Let’s talk baseball, softball

Last updated: April 08. 2014 9:46AM - 995 Views
Ron Gregory ronjgregory@gmail.com



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Let’s talk baseball and softball. I’ll try to contain my excitement if you’ll attempt to control yours.


In local high school baseball, Scott High is off to a 2-5 start. The Skyhawk boys lost to Cardinal Conference rival Sissonville to start the season. Then they fell to Nitro before picking up a win over county rival Van. Losses to Poca and Ripley followed before a victory over their other county rival, Sherman. A loss to powerful Chapmanville Regional set the record at two wins out of seven.


Van’s baseball team lost its first three games, to Fayettevile, Scott and Fayetteville again before picking up a 14-13 win over Westside. The latter was not a pitchers’ duel by any stretch of the imagination. But a win is a win.


Sherman defeated pitiful Lincoln County, alleged to be Triple A, before losing three straight to Wyoming East, Scott and Clay County. It is still interesting to note that the only sport in which the Panthers seem competitive is softball, where they even once won a state championship. This season, the Lincoln County girls are 4-1 during their first five games. The only loss was at home against Spring Valley. The baseball team hasn’t shown a sign of life since its inception and this year is no exception. Do I have the start of a poem there? “Since its inception … there’s no exception ….”


On the other side of the coin, Sherman’s Lady Tide is 6-2 in softball.


They defeated Fayetteville, Valley (Fayette) twice, Van, Liberty and Buffalo in the Chapmanville Tournament. Their losses were to Poca and Ritchie County, also in the Chapmanville tourney.


Scott is 5-3, with wins over Buffalo, Poca, Tolsia twice, and Riverside. Their losses came at the hands of Herbert Hoover, Wayne and Point Pleasant.


Van, apparently still struggling to find a computer and report their scores to the West Virginia Secondary School Activities (SSAC) as required, have an unknown record at this point. Like the boys basketball team, Bulldog coaches apparently want little or no publicity for their student/athletes.


Perhaps they could borrow the baseball coach’s laptop for a few minutes.


* * * * * *


Last week, I mentioned that Rock Christian Academy is reportedly launching an athletic program this fall. The parochial school, to be located in or near Salt Rock, will evidently have former Guyan Valley/Riverside Coach Duane Estep as athletic director and boys basketball coach.


Brooke Lunsford, who is apparently the organizer of the new school, has posted some interesting information on social media. Regarding tuition, Lunsford wrote that “several options are available.” He goes on in some attempt to explain tuition that is about as clear as the proverbial mud. “We have an endowment program where a parent can deposit $16,000 and the student gets free tuition for each year he/she attends.”


Okay, let’s stop there for a second. All the parent has to do is deposit $16,000 and the student gets FREE tuition? Let’s do this, friends. Deposit $16,000 in MY account and I’ll either keep writing this column for your enjoyment or quit right now. It’s up to you. You can have my writing FREE or you can discontinue it FREE. Just $16,000. Hmmn.


Keep in mind that this IS a Christian school, so accounting is likely done on a different basis than you and I are accustomed to.


But I digress (for those in Hamlin, that means I changed the subject for a second). He goes on, “Then, at the end of the term we give your $16,000 back to parent. A nice college fund. We are going to work with you and change your child’s life.” Obviously. The poor child may be in poverty once the parents give their 16 grand.


Hopefully, that life will be changed to understand this wacky explanation.


Then, in another posting, Lunsford points out the cost of private school, which he says is $100 a week for 40 weeks or $4,000 a year. “Who can afford this?” he asks. “Call your bank or a local credit union and tell them what you want to do.” Hmmn again. Then he adds, “The insurance company is willing to help us build our school and gym. If we can get 50 parents to do the endowment, by the third year we will have our gym and the walls of the school in place. With 100 students on the endowment plan, we have our own building in a year and a half.” Well, at least we’ll have the WALLS.


In yet another post, Lunsford talks about the $16,000 covering a child’s education for five years with an “endowment program, that $16,000 will be turned over to you in a lump sum as your child’s college or technical school scholarship. In this case, you pay for your kids’ education in five years, and get the money back at the end of school.” Sounds like a deal too good to be true, doesn’t it? But, we all know that, with God, all things are possible. Want to buy a bridge in Brooklyn, by the way?


Lunsford urges those who want to get their child a Christian education to contact him. “Sometimes in my life, I find that I have some cash, some credit, a car title and whatever else I need to do to help kids.” Aha. I have a car title; can I provide my grandson a “free” education and get $16,000 back out of he deal?


He goes on, “I have an insurance company that will guarantee $4,000 per year on this deposit, and then when school is over, we will write you a check for your money back, whether it is one year or seven.”


The man continues on, saying Christian schools are planned not only in Salt Rock but also Harts Creek and Milton. “If you live in these areas, love Jesus or want to learn to love Jesus and you want an opportunity, it is here. Message me for more information.” He adds that he has “two teachers there, who are interested in putting Harts High School back in session.” Somehow making this Christian endeavor into something having to do with his insurance business, Lunsford says he has business in 37 states and life insurance in parts of all 50 states. But he doesn’t “want to field calls from all over the country with people wanting to put their kids in school.”


On that last score, I don’t blame him a bit. I am an honorary Harts Creeker and I wish Harts High was still open but I am not sure thousands of parents from Colorado, Wyoming and California will demand to bus their children to Harts if they find out about this deal. Please, don’t let anyone else know, though. We do not want Lunsford flooded with calls.


In the last posting I saw, on March 26, Lunsford said he needed a gym for a Christian school in Cabell County, apparently Rock Christian. “I would think with all these new middle schools, some team may want to raise funds, rent to us and make some Cash.” Ah, yes, “cash.” That has a decidedly Oral Roberts ring to it.


* * * * * *


Now I do not know Lunsford at all. I have no earthly reason to think there is financial impropriety here but this surely sounds like a strange way to establish any school, Christian or otherwise. Typically, as far as I know, an “endowment” is a gift to an academic, cultural or religious organization. Often, such endowments come with stipulations that only the interest and not the principal can be expended. This creates an endowment in perpetuity. I can only assume that Lunsford is trying to say (but never gets it out) that the $16,000 would be invested; the school will operate on the interest and other donations, and the giver will be reimbursed when a specific child graduates or leaves the school. If that is not what he is saying, I have not been inspired by the Holy Ghost to grasp it. It is simply beyond me.


Perhaps there are 50 people in the area willing to give the man $16,000 on the promise that their child will get an education and they will get their money back. In that case, let me ask again: are you interested in buying a bridge in Brooklyn? I’ve got a nice one. I also do not understand the melding of Lunsford’s private insurance business with establishment of a Christian school, but I may once again be missing the point.


As noted, despite being a fan of Chapmanville Regional High School, I wish the old Harts High was still in business. But it isn’t. The old school building is now a community center. I would not think it is available for a school. So, is Lunsford giving false hope to three communities? I don’t know that, either, but his postings have been more gibberish than informational.


* * * * * *


As regular readers of my political column know, I have never quite grasped fundamental, evangelistic teachings anyway. I am a predestinarian Primitive Baptist who believes God is all-powerful and predestines ALL things. But this fund-raising appeal has all the markings of a Jimmy Swaggart crusade. There, Brother Swaggart outlines the “steps to salvation,” the final one of which is to send him your money. In our Calvinistic Primitive Baptist beliefs, the only “step” to salvation occurs when God saves you. Nothing is left to man or anyone’s pocketbook.


None of this means I am opposed to parochial schools generally. Many Bible-thumpers get upset that I openly support Catholic schools in their quest for academic and athletic excellence. Those who insist Catholics recruit better than public schools have never watched George Washington or Logan High in action.


But we are talking about real money here. $16,000 is pretty big to some of us. At least Lunsford did not announce, as Roberts did, that if he didn’t raise his goal, “God will call me home.”


Peculiar is about my best way of describing it.


* * * * * *


Proving that coaches and administrators can make wise decisions regarding all-star games, retiring Charleston Catholic Coach Bill McClanahan and Tucker County’s Tom Gutshall are coaching the annual North/South Basketball Classic at the South Charleston Recreation Center.


Both are quality acts and every team member will be proud to play for them.


* * * * * *


Comments, story ideas, game results and rumors are always welcome. Email me or call my cell, 304-533-5185.

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