|Supporting Shoutout - Weir High Boys Hoopsters|
I want to personally commend the Weir High boys basketball team for not quitting and playing through a tough 2012-13 season.
It's easy and fun to play on a winner. Losing is never easy. Yet these boys managed to give it their all night in and night out despite claiming just two wins this season.
They were on the losing end of blowouts and close games too in which they had the lead and then lost it, battled internal adversity and managed to hang in there for the long haul.
I know how difficult it can be to be to endure a losing season -- even winless. It's no fun. You just can't wait until it ends.
It may hurt now, but these Red Riders will be better people for it -- especially when they start winning again.
Let's not forget to commend and thank Coach Mike Granato -- a class act who has been guiding through the Red Riders through think and thin for the past 14-years.
|Posted by Kevin Elias on 2/25/2013 7:13:00 AM.|
|Weir High Red Riders|
|Double the Pleasure -- Weir High Wins Two in H-S Hoops|
A big congrats goes out to the Weir High girls and boys basketball teams as they both came up with big wins Monday night in their respective games. It marked the first time both teams won basketball games this season on the same night.
Coach Bill Smith's girls team got a 3-pt buzzer beater from Raven Young to lift the Lady Riders to the second round of the WV Sectional Basketball Tournament in Fairmont. The 5th seeded Lady Riders (10-11) will travel back to Fairmont on Wednesday to meet Fairmont.
On the boy's side, Coach Mike Granato's squad earned their 2nd win of the season with a big 16-pt win agianst Class AAA John Marshall. The Red Riders finished what they started, taking an 18-14 lead after the 1st quarter and then capitalizing on a 24-11 run in the final period to notch the victory.
Both teams are focused and they got game. They just have to believe they can win.
Let's be proud and get behind our hometown Red Riders for the stretch run.
Basketball is a game of momentum. Go get 'em kids ... Momentum is on your side.
|Posted by Kevin Elias on 2/19/2013 8:27:00 AM.|
|Weir High Red Riders|
|OVAC H-S Basketball Championships a Big Hit|
Cudos to the OVAC for doing it right.
This past weekend's OVAC boys high school basketball championships were another example of how the conference has structured its leagues and events to bring the best of a sport to light.
Similar to last weekend when we had 5 great girls title games, the boys' action was equal to the task as three of the games came down to the wire -- two of those being near buzzer beaters.
Congrats to our two local squads -- Steubenville Big Red in Class 4A and Steubenville Central in 2A. Both teams played great games and came up just a little short in their quests for an OVAC title.
A special salute to the Steubenville Big Red girls basketball team for capturing the 4A title from Martins Ferry eariler this month.
|Posted by Kevin Elias on 2/18/2013 7:31:00 AM.|
|Steubenville Big Red, Steubenville Catholic Central Crusaders|
|Back From Bitterness -- Spring is Eternal|
Okay ... my apologizes to all of you out there who may have been looking for some words of wisdom or deep thoughts about the NFL playoffs, Super Bowl or the return of the hockey.
First up, I must confess that I've been a little down or maybe even somewhat bitter over the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl -- certainly a different feeling than I had at the conclusion of this past college bowl season.
Sure the NFL playoffs had some real good games this year ... and comebacks too. But the Super Bowl -- as I mentioned before on the radio -- just wasn't "sexy" enough for me. We didn't have the Atlanta Falcons and their assault-like offense taking on the likes of New England or Denver as I had hoped. In fact, we didn't even get the Brady vs Manning match-up that seemed to be the storyline surrounding this past football postseason.
Instead, what we got was a BROTHER VS BROTHER match-up ... something that never happened before in NFL history -- two Harbaughs going at it as coaches. Now maybe that's a great storyline for the WWE, but for me, I wanted a little bit more.
Quite frankly, I was sick and tired of hearing about Ray Lewis' deer antler spray denial and just who would Papa and Mama Harbaugh be cheering for.
The Super Bowl game itself wasn't flashy until the blackout came, reminding me of intermission at a two-act play with the directly gearing us up for the final climatic climax -- which it -- for the most part -- turned out to be.
But overall, this past month of sports really hasn't left me enthusied about much. With exception of some good high school basketball and wrestling, I didn't really get out of my funk until this past week when pitchers and catchers reported to Florida to start baseball spring training and we celebrated Valentine's Day -- one holiday I do still look forward to with my wife, Shelley.
Well ... Spring is just around the corner as that ole' groundhog would suggest and baseball and the Pirates will be here before you know it.
I can't help but think this will be the year we end that darn losing streak.
Spring is eternal and we can hope hope for better days ahead.
|Posted by Kevin Elias on 2/17/2013 10:55:00 AM.|
|NFL, Pittsburgh Pirates, Humor|
|College Bowl Games Did Entertain Us This Year|
As much as I have complained over the past 8 weeks or so about there being too many meaningless bowl games in college football -- wasted money that could be better spent on something a little more important (like education), I must may the past couple of weeks has been entertaining.
We have had some pretty thrilling matchups that were worth watching on TV or listening to on the radio.
