The Times West Virginian

Sports

June 10, 2014

Young talent gives Marion County sports bright future

FAIRMONT — When one door closes, another one opens. And so is the case when it comes to the sports scene in Marion County.

Over the fall, winter and spring sports seasons, young talent has been on display. North Marion’s girls’ track program, which brought home two state championships along with seven other top-10 finishes and a fourth-place finish overall, embraced its youth and found success.

Freshman runner Taylor Trowbridge said that age had nothing to do with it but rather how well the team meshed.

“Our team is all really close,” she said. “With the bond we have and all of the athletic ability coming back, by the time next year comes around, we’re going to have a really strong team.”

Along with Trowbridge, freshmen Lauren Freels and Hanna Gordon, along with sophomore Marlee Angelucci, were just a handful of the underclassmen who headlined a top-five track program statewide. Those runners along with juniors like Skylah and Maddie Haught, McKenzi Fisher, Mariah Dent and Lauren Cyphers have learned a lot over the past few seasons by watching their senior leader, Alexis Hillberry.

“She always helped us. She’s a strong leader,” Trowbridge said of Hillberry, who signed to run track at West Virginia Wesleyan next season. “Even when she didn’t run the event we were running, she always had good advice. She would leave us little notes about how to be strong and be brave.”

But now as the season is over, Hillberry will be passing the baton on to the younger runners, some of whom have already been tabbed as leaders.

After seeing the success of his program this season and looking at what he has coming back next season, North Marion girls’ track coach Jeff Crane is already excited about the future.

“With the success we had this past season, it’s just made them that much hungrier,” he said.

Two of the runners who will look to continue anchoring the Huskies squad will be Trowbridge and Angelucci, who found success on multiple occasions in their individual events: Trowbridge finishing fourth in the 1600-meter run at state and Angelucci finishing sixth in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes at state.

“Taylor had an exceptional year for us. We knew that after her cross country season that she would do a really good job,” Crane noted. “And Marlee, she’s the meat of our team. Probably our fastest runner, too. Without them, we wouldn’t get the job done.”

But that’s not to say that there isn’t enough praise to go around, Crane saying that you could point to a number of girls on the team and point out their successes, such as Skylah Haught winning the pole vault at state or the 4X100 team, which won back-to-back state titles.

Having youth and success is not a bad problem to have, though, and it’s not an uncommon one in Marion County.

Both East Fairmont and Fairmont Senior’s boys’ track team also have runners who finished in the top-five in their events at state, with Fairmont Senior sophomore Ben Stewart tasting gold on the shuttle hurdle team.

The epidemic is alive and well in other sports during the various seasons throughout the school year.

North Marion’s girls’ soccer team will have a star-studded senior class in the fall. Fairmont Senior’s girls’ basketball team brings back two perennial primetime players. And East Fairmont’s baseball team will have eight rising juniors in the spring. Just to name a few.

Asked about the Bees’ baseball team, sophomore pitcher/infielder James Bolander couldn’t find the right way to describe it.

After thinking for a few minutes, this was his response: “Oh, wow. I don’t know what it is about the sophomore class, but it’s rolling.”

No matter if you look at the class of 2016, which boasts players like Bolander, or the class of 2017, which features Trowbridge, there’s varsity-level talent, making for a fun few seasons up ahead.

For the track season, Crane has looked around and already knows that by the time the 2017 season comes around, he’ll have some spectacular meets to be a part of.

“Taylor’s class is loaded,” he said. “There’s a lot of young talent all across the state. By the time she's a senior, if they all stick together, its’ going to be something really good to watch.”

But the track coach knows that there are sports other than track, as he frequents any other type of sporting event around the county, and said that if you want to see some good sports, Marion County is the place to be.

“To win anything in the state of West Virginia, you have to beat someone from Marion County or North Central West Virginia,” he said. “It’s good to see that Marion County has those athletes that can get out there and compete with anyone from the state.”

