If you haven’t made plans for the upcoming East-West All-Star game to be played at Mingo Central High School, you might want to do so.
The game, sponsored by Cliffs Natural Resources, will feature graduated seniors from Kanawha, Boone, Logan, Mingo and Wayne going up against those from Mercer, McDowell, Wyoming and Raleigh Counties.
The contest takes the place of the old Hatfield-McCoy Sr. Bowl that pitted southern W.Va. players against those from eastern Ky.
Of course many of you baby boomers will recall the original Sr. Bowl All-Star game was the Kiwanis Senior Bowl played at Lefty Hamilton Park in Williamson. That game began back in 1957.
Over the years dozens of high school stars have competed on the grid iron. For many, it is the last time to put their pads on. For others, it’s a chance to start getting in shape before they head off to play college ball.
There are some players who have even gotten signed after performing in the game.
The new format is interesting. It will eventually compete with the North-South game which is held every June in Charleston.
The past games always draw good crowds. Expect that to happen in this contest.
The alumni game that featured graduates from Maewan and Gilbert High Schools back in the spring drew an estimated 4,000 fans.
Southern West Virginia loves their football and this gives fans a chance to wet their appetite.
The Sr. Bowl is the unofficial launch of the local football season. Kentucky schools have already started practice and West Virginia players hit the field on Monday, August 4th.
… After a two-year stay at Division II West Virginia Wesleyan, basketball coach Patrick Beilein has accepted an assistant’s job with the Utah Jazz. Wesleyan confirmed the move to MetroNews on Friday afternoon. Beilein played at WVU for his father.
… Tickets are for sale for Marshall University’s “Paint the Capital City Green” pep rally next month. The 17th edition of the event is scheduled for Aug. 21 in Charleston. The Thundering Herd event will include a tailgate spread, an appearance by mascot “Marco,” cheerleaders and members of the Marshall University Marching Thunder.
Individual tickets are $60 and available through Aug. 15. Marshall says tickets will not be sold at the door. To order tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
… West Virginia University rifle coach John Hammond is competing in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in his native Scotland. Hammond has represented Great Britain twice in the Olympics, in Beijing and in London.
An Aberdeen native, Hammond will compete in shooting events in the games, which run until Aug. 3. Hammond competed in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. He won two Gold medals, one Silver and a Bronze. That made him the most successful Scottish athlete in a single Commonwealth Game.
(The AP contributed info to this column)
(Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at email@example.com or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern)