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October 31, 2018

I've been traveling a lot in my years as a sports writer, throughout Wetzel County, and have noticed a lot of different names of ridges, alleys, streets and lanes. I've wondered how they have gotten their names.

There are many places that firemen, policemen, mailmen - as well as deliverymen - need to know. Sometimes we use a Garmin to show how to get where we want to go, and that's AWESOME. However, I am curious about how these places got their names.

I was hoping our readers can give me a lesson in how, and why, these places got their names. I know I was out just traveling from place to place and trying to find easier ways to get around in case a road, street, or lane would be closed for repairs.

When you're in the car or truck by yourself, it's a good place where you think of things like this. Sometimes I turn on the radio and listen to some tunes if there is coverage, but sometimes I'm thinking about a story, how I can write it. However, you don't have anything to write it down, and when you do, pull over and write it down. As many of my former supervisors (especially my wife) say, write it down.

A good part of me wants to write it down, but then there is that side that says, "It's okay, you'll remember." Yes, sometimes it works, but believe me, it gets harder with every year that goes by.

Garmins are great, but they sometime get annoying, especially when you turn into a place to get something to eat or get some gas. They go off on you and say many different things. The best one for me is, "Impossible. Make a U-Turn." My wife got mad once and said, "You're not right."

However, with a Garmin, you get where you want to go, but sometimes they take you ways that are not the easier way. Boy, if you get lost, and you don't have a person like my wife that knows where east, west, north, and south are - always knowing a road to get you where you want to go.

I got to see a pair of homecoming festivities recently - at the Valley and Magnolia games. It was nice to be able to go to both. Valley High School puts on a great homecoming before the game, while I can cover a quarter of the game there and then head down the road and catch Magnolia's.

The Valley band played during the walk when the girls and their escorts make their over to where the crowning will be. The kids dress up so nice, and listening to the Valley band play, I thought I was watching a professional queen pageant. (They were that good.)

After watching last year's homecoming queen take off her robe, sash, and crown - and put them on the new homecoming queen, I saw many of the girls so happy for her. I saw this at both places.

I then made my way back down to the riverfront to catch the Magnolia crowning too. They always do a great job, and this year's little princess and little prince, that MHS Principal Kathi Schmaltz had, were just so adorable and very cute.

My wife had that Saturday off, and we got to spend some time with our middle child Chris, his lovely bride Alaina, and of course my and Jim King's mini-me - Christian Blake. It was a beautiful day, and it was all good. Christian got to jump on the trampoline thing at the Parkersburg Mall. It was moved down to the food court area. Christian was a natural, I guess. He has been there for a couple years now doing this, and I had the most fun watching him have more fun than a bucketful of monkeys, strictly AWESOME. I recommend it highly. The two guys helping were just great; they helped the kids a lot, and safety was #1 on their list, close to having fun. It's a money maker, moving it down where people eat, and the kids tell their parents and or grandparents they want to do it.

The Magnolia Blue Eagles beat Tyler Consolidated, but you couldn't tell by the visitors side. Their band played and played and got the guests going, but early in the fourth, after a Magnolia score, you can tell a good many Blue Eagle faithful left. When I looked across the field, most of the Tyler fan base was still sitting and cheering the team on. Nice job Tyler fans!

I remember back when Dave Cisar was coaching football at a playoff game in Grafton, we (Magnolia) were down late in the third period by two or three touchdowns. I yelled at the crowd, who thought the game was over. I yelled, "You just don't give up on a Cisar-coached team!" It seemed like, as soon as I said it, Magnolia scored, and the people started back. The same goes for your teams and players. Show your true colors, and stay to the end, unless you're not healthy or really cold.

All these area kids need your support, especially if you are a dad, mom, sister, brother, family or friends. The players aren't blind; they look up to see where you are. Don't let them down, and stay to near the end. Some parents and fans would say, "My kid isn't going to play any more, so I just got up and left." How about all the parents and fans that had non-starters taking their place and playing? Just stay, and cheer on all the kids.

Winter sports are fast approaching. Remember, if you're not playing a fall sport, you must have a physical before you can practice. One way to get cut or lose a starting job, wait and go to practice and tell the coach you want to try out. It won't happen, coaches are not dummies. And for you players who go out for a team, don't tell the coach later that you got plans to go somewhere with your parents on a vacation. Most coaches will bench or suspend you.



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