coalvalleynews.com

RON’S RAMBLINGS

Ron Gregory ronjgregory@gmail.com

August 13, 2013

Once again, Scott High School’s own, Jordan Roberts, was featured in a televised pre-season game as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.


Roberts’ game was featured on the Internet feed Friday evening and then replayed Saturday afternoon on the NFL Network.


It isn’t often — as in ever — that local fans can turn on the tube and see one of our own in action on the gridiron. Roberts has always been the exception to the rule and everyone with a brain in Lincoln, Boone and West Virginia salutes this talented young man.


Recently, on Facebook, a “friend” of mine from Nicholas County pointed out that poor, poor Geno Smith had suffered an injury in a pre-season contest. It turned out to be not so bad, but as West Virginia University fans will recall once the team entered the Big 12, Smith had a habit of being “injured” any time the going got rough.


She then went on to say that she would be watching and cheering a lot this year for the Jets and Rams, where former WVU players have gravitated.


I seldom write on Facebook, but I could not resist saying, “It might be nice to watch and cheer on a genuine West Virginian.”


To her credit, she immediately said she would cheer for any team with a former WVU or Marshall player on it. I didn’t bother to mention that, while Roberts spent a season at WVU, he actually starred at the University of Charleston. No reason to burst a bubble so dramatically.


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Because of what I see as an inferiority complex brought on by appearing to be “second-rate” Virginians, those on this side of the mountains have always been overwhelmed when someone from outside salutes them.


On the other hand, about all Smith and the two running backs she is cheering on ever did was take a free education on the backs of West Virginia taxpayers and then charge out of the state at the first opportunity. They are about as much West Virginians as a native of Santa Barbara.


Roberts, on the other hand, is a genuine talent who works harder than most to improve and get to where he is today. He is real joy to know and be around. He knows where his roots are planted. Who knows where the WVU grads consider home.


While I am a Marshall fan and the Herd adds more West Virginians to its roster than WVU does, many of the MU pro players are NOT West Virginians.


It would seem to me, as I have stated before on many occasions, that state natives would be prouder of other state natives who succeed rather than worshipping out-of-staters who call this place home for four years.


I guess I am expecting much to much but I will continue to lavish praise on Roberts, a native Lincoln Countian who graduated from Scott High and played the bulk of his career at UC.


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Have I mentioned that it amazes me that the state continues to dole out money to the Greenbrier Classic, indicating that it is some kind of “economic development” tool?


I said it before, but will repeat it here, the Greenbrier Classic is a place for state economic development officials to rub shoulders and drink with professional golfers. No one has yet pointed to one SINGLE JOB the Greenbrier Classic is responsible for bringing to the Mountain State. Perhaps because it has brought none.


It is nice to hear good news about West Virginia but at the amount it costs the state, it ain’t worth it.


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Remember all those WVU fans who insisted Pat White would be a GREAT NFL quarterback. Now they rave about Geno Smith. At the time, I said White would be fortunate to be a wide receiver in the pros and now state sports scribes are telling us how well he is doing in that role. Smith, on the other hand, will have difficulty being ANYTHING in the NFL. Sorry to bring the floating balloons down.


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Memories of the late Charleston High School were honored last week during an All-Class Reunion.


Frank Giardina, who writes a column for the Sunday (Charleston) Gazette-Mail remembered some of the athletes who have passed away.


Among them were: Dean Blake, Sonny Buris, Terry Cantrell, Clifford Harris, Lowell Harris, Larry Harris, Ralph Jean, Don Megginson, Billy McCoy, Curtis Price, Dennis Reed, Melvin Riggins, Jerome Sales, Mark Stewart and Mike Tyson.


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Plans are underway for our annual Football Preview edition. I will be writing stories about the three high school teams and interviews with coaches are planned.


If any fan or parent has information they think I should know about or include in the edition, please contact me.


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The warm weather has been perfect, I suppose, for pre-season high school practices. I always worry about the health of players but know that modern-day athletic departments take a much closer look than they did in the “old days.”


The legendary Duval/Guyan Valley Coach Blaine Wilkerson always told me that when he played at Duval, he’d try to figure out how to run a play into the nearby creek to “cool off a little” since the old-time coaches seldom wanted their charges to drink water. It was a sign of weakness, they said.


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As always, your comments, questions and story ideas are welcome. Simply contact me at the email address or call my cell, 304-533-5185.