Hunt is ready for senior season before Wheeling opportunity

Mark Martin
Sportswriter
Annie Hunt controlled the ball during a regular-season game against St. Marys during 2019 Devilette's basketball season.

Recently, Ravenswood girls basketball standout Annie Hunt made a huge decision.

The personable Hunt chose Wheeling University as to where she will play a game, one that has been a huge part of her life for so long, at the next level.

“It’s exciting,” said Hunt about taking the next step and continuing to do something she deeply loves.

The talented Hunt admits it was stressful selecting a school over so many others who also showed incredible interest, but she is more than happy with Wheeling being the chosen one.

Hunt said the Wheeling coaching staff is what sealed the deal.

“We talked and I just felt we had good chemistry,” she said.

Wheeling’s leaders certainly made her feel wanted.

And who wouldn’t want Hunt? The Class A Second Team All-State pick last year brings tons of energy both on and off the floor.

For the moment she plans to major in biology at Wheeling.

Hunt is thrilled knowing she will be a competitive basketball player for years to come.

And it doesn’t hurt she will continue to don red and black (Wheeling’s school colors).

While looking to the future is incredibly fun, she first has plenty of unfinished business to take care of at the high school level while wearing the Ravenswood Devilette red and black for head coach Cara Williams.

At this very moment, though, that senior season she has been looking forward to has been stopped temporarily. Winter sports teams in West Virginia won’t get going until January 11.

It’s frustrating for all involved, especially a standout player like Hunt who has a ton of goals she wants to achieve as a senior for both her team and from an individual standpoint.

Ravenswood and other girls basketball teams across the state of West Virginia had just gotten a week of preseason work in when the announcement came by Governor Jim Justice that winter sports would be delayed.

It was tough news to take for Hunt, who had been limited in that first week to begin with.

“I missed four of those (five) practices,” she said due to a quarantine situation at Ravenswood High.

It certainly brought back some painful memories for those who put their heart and soul into the game.

Last year’s West Virginia High School Girls State Basketball Tournament was the first of many events that ended due to COVID-19. The tournament had nine games played (with 12 still to go) when things hit a screeching halt.

“I felt so bad for those girls,” Hunt said of those involved in the State Tournament, who didn’t get to continue or, play at all.

And now here we are with girls basketball being stopped again. Fortunately, it is at the beginning of the season and not at the end.

While the pandemic has left many in tough situations, dealing with adversity is nothing new for Hunt.

Prior to her sophomore season, Hunt, who was coming off a banner freshman campaign, tore her ACL and was lost for the year.

Hunt learned plenty along the way about herself while on the comeback trail.

She certainly is stronger and more appreciative of things after having gone through the uncertainty that comes with a serious injury.

Hunt is striving to stay in the best shape possible during the current layoff.

“My dad is a personal trainer,” she said. “We have a weight room and that makes it pretty easy.”

Her dad is Scott Hunt, who was a fine athlete at Ravenswood. Scott Hunt excelled in baseball and basketball as a Red Devil.

His late father, Gary, was a great three-sport star as a Red Devil.

Annie Hunt’s mother, Mary Beth, was a four-time Class AA First Team All-State basketball player while at Ravenswood. Mary Beth then went on to play at the University of Charleston. She is a member of the prestigious Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame.

Hunt’s grandfather, Butch Varney, is a coaching legend and guided Ravenswood to the girls Class AA state title in 1982 and had several other teams vying for championships during his great career as head coach. The rich history the program has is due in large part to what he built years ago.

Hunt knows her support staff is the best around.

“They help me so much,” she said of her family. “They made a lot of good points when I was trying to decide where to go (to college).”

Hunt is the lone senior on this year’s Ravenswood team. Interestingly, that’s been the case her entire career. She is the only one from her graduating class who has played basketball the last four years – meaning she was the lone freshman (2017-18), sophomore (2018-19), and junior (2019-20).

On the floor, Hunt is an outstanding point guard who looks to play the two and the three-guard positions in college. She says what makes her the happiest is delivering a good pass to a teammate.

Besides passing, she feels confident in her shooting.

Hunt’s talents are second to none.

With her decision made on where she will play next, Hunt, who possesses an incredibly dynamic personality, is ready to just get back out on the court.

January can’t get here soon enough for Ravenswood’s talented Annie Hunt.