Times West Virginian
West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen put an end to the speculation on his radio show Thursday when he announced that Clint Trickett, who had engineered last week’s upset of Oklahoma State, will start Saturday night against Baylor in Waco.
Trickett had suffered an arm injury against the Cowboys and missed Sunday’s light workout but he was back practicing on Tuesday and has worked with the first team all this week.
Holgorsen also revealed that all three quarterbacks, including Ford Childress, who had started the third and fourth games of the season but suffered a torn pectoral muscle which opened the door for Trickett to play, are healthy and practiced this week.
To celebrate his starting assignment and to try and make sure he remains injury free, Trickett reported on Twitter that he was “Taking the big boys out to dinner at Fujiyama” Thursday night.
• The West Virginia women’s basketball team officially opened practice on Thursday with coach Mike Carey welcoming an experienced team that could be among the best in the Big 12 if a couple of key players recover from injury.
“We’re excited and ready to go,” said Carey, who enters his 13th season at the helm of the program. “Coming in, I thought we have to get people healthy; you know Asya (Bussie) and Jess (Harlee). I wanted Linda Stepney to really work on her shooting and work on being aggressive offensively — that’s something we’ve been working on all summer and something we continue to work on.”
Bussie sat out last season due to a season-ending knee injury sustained in the second practice of the season, while Harlee rehabbed a knee injury that occurred in the final regular-season game of the year in order to return for this season. On Wednesday, the Big 12 Conference announced Bussie earned preseason All-Big 12 honors, while returning leading scorer and last year’s All-Big 12 first-team member Christal Caldwell earned honorable mention honors.
“Christal Caldwell and Taylor Palmer have really worked hard, and Bria Holmes really improved over the summer,” Carey added. “We think we have a lot of pieces, and I’ll be able to really bring people in and out. I think we’re pretty deep, as deep as we’ve ever been, so we’ll be able to keep fresh people in there and do some other things.”
In addition to five seniors, and the return of five additional letter winners from last season, including four starters, WVU added three new players to the Mountaineer family in true freshmen Lubirdia Gordon and Teana Muldrow, and transfer Breanna McDonald. McDonald will sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Fans will have their first opportunity to see the Mountaineers when they take on Concord in an exhibition game on Friday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. The exhibition game is a part of the Haunted Hoops event presented by Coke Zero. WVU will officially open the season at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8, in the WVU Coliseum, as it takes on Ohio State. The Mountaineers will then take to the road in the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic where they will face Ole Miss, Washington State and host Hawaii, Nov. 15-17.
“We have a tough schedule. Our first five games are probably the toughest first five games on the schedule since I’ve been here, but we did that because we have a lot of our players back. Our schedule is pretty tough and I did that for a reason,” Carey explains.
“The bottom line is, you can play whoever you want to play, but you have to win. If you’re fortunate enough to win some games, come NCAA time, you get a higher seed and hope to not have to play on someone’s home floor. If we take care of business during the season, then we’ll have an opportunity at the end of the season.”
• West Virginia sophomore Eron Harris was named to the Big 12’s preseason honorable mention list on Thursday.
Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart was named preseason Player of the Year while Kansas forward Tarik Black was selected as Newcomer of the Year and teammate Andrew Wiggins was named Freshman of the Year.
The preseason All-Big 12 team was also announced. In addition to Smart and Wiggins, Isaiah Austin (Baylor), Cory Jefferson (Baylor), Melvin Ejim (Iowa State) and Markel Brown (Oklahoma State) were named. This year’s preseason squad marks the first time in Big 12 history that two foreign players, and specifically two Canadian-born players, have been selected.
• Second baseman Jedd Gyorko, who just completed a successful rookie season with the San Diego Padres, will be among returning players for the Mountaineers’ Alumni Baseball Reunion Weekend Saturday and Sunday.
Alumni who will be in attendance include current professional player Grant Buckner of the Chicago White Sox, while Dan Dierdorff, Alan Filauro and Brady Wilson, members of the 2013 team, also will be in attendance.
The weekend begins with an open practice from 3 to 6 p.m. today. Following practice there will be a dinner reception at Keglers at 7 p.m. The reception is open to families.
On Saturday, there will be an alumni game at Hawley Field beginning at noon with all former players invited to come out at 10:30 a.m. for batting practice.
Saturday’s events are free and open to the public with available concessions throughout the day.
• The No. 10-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team opens a four-match homestand at 7 tonight against Texas.
“This is a big game – Texas is 2-0 in the conference, and so are we,” said Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “We are seeking every competitive edge we can get this weekend. This is a Gold Rush, and we need that gold to be all over the burnt orange and to give them a warm welcome. We need the Mountaineers to come out in packs and make sure we have an army in that stadium welcoming the Longhorns. We’re really going to need our fans behind us – any competitive edge will help us because Texas is that good.”
Friday is a “Dollar Night,” with all tickets, hot dogs, popcorn and Coca-Colas available for $1 each. Admission is free for WVU students with a valid student ID. The game also is a Gold Rush, and all fans are encouraged to wear gold.
A Soctoberfest celebration will be held at the stadium, featuring an evening full of American and German food and drink, including a Biergarten. German dishes such as sausage, pretzels, potato salad and more will be served, while Oktoberfest beers and domestic beers also will be available for purchase.