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COLLEGE APPLICATION AND EXPLORATION WEEK: #WHYICHOSE

The Gilmer Free Press

October 20, 2014 marks the start of West Virginia’s fifth annual “College Application and Exploration Week,“ a statewide celebration of the higher education opportunities available to our state’s students. This week, nearly 240 schools across the state will host college planning activities that provide guidance on how higher education can help students pursue and achieve their long-term career goals.

Empowering students to enroll in - and complete - education and training beyond high school is the single most promising pathway to secure a bright future for our state’s next generation of leaders. Our state offers a number of training and education opportunities after graduation, so it’s important we continue to stress to our students: it doesn’t matter which path you take, as long as you choose one. For those who choose to attend college after graduation, the benefits of earning a degree can be immeasurable. Studies show, on average, college graduates earn approximately $1 million more over their lifetimes and are more likely to be employed. Perhaps more importantly, those who receive a college education tend to experience greater satisfaction in their jobs, lead healthier lifestyles and serve their communities.

College graduates also have an enormous impact on our state’s economy. According to a recent study conducted by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at West Virginia University, students who completed college in 2010 will generate more than $6 billion in economic benefits for the Mountain State over the next 20 years. The study also found at least half of these graduates have stayed in West Virginia to take their next steps.

These statistics are extremely encouraging and lay a foundation for our students to build on when considering options for their future. West Virginia needs more of its best and brightest to pursue college and lay down their roots here in the Mountain State.

Last month, we launched the “My State, My Life” campaign, which encourages young people to do just that. I’m committed to ensuring our young people receive a college education that is affordable, which is why I have invested time and effort to continuing the PROMISE scholarship, as well as many need-based and merit-based financial aid programs. In fact, our state consistently ranks among the top ten in the country in regards to the amount of financial aid dollars we provide to each undergraduate student.

Each of us has a role to play to support our students and establish a higher education culture in West Virginia. This week, I encourage current college students and college graduates to get involved by participating in the College Foundation of West Virginia’s (CFWV’s) “Why I Chose” campaign. Using the social media hashtag #WhyIChose, share your stories with others and explain why you chose to further your education, your particular college or your degree pathway.

So far, the response from the “Why I Chose” campaign has truly been inspiring. We’ve heard from students like Michael Barnes, a native of Williamson and a student at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, who said, “Going to college allows me to develop my career and myself as an individual.“ And from many others like Kayla Bain, a Concord University student from Elizabeth who sees college as a crucial step in her path to making a difference in the world. Kayla told us, “I’m majoring in clinical lab sciences because I want to be part of providing high quality healthcare for families in our state. I want to bring a sense of caring and compassion to my work and to their lives.“

Every day, students-like Michael and Kayla-demonstrate their commitment to their personal goals, their communities and our state, and I encourage all West Virginians to do the same. To see their impact in action and join in the conversation visit the College Foundation of West Virginia on Facebook at www.facebook.com/collegefoundationofwv or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cfwv

Governor’s One Shot Whitetail Hunt and Banquet at Stonewall Resort - October 24-25, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

The 2014 West Virginia Governor’s One Shot Whitetail Hunt event will take place October 24 and 25, operating out of Stonewall Resort State Park near Weston in Lewis County.

This will be the eighth year for the fundraising event that presents the proceeds to the Hunters Helping the Hungry (HHH) Program, administered by the Division of Natural Resources in partnership with the West Virginia Food Bank in Gassaway.

Dignitaries attending will include Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and West Virginia native Brig. General “Chuck” Yeager, retired, who will participate in the hunt and be involved in the award banquet, raffles and live auction Saturday evening.

Tickets for the banquet are available at all levels, individual and corporate.

Contact Wendy Greene at 304.558.2754 or email for information or to make reservations.

“I’m honored to once again participate in the One Shot Whitetail Hunt,” Governor Tomblin said. “This program, which has raised nearly $400,000 for the Hunters Helping the Hungry Program, is a true representation of West Virginia’s neighbor-helping-neighbor philosophy, as it has been extremely successful in aiding thousands of families in need across our state.”

HHH is vital to providing thousands of pounds of highly nutritious meat to needy families throughout West Virginia, including nearly 38,000 pounds donated by hunters in 2013. Private donations are needed to pay for processing and distribution of the venison to clients in the 48 counties served by the food bank.

The Gilmer Free Press


Since its inaugural event in 2007, the One Shot has raised and donated $390,000 to the HHH Program, including $65,000 raised in 2013.

The event is supported by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, volunteers from the private business sector and individuals who act as guides for participating hunters.

All hunting takes place on private land so as not to interfere with other hunters.

Only antlerless deer are harvested, helping to control populations on those lands.

All venison harvested during the hunt is donated directly to the HHH program.

The hunt will begin with the traditional “sighting in of the rifles” at the Stonewall shooting range Friday afternoon and Friday evening the hunters are introduced to the guides and landowners.

The hunt will take place Saturday, October 25, 2015.

The program concludes Saturday night with a reception followed by an awards banquet.

G-Biz™: West Virginia Company Finds Paths for Marcellus Pipeline Projects

No mountain, valley or stream has ever stumped Energy Surveys, said the Clarksburg, WV-based company that routes pipelines carrying oil and gas. Roads, on the other hand, can be a little trickier.

“Roads a lot of times just can’t be avoided, because you’re going to have to cross one at one point or another,” said Kurt Newbrough, president.

The Marcellus and Utica shales continue to produce record amounts of natural gas, but the region doesn’t have enough existing pipeline infrastructure to handle the growing supply. More than 10 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of regional pipeline capacity is planned for the Northeast over the next 21 years, according to a study released in March by the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America.

The land surveying and mapping business, which opened in January, said it has already exceeded its proposed revenue intake by $700,000, pulling in a total of $1.3 million, and has been involved in 150 pipeline projects.

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Mr. Newbrough plans to open an office in Washington County within the next month.

“We do a lot of work in Washington County,” he said. “The area would be a nice hub for us geographically.”

Marcellus Shale production is expected to reach a record 16 Bcf/d this month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Nationwide, production is expected to grow by an annual rate of 5.4% in 2014 and 2% in 2015, according to the agency.

“Because the Marcellus has grown so much, and the Utica is expected to grow as well, there is a need for natural gas demand development and infrastructure to keep pace with the production, said Erica Bowman, vice president of research and policy analysis at America’s Natural Gas Alliance, a trade organization in Washington, D.C.

The company works mostly in wet Marcellus Shale gas areas such as Washington and Greene counties in Pennsylvania and Wetzel and Marshall counties in West Virginia. Newbrough also plans to do work in the Utica once the Washington County office opens.

For wet gas production, companies need more pipeline and processing capacity because unlike dry gas, which contains methane — the gas used to heat homes and fire up stoves — wet gas also contains natural gas liquids such as ethane, propane and butane. More processing is needed to separate those gases before natural gas can be transported.

Mr. Newbrough did not disclose names of specific pipeline projects Energy Surveys has routed due to client confidentiality, but said he has worked with companies such as Richmond, VA-based Dominion Resources, Denver-based Antero Energy and Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams Energy.

Related: PennEast files documents with detailed route of proposed pipeline

Some of the biggest challenges Energy Surveys faces are terrain and landowner constraints.

Take hills for instance.

“You don’t want to be laying a piece of pipe on the side of a hill,” Mr. Newbrough said of a proposed route. “You either want to hit that hill perpendicular or follow the ridge tops.”

If an option for a route is through someone’s yard, a company negotiator must try to make a deal with a landowner.

“Say a landowner has a big farm,” Mr. Newbrough said. “He doesn’t just want a pipeline going through the middle of his farm or his hay field. I don’t blame him, either. We try to work with them to put that pipeline in the best possible place on their property.”

If a landowner doesn’t agree, Energy Surveys said it will re-route the pipeline away from their property.

“You back up 400 to 500 feet before entering that land and structure your re-route,” Mr. Newbrough said. “That will give you the best constructability.”

Energy Surveys uses Geographic Information System, or GIS, mapping to let companies know the best route for a pipeline. GIS technology lets the company know where everything is on the ground.

“You’ll know when you’re coming up on a body of water. If you’re going through somebody’s yard, you can tell what’s in their yard and where their property lines are,” Mr. Newbrough said.

Before a company can lay out a pipeline that crosses state lines it must submit an application, which includes the proposed pipeline route, to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas.

Trade associations, labor unions, municipalities, environmental groups and others can make suggestions on a proposed pipeline route based on the potential environmental and cultural impacts, according to Tamara Young-Allen, a FERC spokeswoman.

“It has happened where the pipeline [that] comes through the door is different when it leaves,” she said. “The public is involved the entire way.”

Energy Surveys does not deal directly with local or federal regulators concerning proposed pipeline infrastructure. A midstream company will have environmental specialists and negotiators who deal with the application process and the environmental and cultural impacts of its route, Mr. Newbrough said.

~~  Submitted News ~~

Corridor H Segment Expected to Open by Late November

The Gilmer Free Press

Another section of Corridor H in West Virginia is expected to open by Thanksgiving.

Corridor H coordinator Tommy Collins says the 1.5-mile segment is near the connector to WV Highway 42 and WV Highway 93 in the Mount Storm area.

Collins says another 4-mile section could open by the end of the year.

But he says an early spring opening is more likely due to the weather.

Corridor H Authority president Robbie Morris says construction of the four-lane highway is ahead of schedule.

Corridor H is the only section of the Appalachian Corridor system that has not been finished.

When it is completed, it will connect Interstate 79 near Weston with the junction of Interstates 81 and 66 in Front Royal, Virginia.

Pat’s Chat - October 19, 2014

I can’t tell you I enjoy the thought that snow will soon be greeting us at times.  The air is now cold (but refreshing) when I am walking briskly for exercise. It is a lot more inviting than the hot days of summer, no matter how much a dread the snow and ice.  I really do enjoy the leaves of autumn!  The colors are delightful.

The Record Delta has let us know that donations are needed at Parish House because the needs rise drastically during the winter months and holidays.  They need things like peanut butter, soup, canned meat, canned fruit and vegetables, cereal, spaghetti sauce, and I would imagine any other non-perishable foods.  I hope that all of us will buy something extra when we shop and drop it off at the Parish House to help feed the families who are having a tough time.

I got another note from John “Guppy” Gibson.  Please pray for him.  Most of you will get this message after his surgery of October 21.  I am including his email without editing.  He will appreciate your prayers.  Here is his note:

“Hello everyone as most of you know I haven’t been very well for last few years first getting a very bad infection then have had a few strokes that has left me blind in one eye and have trouble walking but then last couple years have been having serious heart problems and it is really bad at this time I am going to have to have a dangerous Surgery this Tuesday October 21st Dr. said it alot more Dangerous than either Open-Heart or Bypass Surgery The Dr. was upfront and told me I need to get all of my affairs in order because I have a 50/50 chance to survive the surgery it will take 6-8 hours if I make it through the surgery I have a great Surgeon operating Dr. Blair Grubb he tried so many things that haven’t worked so this was last resort so if everybody could keep my family and I in your thoughts and prayers I am starting to get really nervous it is a funny feeling knowing you may never wake up so if you can keep us in your thoughts and prayers surgery is scheduled for 11:15 AM Tuesday morning at MCO Hospital in Toledo If I survive the surgery is not sure how long I will be in hospital but as little time as possible as I don’t have much Immune system so anybody getting this message wanted to say thanks for your thoughts and prayers and for being a friend I have met throughout the years So if anyone would like to see what is going on you can call my mom Tuesday evening her cell phone number is 419.571.8541 or you can send a message here with your number and she will let you know what happened in my surgery So guess it is time to get this over with either way John"Guppy"Gibson .”

I am including a website for sermons from one of my favorite Pastors.  He has a special gift of understanding and sharing wonderful messages of Hope!  I want to read these lines from the book I have been quoting in my Chats recently.  “Every soul is as fully known to Jesus as if he were the only one for whom the Saviour died.  The distress of every one touches His heart.  The cry for aid reaches His ear.  He also knows who gladly hear His call, and are ready to come under His pastoral care.  He says, ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me.’  He cares for each one as if there were not another on the face of the earth.” – DA, pp. 476 – 480.  Never forget that YOU are important.  Never give up!

Here is a website of one of my favorite pastors.  He was at a church John and I attended when we lived in Texas.  I hope you will find time to listen to one of his sermons.  Here is the site:


Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Saturday, November 01 at the 11:00 o’clock worship hour at the Seventh-day Adventist church on Brushy Fork Road.  Karla Rivera Bucklew will be in concert and you will love her voice.  If you wish, you can stay for a fellowship dinner afterwards.  See you there?  I hope so.

Maranatha!

UFOs in West Virginia: 10 Witnesses, 4 Low-Flying UFOs, 3 Big as Football Fields

A UFO sighting in southern West Virginia has been reported that not only presents multiple witnesses of the objects in question but also the witnessing of multiple unidentified flying objects during the sighting. Open Minds reported October 17 that ten men working at a coal plant in Marmet, West Virginia, saw the four flying objects as a collective. Three of the UFOs were massive, the size of football fields. They were all flying extremely low to the ground—and deathly silent.

Originally reported on the Mutual UFO Network website, the actual sighting took place at 10 p.m. on October 12, 2014. It was quiet all around, according to the reporting witness. The plant had shut down. The guys had just finished some pipe repairs and were leaning against their vehicles.

One of the guys pointed at the sky. “What is that?“ he asked.

Everyone looked up. The first of what would be three huge flying objects was headed toward them.

The Gilmer Free Press

“We all looked up and saw a triangle-shaped object outlined in white lights the size of a football field coming up the hollow from the southwest [Beckley, WV area],“ the witness reported. “It might have been 300 to 500 feet above us. It was moving very slow and made no noise. We watched for about 3 or 4 minutes as it disappeared over the trees.

“A few minutes later another one showed up behind it – the same shape and size and no noise. Another one showed up after that, same as before.

“After these three went by a small object with lots of red flashing appeared at the end of the line formation. They were all headed northwest towards Charleston, WV.”

The reporting witness said that all the guys were “amazed” that there was absolutely no sound, no noise whatsoever coming from the UFOs—especially “as close as they were, and their sizes.“ And it all took place in the space of 15 minutes.

So what did the ten men see? Could it have been a case of group or mass hallucination as some will surely suggest? Or is there a reason UFOs—whether manmade, alien, or faux—were traveling between Beckley and Charleston, West Virginia in mid-October?

In the comments section on the MUFON web page, the question was posed that, given so many witnesses, why did not one of them capture an image with a cell phone camera? Karen King of the Appalachian UFO Research Society suggests that in many areas of West Virginia cell phone reception is limited and/or sporadic, which might account for the absence of phones and, therefore, photos of the four UFOs.

Two weeks prior to the Marmet UFO sighting, a couple in Elkins, West Virginia, reported a low-flying massive triangular-shaped UFO, according to International Business Times. Flat black, it blocked out the stars in its passage. It had three lights, a dim white one and two orange hourglass-shaped lights. The couple that filed the report with MUFON noted that the UFO had no distinguishing control features (like a canopy or windows) and as they moved toward it, it seemed to move toward them. The reporting witness said it was not military or a regular aircraft, because he was familiar with their general characteristics. And most remarkable of all, instead of flying away, the UFO simply disappeared, as if using “a cloaking device,“ the witness said.

West Virginia News

The Gilmer Free Press

WV COUPLE CONVICTED OF STEALING TO BUY NC HOUSE

A West Virginia couple has been convicted of stealing from a 90-year-old woman to buy a beach house in North Carolina.

A federal jury found 67-year-old Timothy Summers and his wife, 52-year-old Lea Ann Summers, of Proctor guilty of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, securities fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property. The jury issued its verdict Friday following a three-day trial.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihelnfeld III says evidence at the trial showed the couple stole nearly $400,000 from the victim. They liquidated a signification portion of the woman’s shares of PPG Industries stock and used the proceeds to buy a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Timothy Summers and Lea Summers each face up to 50 years in prison.


JUDGES TO CONSIDER CLARKSBURG OFFICIAL’S REMOVAL

A three-judge panel will consider a petition seeking Clarksburg City Councilman Samuel “Zeke” Lopez’s removal from office.

The petition was filed by three other council members. It cites Lopez’s conviction on a domestic assault charge.

The West Virginia Supreme Court on Friday appointed Raleigh County Circuit Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick III, McDowell County Circuit Judge Rudolph J. Murensky II and Gilmer County Circuit Judge Jack Alsop to hear the petition.

The panel will hold a hearing October 30 and October 31 at the Harrison County Courthouse in Clarksburg.

The council voted in February to remove Lopez. Lopez’s lawyer filed a lawsuit challenging the decision and he remains on council as a nonvoting member.

TWO BODIES FOUND IN BURNED VEHICLE IN SOUTHERN WV

West Virginia State police are investigating the deaths of two people whose bodies were found in a burned vehicle in McDowell County.

Media outlets report that the bodies were discovered early Sunday morning in the Longpole community north of Panther.

State police First Sgt. M.R. Crowder says both bodies were male.

Crowder says the bodies have not been identified yet because of the condition of the remains.

He says the fire is suspicious and investigators believe a firearm possibly was involved in the deaths.


WEST VIRGINIA SUPREME COURT WILL HEAR ARGUMENTS

The West Virginia Supreme Court says it will hear arguments Tuesday over disciplinary action against a judge who had an inappropriate sexual affair.

Randolph County Circuit Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong admitted to having a two-year affair with a man but says her three-year suspension without pay was too severe.


HARRISON COUNTY MAN ENTERS GUILTY PLEA TO INVOLVEMENT IN INFANT SON’S DEATH

A Harrison County man has entered a guilty plea for his involvement in the death of his 3-month-old son.

Clovis Harold McCoy, age 32, of Shinnston supplied three Xanax pills to his wife Tricia McCoy, who later unintentionally suffocated the child when she fell asleep holding the baby.

Clovis was aware Tricia was taking other prescribed medications at the time when he provided the addition drugs.

Both were charged back in April. McCoy was charged with child neglect resulting in death and child neglect creating substantial risk of serious injury or death.

Harrison County Circuit Judge John Marks heard McCoy’s plea on Monday, but has not yet accepted it, pending the completion of a pre-sentence investigation.

His sentencing has been set for 9 AM on December 08.

Tricia McCoy is scheduled to go to trial on similar charges November 10.


WORKFORCE WEST VIRGINIA GETS $200,000 IN FEDERAL FUNDING

WorkForce West Virginia says it has gotten more than $200,000 in federal funding to help pay for an ongoing cleanup from severe storms and flooding in 2013.

Most of the money is to go to payment of workers who are still helping with the cleanup from those storms.


MANCHIN IN NORTH CAROLINA STUMPING FOR HAGAN

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is in North Carolina campaigning for Senator Kay Hagan, who faces a tough re-election.

The West Virginia Democrat said he’s visiting Statesville, Wilkesboro and Hickory touting Hagan as a moderate Democrat. She faces Republican state House speaker Thom Tillis.

The expensive race is crucial in deciding whether Democrats keep a slim U.S. Senate majority.

Manchin has become an asset for embattled red-state Democrats.

President Barack Obama lost all 55 counties in West Virginia in 2012.

Manchin won by 24 percentage points.

Manchin headlined a Hagan fundraiser in North Carolina in March.

He went to Alaska early this year for Senator Mark Begich, and Louisiana for Senator Mary Landrieu last month.

Manchin plans to campaign in Arkansas for Senator Mark Pryor and in Georgia for Michelle Nunn.


EBOLA PREPS CONTINUE IN WEST VIRGINIA; NO NEW CASES HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED

The president and CEO of West Virginia Hospitals said he and other hospital officials are watching what’s happening at other healthcare facilities in the United States and learning from mistakes made at those sites in the diagnosis and treatment of Ebola.

“As guidelines change, I think the constant challenge for us is to keep up with the changing guidelines and then, more importantly, have a plan to communicate those to our staff so that we’re ready to go,” said Dr. Albert Wright.

“We’ve done extensive education and training,” said Dottie Oakes, vice president and chief nursing officer at WVU Hospitals, of the work to prepare staff members in Morgantown for any possible Ebola cases. “If anything, we’re probably going a little overboard.”

On Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Oakes said nurses understand, from the time they start in the profession, that they will be exposed to bacteria and viruses constantly. “Our job is to give them the tools to use the protective equipment and, also, the education to know what to do and how to use it,” Oakes said.

Overall, Wright said he’s confident WVU Hospitals is ready to treat any Ebola cases in Morgantown and to assist other hospitals, throughout West Virginia, that may need help with such treatment.

“I think we’ve done everything to be prepared on a small-scale today, if a patient comes in our ED (emergency department),” he said. “We’re taking additional steps to handle (cases) in the event of a larger outbreak, which is unlikely, but part of our job is to have redundancies in place.”

A separate, isolated area of WVU Hospitals is being readied.

A 21-day monitoring period ended Monday in Dallas, Tx. for dozens of people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die from Ebola in the United States. In Africa, both Senegal and Nigeria were declared Ebola-free on Monday.

With two weeks to go until Election Day, 2nd District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said she is hearing a lot about Ebola on the campaign trail.

“People are concerned with what they’re seeing as a lack of leadership with the President and skepticism of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control),” Capito, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate, said.

“Remember, this is the same CDC that came out and said we could drink our water in the Kanawha Valley and then, the next day, said ‘Well, if you’re pregnant or you have frail health, maybe you shouldn’t.’”


UNATTENDED VEHICLE ACCIDENT CLAIMS LIFE

A man was killed near Grafton Sunday afternoon after being hit by a pick-up truck that did not have a driver.

Ervin Knight, age 54, was working outside of his home in the community of Webster, when his Dodge Ram truck began to move.

According to the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, the vehicle slid off a steep embankment on Webster Pike as Knight was walking below.

He was run over and pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities are not sure at this time why the truck moved, but believe the cause to be accidental.

The truck continued to move, striking a home. No one else was injured.


DID TWO MARION COUNTY TEACHERS GO TOO FAR WITH TEAM-BUILDING EXERCISE?

Those with the American Federation of Teachers say they believe the recent suspension of two teachers in Marion County sets a bad precedent for teachers throughout West Virginia.

Kristen DeVaul and April Gilpin, teachers at North Marion High School in Marion County, were suspended for one day without a pay by the Marion County Board of Education earlier this month for their roles in an activity in which students were allegedly injured.

“We’re very concerned this is going to set a precedent and stifle physical activity in our schools when its needed more than ever,” said Frank Caputo, a staff representative for the AFT in Marion County.

At the time, the students were taking part in a type of three-legged race — a hands-on activity designed to build teamwork. Two of the students fell and suffered unspecified injuries.

“If you’re a classroom teacher, beware that if you take your kids outside and one of them gets injured in an unfortunate accident, then you could be suspended from your position,” warned Caputo.

School officials at North Marion High School conducted an internal investigation after the activity in question and presented those findings to the Marion County Board of Education before the suspension decision was made.

Gary Price, superintendent of schools in Marion County, said the teachers made changes to an exercise that was successful in the past. Instead of team-building, he said the activity turned into more of a competition.

“It just so happens that, in this particular case, the teachers involved chose to make a couple of alterations to that activity and the alterations that they chose to make are the ones that directly caused the accident,” Price said.

The AFT represents DeVaul and is appealing the decision. The organization has filed a Level III grievance which will allow them to bring the case before an administrative law judge.

“We look at this as a statewide issue. Am I going to be at risk of suspension if an unfortunate accident happens?” questioned Caputo.


INVESTIGATORS USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO IDENTIFY THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR WVU RIOTS

Investigators were using social media and tips from the public on Monday to identify those responsible for vandalism in parts of Morgantown on Saturday night—property destruction that, according to emergency officials, started more than six hours after West Virginia University beat top-ranked Baylor 41-27.

University and community officials met on Monday morning to talk about what happened and discuss the next steps that will be taken to identify and punish those responsible.

Corey Farris, dean of students at West Virginia University, was promising quick action once any students were identified.  He said, for students, punishments could include expulsion from WVU in addition to any criminal charges.

“These are hooligans that we don’t want in the city and so, if they’re part of the University in any way, shape or form, we’ll work our darnedest to expel them from the University,“ Farris said on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.“

“As has happened in the past, when things like this, in particular, have gotten out of hand, we’ve expelled students and so we’ll continue to do that.“

Bob Roberts, chief of police for West Virginia University, said crowd control was not a problem immediately after the game.  That changed, though, he said, around 10:30 PM on Saturday night and, he noted, it wasn’t just students who were involved.

“Social media kicked in and we started having the crowds show up and issues there,“ Roberts said.  “Probably, the most disturbing piece to me was the aggressiveness, having rocks and bottles thrown at first responders.“

Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said there were additional law enforcement officers on the job Saturday night, but the crowds quickly outnumbered them.  Officers who had gone home after staffing the Baylor game were called back to work to respond to multiple events, including street fires, at several different locations in Morgantown.

“We used all of the Morgantown Police Department resources.  We used resources from the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department, Westover Police Department, State Police.  Then we had in reserve resources from Marion County and Preston County,“ Preston said.

“When it turned from a social gathering into a riot, that’s when the determinations had to be made to use the chemical munitions,“ he said.  Pepper spray was one of the chemicals used to disperse the crowds in both Morgantown and Sunnyside.

More than half a dozen people were arrested on Saturday night.  No serious injuries were reported.

In the future, Preston said there is only so much law enforcement officers can do to deter such bad behavior.

“I think the only thing that’s going to stop it from happening again is a change in the culture of the students and those individuals who come to meet those students or celebrate after football games or other sporting event wins in this area,“ he said.

“It’s not going to be a magic bullet of one particular thing that’s going to stop this.“

Roberts agreed.  “I just think that we need to remember that our students are part of the community and we need them to act as young adults and not participate in this kind of stuff—either by watching or being active participants,“ he said.

Movie Review: ‘Dear White People’ - A Satirical and Timely Conversation about Race

“Satire is the weapon of reason,” one character tells another in “Dear White People,” a movie that exemplifies that sentiment with a potent combination of playfulness and pointed cultural critique.

