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The Press Box for January 1

By Staff | Dec 31, 2019

Well if you want to have some fun get into an argument with someone who doesn’t know anything at all about what he’s talking about. That was the case on Christmas day when I went to Witschey’s (the only place open in New Martinsville) to pick up some rolls for our dinner.

There he was walking down an isle carrying his box lunch. A guy who knows everything and nothing at the same time. The conversation started out normal with a “Hey, how are ya” “Good, how are you” type of thing. Then is turned crazy! “Hey what did you think of the Miners getting free health carre and pensions with everyone else having to pay for it,” he said.

I tried to stay calm, really I did. So I just brushed it off and said, “yeah isn’t that something.” Then I asked him if he had been watching any local sports this season. Here we go again, “No, and did you see where Magnolia is going to Class AA?”

I tried to explain to him it wans’t happening until next season and then only in basketball for a two year trial period. Of course being the one who knows everything he says, “Oh, I don’t believe that, you can’t just do it it one sport.” Then he started telling me it’s all based on how many kids attend each school and he was throwing some weird stuff into the equation, including his grandson getting kicked out of Magnolia and if he had anything to do with it he would have sued the B.O.E. even though he said they didn’t vote or meet on it.

I was having a hard time even getting a word in! I then made a fatal mistake of telling hime he was wrong, that moving up to Class AA was indeed only in basketball for two years and it was passed by the WVSSAC (who he never heard of) with three different things included in their decision on who moves up and stays down, and it would then be looked at to see if it should be for other sports. He didn’t want to hear it, so he started rambling on about another kid who goes from Wileyville to Pine Grove and if what I was saying was true why wasn’t this kid going to Magnolia or Hundred.

I know pretty much about the change and how it all came to be along with the history of high school sports over the past 40 years or more. But it was impossible to get this guy on track. He then wanted to talk about unions and non-unions and I was trying to escape. Luckily for me, a local head high schoolBasketball coach came down the isle and I stopped him and asked him to explain the reclassification in basketball to this guy. Well he did but he saw the predictament I was in and quickly scampered on his way.

The only thing I could do was be rude and abruptly say” I have to go” and leave. That’s what I did. Now you know what kind of people we run into, folks it’s not an easy job dealing with them. Can you imagine how you would handle someone like that as an employer?

This may have been the most ignorant person I have ever tried to have a conversation with, but I learned something, sometimes it’s better to turn your head and forget the nice guy greeting. I will keep my eye open for this guy, even though I knew in advance what I might be getting into. Shame on me, it won’t happen again!

There has been some pretty good basketball games in the area lately. I like some of the players and think they have been working hard compared to where they were last year. Magnolia’s Jake Gamble is a nice player. He does a lot of things right and if he’s on he can light it up. I like his jump shot and his release is good. Paden City’s Walter Joy has been heating up and knocking down the three-pointers he has had three in a couple games and five in another. He a good shooter who needs to work on his off the dribble jumper to make him more of an offensive threat.

This duo out at Hundred of Cody Soles and Logan Norris may be one of the best 1-2 punches in the valley. They teamed up to take down Paden City 67-49 and then came back to outlast Beallsville 55-51. During the two games Norris hit for 40 points and Soles knocked it 43. Both are good shooters and have good athletic ability.

” Over the years, I pushed myself mentally and I pushed myself physically, I say to myself, ‘he’s as tired as I am; who’s going to win this mental battle?’ It’s just a matter of mental toughness.”- John Havlicek.

I like to think that’s what some of these guys are thinking. Jerry West once said this about John Havlicek,” People look at players, watch them dribble between their legs and they say, ‘There’s a superstar.’ Well John Havlicek is a superstar, and most of the others are figments of writers’ imagination.”

Anyway keep up the hard work it will pay off, practice makes perfect and foul shots can win ball games. eparsons@tylerstarnews.com