ON THE MARK: Postseason excitement, WVSU baseball and Jarvis' journey: Column
SPRING SPORTS: While spring sports in a normal year would be about to wrap up, in 2021 things are just now getting underway thanks to the delay back in the winter due to COVID-19.
Tennis regionals have been staged. Regionals are set this week for state competition in track and field while softball and baseball sectionals are set to get underway.
It’s different, that is for sure.
But at this time last year all of these sports had been shut down...and that created a terrible feeling for all the athletes. Especially seniors who had that final year of competition wiped out.
The winter delay has made for a long spring, but those involved (including yours truly) are happy for the chance to compete.
NCAA DIVISION II BASEBALL: The West Virginia State University Yellow Jacket baseball team was involved in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional at the University of Charleston’s Welch Athletic Complex.
The Jacket baseball team of head coach Sean Loyd features senior third baseman Christopher Jordan and redshirt freshman Dane Peterson, a pair of former Ripley Viking standouts.
Loyd praised both for their efforts in the program.
"I'm glad their both here," the friendly Lloyd said. "I don't think we would be in the spot we're in without them."
Features on the two will be forthcoming in future editions of Jackson Newspapers.
LOYD’S MENTORS: Loyd has several connections to Jackson County.
For starters, he spent several years on the staff of the late Cal Bailey and then followed the as the program’s head coach. Bailey, a native of Roane County, got his start in coaching and teaching in Jackson County before becoming a college baseball icon at State.
Loyd's association with Bailey actually started as player for the Yellow Jackets in 1992.
Before heading to State, Loyd was a standout athlete at Braxton County High School.
He was a sophomore starting quarterback under the late Ernie Moore, the Ripley head football coach from 1968-1970.
Bailey died last April and Moore passed away a year ago in May. Loyd said it has been a tough several months coping with the loss of two men who meant so much to him.
“There’s never going to be a time at West Virginia State as long as I’m here where he’s not going to continue to have an influence one way or another. On the field, in the classroom, with behavior,” Loyd said of Bailey.
“I’m always pulling from the precedent that he set here. There’s a loneliness there (with Bailey's passing) that’s never going to go away.”
Of Moore, Loyd said, “If I had sons that were going to play high school football, I would want them to play for him. He’s probably one of the most decent men I’ve ever met in my life and he was a good coach.”
JARVIS’ POSTSEASON JOURNEY: Another former Ripley Viking baseball standout, Anthony Jarvis, has had quite a season at Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passas, Kentucky.
Jarvis garnered First Team honors in the All-Mid-East Region as an infielder.
Alice Lloyd competed in the recent National Christian College Athletic Association World Series.
We look forward to catching up with Jarvis at a later date.