This alternately thoughtful and hilarious comedy of campus manners is the bracingly candid brainchild of first-time filmmaker Justin Simien, who has created that rarity in American society: a movie that simultaneously sends up the national “conversation about race” while advancing the conversation itself. It would be glib to note that “Dear White People” is cannily well-timed in the era of Ferguson, Mo., and the myriad, fatally unresolved issues that city has come to symbolize. The truth, of course, is that the occasionally stark, occasionally ridiculous but constantly shifting contours of entrenched racism are relevant at any time.

Relevant, but, in the right hands, entertaining, too: Simien maintains a scrupulously light tone and deft touch throughout “Dear White People,” which takes place on the campus of a fictional Ivy League college called Winchester. There, African American students — representatives of the “talented 10” percent — grapple with identity, expectations and ambition at a primarily white institution that congratulates itself for its liberalism.

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Sam (Tessa Thompson), a hip film student, hosts a radio show called “Dear White People,” during which she recounts, with even-toned sarcasm, the ways she and her fellow students of color are routinely pigeonholed, stigmatized and condescended to. It’s a form of reparations; asked why there can’t be a show called “Dear Black People,” she sharply retorts that “mass media, from Fox News to reality TV on VH1, makes it clear what white people think of us.”

Sam’s willingness to speak truth to power makes her something of a militant on campus, which comes into play when she takes up the cause of a historically black dorm that has recently begun “randomizing” room assignments, thus diluting not just its complexion but its role of providing solidarity and protection. She runs for head of house against Troy (Brandon Bell), the handsome son of Winchester’s dean, who believes that assimilation holds the key to his son’s success.

Meanwhile Coco (Teyonah Parris), who wears blue contact lenses and flat hair worthy of Heidi Klum, begins to push back on Sam’s show, and Lionel (Tyler James Williams), a shy aspiring journalist who’s gay, digs Mumford & Sons and Robert Altman, and feels alienated from just about every micro-community on campus.

The academic term of art for what “Dear White People” portrays is “intersectionality,” which seeks to describe how identity is conditioned, not by one reductive quality, but by multiple tastes, impulses, desires and fears. You can also just call it “life,” and Simien’s film always feels like something experienced firsthand, even at its most awkward. Dating — interracial and intraracial — collective memory and the “strange symbiosis” of cultural appropriation all come under scrutiny in a film whose allegiance is firmly with individual expression but isn’t naive enough to think that history doesn’t matter. The personal may not always be political in “Dear White People” but, like it or not, it’s always politicized.

Even students who would prefer to ignore that fact are reminded of it in the film’s climactic episode, a spectacularly insensitive campus party awash with noxious racial stereotypes that looks like a rare case of overstatement in “Dear White People” until a final credit sequence proves that it’s depressingly true-to-life.

All justification to the contrary, Simien rejects bitterness or polemic when addressing “Dear White People’s” cardinal themes, preferring to refract the world of “post-racial” America through a lens of bemused, occasionally appalled, humor. One moment he’s examining the curious legacy of Tyler Perry, or considering the contradictions of a black protagonist as being “more Banksy than Barack”; the next he’s looking askance at a white person curiously fingering Lionel’s unruly Afro or a bunch of preppy white dudes swilling Jameson and doing their Dockers-wearing best to sound “street.”

It’s all up for grabs in a film that, for its willingness to confront head-on the toxic and the taboo, is bracingly free of cant. “Dear White People” isn’t a vehicle for grievance but cockeyed, even optimistic, portrait of people forced to navigate, resist and sometimes exploit an irrational system of unearned privilege. It’s true that satire is the perfect weapon of reason, and Justin Simien deploys it with resourcefulness, cool assurance and eagle-eyed aim.

★ ★ ★

R. Contains profanity, sexuality and drug use. 100 minutes.

Sports News

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►   MEC Week 7 Football Players of the Week

Ray Russ (Notre Dame), D’Andre Muhammed (West Liberty) and Torie Wagner (Charleston) have earned Mountain East Conference Player of the Week honors.

Russ, a senior from Willoughby Hills, Ohio, is the league’s Offensive Player of the Week after engineering Notre Dame’s 35-34 win over No. 8 Shepherd on Saturday. Russ was 25-of-44 for 459 yards and five touchdown passes. He had touchdown passes of 75 and 65 yards in the second half to help the Falcons down the Rams. He leads the league and is fourth in the country with 24 touchdown passes this season.

Muhammed, a junior from Stockbridge, GA is the Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in WLU’s win over Urbana. Muhammed contributed five tackles, including a sack, and also intercepted a pass he took back 39 yards for a touchdown against the Blue Knights.

Wagner, a junior from Severn, MD is the Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season after his performance against West Virginia State in the Kanawha Classic. Wagner had three punt returns for 93 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown return in the second quarter. He was also a force from his spot as a defensive back picking off a pair of WVSU passes in the victory.


Other Top Performances

Offense: Dakota Conwell (West Liberty) was 16-of-24 for 232 yards and four touchdowns in a road win ... Jamal Petty (Concord) rushed for a career-high 112 yards and two touchdowns ... Rahmann Lee (Glenville State) rushed for 157 yards and a score.


Defense: Gary Henderson (Glenville State) has 10 tackles to go with a pair of sacks for the Pioneers ... Derrick Johnson (Concord) had an interception and helped hold WVWC to under 150 yards of total offense ... Onslow Williams (Notre Dame) had nint tackles, including a sack and a tackle for a loss ... Terrell Hudson (Urbana) registered a game-high 12 tackles.


Special Teams: Anton Vrebac (Notre Dame) punted five times for an average of 34.4 yards and helped limit Shepherd’s punt returns.

2014 MEC Players of the Week
Week Offense Defense Special Teams
September 08 Brian Novak (CU) Marlon Oden (NDC) Anton McCallum (WLU)
September 15 Ray Russ (NDC) Shaneil Jenkins (SU) Josh Wilson (WLU)
September 22 Kenneth Butler (NDC) Justin Avery (UC) Kyle Kaplan (NDC)
September 29 Marvin Elam (UC) Gary Henderson (GSC) C.J. Davis (SU)
October 06 Tevin Brown (WVSU) C.J. Davis (SU)
Kevin Coffie (WVSU)
Torie Wagner (UC)
October 13 Rahmann Lee (GSC) Earon Settle (GSC) Kelly Carter (UU)
October 20 Ray Russ (NDC) D’Andre Muhammed (WLU) Torie Wagner (UC)


The Gilmer Free Press

►   WVU students warned after riots

Morgantown authorities on Sunday assessed damage from riots that broke out following West Virginia’s 41-27 win over No. 4 Baylor, while WVU president Gordon Gee warned students that he will not tolerate such behavior.

Crowds pushed over street lights and threw rocks, beer bottles and other items at public safety personnel and their vehicles. Numerous fires were set in the student-dominated Sunnyside area and other parts of the city.

Crowds also destroyed fencing protecting several construction sites and breached the properties, Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said.

“As a result of the dangerous behavior the events were declared riots,‘’ he said.

Law enforcement agencies from several jurisdictions responded to the riots. Police used pepper spray and chemical munitions to disperse groups of rioters after they ignored warnings to disperse. Preston did not say what type of chemical munitions was used but said the rioters were dispersed without any serious injuries.

Several people were arrested on various charges.

“It is unfortunate that some fans, not all of whom were students, engaged in riotous behavior following the football team’s outstanding victory over the 4th-ranked Baylor Bears. The focus should have been on celebrating our team, coaches and their achievement,‘’ WVU said Sunday in a statement.

Police and WVU officials are reviewing social media posts and videotapes regarding the incidents. Any student found to be involved will face sanctions, up to and including expulsion, the university said.

“This is not acceptable Mountaineer behavior,‘’ Gee said in the university’s statement. “It is criminal and will be dealt with as such.‘’

The incidents began shortly before 10:30 PM Saturday in Sunnyside and spread to other parts of the city, including the central business district.

“The extent of damage throughout the city is currently unknown but will be assessed over the next couple of days,‘’ Preston said.

Morgantown and WVU have been trying for years to end the long-standing tradition of setting fires to celebrate athletic victories and other events.

In 2012, about 40 street and trash container fires were set following WVU’s 48-45 win over Texas. During that post-game celebration, police officers wearing riot gear used pepper spray and CS gas to disperse an unruly crowd of about 1,000 people who gathered in the streets in Sunnyside.

Crowds also set street fires in 2011 after al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden died.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Heisman Rankings: Week 8

While most of the favorites are well established as the season pushes past the midway point, the week-to-week shuffling among the nation’s elite is sure to continue down the stretch, even if the very top of this list remains unchanged this week.


1. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State (last week: No. 1)—Despite another outstanding performance from Marcus Mariota, Prescott retains the top spot as the No. 1 Bulldogs enjoyed a much-deserved bye week. Prescott - who has 1,478 passing yards, 576 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns - will have plenty of opportunities to pad his stats in the coming weeks with lesser matchups against Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee-Martin ahead, but whether or not he can win the award will come down to a pair of road tests in November at Alabama and Ole Miss, as well as a potential SEC Championship Game.


2. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon (last week: No. 2)—What more can be said about Mariota’s season than I haven’t already tried to explain in weeks past? He’s been absolutely brilliant and continued to dazzle in Oregon’s 45-20 trouncing of Washington with 336 yards and two touchdowns on 24-of-33 passing (although he did finish with a very un-Mariota-like negative-1 yard rushing). The signal caller has tossed at least one touchdown in each of his 33 games as a Duck. This season he’s completing greater than 70 percent of his passes, piled up more than 2,220 total yards and 25 touchdowns, and perhaps most impressively has yet to throw an interception in 188 attempts. The only thing separating him from Prescott at this point is the one loss on his resume.


3. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska (last week: No. 9)—It’s been a while since Abdullah put together a signature performance - the Cornhuskers were off last week and he amassed only 45 yards against a stout Michigan State defense on October 4 - but he made his presence felt in Nebraska’s return to the field. In a strong 38-17 road victory over Northwestern, Abdullah was the catalyst, turning 23 carries into 146 yards (in addition to four receptions for 13 yards) while plunging into the end zone a career-best four times. Abdullah, who has already tallied 1,024 rushing yards (third in the FBS), has been a touchdown machine with a career-high 16 scores, including one in every game and 12 in the last four contests. With Todd Gurley’s status for the rest of the year in doubt, it’s a clear two-horse race between Abdullah and Melvin Gordon as the nation’s top rusher.


4. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama (last week: No. 8)—After an off game in Alabama’s nail-biting win at Arkansas on October 11, Cooper and the rest of the squad got back on track in a huge way over the weekend with a 59-0 drudging of Texas A&M. The Tide beat the Aggies at their own game, outgaining them by an astounding 602-172 margin, and Cooper was a big reason for it, hauling in eight receptions for 140 yards and two touchdowns, scoring for the first time since finding the end zone three times versus Florida on September 20. Despite the improved play of Blake Sims and a dynamic rushing attack led by T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry, Cooper (62 receptions, 908 yards, seven TDs) is still the premiere playmaker on a team that has a great chance to win the SEC despite an early-season loss.


5. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State (last week: No. 7)—Controversy continues to swirl around Winston in regards to his off-the-field persona, but it’s hard to dispute the production he’s put out on game day. In a marquee battle of unbeatens against Notre Dame, Florida State came out on top with a 31-27 victory thanks in no small part to Winston’s performance. The signal caller completed 23-of-31 passes for 273 yards with two touchdowns and an interception while leading the Seminoles on a game-winning 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive midway through the fourth quarter in a matchup that consisted of three ties and five lead-changes. The reigning winner’s stock is on the rise, partially due to his .706 completion percentage and 15 touchdowns, but there’s also something to be said of FSU’s sustained success at the top of the rankings in a year with very few dominant teams.


6. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin (last week: No. 4)—The star tailback amassed at least 175 yards in every game since a 17-carry, 38-yard dud against Western Illinois back on September 6, and he scored an eye-popping 12 touchdowns during that four-game span, so it’s safe to say that he earned a bit of a rest during the Badgers’ bye week. Another big game should be in store for Gordon this week going up against a Maryland team that allows just shy of 200 rushing yards per game.


7. Bo Wallace, QB, Ole Miss (last week: No. 5)—The Rebels looked shaky early in their contest with Tennessee, trailing by three midway through the second quarter, but thanks in part to a stellar performance from Wallace (199 passing yards, two TDs, 33 rushing yards), they eventually cruised to an easy 34-3 victory to remain undefeated. More than any remaining unbeaten team, Ole Miss relies heavily on its elite defense, which allows an FBS-low 10.6 ppg, but that’s not to take anything away from what Wallace has done under center. The 6-foot-4 senior has been responsible for 19 touchdowns and greater than 2,000 total yards while displaying excellent leadership for a squad with national championship aspirations.


8. Kevin White, WR, West Virginia (last week: unranked)—Although Cooper was running away with the distinction as the nation’s best receiver early in the season, White has certainly built a strong case to take over that claim. In the Mountaineers’ stunning 41-27 upset over No. 4 Baylor, White carved up the Bears’ secondary to the tune of eight catches, 132 yards and two touchdowns, giving him at least 100 yards receiving in all seven games this season and a touchdown in five straight. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound physical specimen has emerged thanks to his outstanding chemistry with quarterback Clint Trickett, and he ranks first in the FBS in receiving yards (1,020) and second in receptions (69).


9. Everett Golson, QB, Notre Dame (last week: No. 6)—Things could have been very different for the Fighting Irish and their quarterback had Golson’s would-be game-winning touchdown toss on fourth down in the waning seconds not been overturned by a penalty. While the squad proved that it belongs in the discussion among the nation’s best after fighting tooth-and-nail with FSU in Tallahassee, the blow certainly leaves Notre Dame with a bad taste in its mouth as well as an uphill climb to the College Football Playoff. Golson was largely impressive in the loss, completing 31-of-52 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns while showing great poise on the final drive - which included a 20-yard completion on 4th-and-18 - but he continued his turnover problem with two more interceptions, giving him 10 turnovers over the past four games, an unacceptable amount for any quarterback let alone a Heisman hopeful.


10. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor (last week: No. 3)—Petty and the Bears were sitting pretty after a thrilling 61-58 triumph over nationally-ranked TCU on October 11 to improve to 6-0 and earn a spot in the AP poll top-five, but all that momentum was erased in a hurry following their disappointing 41-27 setback to WVU. Petty found time to throw a pair of touchdown passes, but that wasn’t nearly enough to mask a horrible day. He finished with the lowest single-game completion percentage of his career (16-of-36, .444) and had negative-9 yards rushing after getting sacked four times. Despite scoring a total of 20 touchdowns paired with only three picks this season, Petty’s Heisman campaign will unlikely be able to bounce back from this hiccup.


Dropped Out: Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn.

Honorable Mention: Clint Trickett, QB, West Virginia; Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana; Senquez Golson, CB, Ole Miss.


►   Archie Manning leaves playoff selection committee

Archie Manning has decided to take a leave of absence from the College Football Playoff selection committee for the remainder of the 2014 season because of health reasons.

Manning said he would be unable to travel for the selection committee meetings because he will undergo surgery next month to help relieve discomfort he is experiencing while walking and moving around.

“It is an honor to serve on this committee, and I enjoy the group and was looking forward to the opportunity ahead,“ Manning said in a statement Monday. “My health had to be my primary concern and I intend to be up and about as soon as possible.“

Manning was one of the 13 committee members that will select the four teams for the college football playoff. He will not be replaced and the group will continue with only 12.

“We will miss Archie,“ said College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock. “He has such a great knowledge of college football and history with the game, but we all understand his reason for taking a leave. I wish him all the best and look forward to his return in 2015.“

The committee has been meeting since November 2013 and will begin to issue rankings on a weekly basis next Tuesday. The selections of the four teams for the playoff will take place December 07.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Steelers shake off Texans

You could almost hear the frustration at Heinz Field as the Pittsburgh Steelers trailed the Houston Texans by 13 points midway through the second quarter.

But after sitting in stunned silence for nearly two hours, the home fans found themselves waiving their Terrible Towels in celebration of a lightning-quick turnaround.

LeVeon Bell sparked a string of 24 straight points in a 2:54 span near the end of the first half as the Steelers downed the Texans, 30-23, on Monday.

Bell amassed 145 yards from scrimmage and caught a touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger, who shook off a slow start and finished with 265 yards and two scores through the air.

“We always believe and have faith regardless of how its going,“ said Roethlisberger. “We believe in ourselves and we found a way to get it done.“

The Steelers (4-3) bounced back from last week’s loss in Cleveland and improved to 8-0 on “Monday Night Football” at Heinz Field.

Arian Foster gained 102 yards on 20 carries and caught a late TD pass for the Texans (3-4), who had a chance to recover an onside kick inside the two-minute warning but ultimately dropped their third straight game.

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 262 yards with two TDs and an interception.

Pittsburgh’s offense was stuck in neutral before Bell took a short pass over the middle and turned it upfield for a 43-yard gain with under six minutes to go in the first half. Up to that point, the Steelers had gained just 49 yards.

Shaun Suisham booted a 44-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 13-3, and the Steelers’ defense forced a three-and-out and two turnovers in the final three minutes of the half.

After Bell’s 28-yard catch-and-run moved Pittsburgh to the opposing 35-yard line, Martavis Bryant got behind the secondary and reeled in Roethlisberger’s pass in the back of the end zone for his first catch in his first career game.

Replay officials ruled Foster lost a fumble at his own 3-yard line on the next drive, and the Steelers quickly scored on a wide receiver pass with 1:03 left in the half. Antonio Brown went in motion, took an end-around pitch, reversed his field back to the left and threw in traffic to Lance Moore for the TD.

Armed with all three of their timeouts, the Texans opted to air it out and the decision backfired, as Fitzpatrick’s pass was tipped by Brett Keisel, caromed off Lawrence Timmons’ helmet and bounced back to Keisel for the interception.

“It’s nice to be able to make a play, but its a team game,“ said Keisel. “We win as a team, and today was a nice team win for us.“

Bell hauled in Roethlisberger’s 2-yard pass at the right front pylon with 14 seconds on the clock, giving the Steelers a 24-13 lead.

“It was a terrible second quarter and we couldn’t come back from it,“ Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said. “The whole thing is frustrating.“

The break stunted any momentum for Pittsburgh, but the Texans did not capitalize. They settled for a Randy Bullock 31-yard field goal with 11:47 remaining in regulation, and Suisham made it a two-possession game with a 30- yard kick six minutes later.

Brown caught a 30-yard pass to set up the field goal and had a touchdown catch called back later in the drive. He finished with nine catches for 90 yards and extended his NFL record of at least five catches to 23 straight games.

Suisham tacked on a 40-yarder following a DeAndre Hopkins fumble, and Foster’s 1-yard TD catch with 1:31 to go gave the Texans hope.

The ball bounced around for awhile on the ensuing onside kick and scooted to the Pittsburgh 36-yard line before Steelers third-string tight end Michael Palmer recovered to seal the victory.

The forgettable finish spoiled a fast start for the Texans, who had gone scoreless in the first quarter their previous four games.

Alfred Blue capped Houston’s 10-play, 94-yard opening drive with his first career TD, as he caught a dump off pass and went in untouched from the 11.

Roethlisberger tried escaping the grasp of Whitney Mercilus on the ensuing possession, but the linebacker knocked the ball loose and the omnipresent J.J. Watt quickly jumped on top of it at the Pittsburgh 46.

Bullock split the uprights from 39 yards out, then added a 38-yarder midway through the second quarter to make it a 13-0 game.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh is 25-5 all-time at home on Monday Night Football ... Watt became Houston’s all-time leader in fumble recoveries with nine, passing current Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans ... Houston’s Andre Johnson caught five passes for 77 yards and moved into 14th place on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list, passing Hall-of-Famer Steve Largent (13,089) ... With his second punt, Shane Lechler moved past Bryan Barker (1,132) for the 11th most punts in NFL history ... Texans rookie linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, still recovering from knee surgery, missed his sixth straight game.


►   NFL Game Result - Week 7

MONDAY, OCTOBER 20

Final Score: Pittsburgh 30, Houston 23

You could almost hear the frustration at Heinz Field as the Pittsburgh Steelers trailed the Houston Texans by 13 points midway through the second quarter. But after sitting in stunned silence for nearly two hours, the home fans found themselves waiving their Terrible Towels in celebration of a lightning-quick turnaround. LeVeon Bell sparked a string of 24 straight points in a 2:54 span near the end of the first half as the Steelers downed the Texans, 30-23, on Monday. Bell amassed 145 yards from scrimmage and caught a touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger, who shook off a slow start and finished with 265 yards and two scores through the air. The Steelers (4-3) bounced back from last week’s loss in Cleveland and improved to 8-0 on “Monday Night Football” at Heinz Field. Arian Foster gained 102 yards on 20 carries and caught a late TD pass for the Texans (3-4), who had a chance to recover an onside kick inside the two-minute warning but ultimately dropped their third straight game. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 262 yards with two TDs and an interception.


►   Browns waive FB Agnew, promote Small

The Cleveland Browns have waived fullback Ray Agnew and promoted fullback Kiero Small from the practice squad to fill the spot on the active roster.

Agnew had started all six games for the Browns this season. He had just two carries for two yards and also caught two passes for 15 yards.

Small, a rookie out of Arkansas, had spent the first seven weeks on the Browns’ practice squad. He was originally selected by Seattle in the seventh round of the 2014 draft.


►   Jags lose LB Posluszny for season

The Jacksonville Jaguars posted their first win of the season on Sunday, but the victory came with a cost.

Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley announced Monday that linebacker Paul Posluszny will be placed on injured reserve after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in the 24-6 win over the Cleveland Browns.

Posluszny had 69 tackles and two sacks in seven games. The club will be looking to sign a player in the Penn State product’s place.

Bradley added that defensive end Andre Branch will be sidelined at least six weeks with a torn groin.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   2014-15 Charlotte Hornets Preview

No team changed its identity more than the Charlotte Hornets this offseason.

They changed their name for goodness sake.

This season Charlotte is back to the Hornets, the team name the original Charlotte organization had when it came into the league. That team is now the New Orleans Pelicans, so Charlotte reclaimed its Hornets name.

Another huge change in Charlotte this offseason came in the form of Lance Stephenson. The puzzling wing man signed a free-agent deal with the Hornets after spurning his Indiana Pacers.

Stephenson is a lot of things, including maddening and intense. He’s also an elite defensive player, strong play-maker and decent shooter.

“He is a great up-and-coming player with an incredibly high ceiling,“ general manager Rich Cho said when the team inked Stephenson. “He is an exceptional athlete who has the versatility and skill to play multiple positions on both offense and defense. We believe he will be an outstanding addition to our roster.“

He certainly will be a valuable addition and provides an even further example of the final culture change in Charlotte - optimism.

Last season, this team made the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Yes, they got swept by eventual Eastern Conference champions, the Miami Heat, but that came without a healthy Al Jefferson, who suffered a plantar fasciitis injury in Game 1.

But Jefferson really keyed the Hornets’ rebirth. He made the All-NBA Third team at the center spot and has established the Hornets as a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference.

Head coach Steve Clifford told the Charlotte Observer that Jefferson is pain- free and has been at voluntary workouts.

Jefferson is the key to all Charlotte does, but the Hornets win games because of defense. The Hornets finished fourth in the NBA in opponents’ scoring and sixth in opponents’ field-goal percentage.

Stephenson won’t hurt the quality of Charlotte’s defense. He covered LeBron James in the Eastern Conference Finals, not Paul George, an All-Defensive performer. Granted, the Pacers probably weren’t thrilled when Stephenson blew on James’ face, but Stephenson, like Cho stated, can cover at least four positions.

He can also help a poor 3-point shooting team. Stephenson isn’t Reggie Miller, or Ray Allen, but he’s adequate. He will also help as a play-maker since Kemba Walker is really the only player on the roster capable of creating offense from the perimeter.

The Hornets should feel great about their team, but this offseason wasn’t all roses and chocolates.

Josh McRoberts left via free agency, joining the Heat. He didn’t register All- Star statistics, but McRoberts started 78 games last season and stretched the floor with his range.

Replacing McRoberts in the starting lineup will be Cody Zeller, the second- year man from Indiana. He showed signs last season, but his role will be expanded massively.

Waiting in the wings is a fellow Hoosier, Charlotte’s first first-round pick, Noah Vonleh. The remarkably athletic big man, who also has some range, slid in the draft and could be great. He won’t be for some time as he’ll miss a little time with a sports hernia.

The Hornets brought in Marvin Williams, Brian Roberts and drafted sharp- shooter P.J. Hairston. They’ll provide much-needed depth.

The Hornets are not in a position where the sky’s the limit, but this group has emerged into a very tough team no one wants to face. They have an inside force, a rarity in today’s game, and play stifling defense.

That’s a postseason recipe.

The only identity change came with a name. The identity Clifford created and cultivated is one that should keep Charlotte in the postseason.

2013-14 Results: 43-38, 3rd in Southeast. Lost in East quarterfinals to Miami

ADDITIONS: G/F Lance Stephenson, F Noah Vonleh, F Marvin Williams, G P.J. Hairston, G Brian Roberts

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE:

PG- Kemba Walker SG- Lance Stephenson SF- Michael Kidd-Gilchrest PF- Marvin Williams C- Al Jefferson

KEY RESERVES: G Gerald Henderson, G Gary Neal, F Noah Vonleh, F Cody Zeller, G P.J. Hairston, F Jeff Taylor, C Bismack Biyombo, G Jannero Pargo

FRONTCOURT: Jefferson always put up great numbers, except in the win total. He had two seasons of 20-plus points and 11-plus rebounds per game before he landed in Charlotte, but last season, he carried the Hornets on his back offensively.

Jefferson averaged 21.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg and shot 51 percent from the field. He’s a low-post guy in a world with maybe six good centers. One cause for alarm is Jefferson’s free-throw percentage dipped under 70 percent.

He embraced his role as a leader and flourished. The All-NBA honor was huge and the All-Star game should be an attainable goal this season. Jefferson’s health is fine. Expect another big season.

Williams came over from the Utah Jazz as a free agent. For six seasons as a member of the Atlanta Hawks, Williams averaged double figures. His numbers slid in Utah where his role was reduced. Williams can slide in as a stretch four in the same vein as McRoberts.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has not lived up to being the second pick, but it doesn’t seem to be a big deal. He was drafted on the potential of being a secondary guy when the team got good. Kidd-Gilchrist is a good defender, but offensively, he’s a disaster. His scoring, rebounding and assist numbers are slid as did his free-throw percentage. Clifford told the Charlotte Observer that Kidd-Gilchrist has been working with Mark Price on his shooting mechanics. Wise.

BACKCOURT: Walker is perennially one of the most under-appreciated players in the game. Last season, he averaged 17.7 ppg, 6.1 apg and 4.2 rebounds. His field-goal percentage stumbled, and he’s a decent long-range shooter. Walker is also a big-time gamer. He likes having the ball and making the plays. Walker never gets the due he deserves.

Stephenson bumped his scoring numbers by five last season, his rebounding number by a little more than 3.0 per game and his assists went up 1.5. He finished second to Phoenix’s Goran Dragic for Most Improved Player. He can do everything, but he has to control his emotions. Too many times, Stephenson did bizarre, bordering on dumb things that hurt his Pacers team. Stephenson seems like a perfect cure for not only what ails the Hornets (play-making/35 percent three-point shooting), but he should thrive defensively.

BENCH: Gerald Henderson started 77 games last season, played 32 minutes a game and averaged 14.0 ppg. He shouldn’t lose a starting job and he might not. If Clifford wanted Stephenson to play the small forward, Henderson could keep his starting job. If Henderson comes off the bench, he will still play heavy minutes. He could be a darkhorse Sixth Man of the Year candidate. He’s a good rebounder for a wing.

Zeller averaged a hair over 17 minutes per game in his rookie season and produced 6.0 ppg. He grabbed 4.3 rebounds, but his 43 percent field-goal shooting was jarring. That’s way too low for a big man. Zeller has decent athleticism.

Neal made his bones with the San Antonio Spurs, but he remained a double- figure scorer splitting last season with the Milwaukee Bucks and Hornets. He’s a career 39 percent shooter from beyond the arc. Neal is a huge asset coming off the bench.

Biyombo is a banger, whose playing time fell under Clifford. He’s still the primary backup big man behind Jefferson.

Taylor’s 2013-14 season ended abruptly in December when he ruptured his Achilles. He declared himself ready to go. Before the injury, Taylor averaged 8.0 ppg in 24 minutes. It’s easy to forget about Taylor, but he’s a nice piece.

Vonleh might not see much action right away. He’s a great prospect.

Hairston played wonderfully in the D-League last season. He’s a great shooter, but he’s got to be careful about shot selection. As a rookie, Hairston might not see a ton of action behind Kidd-Gilchrist, Stephenson, Henderson, Neal and Taylor, but he can shoot and the Hornets need shooting.

This unit is very, very solid.

COACHING: Clifford finished fourth in Coach of the Year voting last season. In any other year, brining Charlotte into the postseason after years of futility, Clifford could have finished much higher.

He has built this team around defense. The Hornets are very good at it and that’s a reflection of Clifford. Charlotte was 23rd in scoring last season, but that number should go up with Stephenson in the mix and full seasons from Neal and Taylor.

Clifford maximizes his players’ talents. He’s one of the league’s best young coaches, at least in terms of experience.

OUTLOOK: The Hornets are not title contenders, yet. They are still new to this success thing.

But, great big man play, a daring guard, versatility, defense, a good bench and strong coaching translates into victories.

With James in Cleveland, the Southeast Division is certainly more wide open than in years past. The Hornets could win that division, but they won’t be favored.

Charlotte will make the postseason, but can’t afford an injury to Jefferson or Stephenson. It’s simplistic, but true.

Even if the Hornets don’t win the division, they could sneak into a home playoff series in the first round. That will be hard since the two best teams in the Eastern Conference - Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls - are both in the Central. That means the division loser will probably still have a strong enough record to have homecourt advantage in round one.

The Hornets are most likely looking at a fifth or sixth seed in the East. They could even win a round.

They just aren’t ready for the big time ... yet.


►   2014-15 Oklahoma City Thunder Preview

Boy, that escalated quickly.

Title dreams for the heavily favored Oklahoma City Thunder took a nosedive upon learning that superstar and reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant will miss about six to eight weeks with a Jones Fracture in his right foot.

The sharp-shooting and electrifying Durant informed the team of discomfort in his foot Saturday, when championship dreams started to circle the drain. This isn’t the first time the Thunder had to deal with an injury to a star player, as point guard Russell Westbrook is quite familiar with all of it.

Now that Durant will be shelved for a significant amount of time, a healthy Westbrook is expected to shoulder the load.

“You can’t replace Kevin,“ OKC head coach Scott Brooks said. “He’s one of the best players on the planet, but what you can do, is make sure that when he does come back, our team is better.“

Oklahoma City is still one of the top teams in the league and Westbrook said it’s all about rallying around each other for the start of the 2014-15 season.

“It’s just sticking together,“ Westbrook said. “It’s key that all of us stick together. We have a lot of guys banged up right now, but we have to find a way to stick together, continue to move forward and get wins.“

Now that Durant’s gone for some time, instead of being a candidate for a top seed, the Thunder could finish somewhere between the fourth and sixth seed in the jumbled Western Conference. But as this time of year approaches, the Thunder gather much attention as the favorite to reach the apex of NBA greatness. Losing arguably the best player in the league in Durant (no offense LeBron James) kind of throws a wrench in the gears.

The franchise hasn’t won an NBA title since the 1978-79 Seattle SuperSonics were crowned king, and the Thunder are coming off a fourth straight Northwest Division title. Led by NBA leading scorer Durant, who averaged 32.0 points per game, the Thunder stormed out to a 38-10 record by the end of January and qualified for the postseason for a fifth straight season.

Oklahoma City had the second-best record in the NBA (59-23) and played 36 games without starting point guard Westbrook. Westbrook averaged 21.8 points, 6.9 assists and 5,7 rebounds and, during his absence, the greatness of Durant appeared. Durant led the NBA in scoring for a fourth time in the last five seasons and is one of just five players in NBA history to win four or more scoring titles, joining Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, George Gervin and Allen Iverson.

Durant raised eyebrows when he surpassed Jordan’s record by scoring 25 or more points in 41 straight games. He helped the Thunder win a season-high 10 straight games from January 16-31 and later averaged 34.5 ppg in March, earning him Player of the Month honors.

Durant has led the Thunder to the threshold of NBA immortality in recent years with trips to the Western Conference Finals three times over the past four seasons. However, the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs dispatched the Thunder in six games in the conference finals last postseason.

Oklahoma City has qualified for the playoffs in each of the last five seasons and has won 50 or more games in four of those.

But can the Thunder finally get over the hump in 2014-15 with Durant on the bench for the start of the season? The defending champion Spurs are a year older, James is now with a loaded Cleveland squad, leaving Miami seemingly vulnerable, and Indiana probably won’t have Paul George for the entire season. Yes, there’s a chance and OKC’s odds are still better than Lloyd Christmas hooking up with Mary Swanson.

The Thunder are always dominant at home and went 34-7 at Chesapeake Energy Arena last season as opposed to a respectable 25-16 record on the road.

Winning another Northwest Division shouldn’t be a problem with the current situation, especially now that All-Star forward Kevin Love is out of the question. The former Minnesota Timberwolves superstar joined forces with James in Cleveland, and now Portland is the only threat to OKC. Denver could compete and Utah is still building.

2013-14 Results: 59-23, 1st in Northwest, lost in Western Conference Finals to San Antonio

ADDITIONS: G/F Anthony Morrow, G Sebastian Telfair, F Mitch McGary

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE:

PG- Russell Westbrook SG- Anthony Morrow SF- Perry Jones PF- Serge Ibaka C - Kendrick Perkins

KEY RESERVES: G Reggie Jackson, F Nick Collison, G Jeremy Lamb, C Steven Adams, F Perry Jones, C Mitch McGary, G Andre Roberson

FRONTCOURT: Durant left the U.S. national team in August before the FIBA World Cup, citing physical and mental exhaustion from the season. The strategy worked out at the time and now he’s just a spectator.

Durant was the main reason why the Thunder were fourth in scoring in 2013-14 with 106.2 points per game. Those numbers will surely dip and Oklahoma City could see a revolving door at the forward spot. Perry Jones seems like a solid choice to begin the season on the court at tip-off and posted 3.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in limited action last season.

Jones played in 62 games and averaged just over 12 minutes a game. He has size at 6-foot-11 and a lengthy wingspan. It’s just too bad for the Thunder they won’t get much production from that spot in the first few months. Jeremy Lamb is another possibility for Brooks and he notched 8.5 points and 2.4 rebounds a season ago. Lamb appeared in 78 games, playing about 19 minutes a night.

Serge Ibaka put a damper on Oklahoma City’s title hopes with a calf injury during the playoffs and it took away the team’s inside presence. Ibaka instills fear down low with his ability to clog the paint and block shots. He has the size of an NFL linebacker and his defensive prowess makes it difficult for opponents in the lane. It’s better to kick it out when the 6-foot-10 Ibaka is waiting to make a play. He averaged 15.1 points and led the Thunder with 8.8 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 2013-14. Ibaka also had 29 double-doubles, up from his 2012-13 total of 15.

If Ibaka has any flaws it’s his ability to play more than 30 minutes a night.

This could be the end of the road for Kendrick Perkins with center Steven Adams waiting to take over. Perkins still has brute strength and that evil scowl. That being said, averaging 3.4 points and 4.9 rebounds from the center position isn’t going to get you far.

Perkins is fortunate to play in the shadows of Durant and Westbrook, so it’s not too important to run the offense inside. Still, it has to be done and Perkins is coming off one of his worst seasons. Perkins has no choice but to improve after the Thunder failed in a bid to land big man Pau Gasol.

BACKCOURT: With guard Anthony Morrow in the fold, the Thunder will probably use Reggie Jackson off the bench again. Morrow joined Oklahoma City in July and was picked up as a free agent. Morrow is a smooth scorer with natural shooting ability and should pair up well with stars Durant and Westbrook.

Morrow averaged 8.4 points in a career-high 76 games last season for New Orleans, and is known for his 3-point shooting. He shot 45.1 percent from beyond the arc last season and has hit 40 percent or better four times.

“With his body of work, we feel Anthony is a unique addition to a diverse roster, while also possessing the toughness and selflessness that we are consistently seeking in Thunder players,“ said OKC general manager Sam Presti.

Westbrook displays toughness and selflessness (at times) for the Thunder and is one of the best point guards in the game. Quick off the dribble and faster than a hiccup, Westbrook was able to stay healthy this past postseason unlike the 2012-13 playoffs when he suffered a knee injury.

Westbrook knows what Durant’s going through being sidelined.

“It’s very, very unfortunate,“ Westbrook said. “If anybody knows what it feels like, I would know. I talked to Kevin. He’s in good spirits. He’s going to get back as soon as he can to help us out.“

The All-Star played 46 games and shot 43.7 percent. Westbrook is working on a better shot selection instead of wildly trying to handle situations on his own. If and when that happens, the Thunder will be even deadlier.

The Thunder don’t have defensive-minded swingman Thabo Sefolosha, who is now with the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta acquired him in a sign-and-trade. Sefolosha spent the past five-plus seasons with the Thunder and played a key part in a march to the 2012 NBA Finals. He averaged 6.3 points and 3.6 rebounds while starting 61 games for the Thunder last season.

BENCH: Jackson shined in the starting lineup when Westbrook was recovering from knee surgery and gives Brooks a nice piece coming off the bench. Jackson started 36 games in 2013-14 and averaged 14.1 points and 5.1 assists. He led OKC at the line, making 89.3 percent of his foul shots. In 44 games as a sub, he notched 12.3 points and 4.1 rebounds.

Jackson, who averaged 11.1 ppg in the postseason, has tremendous potential to become a full-time starter down the stretch even though he lacks size at the position. It wouldn’t be a surprise, though, if Brooks puts the sixth man back in the starting lineup at some point.

Before Jackson entered the starting lineup, the OKC bench averaged 34.6 ppg in the first 28 games of the season. That shows how important a reserve he is. The Thunder went 15-0 when Jackson scored 15 points or more off the pine.

Derek Fisher and Caron Butler are gone and considered dinosaurs at this point. Fisher, of course, is now the head coach of the New York Knicks and his leadership and experience will be missed. Guard Andre Roberson has a shot at seeing more action, while Nick Collison, Mitch McGary and Adams will spell the big men. Guard Sebastian Telfair is looking for a new beginning with the Thunder.

COACHING: Since Brooks took over as Thunder head coach in 2008, they are 293-170 with a 39-34 record in the postseason. Those playoff numbers have to improve if Brooks wants to stick around much longer. And it doesn’t get any easier with Durant out. Perhaps that could save Brooks’ job if the Thunder fail to live up to expectations.

Brooks has managed to work with what he has and that’s not saying much when Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka are at his disposal. He will try to make it work with Morrow now in the fold and Jackson coming off the bench again. It’s a good problem to have for Brooks, who has shown the capability to adjust in crunch time. The Thunder and their fans have lofty expectations and Brooks will be feeling the pressure if a winner is not delivered.

Defense will always be key to how the Thunder maintain their elevated scoring average. Working their way into transition to create easy baskets and opportunities will, and always, be predicated on defense. When the defense presents chances to score, passing is most important.

“We’ve been working on it over the last few years of really involving the pass more and more,“ Brooks said. “Our guys have really picked it up. Going into the summer, those are the areas we wanted to focus on offensively, to give ourselves a better shot every time down court.“

Brooks said having a large number of returning players back helps in understanding the philosophy leading up to the regular season.

OUTLOOK: It was title or bust for this agonizing Thunder fanbase in 2014-15, and now it’s just try to stay afloat without one of the NBA’s best players. Injuries are the demise of any sports team and now the Thunder must prove they’re a resilient group. Brooks said he is proud of his players because they don’t make excuses and figure out ways to improve when faced with adversity.

Now is the time to see if the Thunder are ready to move forward as a team.


►   2014-15 Portland Trail Blazers Preview

The bar has been set for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Whether they want to raise the Rip City Resurrection even higher is totally up to them in 2014-15.

The Trail Blazers exceeded expectations last season with a 54-28 record and their first playoff berth since 2010-11. The 54 wins were 21 more than the year before when Portland was 33-49 and finished fourth in the Northwest.

Portland was second behind Oklahoma City in the division and the chances of unseating the Northwest-champion Thunder any time soon are slim to none. Even the recent injury and future return of Thunder star Kevin Durant is too much to over come. Oh, the Thunder have Russell Westbrook, too.

What do the Blazers have? A lot of confidence and motivation.

“People expect us to be a good team because of what happened last year,“ star guard Damian Lillard said. “We need to expect that of ourselves.“

Lillard is one of the cornerstones to the success of the Blazers as well as power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. The duo helped the Blazers to a sizzling 22-4 start and the first 50-win campaign since 2009-10 (50-32).

A third-year Blazer out of Weber State, Lillard recorded a career-best 20.7 points and handed out an average of 5.6 assists per game. That was enough for the Trail Blazers to exercise the fourth-year option on Lillard, who made 218 3-pointers to become the first Portland player to ever record at least 200 baskets from downtown. That’s better than Terry Porter or Clyde Drexler.

In Game 6 of the Western Conference quarterfinals against the Houston Rockets, Lillard buried a dramatic 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the Blazers into the second round of the playoffs. The Blazers, who captured the West’s fifth seed, won their first postseason set since May 16, 2000 when they beat Utah in five games in the conference semifinals. They had lost seven consecutive series.

However, the losing ways continued in the semifinals, as the eventual NBA champion San Antonio Spurs disposed of Portland in five games.

While Lillard handles the backcourt and ball distribution, Aldridge is Portland’s great hope down low. Coming off a career year in which he averaged 23.2 points and 11.1 rebounds, Aldridge became the first Trail Blazer to finish among the NBA’s top 10 scorers in three straight seasons.

Aldridge is not short on confidence for his team’s chances this season.

“I definitely feel like we can be one of the top teams in the league,“ said Aldridge, who recorded a playoff franchise record 46 points on April 20.

The playoffs are no doubt a destination the Blazers will be making this season and they return nearly the entire roster with the addition of big man Chris Kaman to play alongside Aldridge and Robin Lopez. Steve Blake is back to bolster the guard play for head coach Terry Stotts.

Stotts received a multi-year extension in May and is 87-77 with the team.

“Terry has done an outstanding job during his first two years with the organization,“ Blazers general manager Neil Olshey said. “This extension illustrates our confidence in him as our head coach as well as the Portland Trail Blazers’ continued commitment to building a model of consistency and stability.“

Lillard said there’s more to Stotts than just X’s and O’s.

“I don’t think he’s looking for credit just like we aren’t looking for credit,“ Lillard said. “I think it’s a group effort. He gives us the system to run and it’s our job to go out there and execute it. But I think he does a great job with us as people. It’s hard to manage egos and we don’t really have any but when you’re dealing with professional athletes it’s tough because a lot of players have so much control. You have attitudes and guys making all this money, and it’s hard to control but I think he does a great job of it.“

Stotts has guided the Blazers in position to be one of the best in the Western Conference and it can only get better.

2013-14 Results: 54-29, 2nd in Northwest, lost in Western Conference semifinals to San Antonio

ADDITIONS: C Chris Kaman, G Steve Blake

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE:

PG- Damian Lillard SG- Wesley Matthews SF- Nicolas Batum PF- LaMarcus Aldridge C - Robin Lopez

KEY RESERVES: G Steve Blake, G C.J. McCollum, F Dorell Wright, C Chris Kaman, F Thomas Robinson, G Will Barton, C Joel Freeland, C Meyers Leonard

FRONTCOURT: The Blazers hope to lock up Aldridge next summer when he can cash in with more dough and a longer deal. The team appears committed to Aldridge, an interior force who has averaged more than 20 points per game in each of the past four seasons. Aldridge, who posted 29.8 ppg against Houston in the postseason, became the first NBA player with consecutive playoff games of 43 points or more since Tracy McGrady (April 20-23, 2003). He joined Sidney Wicks (1971-72) as the only Trail Blazer to average at least 23 points and 11 rebounds in a season. Aldridge is no doubt a bona fide All-Star and the Blazers will go only as far as he can take them. He matches up well with the rest of the bigs around the league.

Lopez plays in the shadows of Aldridge, and does his damage there. The seven- footer is a returning starter and key piece to Portland’s inside game. If the Blazers want to compete with Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston or the Los Angeles Clippers, they have to get the ball inside. Like Aldridge, Lopez is also entering a contract year and played all 82 games for a second straight season after previous injury-riddled campaigns. His trademark is defense, but Lopez can also score.

Another defensive specialist is Nicolas Batum at small forward. The versatile Batum appeared in all 82 games, posting an average of 13.0 points and 7.5 rebounds, and has become more involved in the offense because of his skillset. Batum is a decent shooter from 3-point range as well. He is not afraid to take on the opposition’s best player either and is expected to have a breakout season in 2014-15.

BACKCOURT: Oh, where to begin with Portland’s backcourt. That’s actually easy because it starts with Lillard. Lillard is known around the league as a dangerous threat and can distribute the ball. When Aldridge and Lopez are grinding down low, Lillard will get them the ball. He was selected to his first All-Star game last year and played almost 36 minutes a night, so getting him rested for the playoffs is key. Cutting out fast food, sugar and salt from his diet will aid in his recovery from a long season. It will also improve his already remarkable speed and athleticism. His dramatic 3-pointer to send the Rockets packing in the playoffs proves Lillard’s not afraid to take the big shot and step up for his team. Look for another All-Star season from Lillard and emerging star status.

Lillard’s running mate in the backcourt is sharpshooter Wesley Matthews. Matthews is another defensive-minded guard who averaged a career-high 16.4 ppg last season and played in all 82 games for a third time in his career. Matthews has the length to keep opposing guards at bay with his 6-foot-5 frame, and playing alongside Batum only makes Portland that much better on defense. Matthews has big shot capability and is a proven risk taker. There’s a chance Matthews and Lillard will combine to sink the most 3-pointers in the league this season.

BENCH: This is where it gets tough for Stotts and Portland. The Blazers were awful off the bench last season and finished last in minutes with 13.7 and points (23.6). Those numbers took a dip in the playoffs as well and perhaps the series with San Antonio would have lasted longer had the reserves contributed more often.

The Blazers brought in Kaman to bolster the paint and give Aldridge and Lopez breathers. Blake is back and will bring his experience and leadership to the point, while the Trail Blazers are counting on second-year guard C.J. McCollum to have a big season. McCollum played in just 38 games because of a foot injury and posted 5.3 points and 1.3 rebounds. He’s hoping to have an injury free campaign and a more increased role now that Mo Williams is gone. McCollum proved he was one of the NCAA’s top guards with Lehigh University. Thomas Robinson, Meyers Leonard, Dorell Wright and Will Barton are other options off the bench.

COACHING: Stotts welcomes back the entire starting squad and has big hopes in his third season with the team. The franchise’s 14th head coach, Stotts needs to get more production on defense and better play from the bench. A healthy McCollum and the addition of Kaman should be an aid. Having Kaman on the floor means Portland will not fall short of size and strength underneath, which will propel the Blazers even further. Stotts, though, will be in a tough spot if he loses either Lillard or Aldridge. But make no mistake, the Blazers have the talent to capture homecourt advantage for at least the first round. Then it gets tough after that with the West’s best moving on.

OUTLOOK: Another 50-plus win season is on tap for the rising Blazers, as long as they stay healthy. Holding their own in a tough Western Conference is what the Blazers did a season ago, and it’s no secret they’re out to achieve more. Portland could make it all the way to the conference finals, but isn’t ready to play for an NBA championship. Perhaps 2015-16 will bear more fruit as far as competing for the franchise’s first title since 1976-77.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Why the Giants will win the World Series

You can’t teach experience.

That’s one advantage the San Francisco Giants have entering their third World Series in the last five years. It’s been 29 years since the upstart Cinderella Kansas City Royals were in the Fall Classic and their magical postseason run will come to a screeching halt when they tangle with the accomplished Giants.

San Francisco playing for all the marbles has become more common lately and the club owes it all to a solid nucleus and a wise manager in Bruce Bochy. Bochy knows the aches and pains of baseball. His club had to battle its way to make the playoffs and now the Giants are going for it all in the 110th World Series.

“This isn’t easy to get here,“ Bochy said. “You saw how we had to go through a Wild Card Game, then go through two very good teams. It’s pretty amazing, really, how difficult it is to get here.“

Two of Bochy’s top players, starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner and catcher Buster Posey, are playing in their third World Series, while weathered veteran starter Tim Hudson is in his first. Hudson being in his first World Series proves that catching on with the right team at the right time is imperative.

Hudson, who is expected to go in Game 3, is happy for both Bumgarner and Posey, but is also appreciative of catching on with a winner.

“It’s awesome for them to be able to experience it that often,“ Hudson said. “Obviously, with my experience, it’s something I’ve searched for and waited all 16 years. It’s not that easy. You have to have a lot of luck and a lot of good players. To be on a team that has that much success that often, that doesn’t happen all the time, especially nowadays, with so much parity in this game.“

Bumgarner and Posey have matured through the years and know what it takes to reach the game’s pinnacle. The battery mates play an essential role in the Giants’ success and will be ready to go in Game 1 on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. Posey said it’s difficult to get to this point and players should appreciate and enjoy the moment.

Posey is two RBI shy of matching Barry Bonds (21) for the most in Giants franchise history in the postseason. He is a main weapon on a successful club that doesn’t boast high-profile players, home run kings or household names.

The one who comes close to stardom is Bumgarner. He’s another reason why the Giants will bring the Commissioner’s Trophy to the bay area. Bumgarner was named MVP of the NLCS versus the St. Louis Cardinals and hasn’t allowed a postseason run on the road over the last 26 2/3 innings dating back to that championship run of 2010.

The road has been a place Bumgarner thrives as evidenced by his 11-4 record and 2.22 earned run average in 18 starts as the visitor in the regular season. Bumgarner was 18-10 overall in the regular season. He struck out 10, allowed four hits and went the distance in an 8-0 win at Pittsburgh in the Wild Card game on October 1, then threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings at St. Louis on October 11.

So it’s obvious the one called MadBum has no issues in a hostile environment. In six postseason starts at home, Bumgarner is just 1-3. But he has pitched at least seven innings in every start this postseason.

Imagine how dominant the rotation would be with a healthy Matt Cain and a consistent Tim Lincecum. Cain is done for the season and Lincecum is now working out of a strong bullpen. So instead of those two, Bochy has veterans Jake Peavy and Hudson, and postseason stud Ryan Vogelsong. Bochy said Lincecum is dealing with a stiff neck and isn’t worried about the unused two-time NL Cy Young Award winner.

In 10 postseason games, Giants starters have recorded a 2.40 earned run average while limiting opponents to a 0.99 WHIP and a .207 batting average. The Giants have a strong advantage over Kansas City with their starters because after James Shields the Royals are in trouble.

When the starters give way to the bullpen it usually spells doom for the opposition. Clubs go through turnover year after year and there’s four relief pitchers who have been with the Giants since 2010. Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo are gunning for their fourth ring.

“Experience is a big deal. We don’t live in the past, but we rely on the past to get us through situations that we know we can pull through,“ Affeldt said.

The Royals are garnering all the bullpen hype, and deservedly so. However, these Giants can pitch in relief, too.

“Bochy knows how to use the bullpen,“ Casilla said. “He is the key, because we know what to do, but he has to know who to use.“

Yusmeiro Petit, who Bochy described as a “great swingman,“ is an important member of the bullpen and helped the Giants get to where they are.

“We can say that about a lot of the guys here,“ Romo said, “but he’s one of those ones that comes to mind first.“

Petit made 12 starts and 27 relief appearances in the regular season, and retired 46 straight batters at one point. He has two wins with 11 strikeouts over nine scoreless innings in these playoffs.

Who will Bochy use as the designated hitter when the Giants are on the road? That could be Game 5 NLCS hero Michael Morse, who’s healthy and an obvious choice for that role. Morse belted the tying home run in the NLCS clincher over the Cardinals.

The lineups match up well in this World Series. San Francisco is led by Posey and a handful of contributors in Hunter Pence, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford. Pence, of course, is known for his animated pep talks that usually contain an expletive or two. He definitely knows how to get his teammates pumped up and will be at his best the next week or so.

Bochy said Sandoval is a great and gifted player. More commonly known as Panda, Sandoval is excited to be playing in October instead of watching the games on TV at home.

“It’s exciting,“ Sandoval said. “You win or you go home. That’s what we try to do every single day this time (of year), not get too excited in situations. You want to win games. So I think this is one of those things I’ve got on my mind right now, get a good pitch on the plate, have fun no matter what the situation is, what the score is, what the type of game you play is. Just have fun out there.“

You could see how much fun this version of the Giants have on the field and it will be more exciting to watch when they’re crowned kings of baseball again.


►   Why the Royals will win the World Series

Wade Davis was a throw-in in the deal that sent James Shields to Kansas City from Tampa Bay back in December of 2012.

As important a piece as Shields is to Kansas City, though, Davis has become an irreplaceable piece of a historic bullpen that has the Royals back in the World Series for the first time since 1985.

“He’s a guy that just comes in and goes right after you with his stuff,“ Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He’s a guy that’s a tremendous competitor.“

After struggling as a starter Davis has found a home as the Royals’ eighth- inning guy. He finished the regular season with 72 innings pitched, a 1.00 ERA and 109 strikeouts. His ERA was the fifth lowest ever by a reliever with at least 70 innings and his 13.63 strikeout-per-nine ratio ranks 10th all-time under the same guidelines.

He also didn’t allow a run from April 23-June 25, a streak of 20 appearances and 22 1/3 innings. It took 43 appearances, 45 1/3 innings and 179 batters before he allowed an extra-base hit.

Davis also hasn’t surrendered a home run this season.

In addition to his phenomenal regular season, Davis has thrown 9 1/3 innings in the postseason with a 0.96 ERA and 10 strikeouts. He pitched five scoreless frames in the ALCS, allowed just two hits and struck out six.

It’s not just Davis, though. Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland have been equally dominant.

Kansas City relievers allowed two runs in five innings in Game 1 against the O’s, but pitched 11 2/3 scoreless innings the rest of the way. The three- headed monster of Herrera, Davis and Holland pitched to a 0.61 ERA over 14 2/3 frames.

“It’s definitely been the model for us,“ Yost said. “It started out, find a way to get the ball to Holly in the ninth inning. With Kelvin’s emergence this year, it turned into, ‘Let’s just find a way to get through six and we’re going to be in great shape.‘“

Kansas City became just the second team during the wild card era to win the ALCS without a single starter completing six innings in the process. Only the 2011 Rangers had done so previously.

“You get through the sixth inning and you’re down a run, and, all of a sudden, here comes Herrera, here comes Davis, and here comes Holland,“ Yost added. “That’s a little bit deflating.“

Yost continued about his bullpen.

“You know, for me, the whole focus is just get through the sixth inning tied or with the lead so that we could get to those guys,“ Yost said. “If we have the lead, I feel like the game is over. If we’re tied, I feel like they’re going to hold us there until we score a run.“

No team signified small ball more than Kansas City, which won 89 games this season thanks in large part to its ability to play defense and manufacture runs. The Royals also led the AL with 153 stolen bases, but their 95 home runs were the fewest in baseball.

There is no question the Royals rely on their legs. It’s not just the stolen bases, either, their ability to take the extra base makes them that much more dangerous.

Kansas City’s speed game could be kept in check when lefty Madison Bumgarner is on the mound. Also, catcher Buster Posey threw out runners at a 29.8 percent clip this season, fifth in MLB among 15 qualified MLB catchers

The Royals have found their power stroke in the playoffs, swatting eight home runs in eight games. While they are certainly not the “Murderers’ Row” Yankees, the added power dimension might just be the difference for the Royals in the World Series.

There used to be a joke in New York that 75 percent of the world was covered in water and the other 25 percent was covered by Darrelle Revis. Well, people in Kansas City can now apply that joke to their outfield, particularly left fielder Alex Gordon and center fielder Lorenzo Cain.

“There’s really no weaknesses,“ said Gordon. “It’s someone new every day, and someone new making the play every day. It’s pretty cool to be a part of eight guys out there that are very talented and very good at defense and good at what they do.“

The bottom line is, the Royals are just a really good team. They get every hit they need. They make every catch they can get to. They can beat you with their arms, they can beat you with their legs.

And now they can even beat you with the longball.

You add that to the fact that they have homefield advantage and are in the midst of the best postseason run of all-time and it’s hard to make a case against them winning.

Nobody may have predicted it at the start of the year, but the Royals appear to be on the cusp of a World Series title.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Golf Tidbits: Martin shines brightest in Vegas

Las Vegas is a city full of bright lights that can distract you. The brightest lights on a golf course are the leaderboards.

Ben Martin doesn’t like to look at those leaderboards, though. In the final round on Sunday at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Martin caught a glimpse of one leaderboard after he bogeyed the eighth hole, and that was enough for him.

“I was nervous enough without looking at the scoreboard, so I didn’t have to think about anything else,“ Martin said.

He did the right thing and let his caddie watch the scoreboard. Martin wasn’t the only one who was ignoring the leaderboards. Second-place finisher Kevin Streelman was in the same boat.

“I tried not to look at the leaderboard to be honest,“ said Streelman.

The two were lucky the event didn’t last another couple holes or they would have been left in the dust by another player.

Last year’s Shriners winner, Webb Simpson, came out of nowhere on the back nine to grab a share of the lead, but he bogeyed the last to fall off the pace.

Jimmy Walker, a three-time winner last season, made a move on the back nine as well, but, like the other challengers, he ran out of holes.

Martin asked his caddie if he had to do anything special after he hit the green with his approach shot at the 18th. His caddie told him to 2-putt and all would be fine.

Martin only needed one. The closing birdie gave him a not-as-comfortable-as-it- looked 2-shot win.

The 27-year-old didn’t win in his first full season on the PGA Tour last year, but earned over $1.48 million thanks in part to three third-place finishes.

His four rounds in the 60s at the TPC Summerlin were a far cry from the week before at the Frys.com Open. Martin shot 78-79 at the Frys and finished in next-to-last place. He missed the cut by 14 strokes.

Though they were far from his best rounds, Martin allowed that they helped him knock the rust off.

“I’m not sure I beat anybody last week. I think we can chalk that up to a little bit of rust, a couple weeks at home. I just really tried to engage a little more this week,“ Martin said after the second round in Las Vegas. “I think I still kind of had that home mind-set.“

The bright light of the strip didn’t distract Martin from his goal of winning for the first time on the PGA Tour, and neither did the bright lights of the leaderboard.

Martin hopes this win is a springboard to bigger things, like what Walker accomplished last year in winning three times and making his first Ryder Cup team.

After just one full year on the PGA Tour, Martin doesn’t want to rest on his laurels of having his tour card secured for the next two seasons.

LYLE CONTINUES COMEBACK BATTLE

After his second battle with leukemia, Jarrod Lyle has started the battle to earn enough money to retain his PGA Tour card for this season. He can play 20 events through a medical extension, and in those events, Lyle needs to earn roughly $284,000 to retain his playing privileges.

Two events in and Lyle is about 20 percent of the way to that total. He Monday- qualified for the Frys.com Open before earning a sponsors exemption into Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Lyle has finished outside the top 30 in both events, but collected $53,795 thanks to tying for 31st and 42nd places in the two tournaments.

He has broken par in six of the eight rounds, but just two of the eight rounds were in the 60s. In those events, where the winning scores were 15- and 20- under par, two rounds in the 60s aren’t going to get you in contention or a big paycheck.

But, it is a process. Lyle didn’t play a PGA Tour-sanctioned event in 2013 and played just four Web.com Tour events in 2014. He made the cut just once as he tried to get his form back.

Lyle, who won twice on the Web.com Tour in 2008, heads back to his native Australia this week for a medical check-up. He will play the three big events in his homeland—the Australian Open, the Australian Masters and the Australian PGA.

“Things are going the right direction,“ Lyle said in a television interview. “The support that we’ve had for the last three years, it’s been amazing.“

After a couple of months back in his comfort zone of Australia, Lyle will continue his battle to retain his PGA Tour card early in the new year.

MINI-TIDBITS

- Mikko Ilonen won the Volvo World Match Play Championship on the European Tour. He played at least 17 holes in all six of his matches, so endurance clearly wasn’t a problem. Joost Luiten, who won the consolation match, cruised to a 6 & 5 win over Pablo Larrazabal in the quarterfinals, and that was the only match all week that didn’t go at least 15 holes.

- Jeff Hart just missed tying a Champions Tour record at the Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn. He hit 41 of 42 fairways for the week. He was bidding to join Hale Irwin, Calvin Peete and Ed Dougherty as the only players to hit every fairway in a three-round Champions Tour event.

The Gilmer Free Press


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2014


Major League Baseball - World Series
San Francisco at Kansas City, 8:07 PM - FOX


National Basketball Association - Preseason
Houston at Miami, 8:00 PM - CSN-Houston, TNT
LA Lakers at Phoenix, 10:00 PM - Time Warner
LA Clippers at Golden State, 10:30 PM - CSN-Bay, TNT


National Hockey League
San Jose at Boston, 7:00 PM - CSN-California, TVA, NESN, DSS
Toronto at NY Islanders, 7:00 PM - TSN4, MSG+2, DSS
NY Rangers at New Jersey, 7:00 PM - MSG, MSG+, DSS
Detroit at Montreal, 7:30 PM - FS-Detroit, RDS, DSS
Arizona at Nashville, 8:00 PM - FS-Arizona, Tennessee, DSS
Carolina at Winnipeg, 8:00 PM - FS-Carolina, TSN3, DSS
Vancouver at Dallas, 8:30 PM - SNET-Pacific, FS-Southwest, DSS
Philadelphia at Chicago, 8:30 PM - CSN-Philadelphia, Chicago, NBCSN
Tampa Bay at Calgary, 9:00 PM - SunSports, SNET-West, DSS
Florida at Colorado, 9:00 PM - FS-Florida, Altitude, DSS


College Football
Arkansas State at Louisiana, 8:00 PM - ESPN 2


International Soccer
CSKA Moscow vs. Manchester City, 12:00 PM - FS1
Barcelona vs. Ajax, 2:30 PM - FS1
Jamaica vs. Mexico (Women’s World Cup Qualifier), 7:30 PM - FS1

Flu Shots Available at Gilmer County Health Department

The Gilmer Free Press

Halloween’s Trick or Treat in Glenville - Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

This year’s Halloween “Trick or Treat”  night for the City of Glenville is set for

Thursday, October 30, 2014 from 6:00 PM until 7:30 PM.

Happy Halloween!

SAND FORK TOWN & COMMUNITY CLEAN-UP - OCTOBER 01-24, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

SAND FORK TOWN & COMMUNITY CLEAN-UP

Hosted: Sand Fork Town Council

October 01 — October 24, 2014

Place: Horizon Energy Shop Yard

Please access the dumpster by driving on the road behind the shop building

This event is open to residents of the Sand Fork Community


Items NOT accepted:

TV’s, Computers, Tires, Refrigerators, Chemicals, Freon
Household Trash, any type of Electronics


They will take paint cans, with the lids removed, and dry inside

Questions, Call Town Hall 304.804.2177
If no answer, leave a message, and we will get back to you


LET’S MAKE SAND FORK SHINE !!!

Town Hall Meeting- Meth - 10.23.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Blennerhassett Island State Park Adds Final Fall Dinner Riverboat Cruise October 25, 2014

A final fall dinner and cruise is scheduled for October 25, 2014according to Blennerhassett Island State Park Superintendent Matt Baker.

“These dinner cruises have been popular and we’ve had requests for an additional one during the fall foliage season. We plan to schedule more in 2015.”

The cruise is aboard the Island Belle sternwheeler and includes a country-style dinner and boat ride on the Ohio and Little Kanawha Rivers.

The Gilmer Free Press


The Island Belle departs from Point Park in downtown Parkersburg, West Virginia, at 5:30 PM and returns at 7:30 PM.

The menu includes tavern baked ham, baked potato, corn, dinner roll, dessert and beverage. A vegetarian menu is available upon request.

The cost of the river cruise and dinner is $25 for adults and $21 for children ages 3-12. Seating is limited and advance reservations are required. Call the park office at 304.420.4800.

To learn more about Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park visit www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com.

The 2014 island season concludes October 26, and reopens in May.

The Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History is open year-round and is located on the corner of 2nd Street and Juliana in downtown Parkersburg.

Haunted Recreation Center - 11.03.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Adoption Longaberger Basket Bingo - 11.01.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Early Voting Schedule for November 2014 General Election

The Gilmer Free Press
Public Notice

Gilmer County Early Voting for the General Election, November 04, 2014 starts Wednesday, October 22, 2014 thru Saturday, November 01, 2014 with regular business hours of 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM.

On Saturdays, October 25, 2014 and November 01, 2014 Early Voting Hours are 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.

Voting Location is the Gilmer County Courthouse.


Jean Butcher
Gilmer County Clerk

Ron Paul: National Service is Anti-Liberty and Un-American

The Gilmer Free Press

Former Clinton Administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich recently called on the government to force young people to spend two years either “serving” in the military or performing some other type of government-directed “community service.” Neoconservative Senator John McCain has introduced legislation creating a mandatory national service program very similar to Reich’s proposal. It is not surprising that both a prominent progressive and a leading neocon would support mandatory national service, as this is an issue that has long united authoritarians on the left and right.

Proponents of national service claim that young people have a moral obligation to give something back to society. But giving the government power to decide our moral obligations is an invitation to totalitarianism.

Mandatory national service is not just anti-liberty, it is un-American. Whether or not they admit it, supporters of mandatory national service do not believe that individuals have “inalienable rights.” Instead, they believe that rights are gifts from the government, and, since government is the source of our rights, government can abridge or even take away those rights whenever Congress decides.

Mandatory national service also undermines private charitable institutions. In a free society, many people will give their time or money to service projects to help better their communities, working with religious or civic associations. But in a society with government-enforced national service, these associations are likely to become more reliant on government-supplied forced labor. They will then begin to tailor their programs to satisfy the demands of government bureaucrats instead of the needs of the community.

The very worst form of national service is, of course, the military draft, which forces young people to kill or be killed on government orders. The draft lowers the cost of an interventionist foreign policy because government need not compete with private employers for recruits. Anyone who refuses a draft notice runs the risk of being jailed, so government can provide lower pay and benefits to draftees than to volunteers.

As the burden of our hyper-interventionist foreign policy increases, it is increasingly likely that there will be serious attempts to reinstate the military draft. General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, continues to suggest that U.S. troops on the ground may be needed to fight “Operation Inherent Resolve” in Iraq and Syria. A major escalation requiring a large U.S. troop deployment will likely add pressure to consider a military draft.

The only real way the American people can protect their children from the military draft is to demand an end to the foreign policy that sees the U.S. military as the solution to any and every problem — from ISIS to Ebola — anywhere in the world.

Some who share my opposition to a militaristic foreign policy support the draft because they think a draft will increase public opposition to war. However, the existence of a draft did not stop the American government from launching unconstitutional wars in Vietnam and Korea. While the draft did play a role in mobilizing political opposition to Vietnam, it took almost a decade and the death of thousands of American draftees for that opposition to reach critical mass.

It is baffling that conservatives who (properly) oppose raising taxes would support any form of national service, including the military draft. It is similarly baffling that liberals who oppose government interference with our personal lives would support mandatory national service. Mandatory national service is a totalitarian policy that should be rejected by all who value liberty.

Bon Appétit: Kashmiri Lamb

The Gilmer Free Press

Ingredients:

Recipe makes 6 servings

  4 dried red chile peppers
  3 fresh green chile peppers
  1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  1 teaspoon Kashmiri garam masala
  1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  5 cloves garlic, crushed
  1/4 cup dried unsweetened coconut
  3 tomatoes, chopped
  6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  2 large onions, thinly sliced
  2 pounds lamb meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  salt to taste
  1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  1 cup plain yogurt
  1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  20 whole blanched almonds
  1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Directions:

Place red chiles, green chiles, cumin seeds, garam masala, ginger, garlic, grated coconut, and tomatoes into a blender; pulse several times to chop, then blend into a smooth paste.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking and stirring until the onion is very tender and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Stir the spice paste into the onion and cook and stir until the oil separates from the mixture, about 3 minutes.

Stir in lamb pieces and salt. Cook, stirring frequently over medium-high heat, until the lamb pieces are browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.

Mix in yogurt, saffron, and blanched almonds until well combined.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the meat is tender and the gravy is thick, about 1 hour.

Garnish the curry with chopped cilantro before serving.

GFP - 10.21.2014
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G-MM™: Meditation Moment

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The Lord grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end.
Amen

Our help is in the Name of the Lord;
The maker of heaven and earth.

Let us confess our sins to God.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father: We have sinned against you, through our own fault, in thought, and word, and deed, and in what we have left undone. For the sake of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, forgive us all our offenses; and grant that we may serve you in newness of life, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

May the Almighty God grant us forgiveness of all our sins, and the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 4
1   Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause; *
you set me free when I am hard-pressed; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
2   You mortals, how long will you dishonor my glory; *
how long will you worship dumb idols and run after false gods?
3   Know that the LORD does wonders for the faithful; *
when I call upon the LORD, he will hear me.
4   Tremble, then, and do not sin; *
speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.
5   Offer the appointed sacrifices *
and put your trust in the LORD.
6   Many are saying, “Oh, that we might see better times!“ *
Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O LORD.
7   You have put gladness in my heart, *
more than when grain and wine and oil increase.
8   I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; *
for only you, LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 134
1   Behold now, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, *
you that stand by night in the house of the LORD.
2   Lift up your hands in the holy place and bless the LORD; *
the LORD who made heaven and earth bless you out of Zion.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Lord, you are in the midst of us, and we are called by your Name: Do not forsake us, O Lord our God. Jeremiah 14:9,22

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit
For you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth.
Keep us, O Lord, as the apple of your eye;
Hide us under the shadow of your wings.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.

Lord, hear our prayer;
And let our cry come to you.
Let us pray.

Visit this place, O Lord, and drive far from it all snares of the enemy; let your holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace; and let your blessing be upon us always; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen.

Comics

The Gilmer Free Press

Three-Car Accident on I-79 Near Exit 99

The Gilmer Free Press

A three-car accident this morning in Lewis County resulted in multiple people being transported to the hospital.

Authorities with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department said an Allied Waste Services truck was driving with it’s hazard lights when a Honda Accord crashed into the back of the truck near the 99 mile marker on I-79 near Weston.

A van then entered onto I-79 and, unable to see the Honda, rear ended the vehicle.

Two were transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital while one was sent to Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital.

The condition of the victims is unknown at this time.

The investigation into the accident is ongoing.

Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center Business Class Attends FBLA/PBL Fall Leadership Conference

The CGCC Business Students attended the FBLA/PBL Fall Leadership Conference at the Days Hotel in Flatwoods, WV on October 06-07, 2014.

FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) is a national organization with more than 200,000 members nationwide.

The Gilmer Free Press
(L-R) , Brandy Dobbins, Joseph Thomas, Thomas Eakle,
Dearra Stull and Advisor Sarah Dennison


During the conference, students attended workshops on various business related issues like solving business problems with mobile apps, stock market game, Communications, your key to success, March of dimes, etc.

They could also take competitive practice tests to help prepare them for competitions in the spring.

That evening students were treated to a nice formal dinner, a dance and minute to win it games for entertainment.

The conference ended Tuesday after a few workshops that morning.

Overall, the students had a really good time and are looking forward to attending the state competition conference in April.

Students and advisor would like to thank all those businesses that have supported FBLA in any way.

Firearm Antlerless Deer Hunting Opportunity Starts in October

Deer hunters can take advantage of an October three-day firearm antlerless deer season on private land again this year, according to Paul Johansen, assistant chief in Charge of Game Management for the Division of Natural Resources (DNR). In counties or parts thereof having a firearms antlerless deer season, the season on private land opened Thursday, October 23 and remain open through Saturday, October 25.

The Gilmer Free Press


“There are several advantages to hunters and to deer management if hunters participate in this season,” Johansen said. “Many hunters may find the weather better for stand hunting since temperatures should be warmer than during late November and December. Hunters who hunt in one of the 31 counties where they are required to harvest an antlerless deer prior to taking a second antlered buck can harvest an antlerless deer now. Then, they won’t have to worry about filling this requirement later in the season if they hunt for a second antlered buck in November and December. From a deer management view, for every antlerless deer harvested in the early October season there will be more food for the remaining deer over the winter months.”

The harvest of antlerless deer is the key to healthier, heavier and more productive deer herds. To manage West Virginia’s deer herd, hunters and landowners must continually assess their expectations of the proper number of deer sightings versus the visible impacts deer have on vegetation, and encourage antlerless deer harvest where needed to benefit not only the deer herd, but all wildlife dependent on our state’s woodland habitat.

“The early opening date for antlerless deer hunting with a firearm is a good opportunity for hunters and landowners to accomplish their antlerless deer harvest objectives and put some meat in the freezer,” Johansen said.

GRANTS AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES - 10.20.14

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ARRL: ETP Grants

Through its Education & Technology Program, the National Association for Amateur Radio offers grants for radio station equipment and related software and resources for classrooms in the U.S.

Maximum award: varies.

Eligibility: schools that provide a plan to use Amateur Radio as part of an enrichment program and/or as part of in-classroom learning.

Deadline: November 01, 2014.


NSTA: Wendell G. Mohling Outstanding Aerospace Educator Award

The National Science Teachers Association Wendell G. Mohling Outstanding Aerospace Educator Award recognizes excellence in the field of aerospace education.

Maximum award: $3,000, as well as $2,000 in expenses to attend NSTA’s national conference.

The recipient of the award will be honored during the Awards Banquet and the Aerospace Educators Luncheon at the NSTA Conference.

Eligibility: educators in formal education settings.

Deadline: November 30, 2014.


AAPT: Barbara Lotze Scholarships for Future Teachers

The American Association of Physics Teachers Barbara Lotze Scholarships offer funds for future high school physics teachers.

Maximum award: $2,000.

Eligibility: U.S. citizens attending U.S. schools as undergraduates enrolled, or planning to enroll, in physics teacher preparation curricula, and U.S. high school seniors entering such programs.

Deadline: December 01, 2014.

Gilmer County Commission Regular Meeting – 10.22.14

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GILMER COUNTY COMMISSION  
REGULAR MEETING AGENDA
October 22, 2014 @ 9:00 AM
Gilmer County Courthouse Annex – Glenville, WV

I. CALL TO ORDER


II.  PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE TO THE U.S. FLAG


III. PUBLIC COMMENTS


IV. APPOINTMENTS

              09:15 DARLENE CRANE, Little Kanawha Transit Authority – RE:  Changes to Medicaid Paid Ridership of Bus

              09:30 FRANK JOHNSON – RE:  Oil & Gas Drilling Safety

              10:00 WILLIAM HAWKINS, “WV Your Way” – RE:  Online Directory


V. ROUTINE BUSINESS:

        Discussion and/or action on:

              1) Exonerations and/or Consolidations

              2) Approve Estate Qualifications and Estate Settlements

              3)  Board Appointments and/or Resignations:

                      a)  Board Seats remain open on the:

                              ** Unsafe Buildings & Lands Enforcement Agency - Dekalb/Troy & Sand Fork Corporation

              3) Budget Revisions

              4) Budget Control Report

              5) Approve invoices for payment

              6) Approve County Commission Minutes for September 02, September 17, October 02, October 09

              7) Receipt of County Board Minutes:

                      a) Gilmer County Ambulance Authority 08.14.2014

                      b) Lewis-Gilmer Addressing Report September 2014

                      c) Lewis-Gilmer E-911 Advisory Board September


VI. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

              1) Recreation Center Gas Bill From Hayden Harper-Update

              2) Right of Way on Kanawha Street, Camden Flats Subdivision as Inquired by Pat Golden-Update

              3) Review of Designated Smoking Location on Courthouse Property

              4) Presentation for Payment of North Central Regional Emergency Medical Services, Inc. for FY 2014 EMS Assessment in the Amount of $434.65

              5) NACO Membership Dues in the amount of $450

              6) Signed Agreement received from the USPS for placement of mailboxes at Tanner Community Building


VII. NEW BUSINESS:

        Discussion and/or action on:

              1) Consider the change of time of 11.05.214 Commission meeting to 10:30 AM due to post election duties of County Clerk’s Office

              2) Office of Emergency Management’s Request for Exchange of IRP Radios

              3) Set date for Canvas of Votes on Monday,  November 10, 2014 at 9:00 AM in the Commission Office


VIII. OTHER BUSINESS


IX.    ADJOURNMENT - NEXT MEETING:  Wednesday, November 05, 2014 at _______ AM. 

G-LtE™: Response to Hoppy Kerchaval Commentary—Do we Need 55 School Boards​

The Gilmer Free Press

Mr. Kerchaval, you seem much more intelligent than to buy in to the West Virginia Board of Education charade.  Or maybe you are just protecting your employment?

The WV State educational system can be easily graded with a big fat “F”.  No discussion needed on that.  This is a result of poor choices in selection of employees and the governor’s appointments based on political paybacks, friendships and of course, nepotism.

