all comers and hold one’s head high. The Herd represents a love for state and country. Plus it represents any man, women, and child that has tried, but failed… only to succeed without giving in.
In return, a West Virginia Mountaineer is the emblem of WVU, and in many ways, a symbol of the state.
The Mountaineer Mascot is the perfect mascot for WVU and West Virginia. Many say it represents the people, the heritage and the life among the hills. It represents we’re hardworking, dedicated, and it shows just how much the people care about one another.
So, if this is true, and I believe with all my heart it does… if there are true WVU Mountaineer fans, you would not trash a fellow West Virginian just because they root for or go to a different university, college or trade school, just saying.
I know there are many other great examples of being a Thundering Herd or a West Virginian, so I’m asking all of you that read my sports column to send me your version of what is it about not only a WVU Mountaineer or a Thundering Herd… but a Wheeling Jesuit Cardinal, West Liberty Hilltopper, Bethany Bison, Ohio Valley Scott or a Ohio Buckeye, and any other College or University mascot.
I would love to hear them all; let’s go a little farther than our high school, and grade schools. Let’s hear them all. Send them to me at email@example.com, or send a message on our Wetzel Chronicle Facebook page.
All-State Honors just came out, and we had several area players earn selections. That is great! But, I know there were more area basketball players that could have been on the team as well.
Any time you have the release of honors like All-State, there is always a name or two just as deserving, if not better, than those earning recognition.
There were a couple players from Hundred left off that could have been picked just as well, along with a couple more from Valley and Paden City. Where do you stop? It could go on and on, but the people that pick honorees do their very best, and of course, they might have missed some.
I only bring this up, because the pair from Hundred both were the focal point of the team all season and earned quite a few double-doubles throughout the year. I wanted them to know that.
There are rules and hard selections to get as many players recognition, and for the most part, they do an outstanding job on picking the honorees.
River High School Boys Basketball Head Coach Mark Romick is the 2017-2018 Division IV Boys Basketball Coach Of The Year in the State of Ohio and top top it off he was chosen the 2018 OHSAA Sportsmanship, Integrity and Ethics Coaches Award.
I’m so proud of him, and all he has done for River High sports. He has earned every thing that is available to a dedicated Coach and Athletic Director. He has also helped get a new and improved River High School Martin Flannery turf stadium, as well as a start of the art R.L. Potts Gymnasium, and to top it off a very nice Rick Bonar Baseball Field.
With the weather back into the spotlight once more, most of the games to have been played were canceled and will be played at a later date. When, and if, we get the dates and times of the games, we will publish them as soon as we can, so fans can go see their teams play.