On the Mark: Former Jackson County greats in college level; past Memorial playoffs: Column

Mark Martin
Special to Jackson Newspapers
Mark Martin

HITTING THE COURT: Former Ripley All-State basketball player Jamison Hunt is into his second season as a member of the Ohio Valley University Scot men’s basketball program.

Hunt has seen action in all four games for the Parkersburg-based school in the early season.

OVU is in its first season competing as a NAIA program and is a member of the River States Conference.

Hunt saw 18 minutes in a game with Campbellsville and came away with two steals.

He had two assists in a showdown with the University of Cumberlands.

In a matchup with Eastern Kentucky, Hunt grabbed three rebounds.

He also played against Indiana East.

The Scots were still searching for their first victory of the season.

Hunt, a basketball workaholic, will likely be a steady contributor this season for the Scots.

— Riley Heatherington saw action in the University of Charleston’s season-opening win over Glenville State College on the road.

Heatherington is a former Class A First Team All-Stater for Mick Price’s Runnin’ Red Devil program at Ravenswood High School.

This is his fourth season with the Golden Eagle program of head coach Dwaine Osborne.

— Another former Ravenswood standout has launched her college basketball career.

Annie Hunt is a freshman at Wheeling University.

She made her debut in a Lady Cardinal uniform against Malone. In 10 minutes of action she came up with a steal.

In a contest with Notre Dame, Hunt snagged a rebound.

Hunt and the Lady Cards were also trying to claim that first win of the 2021-22 campaign.

— On the coaching front, Brett Rector, a one-time Ravenswood First Team All-State basketball and football player, is off to a great start in his collegiate head coaching career.

Rector is in season number one at Salem University.

The Tigers have beaten Bluefield State, Ohio Dominican, Seton Hill and Central State.

The lone loss for the green and white came against Fairmont State.

Rector takes over the storied Salem program after working as an assistant at the University of Charleston.

Rector’s college coaching career also includes stops at West Virginia Tech, Pikeville and Eastern Kentucky.

He was the head coach for one season at Parkersburg South High School and led the Patriots to the Class AAA State Tournament, that was unfortunately stopped due to COVID-19.

ON THE MATS: Chance and Chase Morgan are again competing on the collegiate level in the sport of wrestling.

The former Ripley Vikings are part of the great program at West Liberty State University.

Chase is ranked No. 9 in NCAA Division II in the 165-pound class.

Chance will wrestle at 174.

MEMORIAL STADIUM MEMORIES: In looking back at past playoff games at Ripley’s Memorial Stadium a couple of others entered my mind.

In 1973, Ansted was beaten by Monongah in a Class A semifinal game, 14-8.

The Lions victory snapped Ansted’s then state-record winning streak of 36 in a row.

Ansted, which was led by the great Tom Pridemore, who later starred at WVU and in the NFL as a defensive back, is now a part of Midland Trail High School.

Monongah, the alma mater of Alabama coaching great Nick Saban, was part of the consolidation for North Marion High School.

The Lions won the state title the following week by knocking off South Harrionson, 21-20, at Hite Field in Clarksburg. South Harrison won its semifinal game at Ravenswood’s Flinn Field over Meadow Bridge, 40-6.

Perhaps my all-time favorite postseason memory at Memorial Stadium was watching Glenville State College defeat Carthage, Wisconsin, 14-7, in a NAIA national semifinal.

All 14 points for the Pioneers were scored by Jackson Countians. Ravenswood’s Steve Buffington hauled in a pair of touchdown passes while Ripley’s Jay Chambers kicked both extra points in that Saturday afternoon affair.

GSC lost the following weekend in Huntington for the national title.