Its commonly known, that the bloated Department of Education,  employes more individuals than the State of New York.  New York having a population of over 20 million and West Virginia a mere 1.2 million.

Taxpayers also know West Virginia is 46th in education rankings, but is first in education spending.

Now the Board of Education wants to control all tax dollars in all school districts.  According to some sources, the requirements placed on local boards, state all ready controls 86% of that spending.  We must give credit to Governor Joe Manchin and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for having their chosen board members come up with this great idea.

The board will have all the tax money, and while rewarding themselves in this fashion, the big bonus is the Superintendent of Schools, Mrs. Gayle Manchin, and the nine $70k per year, part time, board appointees, remove themselves of any educational responsibility to boot!  What a ‘two-fer’ they are pulling off.

​The WVBOE​ RESA spending all the county​ dollars,  local school boards only responsibility will be​ educational achievement, so ​only the local boards can​ be held accountable for educational failure.  The bloated bureaucracy known as the West Virginia Board of Education will totally escape all educational responsibility.

A​nyone believe they can handle finances properly?  If the saga of the Lewis County Linn School building and the Cedar Creek blunders, are any indications, there is your answer.

Hoppy, if you want the real education story, visit Gilmer County, interview the Gilmer School Coalition, and get the facts straight from local citizens.

Of course the biggest story of all, is the fact West Virginia’s largest newspapers all refuse to acknowledge the plight of small counties.

~~ author on file ~~





Following is Hoppy’s Commentary:

Do We Really Need 55 County School Systems?

Government bureaucracy announcements of plans to reorganize are often met with a fair amount of eye-rolling.  After meetings, studies and more meetings, the deck chairs get rearranged and life goes on pretty much as it was before.

In West Virginia, education reformers have been stonewalled by the “third rail” of education politics—the 55 separate and distinct county school systems.  Communities value the autonomy of the local school board, but also the school system has historically served as one of the largest, if not the largest, employer in the county.

Change is not high on most people’s agenda.  However, as UCLA basketball coach John Wooden used to say, “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”

For some months now, the West Virginia Board of Education Commission on School District Governance and Administration has been meeting (19 times in all) to try to figure out ways to consolidate some of the management and administrative functions of local school systems so superintendents, principals and administrators can concentrate more on their primary focus—student achievement.

The draft report suggests that things like business services, regulatory compliance, IT, transportation, food services, grant administration, human resources and more could be shifted from local boards to the RESAs (Regional Education Service Agencies). Each RESA serves multiple counties and could combine a number of these services, providing a much more streamlined solution.

The state’s current model of handling nearly all of these services separately in each of the 55 counties is costly and inefficient.  A county with 1,400 or fewer students—we have seven of them—has to manage all the same administrative responsibilities as a county with 4,000 or more students.

As a consequence, we have over 609 central office administrators in the 55 county school systems with an estimated salary and benefit cost of $65 million.  The state spent $116 million in fiscal year 2013 on county central office costs.

What if some of that money could be redirected to the classroom and administrators could be freed up to concentrate on student achievement instead of the management of services that are duplicated in each of the 55 counties?  Counties can still have their school boards and local control, but they could be focused more the primary purpose of a thorough and efficient education.

The commission’s recommendations represent a serious and thoughtful approach to improving public education in West Virginia. Let’s hope they are not cast aside or reduced to inconsequential deck chair shuffling.

GFP - 10.20.2014
EducationEntertainmentTV & RadioOpinions | Commentary | G-LtE™ | G-Comm™ | G-OpEd™Politics | Government | ElectionState-WV(4) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~


HK, some here remember when they considered you as a fair and balanced reporter. No more.

Please explain the cost savings of raising the State Superintendents salary from $150,000 to $230,000 a year as they did with Matirano.  Why did the State BOE hire themselves a private attorney when Bowles & Rice has represented state agencies for years?  What about the new Operations Manager they just had to have? Is that just for the State Board?  What about the Superintendent and his Deputies? What do they do?

RESA operates under the WV State BOE.  What part of that don’t you understand? They were supposed to be a cost saver for purchasing, now they pay from a state approved vendors list with no bidding and supposedly handle Teacher training while they constantly hand out waivers substituting for degrees in the required fields for posted positions.  None of this encourages the hiring of qualified people. Yet the state increases their budget to do it.

How they ever got control of training volunteer firemen and billing for that seems to be a secret.
Ask Calhoun County BOE how the state came in to train their Teachers under the guise of improving low achievement and wound up convincing them to run bonds for another elementary school under threat of intervention. Ask why the State BOE approved Calhoun’s budget knowing they would go in the red and is now saying they have to pass an excess levy that can’t even be used to fix their deficit of $1.8 million dollars. Ask how many counties are in the red right now.

Ask if Gilmer County is next to face a deficit in their fourth year of state control based on what the state called a facilities emergency while they still put the students in the same seats in the same buildings. Then ask how much of Gilmer’s money the State wasted on a school site of their own choosing that goes up for auction this week for less than was paid for it. Ask to see who signed that no bid contract with Williams & Shriver. Ask why the State Super put over $400,000 of Gilmer excess levy money into maintenance and can’t get a roof leak fixed.

Ask Mingo County how they went in the red after 18 years of state control. ask Kanawha, Greenbrier and Harrison how hard it was to balance budgets this year. WV Press reported it. Ask Fayette County why they are in and out of intervention.  Or how the Logan County OEPA audit went this year.Find out why Lincoln County was released from intervention at the same time Lloyd Jackson went on the WVBOE.

It is not about small counties. The Governor isn’t going to get rid of any county commissioners or state legislators.  The State BOE wants more money to keep the friends and family plan on track.

Taking money and jobs from local agencies and sending it to Charleston or Clarksburg is not an answer to the economic woes of WV.  Fixing that is not the job of the STATE BOE no matter what Manchin says. Governor Tomblin has another state agency for that.

By Fact Not Fantasy  on  10.20.2014

The only way we have to stop the takeover of all WV school districts is to not re-elect any of the state representatives because they have not done anything to help us regain control of our school systems.

By JIM d-WV  on  10.20.2014

Voters be advised.  If you vote early, those in the county clerks office likely know who you placed your vote for?  They can keep track of voters signing in and then compare those names in order on the votes, to see how votes were cast?
They then also get a feel how the entire election will be apt to go?  To make necessary future election adjustments?

By easy for them  on  10.20.2014

JIM-d.  You have apparently noticed the quiet, the silence, what appears to be a “go-along” mentality of Edgell, Boggs, Walker and the other elected’s sent to the Capitol.
Local county commissioners across the state remain silent as well.
West Virginia State Governors Tomblin and Manchin in alliance of the Democrat Party have destroyed the educational system in your state.
The West Virginia Board of Education is totally operated by individuals appointed by your Democrat Governors.

By Its the truth  on  10.20.2014

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G-Fin™: Marcellus Shale-Related Oil and Gas Jobs Grew Modestly in West Virginia

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia’s oil and gas industry grew by just 69 jobs in 2013, but average salaries jumped more than $2,400, according to a state report.

At the same time, about 1,100 people previously on unemployment were able to land West Virginia oil and gas jobs in 2013. Almost 600 of them were new to the industry.

Workforce West Virginia’s update came in an October 08 draft report to state legislators. After seeing the Marcellus industry boom, state lawmakers passed a fracking law in 2011 that requires employment updates by November 01 annually.

There were 727 fewer workers on oil and gas pipeline and related structure construction last year compared to 2012, an 18.4% drop. Employment grew in the other five Marcellus-related fields considered in the report.

Overall, average wages grew 3.2% to about $78,000.

“Activity within the Marcellus Shale Gas Field continues to have a positive impact on West Virginia’s economy,“ the report states.

As expected, the northern part of the state boasted the biggest gains. Across Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio, Tyler and Wetzel counties, average industry wages grew about $18,600, or 26.4%. With 339 jobs added, employment almost doubled in the region.

The jobs covered in the report include crude petroleum and natural gas extraction; oil and gas well drilling; oil and gas support activities; pipeline and related structures; and natural gas pipeline transportation.

A Workforce survey showed pipeline and related structure construction used the fewest in-state workers, 48.4%. Only about half of employers responded to the survey, however.

Steve White, state Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation director, said the pipeline number looks accurate, but he questioned some of the other survey stats. For instance, extraction and drilling categories had 96 and 100%in-state employment. Drill sites are known to employ plenty of out-of-staters, he said.

It’s the first time Workforce included any data on residency of Marcellus workers in the annual report, though the 2011 law requires it.

SPOOKY Night Tours at West Virginia Wildlife Center October 24 and 25, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

The name says it all: SPOOKY Night Tours.

The 4th annual event at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center in French Creek will be held October 24 and 25, 2014.

This family friendly event is a rare opportunity to visit the Wildlife Center at night.

Hayrides around the exhibit of native West Virginia animals are from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM Guided tours around the 1.4-mile exhibit area start every 10 minutes from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. 

“New for this year is our first ever maze,” said Judy Channell of the Wildlife Center. “You won’t know which way to turn! The maze will be open from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM”

Regular admission fees apply and this is a cash-only event. The fee for adults 16 and older is $3 and for children ages 3-5 it is $1.50. Seasonal passes will be honored.

“The idea behind the event was, ‘Is it spooky to be in the woods at night with mountain lions, wolves and bears?” Channell said. “If those aren’t spooky enough, we have added animated decorations, strategic lighting and sound effects, and a few costumed actors. We will build a fire at the start of the trail for folks to keep warm while waiting for their turn on the tour.”

The West Virginia State Wildlife Center is located in Upshur County in north-central West Virginia, 12 miles south of Buckhannon on WV Hwy 20. From the north, take exit 99 off Interstate 79 and follow US Hwy 33 east approximately 12 miles to Buckhannon and turn south on WV Hwy 20. From the south, take exit 67 off Interstate 79 at Flatwoods and follow US Hwy 19 and WV Hwy 4 north approximately 30 miles to Rock Cave and WV Hwy 20. Follow WV Hwy 20 North for 2 miles to the center. Visiting the Wildlife Center is a convenient side trip for travelers on I-79.

Call 304.924.6211 or visit www.wvdnr.gov/Wildlife/WildlifeCenter.shtm for more information about the West Virginia Wildlife Center and the SPOOKY Night Tours.

Buckwheat Breakfast Buffett A Success

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer parks and recreation center had another successful fund raiser
for the new bathrooms/office and cabin roofs projects, on Sunday, October 19, 2014.

There were 140 people that came out to enjoy there Buckwheat Breakfast Buffet.

We want to thank each and everyone who came out and supported this fund raiser.

Special thanks go out to Rick Sypolt, Gary and Reta Kight, Sharon Riffle, Barbara Marks,
Lenora Marks, Greg James, Buck Stephens, Karen Mounts
for all there hard work in serving the 140 guest there breakfast.

Again thank you all who came out and the workers to make this a success.

Darrel Ramsey/Director
The Gilmer Free Press

G-Fin™:  U.S.A.: Economic Brief – 10.17.14

The Gilmer Free Press

Producer Price Index

The Producer Price Index for final demand decreased 0.1% in September.

Final demand prices were unchanged in August and advanced 0.1% in July.

In September, the index for final demand goods fell 0.2% and prices for final demand services declined 0.1%.


U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes

Prices for U.S. imports fell 0.5% in September, after declining 0.6% in August and 0.3% in July.

The price index for U.S. exports also declined in September, decreasing 0.2% following a 0.5-percent drop in August.


Job Openings and Labor Turnover

There were 4.8 million job openings on the last business day of August, up from July and the highest level since January 2001.

The hires rate (3.3%) was down and the separations rate (3.2%) was little changed in August.

West Virginia News

The Gilmer Free Press

POLICE USED TEAR GAS AND CHEMICAL MUNITIONS TO DISPERSE CROWDS RIOT IN MORGANTOWN AFTER BIG WIN OVER BAYLOR

A big win for WVU over Baylor Saturday led to an even bigger problem hours later. Riots broke out across the city.

Police Chief Ed Preston said it all started after the game, building through social media. Police and fire fighters responded to calls of street parties, blazes and destruction of property around 10:30 PM starting in Sunnyside.

“We had fires in residential neighborhoods. We had where they tried to flip vehicles over in other places,” said Preston.

The chief explained just as police would get one situation under control, officers would get called to another area.

“As they were broken up or dispersed, other gatherings would occur in other parts of the city. Sometimes two, three, four gatherings were occurring at a time at various locations throughout the city,” said the chief.

When groups moved into downtown, they began pushing over street lights on High Street and throwing rocks and bottles at public safety personnel and their vehicles. That’s when police moved in. Officers from multiple agencies warned the crowd to disperse. When that didn’t happen, they used pepper spray and chemical munitions to disrupt the riots. The crowd scattered quickly to get away from the fumes.

“Although we had a number of riots involving thousands of people, we were able to prevent any serious injuries. We did have property damage but we didn’t have any major property damage. We didn’t have any buildings set on fire or anything like that,” said Preston.

A student took cell phone video of a riot near Summit Hall. Loud bursts can be head then white smoke appeared within the crowd. Rioters starting running in the opposite direction.

Morgantown Police arrested seven people Saturday night into Sunday morning. However, that number will go up according to Preston because State Police and Westover Police also made arrests.

This is the first time this season that the crowd has gotten out of control after a WVU home game. The Mountaineers defeated Baylor 41-27. It was considered a major victory for WVU.

“This is a fantastic sports program but their victories end up being marred by the conduct of people like this. That’s the really disappointing thing,” stressed Preston.

The chief said it will take a couple of days to assess the damage.


MASSIVE GRANT COUNTY BUCK KILLED ILLEGALLY

A Grant County man faces citations for game law violations after Natural Resources Police discovered the massive buck he showed off on social media turned out to be illegally killed.

Natural Resources Police received a complaint from a man who believed a buck he had been watching on his trail camera had been killed, but the hunter who claimed the animal was not being truthful about where he actually killed it.

“The complainant found out somebody had killed an 11 point buck and had a picture of it on a Facebook page,” said Lieutenant Brad McDougal. “When he compared the pictures it had some distinguishing characteristics which made him believe it was the same deer.”

Officer Adam Kuykendall got the case and made the comparison of the two pictures. Kuykendall agreed they appeared to be the same deer. Upon further investigation, Kuykendall found however, the Facebook deer had been checked in as a landowner kill in Mineral County and confronted the hunter.  McDougal said the location on the check tag was 40 miles from the original trail cam site where the deer had been spending all its time in Grant County, raising suspicion.

“When the individual was questioned, It was determined the deer was in fact shot with a bow and arrow in archery season. The deer was killed in Grant County,” said McDougal. “The defendant did have permission to be on the property where he was hunting, however he did not have a hunting license and he falsified the check tag. He took it to another county, checked it in, and lied about the location of the kill.”

Although the citations were issued and filed in Grant County Magistrate Court, McDougal and the DNR would not identify the suspect in the case.  MetroNews has been unable to confirm the suspect’s identity. As of Friday, he had not made an appearance to answer to the charges at Magistrate Court in Petersburg.  He’s cited for hunting without a license, falsifying a check tag, and illegal possession of wildlife,

The deer was a bruiser.  It green scored at 161 5/8ths on the Pope and Young Scoring System.  The buck’s antlers had a nearly 22 inch inside spread. The measurements are key to the case because the fine structures become much more severe for large racked bucks.

“There’s a $200 replacement fee for the deer itself,” explained McDougal. “But that 22 inch inside spread ups the fine by $2,500. It’s a total replacement cost of $2,700 because of the rack’s size.”

McDougal said the suspect owns land in Mineral County where he claimed he killed the deer. McDougal added the land where the deer was killed was not the land owned by the person who filed the complaint.

“Somebody can come in and give us just a little information and sometimes it works out,” said McDougal. “Also, so many people hunt and claim landowner status when it’s not true.  The moral of the story is you can do that for 20 years, but eventually it might catch up with you.”

McDougal also credited Corporal Brian Nuzum, Officer Brett Simon, and Officer Terry Srout for their work on the case.  Officers confiscated the deer’s rack in the investigation.


HIGH STUDENT KILLED IN BICYCLE WRECK

The investigation continues in Jefferson County where a student at Jefferson High School was killed when a car hit the bicycle he was riding on Thursday afternoon.

Deputies with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department identified the victim as Gabe Bauserman, age 15. He was hit around 3:30 PM along Gardners Lane, a narrow road, in Shepherdstown.

Initial reports from investigators indicated another Jefferson County High School student was driving the car that struck Bauserman.

No charges had been filed in connection with the accident as of Friday morning.


WEST VIRGINIA SUPREME COURT HAS ORDERED A NEW TRIAL

The West Virginia Supreme Court has ordered a new trial in a case involving a cemetery damaged by a bulldozer.

The court says in a ruling issued Friday that the jury received erroneous instructions from the circuit court.

The ruling overturned $700,000 in compensatory damages and $200,000 in punitive damages awarded to the plaintiffs by the jury.


WV LAWMAKER ARRESTED FOR DUI

A West Virginia state lawmaker has been arrested for driving under the influence.

Delegate Doug Skaff from South Charleston was arrested Saturday morning in Monongalia County.


HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL GAME CANCELLED

A high school football game in West Virginia was canceled because no referees showed up for the game.

The Friday game was Woodrow Wilson’s homecoming game against the top-ranked team in the state, Capital.


WV DAD SENTENCED FOR NOT PAYING CHILD SUPPORT

A West Virginia man will spend more than four years in prison for failing to pay more than $87,000 in back child support.

43-year-old Carl Hazzard of Princeton pleaded guilty in September 2013 to four counts of failure to pay child support. He received probation.

Legal secretary Joy Lamb with the McDowell County prosecutor’s office tells the newspaper that a condition of the probation required Hazzard to get a job and begin paying the back child support.

A McDowell County Circuit Court judge recently revoked Hazzard’s probation because he failed to get a job. Hazzard received four consecutive one-year sentences.

Lamb says Hazzard received an additional 10-day sentence for contempt because he cursed during the probation revocation hearing.


DHHR WORKING PLAN TO INCREASE PAY AT PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS

A plan written by the state Department of Health and Human Resources will be implemented to increase pay for some employees at the two psychiatric hospitals in the state.

“We have a court order, and it is not an agreed order,“ Karen Bowling, DHHR Secretary said. “It is a court order to implement pay increases for certain classifications of employees based on a plan that was written at the discretion of the judge.“

Based on a case which originated in 1981, Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom ordered the DHHR to develop a plan in 2009 to increase the pay for health services workers, nurses and physicians at William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital in Weston and Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital in Huntington.

The department has recently complied with the order and presented their plan which will possibly see salaries for new employees begin next month and raises for current employees estimated to take effect by the start of next year, at a cost of nearly $3 million the first year.

Representatives for the DHHR have said they are exploring the options in regard to how to implement the pay increases.

Bloom’s rationale in his decision was current wages do not attract and retain qualified, full-time employees and results in the use of contract workers—a practice union representatives in the state claim has cost the state $9.1 million since 2013.

However, Bowling contests the salaries were not the problem with attracting employees, but rather the fact there simply are not as many qualified workers to attract.

“The idea behind an increase is to recruit more people but we have to keep in mind there’s a shortage of health care providers,“ she said. “You’re always going to have some contract labor.“

Bowling defended contract workers, saying the practice is utilized throughout the country and contracted workers have provide competent care at the state’s two facilities.

“I believe we provide quality care at our two behavioral health hospitals,“ she said. “I admire all of the employees that work there and contribute to that.“

Though they are compliant with the court order, Bowling said they do not agree that it is the right decision.

“You’re only giving an increase for only a select number of employees at a facility,“ she said. “Quite frankly, I have a whole DHHR full of employees that would all need or deserve a raise. Again, we’re following the court order and we’re complying. We respect the judicial system and we’re complying with the order, but, as I’m sure you’re aware, we’ve appealed that.“

The DHHR filed an appeal with the state supreme court in August, requesting a stay on the court’s order.

Movie Review: ‘St. Vincent’ - A Celebration of Bill Murray as the Grizzled Eccentric

Bill Murray, the closest thing pop culture has to a secular saint, makes it official in “St. Vincent,” in which he’s canonized — if not literally, then pretty close to it — as America’s most cherished grizzled eccentric.

The man who made us fall for him, hard, in such classics as “Saturday Night Live,” “Groundhog Day” and “Ghostbusters,” has sealed the deal off-screen as well, famously crashing weekend kickball matches, taking tickets at baseball games, photobombing anyone with an iPhone and, on his time off, hitting George Clooney’s wedding just for yuks.

Murray musters every ounce of goodwill that he’s earned as a lovably gonzo free spirit in “St. Vincent,” in which he plays a grouchy, alcoholic ne’er-do-well who hires out to babysit the 12-year-old son of his new neighbor. In another movie, Vincent McKenna would be a tragic figure: As the movie opens, we see him stumble-down drunk, perilously driving himself back to his Sheepshead Bay home, taking out his fence in the process and passing out on his kitchen floor.

The Gilmer Free Press


The scene is queasily unfunny. But when a single mom named Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and her precocious son, Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher), show up the next day, writer-director Ted Melfi begins to send unmistakable signals that “St. Vincent” isn’t going to be a cautionary downer about the heartbreak of drinking, aging and angry isolation.

Soon enough, Oliver — literally left to his own devices in a new city, finding his school by way of Google Maps and GPS — has wormed his way into the heart of a man best described as a cross between Pigpen and Hunter S. Thompson. Stopping by Vincent’s every day after class (an arrangement that helps the old man with some gambling obligations), Oliver learns how to eat sushi (sardines on a cracker), belly up to a bar and bet his lunch money on the trifecta at Belmont.

If it all sounds too adorable for words, that’s because it is: “St. Vincent” faithfully follows every trope and cliche of the ingratiating kid-and-curmudgeon genre. Throw in a hooker with a heart of gold (Naomi Watts), a wisecracking Catholic school teacher (Chris O’Dowd) and some touching surprises in Vincent’s back story, and Melfi hits a trifecta all his own, shamelessly soliciting laughter, tears and sentimental sighs with the same ham-handed insistence as Vincent’s most thuggish debt collectors.

Still, like the man at its center, it’s hard to stay mad at “St. Vincent” for long, mostly because the performances are consistently appealing: McCarthy has finally found a toned-down role equal to her native sweetness and charm (she spends most of the film either in or on the verge of tears), and Melfi has found a gem in Lieberher, a disarming string bean of a kid who’s believable even when his character displays only-in-the-movies levels of wisdom and innocence. Despite its many contrivances, the production has an easy, unforced tone made even mellower by a lovely soundtrack dominated by the likes of Jeff Tweedy and the National that, in the mainstream Hollywood version, would no doubt be replaced by generically chipper violins.

Make no mistake: The single element that keeps “St. Vincent” from being worthy of that music is Murray, whose freewheeling, deadpan image fuses so thoroughly with Vincent’s own endearingly grizzled misanthropy that it’s hard to tell where the actor ends and the geezer begins.

As a showcase for Murray’s proven rapport with his audience, “St. Vincent” occasionally threatens to become a self-congratulatory victory lap. But as a celebration, it’s a chance to revel in the Murray personae — wiseacre, hipster, humble man of the street and hell of a nice guy — that has allowed him somehow to reach mass-media stardom while retaining his own idiosyncratic niche. That may not be entirely tantamount to the courage, sacrifice, compassion and humanism that are elevated in the tear-jerking climactic moments of “St. Vincent,” but in the world of showbiz, they’re heavenly enough.

★ ★ ½

PG-13. Contains profanity and mature thematic material, including sexual content, alcohol and tobacco use. 102 minutes.

Sports News

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►   Pioneers Dominate UVa-Wise on the Road

The Glenville State Pioneer football team scored on their first two offensive possessions of the ball game and never looked back as the Pioneers would dominate the UVa-Wise Cavaliers on the road 35-9.

Rahmann Lee would score on a one yard touchdown run, his 10th of the season, and Sean Steele would hit Lee for an 84 yard touchdown pitch and catch as the Pioneers would take a 14-0 lead after the first quarter of play.

The Pioneers would add to their lead in the second quarter at the 10:36 minute mark as Steele hit fullback Billy Perkins on a five yard touchdown pass, his first touchdown catch of his career, as GSC claimed a 21-0 lead.

UVa-Wise would get on the score board in at the 4:00 minute mark of the second quarter as Von Purvis scored from one yard out as the Cavaliers cut the Pioneers lead to 14 points, 21-7.

However the Pioneers would add another touchdown right before halftime as Sean Steele hit Dante Absher from five yards out as Glenville State took a 28-7 lead into the half.

In the third quarter UVa-Wise would force a Pioneers safety as the Cavaliers blocked a punt attempt by Tanner Wright in the endzone as Wright would fall on it making it, 28-9.

In the fourth quarter GSC would put the game away as Sean Steele hit Ralph Gordon on a 23 yard touchdown pass, Steele’s fourth touchdown pass of the game, as the Pioneers would be victorious on the road at UVa-Wise, 35-9.

The Pioneers ran 64 total plays for 403 total yards of offense while UVa-Wise ran 75 plays but for only 200 total yards of offense. Both team played a clean game as GSC only had three penalties for 25 yards while the Cavaliers had five penalties for 30 yards.

GSC was three for four in the red-zone while the Cavaliers went one for two.

Rahmann Lee continued to put up monster numbers as he rushed for 157 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown. He also caught two passes for 90 yards and a touchdown.

Sean Steele went 14 for 28 for 244 yards and four touchdowns, his favorite target was Dante Absher as he caught four passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. Also for GSC wideout Ralph Gordon caught three passes for 48 yards and a touchdown.

The Pioneers defense was led by linebacker Jordan Kesson as he had 10 total tackles while defensive end Gary Henderson also finished the game with 10 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Defensive lineman Hunter McWhorter finished with seven tackles, two sacks, and three tackles for loss.

UVa-Wise was led by running back Von Purvis as he rushed for 70 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown.

The Pioneers return home to I.L. & Sue Morris Stadium next Saturday, October 25, 2014 when Notre Dame College travels to Glenville.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   A change in calling the game

Announcers can no longer call the number of points scored by a player or the type of foul or violation, according to NFHS guidelines.

High school basketball fans could hear a change at games this season after the National Federation of State High School Associations set stricter guidelines for public address announcers.

The NFSH, of which the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission is a member, has banned PA announcers from saying things such as the number of points scored by a player, the type of foul or violation and the “emphatic” announcement of who scored a basket.

Emphasizing the new emphasis aims to promote sportsmanship, the NFSH wrote the PA announcer’s role does not include “cheering the home team on” or otherwise inciting the crowd.

“Evidently there are problems across the country in some areas where PA announcers are not taking care of responsibilities they’re supposed to take care of and going beyond that,” said Gary Ray, executive director of the WVSSAC.

WVOW’s Speedy Bevins, who serves as a broadcaster for MetroNews Sports, said he understands the new guidelines in light of some PA announcers taking a play-by-play approach or showing favoritism.

“Over the years, it became more of making the announcement with an emotional emphasis,” Bevins said. “For years (previously) the public address announcers were, ‘This is who scored it and this is who the foul was on.’ There was very little emotion brought into that.”

Having broadcast games across the state, Bevins doesn’t see the problem as being prevalent in West Virginia.

“My initial impression is that, probably, a lot of good public address announcers at high school events are being penalized for the overreaction of probably a few,” he said.

As for the WVSSAC, Ray said the change is needed. “If a (PA) announcer announces a 3-pointer and it’s not a 3, it really creates an issue for the official and the teams involved.”

Bevins predicted this coming season might be a challenge for some PA announcers.

“I’m sure there’s going to be points during the game to where habit is ‘the charging call is on this person’ or ’3-point basket by so and so.’ It’s going to be a process to try and work toward following these guidelines.”



The Gilmer Free Press

►   West Virginia enters at No. 22 in AP poll, No. 25 in coaches

West Virginia returned to the AP rankings for the first time since November 2012, entering at No. 22 on Sunday after upsetting previously unbeaten Baylor 41-27.

Winners of three straight, the Mountaineers (5-2, 3-1) were ranked one spot ahead of Marshall (7-0), which dominated Florida International 45-13.

Baylor fell eight spots to No. 12, behind two other Big 12 teams, No. 10 TCU and No. 11 Kansas State.

Oklahoma slipped six spots to No. 17, while Oklahoma State—the team West Virginia faces in Stillwater next Saturday—dropped out of the poll.

The Mountaineers last appeared in the AP rankings on November 30, 2012. They were No. 23 before a 39-38 overtime loss to TCU knocked them out.

In the latest coaches poll, West Virginia debuted at No. 25, three spots behind Marshall.


►   WVU sees record-setting royalties from logo use

From T-shirts to shoes to bouquets of roses, it seems almost everything is available with a West Virginia University logo.

T-shirts continue to be the biggest-seller, said Marsha Malone, WVU’s director of trademark licensing. But traditional gear is just the beginning for fans who want to proclaim their college allegiance.

TOMS Shoes is globally recognized for its “One for One” movement, donating a pair of shoes to a child in need for every shoe purchased. WVU fans can buy a pair of TOMS that feature the school’s gold-and-blue with the “Flying WV” logo on the box.

The FTD Rose Program offers distinctive, stem-dyed, blue-and-gold bouquets of 12 to 24 roses, displayed in an etched vase and shipped in a WVU gift box.

Other products adorned with WVU insignia range from duct tape to a toaster to mailbox decals. There’s a cuddly Pillow Pets-brand black bear wearing a coonskin cap and plush blue and gold jersey.

Expected soon: gloves with touch-screen fingers.

It’s all regulated by WVU’s trademark licensing program, which grossed a record-setting $3.5 million in royalties in the 2011-2012 financial year.

“Royalty revenues generated from the sale of officially licensed WVU merchandise help fund university marketing initiatives and provide support for WVU athletic scholarships,“ Malone said.

Malone said the WVU trademark-licensing program began in the mid-1980s with the registration of four trademarks: “West Virginia University,“ the WVU Seal, the Mountaineer Mascot and the “Flying WV” logo.

The university’s portfolio of trademarks has grown over the years. It now includes “West Virginia” when used in reference to WVU, “Mountaineers,“ ‘'WVU,“ ‘'Let’s Go Mountaineers!“ and “Gold Rush.“

“Currently there are approximately 480 companies licensed for use of the WVU trademarks,“ Malone said. “It is difficult to quantify how many retail outlets carry WVU-trademarked merchandise. The availability of WVU-licensed merchandise has grown significantly over the years and the Internet has helped improve availability.

“We do believe that there is a correlation between the success of the sports programs and the increase in sales of licensed products,“ she said.

Collegiate Licensing Co. has managed the program for the last four years. Earlier this month the Atlanta, Ga.-based company signed a 10-year contract extension with WVU.

In a press release announcing the extension, Collegiate Licensing Co. said it has enabled WVU to extend its retail presence in the marketplace into new channels of distribution and to expand product selection in current distribution channels including Best Buy, Cracker Barrel, Walmart and Target.

West Virginia University is one of seven schools in the Big 12 Conference represented by Collegiate Licensing Co. The company said it represents nearly 200 colleges, universities, bowl games, athletic conferences, The Heisman Trophy and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Malone said WVU extended its contract with Collegiate Licensing Co. to continue to increase exposure in the marketplace and to help ensure the continued growth of all facets of the university’s licensing program, which includes assisting WVU with the protection and enforcement of its trademark rights.

Payments to WVU from Collegiate Licensing Co. are based on%ages of annual generated revenue, she said.    ~~  GEORGE HOHMANN ~~



The Gilmer Free Press

►   No. 10 TCU now highest-ranked Big 12 team

TCU coach Gary Patterson quickly dismissed any talk about the Big 12 title chase.

Someone brought up the league standings The No. 10 Horned Frogs, now the conference’s highest-ranked team, had just completed their first-ever stretch of playing three consecutive top-15 opponents with a dominating 42-9 victory over Oklahoma State.

“I haven’t thought about it. I didn’t think about it before, “ Patterson said. “We’ve got six games left, and all six are capable of playing very well.“

While TCU (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) is one of four teams with a league loss and behind Kansas State (5-1, 3-0) in the standings, the Frogs are ranked higher than any of them halfway through their third season in the power-five conference. That comes after winning three consecutive Mountain West titles and then going 6-12 in Big 12 games the past two years.

Asked if they were the best team in the conference, dual-threat junior quarterback Trevone Boykin responded, “I wouldn’t say that right now. We still have a lot of football left.“

TCU moved up two spots in the new Associated Press poll Sunday, a day after holding Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1) out of the end zone and outgaining the Cowboys 676-258 in total yards. The Frogs are just ahead of No. 11 Kansas State and No. 12 Baylor (6-1, 3-1), which dropped eight spots after its loss at West Virginia (5-2, 3-1), which moved into the poll at 22.

Oklahoma slipped from 11th to 16th after its one-point loss to the Wildcats and Oklahoma State dropped completely out from 15th after its five-game winning streak was snapped.

Patterson knew long before the season the difficult stretch they faced once they got into conference play after having two off weeks in September. They wrap up their October stretch at home Saturday against Texas Tech (3-4, 1-3).

TCU started this month with a 37-33 win over Oklahoma in its Big 12 opener before a 61-58 loss at Baylor after blowing a 21-point lead in the final 11 minutes and losing on a last-play field goal.

The Frogs quickly eliminated any notion that the 4 1/2-hour shootout loss had any lingering effects on them. They led Oklahoma State for good after three long touchdowns in a span of four offensive snaps in the first quarter — a 34-yard run and catch-and-run plays of 77 and 84 yards from Boykin to Josh Doctson.

“We definitely had to bounce back and get a confidence boost. That’s what we’re used to doing,“ cornerback Kevin White said. “Great teams have to bounce back. You can’t let one loss define your season and define your team. We knew one loss wasn’t going to define us, and we would just play harder, that’s all we could do.“

Following the home game against Texas Tech, which won 56-53 in triple overtime its last trip to Fort Worth two years ago, the Frogs go to West Virginia and then host K-State.

Patterson said his team has already shown him plenty about its character by how it has handled tough stretches.

“Nobody flinched. You can either look around and you can blame people or we can just roll up our sleeves. That’s what we’ve done,“ Patterson said. “But that’s what we’ve always done at TCU. You can’t last 17 years, 14 as a head coach, without outlasting some hard times. Some close games. Some heartbreaks.“



The Gilmer Free Press

►   AP Top 25 Poll

1
Mississippi State (43)
SEC
Record: 6-0
PV Rank
1
Points
1,480
2
Florida State (14)
ACC
Record: 7-0
2
1,433
3
Mississippi (3)
SEC
Record: 7-0
3
1,404
4
Alabama
SEC
Record: 6-1
7
1,235
5
Auburn
SEC
Record: 5-1
6
1,231
6
Oregon
Pac-12
Record: 6-1
9
1,142
7
Notre Dame
Division I FBS Independents
Record: 6-1
5
1,133
8
Michigan State
Big Ten
Record: 6-1
8
1,066
9
Georgia
SEC
Record: 6-1
10
1,055
10
TCU
Big 12
Record: 5-1
12
962
11
Kansas State
Big 12
Record: 5-1
14
905
12
Baylor
Big 12
Record: 6-1
4
858
13
Ohio State
Big Ten
Record: 5-1
13
753
14
Arizona State
Pac-12
Record: 5-1
17
643
15
Arizona
Pac-12
Record: 5-1
16
639
16
Nebraska
Big Ten
Record: 6-1
19
537
17
Oklahoma
Big 12
Record: 5-2
11
461
18
East Carolina
The American
Record: 5-1
18
445
19
Utah
Pac-12
Record: 5-1
20
437
20
USC
Pac-12
Record: 5-2
22
356
21
Clemson
ACC
Record: 5-2
24
283
22
West Virginia
Big 12
Record: 5-2
31
272
23
Marshall
Conference USA
Record: 7-0
25
184
24
LSU
SEC
Record: 6-2
27
177
25
UCLA
Pac-12
Record: 5-2
26
118

Others receiving votes: Duke 108, Oklahoma State 91, Minnesota 61, Colorado State 12, Louisville 4, Missouri 4, Stanford 4, Maryland 3, N. Dakota State 3, Texas A&M 1



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Manning breaks all-time TD pass record

Peyton Manning’s latest feat might be his most impressive.

The Broncos quarterback tossed his 509th touchdown pass on Sunday to break Brett Favre’s NFL record.

Manning tossed for scores on three of his first four drives against the San Francisco 49ers to vault past Favre’s previous mark. The five-time NFL MVP fired an 8-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on a 3rd-and-goal in the front right part of the end zone in the second quarter to set the mark.

“It was a special night,“ Manning said. “It’s one I’ll always remember.“

Following the score, the Broncos receivers along with Julius Thomas played a game of keepaway with Manning, not letting him have the ball before finally giving it to the future Hall of Famer.

The Broncos played a brief tribute on the big screen, which included messages from Favre, John Elway and several of Manning’s teammates.

Favre congratulated Manning on Twitter shortly thereafter.

“Well deserved Peyton, Congratulations on breaking my record. #Onto600,“ he said.

Manning reached the record in his 246th game—56 games fewer than Favre.

“I’m humbled and I’m honored,“ Manning said. “I’m grateful to have all the teammates and coaches I’ve had over my career.“

Manning and Favre are the only quarterbacks in NFL history to throw over 500 TD passes.


►   NFL Game Results - Week 7

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19

Final Score: Baltimore 29, Atlanta 7

Joe Flacco threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns to back a strong defensive effort as the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 29-7, on Sunday. Flacco, coming off a five-touchdown performance against Tampa Bay last week, completed 16-of-25 passes with two interceptions, Torrey Smith had three catches for 81 yards and a score and Owen Daniels also hauled in a TD pass for the Ravens (5-2), who registered at least five sacks for a second consecutive week. Justin Forsett ran for 95 yards on 23 carries and Bernard Pierce plunged into the end zone from a yard out to give the Ravens their third straight win at home. Matt Ryan went 29- of-44 for 228 yards and a touchdown and Roddy White made nine grabs for 100 yards and a score for Atlanta (2-5), which lost its fourth straight game overall and sixth in a row away from home.


Final Score: Buffalo 17, Minnesota 16

Kyle Orton found Sammy Watkins for a 2- yard touchdown with one second left to lift the Buffalo Bills to a 17-16 win over the visiting Minnesota Vikings. The prospect of the Bills winning appeared dim when Orton was sacked at the Buffalo 40 on third down inside the two-minute warning. However, the veteran quarterback converted a 4th-and-20 with a 24-yard pass to Scott Chandler. Orton later hit Chris Hogan near the sideline at the 2 for 28 yards before spiking the ball to stop the clock with five seconds remaining. Orton then connected to Watkins in the front left corner of the end zone, and Dan Carpenter made the decisive extra point. The Bills (4-3) overcame four turnovers and the lose of running backs Fred Jackson (groin) and C.J. Spiller (shoulder). Orton turned the ball over twice while finishing 31-of-43 for 283 yards and two touchdowns to the rookie Watkins. Minnesota rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, making his first road start, was 15-of-26 for just 157 yards. He threw his first touchdown pass, but was also picked off twice by Leodis McKelvin in the Vikings’ third straight loss. A bright spot for the Vikings (2-5) was Jerick McKinnon. The rookie rushed for 103 yards on 19 carries against a Buffalo defense that entered Week 7 leading the NFL in allowing 67.5 yards per game on the ground.


Final Score: Miami 27, Chicago 14

Ryan Tannehill was nearly perfect in the first half, and the Miami Dolphins put last week’s stinging loss to Green Bay behind them with a 27-14 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field. Tannehill completed his first 14 passes and misfired only once in the opening 30 minutes as the Dolphins built a 14-0 lead. He finished the contest 25-of-32 for 277 yards with a pair of touchdowns and no interceptions, adding 48 yards on six carries. Lamar Miller ran for 61 yards with a touchdown for Miami (3-3), which forced three Chicago turnovers and sent the Bears (3-4) to their third loss without at win at home. It’s Chicago’s worst home start since 2004. Jay Cutler completed 21-of-34 passes for 190 yards with a touchdown and an interception in defeat. Matt Forte totaled 109 yards from scrimmage with a touchdown catch and a rushing score for the Bears, while Brandon Marshall caught six passes for 48 yards against his former team.


Final Score: Detroit 24, New Orleans 23

Corey Fuller’s touchdown catch inside of two minutes to play capped a late Detroit comeback to give the Lions a 24-23 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Matthew Stafford struggled for much of the game, but led two fourth-quarter touchdown drives for Detroit and finished 27-of-40 for 299 yards with two scoring passes and two interceptions. Golden Tate stepped up again in place of an inactive Calvin Johnson as he caught 10 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown, while Joique Bell added a rushing touchdown for the Lions (5-2), who have won their past two games. Drew Brees went 28-for-45 for 342 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for the Saints (2-4), who have lost all four of their road contests this season. Marques Colston had six catches for 111 yards, while Kenny Stills added five receptions for 103 yards and a score in the loss.


Final Score: Green Bay 38, Carolina 17

Aaron Rodgers extended a historic streak and the Green Bay Packers continued their dominance in the month of October with a 38-17 shellacking of the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Rodgers completed 19- of-22 passes for 255 yards and three scores, joining Tom Brady as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with four straight games of three touchdown passes and no interceptions. Rodgers, who hasn’t been intercepted since Week 1 in Seattle, also extended a personal-best streak to 192 pass attempts without a pick. Randall Cobb caught six passes for 121 yards and a touchdown, and Jordy Nelson made four catches for 80 yards and a score. The Packers (5-2) have now won 10 straight games in October and 16 of their last 17. Fresh off a career-high 17 rushes for a season-best 107 yards, Cam Newton was bottled up by Green Bay’s defense. Newton threw for 205 yards with a touchdown and an interception and added just 41 yards on the ground in the humbling setback. Carolina (3-3-1), which tied the Bengals last week, has just one win in its last five games.


Final Score: Indianapolis 27, Cincinnati 0

Andrew Luck’s two touchdown passes and a smothering defensive display carried the Indianapolis Colts to a fifth consecutive win, a 27-0 demolition of the struggling Cincinnati Bengals at Lucas Oil Stadium. Luck recorded his fifth straight 300-yard effort, finishing with 344 through the air on a 27-of-42 completion rate, and the Colts rendered a stagnant Cincinnati offense to 135 total yards to post their first shutout since a 23-0 blanking of Tennessee in the 2008 regular season finale. Ahmad Bradshaw had both a rushing and receiving touchdown in the rout, with T.Y. Hilton adding 107 yards on seven catches for Indianapolis (5-2). Without star wide receiver A.J. Green for a second straight week due to a toe injury, Cincinnati (3-2-1) mustered a paltry eight first downs in having its winless streak reach three games. Andy Dalton threw for just 126 yards on 18-of-38 passing while under heavy pressure for much of the day. Jermaine Gresham came up with a career-best 10 catches for 48 yards in the lopsided loss, but Giovani Bernard was held to a mere 17 yards on seven carries.


Final Score: Jacksonville 24, Cleveland 6

The Jacksonville Jaguars are winless no more. Denard Robinson rushed for 127 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown as the Jaguars overcame three Blake Bortles interceptions to beat the visiting Cleveland Browns 24-6. Bortles was 17-of-31 for 159 yards and a touchdown as the Jaguars (1-6) capitalized on late miscues to avoid opening 0-7 for the second consecutive season. Brian Hoyer completed 16- of-41 passes for 215 yards and committed two of Cleveland’s three second- half turnovers. Andrew Hawkins had 112 yards on five receptions for the Browns (3-3), who were seeking a third straight win.


Final Score: St. Louis 28, Seattle 26

Thanks to a total team effort, the St. Louis Rams sent the Seattle Seahawks to their first losing streak in nearly two years. Austin Davis was an efficient 18-of-21 passing for 152 yards with two touchdowns, and the Rams held off the Seahawks for a 28-26 win. St. Louis (2-4), which snapped three-game losing streaks both overall and against Seattle, had a punt return touchdown and converted a gutsy fake punt late in the game to seal the victory. Tre Mason rushed for 85 yards on 18 carries and scored the first touchdown of his career in the win. The Seahawks (3-3), who were coming off a 30-23 setback at home to Dallas last Sunday, hadn’t lost two straight games since doing so in late October of 2012. The loss spoiled an outstanding effort from Russell Wilson, who threw for 313 yards with two touchdowns and also rushed for a game-high 106 yards and a score. Wilson became the first player in NFL history with 300- plus passing yards and 100-plus rushing yards in a single game.


Final Score: Washington 19, Tennessee 17

Kai Forbath’s fourth field goal of the contest, a 22-yard try, split the uprights as time expired and gave Washington a 19-17 decision over Tennessee in Week 7 action. Colt McCoy took over after halftime and led his club on the winning drive, completing 11-of-12 passes overall for 128 yards and one score to Pierre Garcon for the Redskins (2-5), who put the brakes on a four-game skid. Kirk Cousins was under center for the first half, racking up 139 yards and an interception on 10-of-16 attempts. Garcon finished with 87 yards on five receptions, while Alfred Morris totaled 54 yards on 18 carries. Charlie Whitehurst ended up 17-of-26 for 160 yards, two touchdowns and one pick for the Titans (2-5), who have lost five of six. Kendall Wright and Derek Hagan posted a TD grab apiece and Bishop Sankey was held to 56 yards on 16 carries.


Final Score: Kansas City 23, San Diego 20

Cairo Santos’ third field goal of the game came with 21 seconds left and gave the Kansas City Chiefs a 23-20 victory over the San Diego Chargers in an AFC West battle. Alex Smith was 19-of-28 for 221 yards and a touchdown, while Jamaal Charles added 22 carries for 95 yards and a score for the Chiefs (3-3), who were coming off their bye after losing to the 49ers in Week 5. Philip Rivers went 17-of-31 for 205 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for the Chargers (5-2), who lost for the first time since dropping their opening game of the season at Arizona.


Final Score: Dallas 31, NY Giants 21

DeMarco Murray went over the century mark for the seventh straight week and Tony Romo threw three touchdown passes as the Dallas Cowboys took care of the New York Giants, 31-21, in an NFC East clash between two teams trending in opposite directions. Murray gained 128 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries, becoming the first running back in NFL history to open the season with seven straight weeks of 100-plus yards in the process. Last week, Murray matched Jim Brown’s NFL record of six straight weeks with a 115-yard performance in Dallas’ win in Seattle. The surging Cowboys (6-1) have won six in a row following a Week 1 loss to the 49ers in which Romo threw three interceptions. Since then, he has tossed 13 touchdown passes and just three picks. Romo went 17-for-23 for 279 yards in his fifth straight multi-touchdown game. Two of his three touchdowns went to tight end Gavin Escobar, who made three catches for 65 yards in the first multi-score game of his career. Dez Bryant led all receivers with nine catches and 151 yards. Eli Manning completed 21-of-33 for 248 yards, with rookie Odell Beckham Jr. hauling in two of his three touchdown passes. Beckham started for the injured Victor Cruz, who tore his right patellar tendon in a loss to Philadelphia last week. New York (3-4) will head into its bye week having lost two straight following a three-game win streak.


Final Score: Arizona 24, Oakland 13

Carson Palmer threw for 253 yards with two touchdowns and an interception to lead the Arizona Cardinals to a 24-13 win over the Oakland Raiders. Andre Ellington led the Cardinals (5-1) in both rushing and receiving, carrying the ball 24 times for 88 yards and catching six passes for 72. Stepfan Taylor had a rushing touchdown and a receiving score in the win, Arizona’s second straight. It’s been a long time coming for the Cardinals, who haven’t started 5-1 since 1976. Derek Carr went 16-for-28 for 173 yards for Oakland (0-6), which has lost 12 straight games dating back to last season. The Raiders, who are now the only winless team in the NFL, haven’t tasted victory since Nov. 17 at Houston. Darren McFadden rushed for 48 yards on 14 carries with the lone touchdown in the setback.


Final Score: Denver 42, San Francisco 17

Peyton Manning didn’t waste much time surpassing Brett Favre. Getting a hold of the record-breaking football wasn’t so easy. Manning tossed his 509th touchdown pass in the second quarter to break Favre’s NFL record and threw for four scores overall in three quarters of work as the Denver Broncos routed the San Francisco 49ers 42-17 on Sunday night. The five-time NFL MVP Manning fired touchdown passes on three of his first four drives, with his 8-yarder to Demaryius Thomas on a 3rd-and-goal in the front right part of the end zone setting the record at the 3:09 mark of the second. Following the score, the Broncos receivers along with Julius Thomas played a game of keepaway with Manning, not letting him have the ball before finally giving it to the future Hall of Famer. The Broncos also played a brief tribute on the big screen, which included messages from Favre, John Elway and several of Manning’s teammates. Manning, who threw for 399 of his touchdown passes while with the Indianapolis Colts, reached the record in his 246th game—56 games fewer than Favre. Manning finished 22-of-26 for 318 yards, while Demaryius Thomas caught eight passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns for the Broncos (5-1), who have won three straight games.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16

Final Score: New England 27, NY Jets 25

Tom Brady tossed three touchdown passes and Chris Jones blocked Nick Folk’s 58-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the game to help the New England Patriots hang on for a 27-25 win over the New York Jets. Trailing 27-19, Geno Smith tossed a 10-yard score to Jeff Cumberland on a 3rd-and-6 with 2:31 remaining to get the Jets within two, but Smith overshot Jace Amaro on the ensuing two-point conversion. New York’s defense, though, forced a three-and-out after a failed onside kick attempt and the Jets regained possession at their own 12 with 1:06 left and no timeouts. Smith led the Jets to the Patriots’ 40, but Folk drove his kick too low and Jones got his right hand on the ball to preserve New England’s third straight win. Brady, who has thrown nine touchdown passes without an interception during the winning streak, was 20-of-37 for 261 yards for New England (5-2), which won despite possessing the ball for just 19:06. Brady moved to 7-0 in his career on Thursdays, tossing 16 touchdowns compared to just two interceptions. Shane Vereen, filling in for the injured Stevan Ridley, caught five passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns and added 43 yards rushing on 11 carries.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   2014-15 Denver Nuggets Preview

Last season for the Denver Nuggets was derailed by injuries and they were left out of the postseason for the first in a decade.

With some healthy bodies back and a few fresh faces in the Rocky Mountains, the Nuggets are hoping to ride high in 2014-15.

The Nuggets had lofty expectations for last season after a 57-win campaign the one before. However, center JaVale McGee played in only five games, small forward Danilo Gallinari didn’t play at all and top point guard Ty Lawson missed 20 games. Guard Nate Robinson and forwards J.J. Hickson and Wilson Chandler were dealt with injuries as well.

Denver’s decimated roster put first-year head coach Brian Shaw in a tough predicament and at times he appeared to have lost the locker room. Lawson said Shaw didn’t have a full team with people down and his coach wasn’t sure who would be healthy enough to play on any given night. But Lawson feels Shaw will have a gauge on what the Nuggets will see on a regular basis with everyone healthy.

“I’m just really looking forward to the depth that this team will have with everybody healthy and available to play,“ Shaw said. “We’re hopeful that by the first game of the season (10/29 vs. Detroit) that we’ll have everybody available and ready to go.“

McGee said it was unfair for Shaw to have to deal with all the issues last season and feels this season will be a test for the coach and the players to compete at a high level. The Nuggets weren’t overly active in free agency, but guard Arron Afflalo is back in the fold and the team can finally see what a deep roster can do.

Adding Afflalo to play alongside Lawson and the one known as “Manimal” (Kenneth Faried) should easily improve the offense. The Nuggets acquired Afflalo from Orlando in exchange for guard Evan Fournier and a draft pick, and he played for the Nuggets from 2009-2012 before being traded to the Magic.

