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From My View For Oct. 18

October 18, 2017
BY BRUCE CRAWFORD - Staff Writer (bcrawford@wetzelchronicle.com) , Wetzel Chronicle

I took in my first West Virginia Mountaineers' game this weekend, and I was overjoyed in everything that went on during the entire day. I got up early to start my stretching exercises, and get ready for the game.

Of course, I always forget something. Therefore, I had to buy a hat and sunglasses, so I wouldn't be without, since it was over 80 degrees, and it would be hot on the turf.

But, I didn't have to use it much as I got to stay up in the field box. What an experience. After signing in, and finding a table to eat a nice meal - prepared by WVU people - I sat down and watched the game in air conditioning.

Here I am, a sports writer for a small hometown paper, sitting in the field box with all the big names sports writers. I felt, for just a moment, important.

I thought that someone was going to come over, tap me on the back, and say "How are you and why are you here?" But, they didn't. I had the same ticket as everyone else. I was not on the clock, and I didn't have to write up a story.

After the first quarter, someone came around to give me a spreadsheet with play-by-play information, along with all the yardage gained or lost. Someone pinch me. I don't have to take notes - awesome. I took some pictures from my seat, on my own camera, and got some decent shots - not as good as if I was on the field. However, I wasn't going to complain, not at all.

And if that wasn't enough, a female voice came over the intercom and also gave play-by-play. Who ran, and how many yards gained or lost - everything you wish for when covering an important game.

Could this be any better? Not really. I was just hoping that someone wasn't going to touch my shoulders and tell me to leave. I still like to be on the field, but my first experience at the table at WVU - I thank God for all that is good.

The Mountaineers were down, as Texas Tech was a very good major college football team, and had our number for the most part in the first half.

The time was getting late, and I had to leave to go cover Paden City in the OVAC Class-A title match with Beallsville. I didn't want to disappoint the kids from Paden City, as well as Coach King.

I left, but got the game on the radio. I had the feeling that West Virginia was going to make a comeback, and boy was I right. With Will Greer quarterbacking, I wasn't worried at all that WVU wasn't going to not score, but I was worried about their defense. After watching a couple games on DVR, after covering a match somewhere, I knew that the defense would give up some yardage.

But listening to the game on radio, isn't the same as watching it in a press box where someone was giving you updates and all the information. I knew that I had to be at Union Local, and if it was meaning I was going to miss the biggest comeback against a top-ranked team in WVU history, I still would.

I cover Paden City every day, but I don't cover WV very much. I was tickled pink the Mountaineers' Will Greer led them with five touchdown passes, with four coming in the second half, and was excited all the way to Union Local.

Now if Paden City could pull off a victory in the OVAC Class-A Championship game, all would be good.

The Wildcats raced out to a pair of victories, and I was feeling pretty good, but in sports you play to the end and give it 100 percent all the time. There is always somebody out there working harder than you, and you have to just do as much as you can and leave everything on the floor.

I was right. Beallsville responded, but I didn't know if Paden City could recover after winning the first two sets and Beallsville regined the momentum, and the Wildcats were on their heels.

But I also knew PC Head Coach Fred King and Coach Jeff Bowers, they can get one's Mo-Jo back in a hurry, and he did. However, they coach and they let the kids play and they told them he was proud of them as anyone and you can't see the forest for the trees, or something like that.

They both have been coaching for awhile, and they knew what these girls was capable of, and told them to go out there and do their best, and they did.

However, it was equally important that their captains would lead the way. Watching the 'Cats Malayna Price keep volleys alive with her prowl-like play, and the gutsy all-around performance of last year's Player Of The Year, Aubrey Neff, I was excited to know what I was in for down the stretch.

But I must give credit to some others down the stretch as well. There was senior Kameron McClain. She played sparingly last season, but learned her role with her teammates, playing especially well - not only at the line with her serving, but her bumping up balls like Price, to keep volleys going to give the 'Cats a chance to win.

Then there is Katrina Heasley. She like her older sister Amanda, was a gamer and an excellent cross court spiker. She also had a serve that is hard to handle, and just like Neff, is a player that will go through the wall to get to a volleyball to make a play.

Then off the bench there is Jenna Arnett. This lefty will sneak up on you and pound a kill, here and there as well as dropping in a dink.

And, lets not forget Jenna Ferrebee. She plays the game on her sleeves. She can and does it all. She pushes her teammates, but most of all, she pushers herself. She is a rock-and-roll kind of girl, that wipes the floor with her aggressive play, with defenders cleaning the floor, trying to catch-up to her spikes and dinks.

However, they would not be in the finals if it wasn't for the 'Cats freshmen - Mallory Yeater and Hope Weber. Yeater has been solid all season. She can deliver a ball for the girls at the net, or she can be the girl at the net. She is an outstanding server that has blossomed into another Neff-like player. She is smart and is happy to do what ever she can for the good of the team.

Then there is Weber. She is a volleyball specimen. She has grown into one of the most wicked spikers in the high school game, and believe or not, she is just a freshman.

She - along with Ferrebee, Heasley and Arnett - can get up and block with the best of them. Besides her spiking and blocking she has a pretty good serve and will go get a dig too.

With this in mind, the 'Cats took set five to win the OVAC crown. It was worth missing the rest of the WVU game, but I hope that I can go back and do this all over again, and again.

 
 
 

 

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