Ravenswood basketball game program another masterpiece

Mark Martin
Ravenswood basketball program

Ravenswood’s coaches pride themselves on many things when it comes to the overall operation of the Runnin’ Red Devil basketball program.

And one of the many items they pour hours of work into is the annual game program.

While they officially call it a “game program,” it has more of a media guide look.

No matter how it is referred, the publication is the envy of all high schools in and around West Virginia.

In fact, the 54-page layout put together by head coach Mick Price, assistant Bryan Canterbury, assistant Andy Wise and others, is one in which many small colleges, and perhaps some major universities, would be proud to call their own.

The 2021 edition focuses on plenty, including this being the 70th year of Ravenswood basketball taking place inside the historic Old Gymnasium.

The venue, which was nicknamed “The Pit” when Price arrived in the season of 1979-80, has a charm and character like few others in the Mountain State.

Through the years, Price has put his stamp on the facility with hours and hours of painting and hanging of banners. Not to mention the incredible work done by local artist Mark McComas.

In 2006, several parents got together and surprised the veteran leader with a touching honor by naming the playing floor at the gymnasium — Mick Price Court.

Later that season, Price guided Ravenswood to the school’s first of two Class AA state championships.

Gracing the front cover of this year’s publication are current Devil varsity players inside the gym. The back cover has the players standing outside in front of the 1921 Ravenswood High School mural that was done by McComas and Neil LoPrinzi.

The front, inside front, back and inside back pages are in full color.

“As always, we are very proud of our game program,” said Price. “Since we started doing one, me and Coach Canterbury have taken a lot of pride in making it the best.”

In terms of highlighting the pit in this year’s publication, there are stories about the construction of the facility and some of the best games to be played there.

As is the case with each year’s program, nice bios on the players who are a part of this current Runnin’ Red Devil team make for great reading. Those bios include “The Price Line,” which has quotes from the 43rd year head coach on each player.

Other nuggets include Price’s perspective on COVID-19, a season preview and all the history and records of Ravenswood Runnin’ Red Devil basketball.

Canterbury, a former Ravenswood football and track and field standout, has become the program’s curator and historian as time has marched on.

An emotional side to the program appears in the final pages. It is there in which tributes can be found about some individuals who passed away in the past year — individuals who played some type of significant role in Red Devil basketball during their lives.

This year’s Ravenswood “Red Devil Angels” honored are: Ellis Booth, Nancy Buford, Gaylene Brandt, Saundra Lattea and Jim Porter.

Price said the program would not be possible without the area's wonderful businesses who support this worthwhile project each year.

The head coach also offered high praise to Tina Kocher of Jackson Newspapers for her continued great work with the annual project.

Each year one looks at the Ravenswood Runnin’ Red Devil publication and says, “This is the best one yet.”

Next season will mark the 100th anniversary of boys basketball at Ravenswood High. Price and Canterbury are already making plans for that program, which is sure to be a gem.

The annual program can be purchased for $5. It is well worth the price.

It is a thing of beauty and truly a masterpiece.