Afflalo is coming off a career season in which he averaged 18.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 73 games.

Lawson averaged 17.6 points and 8.8 assists in only 62 games last season, while Faried (13.7 ppg), Chandler (13.6 ppg) and guard Randy Foye (13.2 ppg) rounded out the other tops scorers. In order to compete in a Northwest Division with powerhouse Oklahoma City and rising Portland, the Nuggets must stay out of the trainer’s room and perform consistently.

For how injury stricken and inconsistent the Nuggets performed last season, they were still battling toward the end. This campaign could be the same story as far as missing out on the playoffs in a loaded Western Conference.

“I believe in us ... a lot of other people probably don’t,“ Robinson said. “Last year was disappointing just because we had so many injuries and we still we’re right there in the hunt. I really believe that this year’s going to be an extremely challenging year but it’s going to be fun and we’re going to shock a lot of people.“

2013-14 Results: 36-46, 4th in Northwest, Missed playoffs

ADDITIONS: G Arron Afflalo, G/F Alonzo Gee, G Gary Harris, G Erick Green, C Jusuf Nurkic

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE:

PG- Ty Lawson SG- Arron Afflalo SF- Danilo Gallinari PF- Kenneth Faried C - JaVale McGee

KEY RESERVES: G/F Alonzo Gee, C Timofey Mozgov, PF J.J. Hickson, SF Wilson Chandler, G Randy Foye, G Gary Harris, G Nate Robinson, F Darrell Arthur

FRONTCOURT: Will this be the year Faried emerges on an All-Star level? He had a terrific summer winning a gold medal with Team USA in the FIBA World Cup and averaged 13.7 points and 8.6 rebounds. Faried is highly energetic and plays well on defense. He recently signed a contract extension worth a reported $50 million over four years, proving that the Nuggets are committed to one of their best players.

“We value the energy and excitement that Kenneth brings night-in and night-out and we are thrilled to have reached an agreement on a contract extension,“ said Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly. “We are truly looking forward to watching Kenneth continue to grow as a player and leader for the Denver Nuggets.“

The Nuggets hope Faried, who averaged 18.8 points and 10.1 rebounds in the second half of last season, can carry his productive summer into a long season and push the team to another level. That is a strong possibility with McGee back at center. An inside presence on both ends of the floor, McGee will make Faried a much better player as long as he stays healthy. McGee’s rebounding can improve, but his shot blocking is always a problem for opponents.

Perhaps the biggest “addition” to Denver’s roster is the healthy return of Gallinari. Gallinari needed two surgeries to repair his knee and said during media day he feels strong. The only issue for him is gaining back the confidence he once had in the knee. A scorer from all areas of the floor and great in transition, Gallinari hooking up with Lawson again brings back promising memories.

“The knee is stronger than before. Once you come back from the injury, the mental part is the one that you have to recover from,“ Gallinari said.

Gallinari has the potential to average 20 points a night, something he has come close to once in his career (16.2 ppg in 2012-13). Mix in similar results for Lawson and the Nuggets have a legitimate chance to crack the top eight in the West.

BACKCOURT: Like Faried, Lawson is trying to become an All-Star. He has the ability to do that as long as he stays on the floor. Lawson has played more than 70 games only once in the past three years. He is one of the top point guards in the conference behind the likes of Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook. Those players will most likely keep him from making an All-Star squad.

Lawson is a creator in transition and should have an easier time this season with Gallinari and Afflalo to work with. Afflalo is a key piece to this Denver backcourt and brings veteran leadership to the locker room. He ran the floor quite well with the Magic, which is why the Nuggets acquired his services and gave up on Fournier. He will only help Lawson maximize his ability.

BENCH: With many players walking without a limp, the Nuggets’ bench should be one of the deepest and most talented in the NBA. Just take a look at the reserves: Robinson, Chandler, Darrell Arthur, Foye, Timofey Mozgov, Hickson and Alonzo Gee. As long as the players understand and buy in on Shaw’s coaching technique, Denver’s reserves could lead the league in points.

Most of the reserves could start somewhere else, especially Foye with his 3- point shooting. The well-traveled Villanova product made 38.0% of his 3-point shots last season and has buried that many in each of the past three seasons. Foye averaged 13.2 points in 81 games in 2013-14.

Robinson is another guard who can find a rhythm and carry the team. He is confident the Nuggets will get it together and make a run toward the playoffs, and sometimes gets an itchy trigger finger. Chandler, Hickson and Mozgov are all vital pieces to the bench’s frontcourt.

Denver’s bench outscored opponents in 53 of its 82 games last season and scored 50-or-more points 15 times (10-5 in those games). Finding minutes for the reserves will be another task for Shaw.

COACHING: This should actually be considered Shaw’s first season as head coach and deserves a mulligan for 2013-14. He will have his work cut out for him in trying to develop chemistry and finding the right rotations with added depth. As previously stated, getting minutes doled out fairly is another task. And so is improving the half-court game.

Shaw won’t be shorthanded like he was last season. That will help in his approach to running teams out of the arena by using pace and energy. If only he could intravenously use some of Faried’s energy and inject it into the rest of the team. Denver should be better on both ends with Gallinari scoring and McGee inside.

The Nuggets, and Shaw’s job, will be in trouble if injuries occur again.

OUTLOOK: Defense and staying healthy are key to Denver’s chances of making a run to the playoffs. Odds are the Nuggets will make it as high as the 10th seed due to the fact they play in a jumbled Western Conference. All the pieces have to fall in place in order for the success rate to climb in Denver and that means everyone has to be on the same page. The Nuggets are optimistic and convinced that with a healthy squad good things will come.

It only took Dallas 49 wins last season to capture the eighth spot, so anything’s possible. Even if the Nuggets squeak into the playoffs, it will be difficult to move on, thus bringing more optimism for 2015-16.


►   2014-15 Minnesota Timberwolves Preview

If there’s a team built for the future it’s the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Timberwolves no longer have to worry about what the future holds for All- Star Kevin Love because he was finally traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and will team up with superstars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

Love wants to win NOW and knew it wasn’t going to happen in the near future with the Timberwolves, who apparently didn’t have a strong enough supporting cast around the former face of the franchise. So the powers-that-be decided to deal Love to the Cavs as part of a deal that landed Minnesota the No. 1 picks in the last two drafts, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett.

Minnesota also got veteran power forward Thaddeus Young from Philadelphia and drafted UCLA guard Zach LaVine to add to a core that includes Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer. Brewer still feels that Timberwolves are talented enough to move on without Love.

“I feel like we can still compete,“ Brewer said. “I played on a Denver team that was the third seed and we didn’t have a superstar at all. You don’t have to have a superstar to be able to compete.“

It does help, Corey. But there is plenty of upside and potential with this young nucleus of players. The Wolves will be exciting for sure, but don’t expect a playoff run any time soon. Look for about 20 to 25 wins for Minnesota in the return of head coach Flip Saunders. Saunders spent parts of 10 seasons from 1995-2005 as the Wolves’ coach and was let go at the start of the 2004-05 campaign.

Saunders, though, returned to the Twin Cities in 2013 as president of basketball operations. He also took a minority ownership stake in the team and is replacing the retired Rick Adelman, who spent three seasons with the T- Wolves.

With plenty of “what-ifs,“ the Wolves could jell toward the end of the season when the players get used to Saunders’ scheme and playing with each other. That being said, while there’s plenty of potential, there are too many holes and this franchise will need about two years to finally figure it out.

The T-Wolves have missed the playoffs in each of the last 10 years, and Martin felt the team was qualified for the postseason.

“We had enough veterans to jell the team, but there was just something that happened around February,“ Martin said. “I couldn’t put my hand on it but our team just went in a totally different direction. We dealt with a lot of off- the-court issues.“

Of course the Love issue was at the forefront.

“I knew he was going to get out of here. I’ll be honest,“ Brewer said. “But it is what it is. You’ve just got to adjust. We’re young. It’s not an excuse not to win. A lot of young teams win. Think about it. Phoenix was young last year and they should’ve made the playoffs.“

Patience will benefit Brewer, who’s now one of the top players on the team.

The Wolves went 40-42 and were third in the NBA in scoring with 106.9 ppg. On the flip side, Minnesota was awful on defense and allowed 104.3 ppg. They were 3-20 when failing to score 100 points and it could get worse with Love gone.

2013-14 Results: 40-42, 3rd in Northwest; Missed playoffs

ADDITIONS: HC Flip Saunders, F Thaddeus Young, G Mo Williams, F Andrew Wiggins, F Anthony Bennett, G Zach LaVine

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE:

PG- Ricky Rubio SG- Kevin Martin SF- Corey Brewer PF- Thaddeus Young C - Nikola Pekovic

KEY RESERVES: G Mo Williams, F Andrew Wiggins, F Anthony Bennett, G Zach LaVine, C Gorgui Dieng, F Chase Budinger, G Jose Barea, F Dante Cunningham, C Ronny Turiaf, F Robbie Hummel, F Shabazz Muhammad

FRONTCOURT: Young is not expected to replace the scoring of Love, but he will bring veteran leadership and experience. Young averaged a career-best 17.9 points and 6.0 rebounds in 79 games last season with the Sixers. A seven-year veteran who has played his entire career in Philadelphia, Young has career averages of 13.7 points and 5.5 rebounds.

“I’m not trying to replace 26 (points) and 12 (rebounds),“ Young said of the numbers Love left behind. “Twenty-six and 12 hasn’t made it to the playoffs. If we can get to the playoffs with me doing 10 to 18 or something like that, I’m great with that. I just want to win basketball games. I’m not trying to come here and be a stat stuffer.“

Young is a slasher down low and creates mismatches inside. The left-hander has a smooth scoring touch and his actions will rub off on the younger players. Brewer will be relied on to supply the scoring and posted 12.3 points and 2.6 rebounds last season on a career-high 48.1% shooting. His scoring numbers could improve and that will only make this group of unknowns better. Brewer scored a team-best 51 points against Houston last April, making a team- high 19 field goals on 30 tries.

Pekovic posted a career-high 17.4 points and grabbed 8.7 rebounds in 2013-14. However, Pekovic started the first 44 contests before being sidelined for 28 of the final 38 due to bursitis in his right ankle. He is an underrated player who should benefit the most with Love now in Cleveland because he can focus on solely scoring and not having to share the paint.

“I think the loss of Kevin Love, I think there was something somewhere in the air toward the end of the season,“ Pekovic said. “Still, we had some hope that he would stay. But we tried to make our team younger, and I see a lot of new faces, a lot of younger guys. Just waiting to see how Flip and the rest of the coaching staff are going to put everything together.“

BACKCOURT: It will be interesting to see how Rubio runs Saunders’ offense this season without having a certain sharpshooter to feed the ball to. Rubio has become one of the premier facilitators in the game and appeared in all 82 contests in 2013-14, posting a career-low 9.5 points to go along with a career-high 8.6 assists. Rubio knows how to pick-pocket as well and his 190 steals broke the franchise record previously held by Tyrone Corbin (175 in 1989-90). Rubio played for host Spain at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, averaging 5.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 5.1 apg and a tournament-best 3.57 spg.

Rubio is excited to get the season started and is hoping for a large contract. He knows he will be one of the driving forces for the Wolves.

“Kevin (Love) was a superstar last year,“ Rubio said. “It was his team. Now we have to step up. (Martin), me, have to step up and put this team higher than it has been the last 10 years. We’re gonna make it, and I think we’re excited to do it. That’s it.“

Martin wrapped up his first season with the Wolves (10th in the NBA) by starting 68 games and averaging 19.1 ppg. Martin can score 20 points a night and that should happen often this season now that expectations are even higher for him.

BENCH: Talk about some potential talent on this Minnesota bench.

While it’s still uncertain what the Wolves will get from Wiggins or Bennett, the sky’s the limit without a doubt. Wiggins, who has the chance to become Rookie of the Year in a weak class, didn’t dominate as much at Kansas, but was still taken No. 1 overall by the Cavs. He showed flashes of brilliance in the summer league and even displayed his athleticism. Both Wiggins and Bennett are still raw talents and will learn from some of the veterans. Bennett needs to stay healthy after experiencing a knee issue and illness in 2013-14.

Budinger missed a lot of time the last two seasons with injuries, but when healthy, he’s a great shooter, going for 36% for his career from long range.

Veteran guard Mo Williams and rookie guard LaVine will be at Saunders’ disposal, as will center Gorgui Dieng. Dieng has plenty of upside and will spell Pekovic. He averaged 16.0 ppg for Senegal at the FIBA World Cup and hopes that carries over into the new season. LaVine, meanwhile, averaged 15.7 ppg in the Las Vegas Summer League.

Glenn Robinson III, Jose Barea, Dante Cunningham, Robbie Hummel, Ronny Turiaf and Shabazz Muhammad will also come off the bench.

COACHING: Saunders is well aware of what he’s getting himself into, but will the basketball mind have the patience for another stint making calls on the sideline? In what’s considered a jumbled roster of youth and veterans, Saunders has the support of the Wolves’ brass and the job is his to lose.

“After an exhaustive process and several thorough discussions with Flip, we came to the conclusion that he was the stabilizing force needed to lead our team,“ Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said in a statement. “Flip led us to our most successful seasons; he knows what it takes to win in the NBA as his track record speaks for itself.“

It’s not going to be peaches and cream at first for the Wolves and it’s going to take a lot of time to figure this roster out. The future seems bright and some experts think Minnesota can compete for the playoffs right away. Realistically, things won’t coagulate overnight and players need to develop. Saunders has done a good job assembling the roster and getting worthy talent in the Love deal.

OUTLOOK: Getting the Timberwolves back to the playoffs won’t happen overnight and they could finish with one of the worst records. Not that they would tank the season for another high pick, the T-Wolves hope to find out if Wiggins, Bennett and LaVine are for real. At least they already know Rubio, Martin, Brewer, Pekovic and Young can compete. Worst case scenario is that Wiggins, Bennett and LaVine are busts, and everything the team had hoped for goes up in smoke. It’s time to embrace the youth movement in Minnesota because the playoffs are not a realistic prognostication any time soon.


►   2014-15 Atlanta Hawks Preview

The Atlanta Hawks organization is in flux and it’s all their own doing.

Controlling owner Bruce Levenson sent an e-mail to general manager Danny Ferry in June of 2012 detailing the racial divide in attendance at Philips Arena. What started as a business strategy memo derailed quickly into a mind-boggling display of racism filled with plans to diminish the presence of African- Americans during, among other things, cheerleading routines, half-time shooting contests and yes, the kiss cam.

What prompted the discovery of this e-mail was a comment by Ferry at a team meeting when, while reading a scouting report about free agent Luol Deng, he said “he’s a good guy over all, but he’s not perfect. He’s got some African in him. And I don’t say that in a bad way.“

The results of this debacle are that Levenson, who voluntarily turned himself into Commissioner Adam Silver, will sell his majority shares, and Ferry is on a leave of absence.

“I will maximize my time during this leave to meet with community leaders and further educate myself and others on the extremely sensitive issues surrounding race, diversity, and inclusion,“ Ferry said in a statement. “I will find a way to make a positive difference in this area, and further learn from the sensitivity training that I will go through.“

And Deng is playing for the Miami Heat.

This void in leadership might be a problem as the season progresses, depending on how long Ferry is gone. The team has had money to spend in the last few offseasons, but doesn’t have a lot to show for it.

Atlanta has been mired in mediocrity the last few seasons. The Hawks have been good enough to make the postseason, but never good enough to advance. Same story in 2013-14 when the Hawks grabbed the eighth seed, despite finishing under .500. They gave the sinking Indiana Pacers a good run, but fell in seven games.

The Hawks didn’t do much in the offseason, at least not much to garner huge headlines. They littered their bench with solid second-unit guys like Thabo Sefolosha and Kent Bazemore. The Hawks did well in the draft to get Michigan State’s Adreian Payne, who could play right away if the Hawks weren’t loaded up front.

There is talent in Atlanta, namely the trio of Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague and Al Horford.

The final name is interesting because some might have forgotten about him. Horford has torn both of his pectoral muscles in the last two-plus years. He played 11 games during the 2011-12 season and just 29 during the 2013-14 campaign. Horford is a two-time All-Star.

Millsap made his first All-Star squad last season and is consistently one of the most unappreciated talents in the game. Teague is emerging into that category as well.

DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Korver are fantastic role players.

This team has ingredients, but lacks the true superstar it takes to win the whole enchilada in this world of the NBA.

But before the Hawks can worry about the on-court product, the front office situation will need to be resolved.

CEO Steve Koonin has become the face of the organization. He has been vocal about how poorly the team has handled things this summer, including an open letter to fans and citizens of Atlanta.

“To be clear, I am angry that this has happened,“ he said. “I am deeply saddened and embarrassed that this has put a blemish on our team and our city, which has always been a diverse community with a history of coming together as one. We should build bridges through basketball, not divide our community and serve as a source of pain.“

The Hawks are a disaster. Maybe the team can overcome it on the floor.

2013-14 Results: 38-44, 4th in Southeast; Lost in East quarterfinals to Indiana

ADDITIONS: G/F Thabo Sefolosha, F Adreian Payne, G Kent Bazemore

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE:

PG- Jeff Teague SG- Kyle Korver SF- DeMarre Carroll PF- Paul Millsap C- Al Horford

KEY RESERVES: G/F Thabo Sefolosha, G Kent Bazemore, F Mike Scott, F Elton Brand, C Pero Antic, G Shelvin Mack, G Dennis Schroder, F Adreian Payne

FRONTCOURT: Millsap made the All-Star team last season with a career-high average of 17.9 points. He also posted 8.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, which was also a personal best, and decent shooting numbers. Millsap’s game evolved past the 3-point line where he attempted almost three a game and converted on 36%.

He’s under-appreciated because there’s no flash. Millsap is versatile, adequate on defense and could be in line for an even bigger season considering he’s a free agent at the end of it. Millsap only took a two-year deal to come to the Hawks.

Horford made the All-Star team in both 2010 and 2011. He made the All-NBA Third team after the 2010-11 season and has finished in the top 10 in rebounding twice.

Horford has scored at a high level the last two seasons. He rebounds at a high level. He hasn’t shot less than 52% from the floor since his second season in the league and, Horford has a good little jump shot.

Basically, Horford is one of the league’s best centers, although he’s still more of a natural power forward in the NBA. If he can keep his pectorals together, Horford should return to form.

Carroll blossomed last season when he finally got real minutes (32.1 per night). He scored 11.1 ppg and pulled down 5.5 rpg, which is a decent number for a small forward. Carroll is a big-time energy guy and plus defender.

BACKCOURT: Teague made another solid season in 2013-14. After signing a four- year offer sheet with the Milwaukee Bucks, which the Hawks matched, Teague’s scoring jumped to 16.5 ppg. Teague’s assist numbers aren’t astronomical, but that’s fine because the Hawks are very team-oriented in distribution. They finished second to the San Antonio Spurs in team assists.

Teague is a gamer. He’s missed three games the last three seasons and can always be found attacking the basket. Teague isn’t a great 3-point shooter, but he’s an excellent free-throw shooter. His turnover numbers (2.9 per night) are a little high, but he’s in the upper echelon of point guards.

Korver made his bones in the league as a long-range shooter, but he’s evolved into a capable NBA starter. Korver almost played 34 minutes a game last season, which is probably a little high, but he scored 12 ppg. For the second time in his career, Korver led the league in 3-point%age, hitting on 47% from beyond the arc.

Korver should benefit some from being a part of USA Basketball’s training camp for the FIBA World Cup this summer. He didn’t make the final cut, but it had to be a nice confidence boost to be included in that group.

When it comes to man-to-man defense, Korver is pretty terrible. But, as a help defender he’s not so bad.

BENCH: Atlanta finished in the middle of the pack in bench scoring last season, but the Hawks’ numbers should jump for 2014-15.

Sefolosha can’t score anymore (actually, he never really could), but he can knock down an open three occasionally. Sefolosha is in Atlanta to defend. Carroll is a good perimeter defender, but Sefolosha adds another piece. He could finish out close guys to lock down the other team’s best wing player.

Bazemore can score. When he was traded from the Golden State Warriors to the Los Angeles Lakers last season, his scoring average jumped to 13.1 ppg. He hit 37% of his 3-point attempts with the Lakers. Bazemore tore a tendon in his right foot during the season, but he should be alright for the Hawks.

Mack got a three-year deal with two guaranteed from the Hawks. He slid by Schroder for primary backup point guard duties, but it’ll be a fight between the two again in the preseason.

Brand is nearing the end, but still has a role as a rebounder and occasional scorer in the interior.

Scott is a personal favorite. He almost got to 10 points per game off the bench last season, only playing 18 minutes. Scott is high volume and hits 31% from long range.

Antic is a very serviceable big man in just his second season.

Payne has a lot of skills, including deep shooting. It might be tough for him to crack this rather deep rotation, but Payne is an NBA player. Will he be ready to take over for Millsap if he leaves at the end of the season? Doubtful, but Payne has a lot of upside, despite being 23.

This group lost Lou Williams, one of the best bench scorers in the NBA. But, it’s still pretty deep and while the names aren’t marquee-level, they are productive.

COACHING: Mike Budenholzer did fine in his first season after a rocky start, including a DUI arrest. His pedigree is unmatched after working under Gregg Popovich all those years.

The players seemingly bought into his philosophy, which preaches ball movement and jump-shooting. Budenholzer didn’t get his full roster last season, losing Horford after just 11 games.

He’s just fine, although, he may have to become more of a face of the franchise with the problems in the hierarchy.

OUTLOOK: The Hawks are still stuck in mediocrity.

Horford’s presence alone should account for more victories, and the bench acquisitions weren’t sexy, but Sefolosha and Bazemore seem like great change of pace players on different sides of the ball.

All of these things should get Atlanta close to .500. That’s going to be good enough to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, but that will be the team’s peak.

Atlanta is nowhere near as good as Cleveland or Chicago, and the Hawks seem to trail Washington, Toronto, Miami and Charlotte. The seventh or eighth seed would be a logical landing spot for the Hawks.

Of course, things could really fall into an abyss if the problems upstairs seep into the players.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   World Series position-by-position breakdown

You could bill it as destiny versus dynasty.

The San Francisco Giants are going after their third World Series title in five years, while the Kansas City Royals are seeking their first crown since 1985.

It’s a matchup nobody envisioned at the beginning of the playoffs, let alone the start of the season, as the Royals and Giants become the first World Series matchup between wild card teams since the Angels beat San Francisco in 2002.

This also marks the first World Series in a non-shortened season to feature two teams with fewer than 90 wins in the regular season.

Kansas City’s run in October has been nothing short of spectacular, as it has become the first team in major league history to start its postseason with eight consecutive wins.

After rallying to beat Oakland in the wild card game, the Royals swept both the Angels and Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS and ALCS, respectively.

San Francisco has taken a similar path, winning a wild card game (Pittsburgh), then taking out the best team in the National League (Washington), before securing its sixth pennant since moving from New York with a thrilling series win over St. Louis.

While the Royals are in the midst of a historic run, San Francisco is 15-2 in its last 17 in the postseason, a run that also includes two World Series titles.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the matchups at each position:

CATCHER

Buster Posey is one of the best players in baseball. He could be in the mix for his second NL MVP Award after a second half that saw him hit .354 with 12 home runs, 13 doubles and 43 RBI in 62 games. That’s continued here in the postseason, as he’s batting .333 with five RBI.

Given how much the Royals run the spotlight in this series will be on Posey, who threw out runners at a 29.8% clip this season, fifth in MLB among 15 qualified MLB catchers

Salvador Perez is as good as there is behind the plate, but he has struggled offensively in October. He may have had the winning hit in the wild card win, but is batting just .118 this postseason.

EDGE: GIANTS

FIRST BASE

Brandon Belt has been solid this postseason after hitting just .243 in the regular season. He’s batting .286 in these playoffs with a .781 OPS. Belt also delivered the game-winning homer in the Giants’ 18-inning win over the Nationals in Game 2 of the NLDS.

Like Belt, Eric Hosmer he has turned it on in the playoffs and is hitting .448 in the Royals’ eight playoff games.

Both are above average defensively, but Hosmer has just been tremendous in October.

EDGE: ROYALS

SECOND BASE

Joe Panik was one of the best rookies in the league this season and that has carried into the postseason. Panik homered in the Giants’ clincher and has struck out just once in the playoffs. However, he’s only batting .239 and managed just four hits in 22 at-bats against the Cardinals.

Still, he’s better than Omar Infante, one of the few Royals who doesn’t use his legs to his advantage. Infante has struck out nine times in eight games and is batting just .207.

EDGE: GIANTS

THIRD BASE

Pablo Sandoval has become one of the best postseason hitters of all-time and enters this series having reached base safely in 23 straight postseason games. Although he only has one RBI this postseason, he’s hitting .326, while playing a terrific third base.

Mike Moustakas has followed up an awful regular season that saw him hit .212 with a power surge in October, as he has a .655 slugging%age with a .922 OPS and four home runs in the playoffs.

EDGE: GIANTS

SHORTSTOP

Brandon Crawford set the tone for the Giants with a grand slam in the wild card win over the Pirates, but has hit just .211 in the playoffs. Still, anything San Francisco gets out of him at the plate is gravy, as he is one of the best defensive shortstops in the game.

Alcides Escobar is also a shortstop known more for his defense than what he brings to the plate, but he is hitting .278 this postseason and homered against the Orioles in the ALCS. It’s his speed, though, that gives him the edge here.

EDGE: ROYALS

LEFT FIELD

Travis Ishikawa’s pennant-clinching home run will go down in Giants history. As a great moment as it was, Ishikawa is a journeyman and admittedly, he is a first baseman playing left field.

Alex Gordon, on the other hand, is the best defensive left fielder in baseball. He also hit 19 home runs this season and leads the Royals with nine RBI in October.

