July 23, 2013
Another Boone County athlete is moving on to the next level with the announcement that B.D. Banks, late of Sherman High School, will be signing a letter of intent to play baseball at West Virginia University Tech in Montgomery.
Banks’ signing was to be at 5 p.m., Monday, July 22, at Sherman High, too late for inclusion of photos, etc. in this week’s paper.
Coach Lawrence Nesstelrodt was scheduled to be present for the event in the cafeteria at SHS. Some of Banks’ teammates were also expected to attend.
The proud parents, Andy and Donna Banks, made me aware of the event and I do appreciate their update.
According to his parents, B.D. is playing some summer baseball with others from the Madison and Logan areas. In the past he played for a Raleigh County team that went 22-0.
Adding to the pleasure of the signing was the fact that Monday also marked B.D. Banks’ birthday.
It is one more tribute to the athletes and coaches of Boone County that a young athlete such as Banks can continue his educational career on the basis of his sports stardom. With the escalating prices of a college education, it is always helpful when a young man or woman can earn at least a part of his tuition and fees in sports.
Boone County has a number of outstanding athletes and many superb coaches who do all the right things to allow our youngsters to go as far as possible in sports. Many area schools lack the drive and inherent interest in student-athletes to push them toward coaches and schools that will be interested in their talents.
I am sure Boone parents and students feel blessed with strong support from their coaches and school administrators.
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With the arrival of the pro football season in just a few weeks, it will be an exciting time for local fans who recall the exploits of Jordan Roberts while he was suiting up for the Scott Skyhawks.
Roberts has been able to visit the local area and spend some time with his family in recent weeks but soon it will be off to labor for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League.
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Former West Virginia University quarterback Geno Smith dropped by a Cross Lanes store last week to sign some autographs for fans.
While Smith seems nice enough, I still believe his abilities as a quarterback have been grossly overestimated by the Mountaineer fans who tout him as the next Brett Favre.
To me, Smith showed his true ability in his last season in Morgantown when Big 12 opponents just ate him alive. While I understand enough about football (I DO understand a few things about sports) to know that a better offensive line could have protected Smith better, the poor decisions he made on the run are indicative of HIS ability. For years, WVU fans had talked about how Smith could hit a dime at 50 yards whether under pursuit or not. Well, he didn’t hardly do that against Big 12 teams.
My suspicion was — and is — that WVU bit off far more than it can chew by joining the Big 12 to begin with. The level of competition is simply too much for the team in Morgantown and the length of travel is a killer for everyone.
WVU remains one of the programs that wants to be “big time” but is a long way from being there. Year-in, year-out, they are not going to produce runaway winning seasons in Morgantown.
Ask yourself this question: if you were a Big 12-caliber team is Morgantown, West Virginia, where YOU would want to play ball? I hardly think so.
Being Marshall fans, my son, Elias, used to joke that all the nuclear waste in the world could be dumped in the middle of Morgantown and the world would be better off. I don’t like the place; it’s dingy and dirty-looking. I can’t imagine a recruit who would say, “oh goodness, I’d rather be here than in Kansas or Waco.” Can you? What on earth does Morgantown have to offer that is above and beyond the other Big 12 teams?
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Speaking of WVU, I also believe the Mountaineer basketball team under Bobby Huggins has finally hit the bottom of the barrel. I mentioned earlier that the days of the Huggins coaching style are past, in my opinion. The current generation of players do not want a wise-cracking, finger-pointing, cursing coach whose antics are more colorful than the team’s play.
As I once mentioned in an earlier incarnation, WVU fans didn’t mind that Huggins was a drunk and used more profanity than any drunken sailor as long as he won games for them. Now that they sank last season, callers to talk shows and other outlets lament their coach’s language and other attributes. Seems the “f” work is fine as long as you’re winning. Start losing and it becomes an assault on Christianity and God.
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As in my political column, I suppose I should take a moment to defend myself before any assault begins. I am a Primitive Baptist, which is sometimes called “Hardshell Baptist” or “Old Baptist.” We were Calvinist before John Calvin was born. Thus, we believe in the predestination of ALL things.
If the world is getting so much worse, as some religious columnists insist, I continue to believe it is not because prayer was removed from public schools, as many say. First of all, prayer was NOT removed from those schools. A structured, denominational prayer is not allowed but your son or daughter can pray any time in the school and not be reprimanded.
I believe the constitutional provision for separation of church and state (I realize that term is never used) and the supreme court dictates should be followed. It is wrong, I think, for coaches and school administrators to insist on organized prayers before ball games in public schools. Although everyone involved in pushing that practice will insist “everyone” wants to do it, that is not necessarily the case. Many student/athletes are too intimidated by their peers to refuse.
The best solution remains the one followed by Herbert Hoover High. There, the band in its pre-game show presents some religious hymns. There is no singing and no words are said but the point is made without offending others of differing religious beliefs.
If we have a prayer before a game in honor of “Jesus Christ,” we should also be required to bow toward Mecca. How many “open-minded” Christians would agree to that?
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Wow! Not a negative comment about The Charleston Gazette or Lincoln Journal. I must be losing it.
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