On the Mark

Staff Writer
Jackson Newspapers
Mark Martin

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Each day there is hope.

Each day there is also concern.

It is the world we’ve lived since March when COVID-19 became the talk of the country.

All of us have tried to go on as best we can.

High school coaches, as well.

Normally at this time of year there is an uncontrollable buzz in the air.

A buzz that football season is nearing.

For now, the West Virginia high school football season is moving forward.

And that's a good sign.

It’s a process with all the restrictions.

West Virginia high schools officially can’t start preseason workouts until August 17.

Thank goodness for the six “flex days” allotted programs.

Ravenswood’s Eric Hupp staged his first of the bonus workout days on Monday evening at Flinn Field.

“Flex days” are a practice without some of the normal layers…such as helmets and shoulder pads.

Still, Hupp said it is good to keep the kids active, see them run around and enjoy themselves.

Ripley’s new head football coach Steve Sayre, meanwhile, is having his team hit the weights hard during these first two weeks of August.

Sayre, a long-time assistant and former Viking standout, is a big believer in a solid weight program and realizes his kids lost valuable time getting stronger when schools were closed.

Ravenswood is scheduled to open its season on the road at Buffalo September 4.

Ripley is set to journey to Buckhannon for a battle with the Buccaneers the same night.

AWESOME DAWSON: There was a familiar face at Ravenswood’s practice on Monday evening.

Former Devil three-sport standout Stephen Dawson was working some with the quarterbacks.

Dawson’s father, Brad, is a Devil assistant coach.

The younger Dawson is now a member of the baseball program at Wheeling University.

COVID-19 struck down the Cardinals season after a few games.

Dawson wasn’t impacted as he was nursing an injury.

It’s nice to see Dawson still competing as an athlete.

Not only did he excel in baseball, helping Ravenswood to back-to-back state tournaments, but he also brought plenty to the table in both basketball and football.

He was a vital cog on Mick Price’s Devil basketball squads of 2016 and 2017 that reached the state championship game of Class A.

In football, he was an outstanding quarterback.

THE ROYAL TREATMENT: While it is good to see Major League Baseball back in action (though there have been some stoppages of games due to COVID-19) it hasn’t been the greatest of starts for the Kansas City Royals.

A Royals organization featuring former Ravenswood pitching standout and All-Stater Larry Carter.

As of Tuesday, the Royals were 3-7 and last in the American League Central Division.

Carter is the bullpen coach for the Royals of manager Mike Matheny.

In time, it is hoped the Royals can get things turned around.

Fortunately, they are only 4 ½ games out of first place.

The Minnesota Twins lead the division followed by Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit. Chicago was two back with the Indians and Tigers 2 ½.

Carter’s waited a long time for this opportunity.

His career has been spent working with the minor leaguers of the organization.

His chance to coach in the big leagues was further delayed by the pandemic.

We are so happy for this former Devil star, who has not only a great baseball mind but is a great guy.