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March 6, 2019

Another outstanding Bible study by our minister Ed Mellott at Steelton Church of Christ had me thinking again about a lot of things, and take the study a bit further - pertaining to sports.

Sometime ago, I had the pleasure to write a book about 100 years of football at Magnolia High School.

I was inspired by many many people, including Warren Witschey, Doug Huff and Bob Sullivan, by their knowledge of a sport that would eventually inspire me to take what they and many other people know about Magnolia Football during its first 100 years.

There was a lot of things I found out about Magnolia football that wasn't in the book, but I cherish all the information I was given.

I was also inspired by many people in the profession of football throughout the OVAC area and beyond - Gregory Swords, Dave Cisar, along with Doug and Bob Montgomery - to just name a few. Each one of these coaches have a memory most of us would love to have a small amount of.

What impresses me the most is how they know right off the top of their head about the many different sporting events, down to what happened in each quarter, how much time was on the clock, and who, what, where. It's totally awesome.

However, the one person in particular that inspires me the most is my wife Lynne. We will be married 45 years on March 9, and she is the love of my life. She raised our three kids while also working part time. After finding out I was going to lose my job as a coal miner, she decided to become a nurse in her late 40s into her 50s.

She, along with my sister and her own sister, worked to get my youngest son to be able to walk as he had a lot of difficulties at birth. Working to help Jeremy be able to walk and watching my dad fade at the final year of his life helped her decide to be a nurse and an LPN. She drove from New Martinsville to West Liberty a lot, just so I wouldn't have to go back into the coal mine where I had many close encounters. Mining had a lot to do with me getting a bad back and seven knee surgeries, including a pair of knee replacements.

These reasons are why I love and admire her. Not just right now, but for the past 45 years of us being husband and wife.

However, there is one I admire even more and that is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I understand this isn't a sports column topic per se, but its my column and I just want to say how I admire how Jesus came to Earth to die that cruel death so we can live forever in Heaven if we do just a few things.

And for you believers, you know what is needed to get to that wonderful place, and if you don't, you need to think long and hard on how you want to spend your eternity.

I promise, I will use the rest of my time writing sports columns and not use the time for religious-type stuff, but it is the only way right now I can reach out to people.

If I can just get one person to believe, it will all be worth it.

Finally, I am not going to be able to cover the Magnolia Blue Eagles' quest of a state Class A girls basketball championship, because of my anniversary. However the Wetzel Chronicle will provide coverage.

I'll be late in getting Spring Previews out and might not be able to do so before the season starts, so look for me at baseball, softball, track and tennis to close out my full-time reporter duties.



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