Fairmont State University basketball fans, give yourselves a hand.
FSU officials wanted to make it a special evening last Thursday when the University of Charleston visited the Joe Retton Arena in the Feaster Center.
They wanted to see FSU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams get the fan support that is so critical as they battle for West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships.
Drawing great crowds is a challenge when so many sports offerings are “free on TV,” so the evening was promoted heavily. The game was designated a “white out” with fans encouraged to wear white to the gymnasium. Free white T-shirts were passed out to the first 1,500 fans. Students were treated to free pizza courtesy of Papa John’s, and after the men’s game, the Marshall Lowery Band performed.
Fans — and the Falcons — responded.
More than 3,000 fans, including an excellent student turnout, were in the stands for a thrilling 83-81 FSU victory in the men’s game, following an 83-68 win by the Lady Falcons.
The players and coaches don’t take the support for granted.
“They (UC) came out on fire tonight, but I want to give a lot of credit for this win to the fans because we had so many people come out tonight to support us, and that’s what gave us the energy to push through the game and get the win,” said FSU’s Chase Morgan, who came off the bench and scored 18 points, including 10 in the second half.
Later, he added, “My goodness, this was fun tonight. It was the most fun I’ve had in a game in years.”
“I thought it was a great game,” said first-year FSU coach Jerrod Calhoun, who has talked since leaving Bob Huggins’ West Virginia University staff to become head coach last year about reviving the atmosphere that surrounded Fairmont State basketball during the Joe Retton era.
“I want to thank all of our fans. They did a great job for us tonight. Our entire football team was here, and I think that really set the tone for us. Our kids were excited to play in front of a packed house.”
We don’t think any fans left the gymnasium disappointed after FSU’s two wins over Charleston in such an electric atmosphere, and we join officials at the university in hoping they liked what they experienced and plan to come back for more and bring their friends.
There are several opportunities down the stretch, with FSU’s men playing five of their seven remaining regular-season games at home and the women six of eight, starting with Monday’s doubleheader with Wheeling Jesuit.
FSU’s men’s team is really on a roll. Its win at West Virginia Wesleyan Saturday was its fifth in a row and its 10th in 11 outings. The Falcons are 15-4 overall and 13-2 in the WVIAC and solidly in contention for a conference title.
Stretch runs with lots on the line make sports special. Fan involvement during the coming weeks at FSU — with students and townspeople forging a strong bond with the Falcons — would make for a fantastic February.
We’re confident FSU and its fans will make sure the buzz created last week will continue to build throughout the month.
Fairmont State University basketball fans, give yourselves a hand.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
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Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
County honors men who gave all in helping their community
The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.
State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less
The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
Let’s not do that again.
Long-range vision with transportation has been made to be thing of proud past
Last week’s closure of Fairmont’s Fourth Street Bridge is a symbol of a problem that must be fixed.
The United States should be proud of the vision its leaders once displayed to address the country’s transportation needs.
Back in 1954, for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his goal of an interstate highway system — something that transformed the country.
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- Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives