On the Mark: Major’s visit to Ravenswood and much, much more: Column

Mark Martin
Mark Martin

THE MAJ: You could hear the excitement in Lucy Harbert’s voice through the phone as she discussed Major Harris coming to Ravenswood for the Ohio River Festival in August.

Harris, one of the most electrifying players in West Virginia University football history, will serve as grand marshal of the ORF parade and will also take part in other festivities during the weekend of Aug. 6-8.

Harbert has been a tireless worker for years to keep the ORF a big part of the Ravenswood community and all of Jackson County.

She’s thrilled beyond belief to have Harris on hand.

Harris, a WVU Sports and College Football Hall of Famer, will have his number retired this coming season. No. 9 will become just one of just five (Daryl Talley’s No. 90 is also being retired this season) in school history to be retired.

You can see more about Harris elsewhere in this edition of Jackson Newspapers.

THREE-WEEK PHASE: Speaking of high school football, teams around the state are involved in their summer three-week period before the full-blown August workouts begin.

Ravenswood will be under the direction of fourth-year head coach Eric Hupp this season.

Steve Sayre, meanwhile, begins his second year guiding the football ship of the Ripley Vikings.

Both teams will journey into the Ohio Valley for their openers.

Ravenswood will take on Magnolia Aug. 27. Ripley begins the campaign the same night on the road against the Brooke Bruins.

IN THE HUNT: Former Ripley Viking basketball Class AAA First Team All-Stater Jamison Hunt is looking forward to his second season in an Ohio Valley University uniform.

There will be plenty of change this season for the program and all athletic teams at the Parkersburg-based school.

OVU is moving from NCAA Division II status to NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) membership. Ohio Valley is joining the River States Conference and will begin play during the 2021-22 school year.

Hunt has two seasons of eligibility remaining with the program.

RECTOR’S NEXT MOVE: It’s been fun watching Brett Rector’s climb in the circles of athletics through the years.

I’ve had the pleasure of keeping up with Brett from the time he was a youngster.

I can still recall Ravenswood head boys basketball coach Mick Price praising Rector when he was very young at the conclusion of the first-ever Ohio River Basketball Camp. Rector didn’t disappoint by becoming both a Class AA First Team All-State basketball and football player for Ravenswood.

After a fantastic college career on the court at Davis & Elkins, Rector set his sights on one day becoming a head coach at the collegiate level.

As we shared in a recent edition of Jackson Newspapers, the dream came true for Rector when he was chosen as the head men’s basketball coach at Salem University.

He’s hard at it getting ready for his first season guiding the Tigers.

We can’t wait to keep track of his success at Salem.

GODWIN’S NEW JOB: Speaking of one-time Ravenswood basketball standouts, former Devil Derek Godwin is the new head boys basketball coach at Sissonville High School.

Godwin has been an assistant at the school, where he worked with another former Devil great in Ben Pannell.

After two seasons, Pannell is returning to Capital High School to assist with head coach Matt Greene’s program.

Godwin was a three-year starter for Ravenswood, graduating in 1984.

DEVILS IN SHOOTOUT: As part of the summer workout package for Ravenswood’s boys program, the Runnin’ Red Devils were one of the teams involved with the Patriot Shootout at George Washington High School.

Ravenswood was grouped with Herbert Hoover, Huntington, Hurricane, Nitro, Parkersburg South, Tyler Consolidated and Winfield playing three games on Tuesday.

The other grouping had GW, the defending AAA state champs, Capital, Hurricane, Logan, Shady Spring, South Charleston, St. Albans and Winfield.

100-YEAR CELEBRATION: A reminder to all readers of Jackson Newspapers, Price and assistant Bryan Canterbury are seeking all types of material that will be useful in the upcoming 100-year celebration of Ravenswood High School basketball.

Game programs, game films and videos, newspaper clippings, etc. are among the items the two coaches are looking for leading up to this season.

Different eras of boys basketball will be honored on three different nights this season.

Anyone involved from coaches, players, managers, scorekeepers, cheerleaders and more are invited to return this season for the celebration.

MID-OHIO VALLEY SPORTS HALL OF FAME: Finally, three Jackson Countians are going to get their evening in the sun with the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame.

After many delays, the Class of 2020 will be recognized with a banquet at Grand Pointe Conference and Reception Center in Vienna. The event is slated to begin at 6 p.m.

Ravenswood mayor Josh Miller, a Red Devil three-sport standout and later a baseball star for West Virginia State, is part of the 10-member class.

James Abshire, who starred in football at both Ripley and West Virginia State before helping Poca win two Class AA state championships on the gridiron, is another member of the class.

Chase Fischer, who was a two-time Class AAA First Team All-State basketball player at Ripley and the winner of the 2011 Evans Award as West Virginia’s top player, rounds out the Jackson County contingent. After high school, Fischer played college basketball for two seasons at Wake Forest and two more at Brigham Young University.

The Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame recognizes past players, coaches, officials, administrators and media members for athletic excellence. In addition to Jackson County, the West Virginia counties of Wood, Ritchie, Wirt and Pleasants make up the MOV Hall of Fame along with the Ohio counties of Washington and Noble.