As pigskin season approaches, there is a buzz in the community. Coach Mick Price has stepped in to lead a young Red Devil squad in 2012.

As pigskin season approaches, there is a buzz in the community. Coach Mick Price has stepped in to lead a young Red Devil squad in 2012. Coach Price has seemingly already established a winning culture in the program.

Word is that he is already putting his stamp on the football facilities. “The Pit” is a perfect example of what Price’s influence can do.

The gymnasium has a magical feel to it with an atmosphere bursting with Red Devil pride that celebrates former players and championship teams.. One can only anticipate what he does with the football program.

  Coach Jimmy Frashier also has a young squad that will be lead by a talented offensive line and a young but very capable sophomore-to-be Trevor Tucker at quarterback.

Coach Frashier has recently resigned from his post as athletic director at Ripley High and looks to direct his focus to teaching and his football program.  The team looked sharp in recent scrimmages with Point Pleasant and Capital.  Tucker was zipping the ball around with confidence.  It will be an exciting fight for the hatchet this year.

Steve Lough is the new Ripley Athletic Director and will pull double duty as it’s Athletic Trainer.

Congratulations are in order for a couple of Ripley athletes. Viking Baseball’s Alex Karst will be joining former Viking Derek Mullins at West Virginia State University. Karst will be pitching for coach Cal Bailey’s Yellow Jacket baseball team next spring.  Karst had a fine senior season for Ripley in 2012 and garnered a second team All State selection.

Lady Viking softball’s Abby Brannon will be mashing for Coach Rod Graham’s Ohio Valley State Lady Scots. Abby had a wonderful career at Ripley and had a knack for bringing the ducks in off the pond.  Look for more on Abby in a future JN edition.

While my beat is Ripley sports, I do get to cover Ravenswood on occasion. It was a pleasure to cover hoopster Ben Pannell for a couple of games last season. The 6-5 shooter will be taking the court next season at West Virginia State University. Pannell’s versatile inside/outside game will make him an asset for coach Bryan Poore.

Last weekend I received a super car wash from the Ravenswood Chorus Department at Advance Auto Parts in Ravenswood.. Tennis standouts (and sisters) Alex McNabb and Bess McNabb were scrubbing tires for the cause.

Last Month, The Advance Auto Parts in Ripley hosted a car wash to benefit the West Virginia Wicked summer softball team. Hats off to Advance Auto Parts and the many other local business’ for giving back to the community and especially our youth.

A couple of Ripley athletes had tough decisions to make recently about their future. Viking Pitcher Heath Barnette took a hard look at the baseball opportunities he had to play on the collegiate level. Eventually, he decided to hang up the spikes and attend West Virginia University to study biology.

Another future West Virginia University student will also put his glove in the closet. Viking centerfielder and First Team All Stater Jamin Jones  will focus his attention on a degree in engineering. 

Jones received a letter from the program stating that he was still on the program’s radar after the firing of long time head coach Greg Van Zant.  Jones weighed offers from other schools  to play football and soccer but eventually decided to zone in on the books while taking on a tough major.

Jackson Newspapers will be implementing some fresh guidelines pertaining to middle school, elementary school and summer league sports. I will address this in a column during the next few weeks. Until next time, if you can’t beat ‘em, outwork ‘em.