With exception of the golden eggs laid by the Big 12 conference (Kansas State, Oklahoma and our beloved West Virginia Mountaineers), most of the games have come down to the wire and included pretty good matchups.
As much as I bash bowl committees for having people on them that make too much money for doing relatively little, I will give them praise for turning in a good lineup card this year.
Let's home tonight's national championship -- Notre Dame vs Alabama -- can live up to the hype that I'm hoping it will.
Other than the WVU/Syracuse game, the championship game was the only one that I had originally intended to watch until sitting down, scrolling through the channels and finding other games also worth taking a look at.
|Posted by Kevin Elias on 1/7/2013 6:42:00 AM.|
|NCAA Football, WVU Mountainers|
|Happy New Year Everyone ....|
Well ... 2012 has come and gone and a new year is here.
The past year had plenty of ups-and-downs in the sports world. For me, I'm glad it's behind us.
Locally, we crowned a state baseball champion in West Virginia as our Madonna Blue Dons took the Class A title.
This past high school football season was exciting too as Madonna and St. Clairsville reached state championship games and came oh so close to winning. On the flip side, the rape scandal at Steubenville Big Red dampened many spirits and so did the football team when they bowed out early in the playoffs.
College football also had its share of highs and lows.
-- Ohio State finished unbeaten, but did not qualify for a bowl or national championship consideration due to NCAA sanctions.
-- WVU exited us early as the Mountaineers were the 5th ranked team in the U-S early on, but a 5-game losing streak and horrendous defense dashed our hopes and embarrassed even the most loyal Mountaineers. And for the icing on the cake, a big loss to former Big East rival Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl put an exclamation point on a disappointing season.
-- As for the Pitt Panthers, they are Pitt. They lost early and finished with enough wins to qualify for a bowl game at 6-6. Good enough for AVERAGE.
In college hoops, West Liberty had another good run, but the Hilltoppers fell short of winning a national championship.
Over in the pros ... the Steelers and Browns delighted us to 8-8 and 5-11 records while the Cincinnati Bengals made the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.
Our beloved Pittsburgh Pirates excited us with thrilling baseball AGAIN until we got past the All-Star break and then they took a nose dive never seen before in the history of baseball. I still can't get over how we were 16-games over .500 in early August and finished a few under by season's end.
In hockey, the Pittsburgh Penguins were good enough for the playoffs last season, but that's about it. This year, a labor dispute has turned out the lights on the sport and cancelled most -- if not all of this season. Too bad for those who bought the NHL cable package to watch games that aren't being played.
As you can see, there were just too many highs and lows to say it was a great sports year. If it weren't for the Olympics and the success of U-S-A, then 2012 might have been average at best.
Let's hope 2013 brings is better than this past year and we aren't caught on another bad roller coaster ride that leaves us more nauseous than thrilled.
|Posted by Kevin Elias on 12/31/2012 7:19:00 AM.|
|Steubenville Big Red, Madonna Blue Dons, High School Football, NCAA Football, NCAA Basketball, NFL, NHL, MLB, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Pirates, WVU Mountainers, OSU Buckeyes, Cleveland Browns|
|About that 'UNOFFICIAL' WEIRTON WV Facebook Page...|
Well ... I think it's about time to speak up and out about the buzz around Weirton this week over the "UNOFFICIAL WEIRTON, WV" page on Facebook.
A lot has been said about the social media blogging site recently because some people may be confused, thinking it's the OFFICIAL source from the city. Others contend that it should be removed because of the content posted on it.
Some of those posts in question include written transcripts of audio broadcast taken from the Hancock County 9-1-1 Center Sheriff's Dispatch. This would include dispatcher-to-police communcation regarding incidents they are called to respond in and around Weirton.
Last weekend, there was an alleged incident at Eat-n-Park Restaurant on Three Springs Drive involving a customer and whether or not he had a gun inside the establishment.
Details of that radio call were first posted on the Facebook blog page, creating a buzz and causing some concern on the social media site. Initially, some sources dispelled the blog as fabrication. Audio from that dispatch was later uploaded by the unidentified administrator and posted on the site.
Without knowing the administrator, I would have to say the purpose of posting the radio dispatch communication isn't to alarm anyone, but to shed some light on what authorities are called to everyday so folks are aware of what's going on in their neighborhoods.
Critics say this is wrong and the page should be removed from Facebook. I ask where is the actual harm? If the written radio communciation is "actual" correspondence (unedited) and does not interfere in any way, shape or form with authorites' response to a call or investigation, then it serves as a resource of information.
While some of the comments by blogger "FRIENDS" of the page are critical of some posts and people mentioned within the content, I haven't seen anywhere yet where the administrator has "bashed" anything within the city. If for nothing else, the page promotes activity in our community and provides a written account of radio communication dispatch that anyone can listen to with a scanner.
Keep in mind the purpose of social media sites like Facebook and blogging is to network communication on a grand scale with masses of people. It's not necessarily intended to be a resource for facts and credible sources.
The WEIRTON, WV Facebook page is "UNOFFICIAL" and is just like all of the others out there. It's an online place people can read and decide for themselves if what is written has validity or is just internet "junk" to treat with a grain of salt -- mere opinion, speculation or fiction intended to generate a response and keep people coming back for more.
BOTTOM LINE: If you don't like the page, don't log onto the page and read it.
|Posted by Kevin Elias on 12/14/2012 7:00:00 AM.|
|News & Current Events, Misc|
|A Male Soap Opera in AFC North|
Let's cut to the chase STEELERS, BROWNS, BENGALS and RAVENS fans...
The NFL regular season ends in three short weeks and the race to the playoffs is really heating up.
Here are where things stand in the AFC playoff race and how this MALE SOAP OPERA should play out for your teams...
** RAVENS: Right now, they do control their own destiny, but let's not annoint them the Northern Division champs yet. While they do play 2 of their final 3 games at home, the likes of Denver, N.Y. Giants and Cincinnati will be no easy task. Baltimore could easily lose all 3 games and miss the playoffs altogether.
** STEELERS: At 7-6, they still have a hold on one of 2 wildcard spots if the season ended today, but that could slip from their grasp if they lose here this week. A road game against Dallas followed by home dates against division rivals Cincinnati and Cleveland could feel like their playing elimination games over the holidays.
** BENGALS: As mentioned on air, I really think the BENGALS-STEELERS game will decide which team joins the Indy Colts as a wildcard playoff team. The Bengals are on the road in Philadelphia this week, followed by the visit to Pittsburgh and a home battle against the Ravens to wrap things up. To their advantage, the head-to-head schedule gives the Bengals probably the best chance to control their own destiny.
** BROWNS: Let's be real, at 5-8 the Browns have to win out and hope ... for almost a miracle. Many teams in front of them must lose out for Cleveland to be talking playoffs. But the season-ending game against the Steelers should have that playoff atmosphere the Browns can use as motivation and experience as they prepare for next year. To be fair, the Browns have the Redskins this week, followed by the Broncos and Steelers. Can you see them winning all 3 games? Maybe 1 or 2 at best.
So how do things look?? The Ravens and Steelers will be playoff teams. I still think the Steelers have an outside shot to take the division.
Regardless, it seems destined that we will see another Ravens/Steelers playoff game this year.
|Posted by Kevin Elias on 12/13/2012 8:33:00 AM.|
|NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns|
|PIRATES COMING TO TOWN|
Just this reminder Pirate Fans ... tonight is your chance to come out to the Fort Steuben Mall to see the Bucs.
Second baseman Neil Walker and third baseman Pedro Alvarez headline a group coming as part of the Pittsburgh Pirates' annual Winter Caravan to meet and greet fans in the region and drum up excitement for the 2013 season.
Those attending the event beginning at 6:30 p.m. should arrive early to avoid the anticipated long lines. Bring your camera and stuff for your kids to get autographed too.
PIRATE NOTES: The Pittsburgh Pirates re-signed setup man Jason Grilli this week to a 2-year contract in a move to keep one of the team's consistent relievers in the fold.
Let's hope this signing doesn't mark the end to Joel Hanrahan's tenue as the team's closure as I'm hearing rumors to that effect.
The Grilli/Hanrahan combo has been solid for the past two years and a key component to being competitve again in 2013. We can ill afford to break it up.
|Posted by Kevin Elias on 12/12/2012 7:04:00 AM.|
|MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Congrats to Madonna on a Great Gridiron Run|
Ahhh ... I guess a week is long enough for things to settle before finally closing the book on the 2012 high school football season and our Madonna Blue Dons' one-point loss in the WV Class A state championship at Wheeling Island Stadium.
I didn't want to write anything here to sound like "sour grapes" or maybe even suggest something that I'd later regret due to my mental state after Madonna lost the title on the game's final play -- a 2-pt conversion.
I can't let it go. That play still baffles me. Sure Wahma QB-Trent Gibbs dove into the end zone from 1-yd out to give the White Falcons the walk-off win. But just prior to that, an encrochment penalty was called against the defense for being lined up in the neutral zone when Gibbs appeared to have called for an illegal back-to-back timeout -- one his team didn't have.
Okay ... enough of that. For those of you who saw the game -- all cheering aside -- that was one heck of a championship game to watch. A back-and-forth battle, the game was in the balance for both teams as we saw 6-lead changes as both team offenses were difficult to stop until the end.
While it may be hard to swallow losing "the game" like they did, no one can hold his head down because Madonna played great ... in the championship game and all season long.
Hats off to the boys and coaches for giving us so much to cheer about during 2012 and let's hope they do it again in 2013.
ALSO: A salute to the Blue Dons' four seniors who strapped on their helmet for a final time at the state title game -- Garrett Hypes, Charlie Cotton, Quinton Hukill and James Fulciniti.
|Posted by Kevin Elias on 12/10/2012 8:34:00 AM.|
|Madonna Blue Dons, High School Football|
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