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From My View
September 13, 2017

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It was awesome that the Magnolia Blue Eagles' football team started its season with two straight wins while knocking off the WVSSAC third-ranked Class A Williamstown Yellow Jackets in their second game in Wood County. I missed the game. I was covering another county team, but heard so many good things about the game, and how it was played. It was great to hear that Hunter Partridge finally got his shot to be the go-to guy on the ground game, after having to wait his time behind a pair of outstanding running backs in Chase Streets and Tyler Anderson.

Magnolia has had some great running-backs in the past few years besides Anderson and Street, that also include the dynamic duo of Stingray Bates and Dillon Jackson as well as Gage Rohde, Traeh, Jayson and Drew Keller. There has been many, many great backs along with outstanding receivers and quarterbacks too. I will get to them in another column this season.

All these fine young men had the heart of champions, and Hunter is another one that fits in just nicely among all these other great running-backs. I know there were many more, but to save space, I just wanted to talk about those in the past 10 years.

With Partridge being a senior and having to wait his turn, it was nice to see this young man finally getting his chance to shine. In his first game of the season, he only touched the ball twice against Parkersburg Catholic and went the distance each time. Against Williamstown, he carried for a school-record 41 times for 360 yards and for touchdowns against a quality team in Williamstown. Awesome stuff. He was gracious just like all these other running-backs I just mentioned, giving all the credit to his front line. I wish him and the Blue Eagles the best of luck the rest of the season, and hope I can write the story-book ending, in the end of their journey this 2017 season.

Another thing I wanted to chat about is the other kind of football, soccer. We only have Magnolia to cover in boys and girls soccer here at the Wetzel Chronicle. But, if we want to keep the sport alive, we must try to get our younger ones involved now.

You see, the New Martinsville Parks and Recreation has had youth soccer for awhile now, and the kids aren't as interested as they once were. We need to get our young ones involved in this great sport as well.

After helping Magnolia get the girls soccer started as its first coach, it was imperative that we have a feeder program to keep our kids interested in the sport, and the Parks and Recreation offered that.

But now that the kids are not coming out, it will be much harder to keep this growing sport going if the kids don't learn the game at an early age.

I hear many people say we have football and volleyball, why do we need soccer? Well, you can say the same thing about golf, cross country and band too. Those numbers have dropped too. There are still many kids that don't want to play football and volleyball, and it's nice to have a sport that these kids can participate in.

I love football and volleyball; they will always have these sports around. But, if we don't give all the kids a choice and they don't want to participate in these, we need to get these kids off the streets when they get in high school and participate.

Last week, Paden City and Valley opened their volleyball season, while Magnolia and Hundred started theirs, and the River Pilots are in their third week of matches.

The Lady Pilots have taken some tough losses of late, but they are an up-and-coming good volleyball team with young talent all the way around. I'm not saying they will struggle this year, but they will be a powerhouse in the next couple season once again. The Paden City girls are very, very good and will look to repeat as Mason-Dixon camps once more along with OVAC Class A regular season champs as well.

They have a nice group of seniors and a couple three freshmen that will help keep Paden City on the map for years to come.

The Valley squad is hungry for a winning season, and has already won a match, and has competed for awhile before bowing against better squads, and will get better each week. When they do, they will be very competitive with the big dogs down the road.

I don't know too much with Hundred and Magnolia yet, but watching some volleyball during the summer and seeing the team get ready for this season with their play, they look to challenge the big dogs in the OVAC Class AAA as well as all their regular season foes before tournament time.

Trey Blain is on a roll in golf. After winning the Athlete of the Week to start the season, he either was the games medalist or runner-up in all his matches, and he looks to repeat in the regional and state tournaments the way he is playing. Keep it up Trey.

Also, Sierra Knowlton is making some noise in the girls golf season for the Lady Pilots, while Magnolia's Olivia Mensore is holding her own against the boys as the team's number two golfer, behind Blain. But, watch out for MHS freshmen Alex Parker who is an up and coming golfer that looks to make some noise before the end of the season.

The Lady Pilots' Livi Beard has opened some eyes in Ohio cross country, while the Eagles' first year runner Karina Patel along with teammates Bre Barbera and Aubrey Hall are each knocking off time with every meet they are in.

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