Email Matt Welch at mwelch@timeswv.com or follow on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Pirates’ gaffe on bases proves costly

    Clint Hurdle says he and a pal often marvel over how there’s always something new to see at a baseball game.
    Too bad for Hurdle, what we watched Wednesday wrecked the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 7-5 loss.
    A timely, heads-up glance by reliever Jean Machi helped San Francisco take advantage of a gaffe on the bases by Pittsburgh, and the Giants tagged out of two runners who wandered away on the same play grab momentum and end a six-game losing streak.

    July 31, 2014

  • Speedy Shazier making quick impression

    Ryan Shazier grew up the football equivalent of a Rorschach test.
    Some coaches looked at Shazier’s 6-foot-1 frame with plenty of room to grow and saw a defensive end. Others focused on his blazing speed and saw a safety.
    Not Shazier.

    July 31, 2014

  • Wheeling holds off Post 17 rally in state tourney opener

    Wheeling Post 1 pitcher Mo Felt nearly went the distance in a 7-6 victory over Fairmont Post 17 on Tuesday afternoon at the West Virginia American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Hawley Field.

    July 30, 2014

  • Big ‘I’ golf coming to Pete Dye

    The Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship will make its first trip to West Virginia when Pete Dye Golf Club hosts the 46th annual installment of the event Aug. 5-8.
    The Pete Dye course, ranked No. 45 on Golf Digest’s ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Courses and No. 9 on Golfweek’s ranking of Best Modern Courses, will host 160 of the best junior golfers from 40 states during the 72-hole stroke play event.

    July 30, 2014

  • Scott sees swift title contention for Lakers

    Byron Scott was a key component of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Showtime teams, a smooth shooting guard with sizzling competitive fire. He believes his purple-and-gold championship pedigree makes him the ideal coach to return the struggling 16-time champions to NBA contention.
    “This organization is all about championships, period,” Scott said Tuesday at his introductory news conference. “We don’t look at Western Conference finals, Western Conference championships. We look at (NBA) championships. And we know we have some work ahead of us, but I’m excited. ... I love challenges anyway, so this is going to be fun.”

    July 30, 2014

  • Opinion: People running NCAA may not be bumbling idiots

    Two down, one big one to go.
    And with it a growing realization that maybe the people running the NCAA aren’t the bumbling idiots everyone has been making them out to be.
    The NCAA’s agreement Tuesday to create a $70 million fund to diagnose concussions and brain injuries does more than just give some former and current athletes a bit of peace of mind — if no real money. It also extricates the organization from another serious threat to its existence, one that could have potentially bankrupted it if everyone who ever suffered a concussion playing college sports were somehow able to cash in.

    July 30, 2014

  • Steelers Camp Footbal_time2.jpg Bell looking for more decisive, productive season

    Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw.
    There were times during his rookie season when the Pittsburgh Steelers running back would place his hand on an offensive lineman’s back and wait patiently for the hole to open.
    Sometimes, one would appear. Sometimes it wouldn’t, mainly because whatever sliver of daylight existed had already been swallowed by darkness while Bell was still trying to read the blocks in front of him.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • smallwood-wendell(1)-2.jpg Charges against Smallwood dropped

     West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.
    It took him only three words to say what was on his mind: “God is Good.” Smallwood is now free to return to West Virginia and rejoin his Mountaineer teammates when they open camp for the 2014 season Thursday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • dungy0725 (1).jpg Rice, Dungy sideshows stain NFL

    The National Football League guards its reputation as aggressively as lineman are paid to protect a quarterback.
    So, as training camp opens around the country, how odd is it to see Commissioner Roger Goodell’s 32-team NFL empire battling bad headlines and stinging criticism from all quarters?
    Anyone want to talk to the new quarterback for his early assessment of playing with the best and biggest players in the land? That would be business as usual. Nothing has been routine about the early days of camp this season.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Post 17 #7 Post 2 #12 mw.JPG DeVaul wraps up final season as Post 17’s leader

    If you were to ask players on Fairmont American Legion Post 17’s roster who they looked up to, you’d find a familiar pattern.
    Sure, you may get some Andrew McCutchens or some Derek Jeters as replies. But if you want to find out the real answer, just look into the dugout.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
Auto Racing Breaking News
Auto Racing Standings