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.
Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated
Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.
Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives
A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community
Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
Marion County is full of volunteers.
They read to our youth.
They assist nonprofit agencies.
They serve on boards and committees.
And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.
Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law
West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.
Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region
Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.
COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community
There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.
- More Opinion Headlines
- Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated