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From My View For Feb. 21

February 21, 2018
BY BRUCE CRAWFORD - Staff Writer ( , Wetzel Chronicle

Here it is, the middle of February, and we really don't know if we are going to have any girls sectional games or not because of the possibility of a walk-out by the teachers and the service workers.

Because of not knowing when writing this column, I hope things work out for the best for all state teachers and the service workers, too.

It's not just in Wetzel County, but throughout the state, and we all hope West Virginia will do what's right. With the picketing, or better known as a work stoppage, it has brought back memories when I worked in the coal industry for more than 27 years.

I have seen many work stoppages in my day as a coal miner, as a member and as a president of a local union. Believe me, nobody wins in a work stoppage, and it will take a long-time to see if it helps or doesn't.

But, most of all, friends might not be friends until everything settles down. When you don't have money coming in because of a work stoppage, people change rather quickly.

You can think you have done everything in your power not to get mad at people, but after a while, good people aren't as good as they once was; it really changes people to the bad.

However, that was in the coal mining industry, and I hope that the teachers have a better way of coping with no work, and no money coming in.

We won some battles, but we lost some too. I can give everyone many, many examples to the bad, but not too many to the good. It's not only you that is hurt by a work stoppage; it is also your firends and neighbors and others that are affected, and it can go deep.

However, you must do what you must do for you and your family, now and the future. I wish the teachers and service workers, along with all the others affected by the work stoppage, well.

The one thing I fear, as a sports writer are the kids going to be the ones that will lose? I hope not.

Girls sectionals started this past Saturday, I hope. But, if this situation isn't resolved, are the West Virginia girls going to miss their sectionals, regionals and state tournament? I hope not. Will it trickle down to the boys next week?

We will see. However, I personally support the teachers and the service personnel with their struggles, as I have when I worked in the coal mines. My prayers go out to all that are struggling or will struggle.

But for now we will be looking at the playoffs. Did I say playoffs?

Yes, the River Pilots made it a clean sweep in the OVAC Class-AA inside the Ohio University Eastern "OUE" Gymnasium this past Saturday, when the Pilots won the boys title, while the previous Saturday, the girls won.

The setting was awesome as the River side was almost full, and I would safely say one third of the small Steubenville Catholic side was more River fans, as well as Wheeling Central and Union Local fans that still didn't fill half of their side of the court.

What can I say about the game was that whatever type of defense you play, there was no stopping the Pilots on this day. They might have been down a few points in the first half, but once Lukas Isaly and his band of Pilots hit the floor in the second half, you could see it in their eyes that it was about to get serious, and indeed they did.

Not only on the court, but in the stands as well - the River Nation was about to go into action, and I was glad to be a part of it, by taking pictures and taking notes to write the story. You can see all the many sport stories about the game, and what I try to write for a small town paper is not always what you see in the larger papers, and I hope that I have lived up to this in this week's edition of the OVAC boys game with the River Pilots.

Also congrats to Lauren Flannery and Lukas Isaly for being named the Division IV Players of the Year, in both girls and boys basketball in District 12.

With all the flood waters dropping, the cleanup now begins. As a youngin,' I came over and worked at Barth Florists and McCoys Five & Ten in helping them move out to save them from losing everything.

The area businesses in downtown New Martinsville will need us to help them, when all is done and ready to start all over again. Let's get out there and patronize these stores as much as we can. They have helped us in many ways by promoting our kids in school activities with their generosity, and it's now that we must help if we can.

And again, we don't know what will happen in the next few weeks. We are unsure about extracurriculars and what will happen with the spring sports that will start their practices now.

Just remember, if the teachers lose, we all lose; support them as much as you can in the future. If our people in office in West Virginia don't do what is right, just remember them when it comes down to election time when their jobs are on the line.

And as a side note, remember that if your kids haven't played sports up until now, they must get a physical and fill out the papers needed to play.



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