EDGE: ROYALS

CENTER FIELD

Gregor Blanco did his part for the Giants in the regular season and has played some solid defense in the postseason. Offensively, though, he is only hitting .159

The best part of this postseason has been America’s introduction to Lorenzo Cain, who has become the breakout star of these playoffs. He may not have hit much in the ALDS, but his play in center field was as big a part of that series win. Cain let his bat do the talking against the Orioles, as he batted .533 (8-for-15) with two doubles, two walks and a stolen base and was named the MVP of the series.

EDGE: ROYALS

RIGHT FIELD

Hunter Pence has become the vocal leader of the Giants. Plus he’s one of the few Giants who has any power and he also stole 13 bases.

Nori Aoki has been tremendous at the plate this October, hitting .285, while getting on base almost 35-percent of the time as the team’s leadoff hitter. He also stole 17 bases during the season.

Both are an adventure in the field. They both look awkward out there, but more times than not they make the play. Still, Pence’s power threat and overall intangibles gives him the edge.

EDGE: GIANTS

DESIGNATED HITTER

An oblique strain limited Mike Morse to just two at-bats since August 31 before the NLCS. It was not a coincidence that the Giants struggled to score runs without him. He only had four at-bats against the Cardinals, but one was a game-tying home run in the eighth inning of the Game 5 triumph.

Billy Butler, one of the longer tenured Royals, had another solid season. But, “Country Breakfast” is what he is at this point. No longer the doubles machine he used to be, Butler can still be a threat at the plate and had one of the Royals’ two RBI in their clinching win over the O’s and has driven in five RBI this postseason.

EDGE: ROYALS

STARTING PITCHING

San Francisco doesn’t have many glaring advantages for this series, but it does have one with regards to the starting staff, namely left-hander Madison Bumgarner.

If there was no Kershaw we may very well be talking about an NL Cy Young Award for Bumgarner, who set career-high marks in wins (18) and strikeouts (219) and pitched to a 2.98 ERA.

That has carried over into the postseason, as he has pitched to a 1.42 ERA in four starts and 31 2/3 innings this postseason.

Bumgarner will be on regular rest if Bochy opts to use him in Game 1 against the Royals. And he should, as Bumgarner was also one of the best road pitchers in the league this season, going 11-4 with a 2.22 ERA in 18 starts away from AT&T Park. Both of his postseason wins this season have come on the road.

Bumgarner is followed by a pair of right-handed veterans in Jake Peavy and Tim Hudson, both of whom have been terrific in the playoffs. Ryan Vogelsong will also get a start and is 3-0 all-time in the postseason with a 2.16 ERA in six starts.

If there is one perceived weakness within the Royals it could be their starting pitching.

James Shields is the ace and will likely go in Game 1, but he certainly hasn’t lived up to his “Big Game” moniker come October, as he is just 3-4 in nine postseason starts with a 5.19 ERA. He’s also pitched to a 5.63 ERA in three starts in these playoffs.

Royals manager Ned Yost hasn’t announced his rotation, but if he opts to not change anything, Shields will be followed by hard-throwing rookie Yordano Ventura, veteran Jeremy Guthrie and lefty Jason Vargas.

EDGE: GIANTS

BULLPEN

Kansas City’s bullpen gets a ton of attention, and rightfully so, but the Giants corps has actually outpitched them from a statistical standpoint this postseason.

The Giants bullpen, which is spearheaded by closer Santiago Casilla, has pitched to a 1.78 ERA in the playoffs and has struck out 30 batters in 35 1/3 innings.

Lefty Yusmeiro Petit has been particularly effective in a long relief role, as he has two wins and has struck out 11 over nine scoreless innings.

Kansas City relievers, meanwhile, allowed two runs in five innings in Game 1 against the O’s, but pitched 11 2/3 scoreless innings the rest of the way. The three-headed monster of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland pitched to a 0.61 ERA over 14 2/3 frames.

Holland saved all four games in the series for the Royals, while no Kansas City starter recorded an out after the sixth inning.

Overall, KC’s pen has pitched to a 1.80 ERA in 35 innings.

Kansas City’s ‘pen is 6-0 with six saves, and San Francisco is 5-1 with five.

This is a case of stats not telling the whole story. As good as the Giants pen has been, you just have more faith in the Royals group getting the job done in a big spot.

EDGE: ROYALS

BENCH

As Morse showed, he’ll give the Giants some right-handed pop off the bench. Joaquin Arias will also be used in some late-inning running situations. Rounding out the bench will likely be outfielder Juan Perez, infielder Matt Duffy and catcher Andrew Susac.

Yost has two terrific speed options off his bench in outfielders Terrance Gore and Jarrod Dyson. Also, Josh Willingham has some pop from the right-hand side, not to mention Butler could become a huge factor in San Francisco.

The speed on the Royals’ side, though, gives them the advantage.

EDGE: ROYALS

MANAGERS

This is the third time in the last five years that Bochy has led the Giants to the World Series. He also guided the San Diego Padres to the postseason four times, including a World Series appearance in 1998. If he wins another title here, he may be on his way to the Hall of Fame.

Nobody has been criticized more than Yost. He’s left fans in Kansas City scratching their heads so often that they’ve coined a new adjective to describe situations when they seemed doomed by their manager: #yosted. You can call him a dunce all you want, but he’s now the first manager in baseball history to guide his team to eight straight victories to start the postseason.

EDGE: GIANTS


►   World Series Preview - San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: NL Wild Card (def. Pittsburgh Pirates); def. Washington Nationals, 3-1, in NLDS; def. St. Louis Cardinals, 4-1, in NLCS

KANSAS CITY ROYALS: AL Wild Card (def. Oakland Athletics); def. LA Angels, 3-0, in ALDS; def. Baltimore Orioles, 4-0, in ALCS

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Kansas City Royals are back in the World Series for the first time in 29 years. If they want to nail down their first title since that 1985 season, though, they’ll have to get past a team in the San Francisco Giants who will be vying for their third World Series championship in five years.

Kansas City kicks off the 110th edition of the Fall Classic against the Giants starting on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium.

A matchup nobody envisioned at the beginning of the playoffs, let alone the start of the season, the Royals and Giants become the first World Series matchup between wild card teams since the Los Angeles Angels beat San Francisco in 2002.

This also marks the first World Series in a non-shortened season to feature two teams with fewer than 90 wins in the regular season.

Kansas City’s run in October has been nothing short of spectacular, as it has become the first team in major league history to start its postseason with eight consecutive wins.

It didn’t look good for the Royals in their wild card game against the Oakland Athletics, as a curious pitching change by manager Ned Yost triggered a five- run inning for the A’s. Kansas City, though, started to show the resiliency that has been its trademark in these playoffs and rallied for a 9-8 win in 12 innings.

Kansas City had an easier time of it against the Angels, sweeping the American League Division Series in three games, thanks to two extra inning wins in Anaheim.

The Royals’ amazing run continued versus the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship Series, as they once again won in sweeping fashion, taking all four games to reach the World Series for just the third time in franchise history.

The Royals rely on their speed, defense, timely hitting, and, of course, one of the better bullpens in postseason history.

Kansas City relievers allowed two runs in five innings in Game 1 against the O’s, but pitched 11 2/3 scoreless innings the rest of the way. The three- headed monster of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland pitched to a 0.61 ERA over 14 2/3 frames.

“It’s definitely been the model for us,“ Yost said. “It started out, find a way to get the ball to Holly in the ninth inning. With Kelvin’s emergence this year, it turned into, ‘Let’s just find a way to get through six and we’re going to be in great shape.‘“

Holland saved all four games in the series for the Royals, while no Kansas City starter recorded an out after the sixth inning.

“You get through the sixth inning and you’re down a run, and, all of a sudden, here comes Herrera, here comes Davis, and here comes Holland,“ Yost added. “That’s a little bit deflating.“

No team signified small ball more than Kansas City, which won 89 games this season thanks in large part to its ability to play defense and manufacture runs. The Royals also led the AL with 153 stolen bases, but their 95 home runs were the fewest in baseball.

Kansas City, though, has found its power stroke in the playoffs, swatting eight home runs in its eight games.

If you are looking for a star on this Royals team, good luck.

Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, and Mike Moustakas get most of the attention, considering how highly regarded they were coming up through the organization, but Lorenzo Cain might be the most underrated player in the game.

Cain made a few game-changing plays with his glove in the ALDS, but was the driving force behind the Royals’ offensive attack in the ALCS, as he batted .533 (8-for-15) with two doubles, two walks and a stolen base and was named the MVP of the series.

“A lot of guys stepped up,“ said Cain, who matched Willie Wilson’s 1985 franchise record with eight ALCS hits. “Any of those guys, or even the entire bullpen, is definitely deserving. Luckily, I got it.“

There used to be a joke in New York that 75% of the world was covered in water and the other 25% was covered by Darrelle Revis. Well, people in Kansas City can now apply that joke to their outfield.

“There’s really no weaknesses,“ said Gordon, who set the tone in Wednesday’s win with a terrific catch, while running into a chain link fence. “It’s someone new every day, and someone new making the play every day. It’s pretty cool to be a part of eight guys out there that are very talented and very good at defense and good at what they do.“

If there is one perceived weakness within the Royals it could be their starting pitching. James Shields is the ace and will likely go in Game 1 against the Giants. Yost hasn’t announced his rotation, but if he opts to not change anything, Shields will be followed by hard-throwing rookie Yordano Ventura, veteran Jeremy Guthrie and left-hander Jason Vargas.

San Francisco, meanwhile, has made a habit recently of winning titles in even years, as the Giants ended a 56-year drought by beating the Texas Rangers in 2010, then swept the Detroit Tigers 2012.

Like the Royals, San Francisco’s run this year began with a wild card win, but it had a much easier time, as Madison Bumgarner blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Then the Giants took out the NL’s best team, the Washington Nationals, in four games, before beating St. Louis in five games.

The Giants clinched their sixth NL pennant since moving to San Francisco in dramatic fashion on Thursday, as Travis Ishikawa stroked a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning, setting off a wild celebration.

Michael Morse had belted a tying home run an inning earlier for the Giants, who homered three times in the clincher after going their previous six games without a home run.

As is the case with Kansas City, San Francisco can score from a number of different ways. All six of its runs in Game 5 were scored on home runs, but the Giants have hit only five homers this whole postseason.

In fact, before Thursday’s outburst, 12 of their last 22 runs were scored without recording a hit.

“When you put the ball in play, good things happen,“ San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “If you’re not hitting long balls, you have to find ways to manufacture runs.“

Pablo Sandoval continues to be a postseason monster for the Giants, as the 2012 World Series MVP has reached base in 23 straight postseason games and his single in the ninth started the winning rally.

If there is one advantage the Giants will have against the Royals, it will be their starting staff, namely Bumgarner.

If there was no Kershaw we may very well be talking about an NL Cy Young Award for Bumgarner, who set career-high marks in wins (18) and strikeouts (219) and pitched to a 2.98 ERA.

That has carried over into the postseason, as the southpaw tossed a four-hit shutout to beat the Pirates, but then absorbed the lone loss in the NLDS for the Giants and only allowed two earned runs in seven innings.

Bumgarner was named the NLCS MVP, as he held the Cardinals to three runs in eight innings in Game 5 after throwing 7 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 1. Bumgarner finished the series with a 1.72 ERA in his two starts.

Between the wild-card game, the NLDS and NLCS, Bumgarner has a 1.42 ERA in four starts and 31 2/3 innings this postseason.

Bumgarner will be on regular rest if Bochy opts to use him in Game 1 against the Royals. And he should, as Bumgarner was also one of the best road pitchers in the league this season, going 11-4 with a 2.22 ERA in 18 starts away from AT&T Park. Both of his postseason wins this season have come on the road.

Bumgarner is followed by a pair of right-handed veterans in Jake Peavy and Tim Hudson, both of whom have been terrific in the playoffs. Ryan Vogelsong will also get a start and is 3-0 all-time in the postseason with a 2.16 ERA in six starts.

The Giants bullpen has been just as dominant as Kansas City’s, but gets nowhere near the recognition. The group, which is spearheaded by closer Santiago Casilla, has pitched to a 1.78 ERA in the playoffs and has struck out 30 batters in 35 1/3 innings.

Kansas City’s ‘pen is 6-0 with six saves, and San Francisco is 5-1 with five.

Lefty Yusmeiro Petit has been particularly effective in a long relief role, as he has two wins with 11 strikeouts over nine scoreless innings.

These teams actually met in the regular season, as the Royals completed a three-game sweep at Kauffman Stadium.

PROGNOSIS: There is nobody who could have predicted this World Series matchup at the start of the season. Heck nobody could have seen this coming at the start of the postseason. But, here we are. Two wild card teams with less than 90 wins in the regular season. They almost mirror each other in the way they play, too. Both have great bullpens, neither really relies on the long ball and both can score in a number of different ways. It should be a fun series to watch. As evenly matched as they are, the Royals just seem to do everything a little better. The Giants were able to take advantage of some St. Louis mistakes in the NLCS. The thing we’ve seen with the Royals in these playoffs is that they don’t make a whole lot of mistakes. And they seem to take advantage of every one the other team makes. If I was going to make a case for the Giants I may point toward their postseason experience. But I don’t think the Royals are going to be overwhelmed.

PREDICTION: ROYALS in SIX



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Keselowski remains alive in Chase with Talladega win

Desperately needing a victory to advance into the next round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, Brad Keselowski passed Ryan Newman for the lead on the final lap to win Sunday’s Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

While Keselowski moved on to the Eliminator Round, which begins next weekend at Martinsville, Jimmie Johnson, the six-time and defending Sprint Cup Series champion, and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is NASCAR’s most popular driver, have been eliminated from championship contention. Kasey Kahne, also with Hendrick, and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch are out of the Chase as well.

Keselowski joined Joey Logano, his teammate at Team Penske, and Kevin Harvick as those drivers who automatically advanced into the Eliminator Round by winning a race in the Contender Round. Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Jeff Gordon accumulated enough points to remain in the title hunt.

This race featured two green-white-checkered finish attempts. Keselowski held the top spot for the restart in the second two-lap overtime finish. Newman grabbed the lead on the penultimate lap, but on the last circuit around this 2.66-mile superspeedway, Keselowski pulled ahead of Newman. He then beat Kenseth to the finish line by 0.142 seconds for his series-leading sixth win of the season and the 16th of his career, including his third at Talladega.

Clint Bowyer finished third, followed by Landon Cassill and Newman.

Johnson led the most laps with 84 but ended up getting shuffled back in the field during the last two laps to finish 24th. Earnhardt, who led 31 laps, was involved in a multi-car wreck just after the restart for the first green- white-checkered attempt. He placed 31st.

Busch was caught up in a big crash on lap 103 and spent nearly 50 laps in the garage for repairs before his return. He finished 40th.

Kahne, who placed 12th, missed the cut into the next playoff round by just three points over teammate Gordon.


►   Kyle Busch involved in big crash at Talladega

Kyle Busch’s hopes of advancing into the next round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship took a big hit when he was involved in a multi-car crash during Sunday’s Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

The accident occurred on the backstretch on lap 103, right after a round of green flag pit stops had begun, and it involved Busch, A.J. Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, Austin Dillon, Terry Labonte, Tony Stewart and J.J. Yeley.

While running in a tight pack of cars, Almirola got into the back of Yeley and put him hard into the outside wall, triggering the incident. Busch sustained heavy damage to his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota when it appeared that Dillon collided into him. Busch was running in the back of the field in 37th at the time of the wreck.

“We were just all starting to shuffle around there and getting ready to pit, and I think it was the 83 (Yeley) in front of me, and I think he might have been trying to check up to get to the bottom,“ Almirola said. “I just barely started to push him, and it hooked his car, and we all wrecked.“

Busch along with Yeley, Almirola and Bowman had to take their cars to the garage for repairs. Busch was listed in last place in the 43-car field when the race resumed on lap 109.

It was the second caution in this 188-lap, 500-mile race. The first caution happened on lap 60 for a crash on the frontstretch involving Chase driver Joey Logano, who won two weeks ago at Kansas, and Jamie McMurray. Both drivers continued on in the event.

Busch came to Talladega second in the Chase standings, just six points behind leader Logano. After this race, the Chase field will be trimmed from 12 drivers to eight for the Eliminator Round, which begins next Sunday at Martinsville.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Things we learned on Sunday of Week 7

It wasn’t a huge day for offensive production, Oh sure, Andrew Luck threw for 300 yards ... again, but overall the numbers were down this weekend.

Rookie Sammy Watkins led the receivers with 122 yards and two touchdowns including the game-winner in the final few seconds.

DeMarco Murray made it seven consecutive games to start the season with 100 yards or more and he’s scored a touchdown in six of the seven contests. It doesn’t get any more consistent than that.

Below are a few more things we observed.

Atlanta at Baltimore

The Falcons offense had been bad on the road before, but not this bad.

Atlanta averaged just 3.9 yards per play, went 3-for-13 on third down and allowed five sacks. Matt Ryan was 29-for-44 for 228 yards and threw one touchdown. At least he avoided throwing a pick.

Joe Flacco was disappointing for fantasy owners hoping for an encore after last week’s five touchdown performance in the first half. Because of an injury to the team’s long snapper, Flacco did throw a deep touchdown pass to Torrey Smith to help pad his stats. The former Fighting Blue Hen threw for 258 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Justin Forsett is still the leading rusher for the Ravens. He had 23 carries for 95 yards, but Bernard Pierce vultured the one Baltimore rushing touchdown. Pierce also had eight rushes for 21 yards.

Torrey Smith managed to avoid another fantasy dud, catching the late touchdown pass thrown from Flacco. Smith had three catches for 81 yards and the score.

Steve Smith, Sr. also had three catches for 67 yards. Owen Daniels caught the other touchdown pass and led the Ravens with six receptions and eight targets.

For the fourth straight game Julio Jones did not score a touchdown pass. Roddy White, however, had his best game of the season. He had nine catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. White saw 15 targets versus Jones’ eight.

It seemed like Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter tried to get Antone Smith more touches, but he still had just five, and he did not score. Steven Jackson had eight carries for 22 yards. As a team, Atlanta rushed for 68 yards and has not had a 100-yard rusher in the last 33 games.

Minnesota at Buffalo

This game was turnover galore early on, but it turned into an exciting comeback for Buffalo as the Bills won on the last play from scrimmage. Sammy Watkins led the comeback with nine receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner. Kyle Orton went 31-for-43, 283 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

The Bills lost both their running backs to injury in this game. Fred Jackson has a groin injury while C. J. Spiller reportedly has a broken his collar bone. Anthony Dixon or Bryce Brown will be a top waiver wire pickup next week.

Teddy Bridgewater regressed a little bit in his development at Orchard Park. He was 15-of-26 for 157 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Finally, Jerick McKinnon officially took over the majority of the carries for the Vikings. He rushed 19 times for 103 yards versus Matt Asiata’s six carries for 24 yards.

There was a Cordarrelle Patterson sighting as he caught a touchdown, but he still had just 11 yards from scrimmage on three touchdowns. That’s right, Norv Turner again gave Patterson the ball fewer than five times. Greg Jennings was Minnesota’s leading receiver with six catches and 77 yards.

Miami at Chicago

Jay Cutler continued his inconsistent play as the Bears start 0-3 at home for the first time since 2004.

Cutler followed up his highest passing total of the season, 381 yard passing day in Week 6, with 190 yards against Miami. Just like the Green Bay game two Sundays ago, Chicago fell behind early and in a furious comeback attempt, the Bears turned the ball over three times. Cutler was responsible for two of them with an interception and a fumble.

Fantasy owners cannot count on Cutler producing consistent fantasy numbers. At his best, he is a clear-cut QB1. At his worst, he barely cracks the top-20.

The Chicago receivers had a huge size advantage, even more than usual, against the Dolphins small cornerbacks, but it produced very little results. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery combined for eight catches and 57 yards.

The longest play from scrimmage for Chicago was a 39-yard pass interference penalty.

Matt Forte, however, continued to make his fantasy owners happy. He gained 109 yards from scrimmage on 17 touches and scored twice. Martellus Bennett had five catches for 58 yards.

Ryan Tannehill had perhaps his best day as a pro, going 24-for-30 with 266 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 50 yards, which included a 30- yard run on fourth and one halfway through the third quarter. On that play, Tannehill kept it on a read option; that play worked all day.

Mike Wallace and Charles Clay were on the receiving end of Tannehill’s two touchdown passes. Clay led the team with 58 receiving yards and Wallace led the Dolphins with five catches on eight targets.

Lamar Miller had 18 rushes for 61 yards and a touchdown. He is a solid RB2 option going forward.

New Orleans at Detroit

What looked like another typical Detroit disappointment turned into another amazing Matt Stafford comeback.

Stafford threw two touchdowns in the final four minutes to rally the Lions for a one-point victory. He was 27-of-40 with 299 yards, the two touchdowns and two interceptions. Golden Tate and Corey Fuller caught the two scores.

Who is Corey Fuller? Good question.

Tate had a huge day again with Calvin Johnson out. He had 10 catches for 154 yards, including a 73-yard grab Tate ran down the sidelines to score and help start the comeback.

It is no coincidence the Lions offense got going in the second half when offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi turned to Joique Bell in the running game. On Detroit’s first touchdown drive, Bell had six carries and capped it off with the touchdown.

Bell had 18 carries for 48 yards and a touchdown. Reggie Bush had four carries for 10 yards and should take a back seat to Bell going forward.

The Saints were also missing their biggest star on offense in Jimmy Graham. Although he dressed, he did not catch a pass. Austin Johnson caught the first touchdown of the game

Who is Austin Johnson? Another good question. His touchdown was his first target of his NFL career. We are still trying to figure out who Corey Fuller is.

Mark Ingram led the Saints in carries, but barely averaged a yard per carry. Khiry Robinson had a 8.7 average, but lost a fumble.

Marques Colston and Kenny Stills both went over 100 yards and Stills had a touchdown catch. Brees was 28-of-45 for 342 yards, one touchdown and an interception.

Carolina at Green Bay

The Green Bay offense was firing on all cylinders in Week 7, which makes any fantasy owner with a Packer in their lineup very happy.

Aaron Rodgers completed 19-of-22 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns. He again spread the wealth as all three of his scores went to different receivers.

Randall Cobb led the team with seven targets, six receptions and 121 receiving yards. Jordy Nelson had four catches for 80 yards, and rookie Davante Adams had a single grab for 21 yards. All three caught a touchdown pass.

Eddie Lacy is still not the workhorse back for the Packers, but he looked great, rushing for 63 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. James Starks remained fantasy relevant with seven rushes for 36 yards and a score.

Owners were likely salivating after Cam Newton’s performance last week and with Green Bay missing both their top cornerbacks. That adds to Newton owners’ frustration as he threw for just 205 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also gained 41 yards rushing.

It is obvious that Carolina cannot be the same dominate defensive team unless it can control the time of possession and the pace of the game with its running attack. Jonathan Stewart is not cutting it with 55 yards on 14 carries.

Greg Olsen had eight receptions for 105 yards, and Kelvin Benjamin caught a touchdown to avoid disappointing their owners.

Cincinnati at Indianapolis

Surprisingly, this game started out as a defensive battle to the dismay of fantasy owners everywhere.

Last week the Bengals overcame the absence of star wideout A.J. Green, but not today. They managed just 135 yards of offense. Given that number, we don’t need to discuss the individual players, they obviously did nothing.

The Colts ended up scoring a touchdown in each of the final three quarters, but the disappointing Bengals never did put the ball in the end zone.

Andrew Luck was his usual stellar self, putting another 300-yard passing game on the resume, with a pair of touchdown passes.

T.Y. Hilton was quite as magical as last Thursday night, but he still earned the 100-yard bonus (7-107-0).

The combination of Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw is working for the Colts and fantasy owners. Richardson combined for 118 yards from scrimmage and Bradshaw scored one rushing and once receiving and totaled 88 yards, so both guys posted double-digit fantasy points.

Cleveland at Jacksonville

Brian Hoyer was ugly, there is no other way of saying it. He was 12-of-34 for just 192 yards and couldn’t get his team into the end zone.

Ben Tate was not much better than Hoyer, rushing 14 times for just 37 yards.

Jordan Cameron, a dynamic player last weekend, was targeted five times and caught none of them.

Denard Robinson was the Jaguars primary ball carries in the first half, with nine carries and 64 yards to just two carries for one yards from Storm Johnson. He was the guy in the second half too. I guess we have our answer as to whom we should start going forward.

Seattle at St. Louis

At least Marshawn Lynch saw 20 touches today. That’s certainly an improvement. He totaled 71 yards, but had a touchdown run called back on a holding penalty, so his fantasy owners won’t like the final results.

Doug Baldwin was very good, getting a team-high 11 targets and catching seven for 123 yards and a touchdown. That’s almost as much as they got from Percy Harvin all season.

Say goodbye to any remaining fantasy value for Rams running back Zac Stacy. It appears the Rams are ready to hand over the keys to the backfield to rookie Tre Mason. It was Mason doing the running in the first quarter and scoring on a run right up the middle from the 6-yard line. In the second quarter Benny Cunningham scored on a shuffle pass and Mason continued to run the football finished with 18 carries for 85 yards and the touchdown. Meanwhile, Stacy and his fantasy owners can only watch.

Another great first half from the Rams. They might be the best first-half team this season. Despite their 2-4 record, they were up 21-0 over Dallas, 14-0 over the 49ers and 21-6 over the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks. This time they held on, though a late fumble made their fans sweat bullets.

Austin Davis was good at what they asked him to do. He threw 21 times, mostly short, and completed 18 for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over and wasn’t sacked.

Unfortunately, for fantasy owners, Davis hit eight different receivers and none had more than 46 yards receiving.

Tennessee at Washington

Running back Bishop Sankey is getting the work, but not doing much with it. Today it was 16 carries for 56 yards (3.5 ypc) and nothing in the passing game. He doesn’t appear to be the answer.

Kendall Wright led the Titans in targets (9) and yards (68) scoring one time. He’s a nice low-end WR3, but not much better than that, particularly with Charlie Whitehurst under center.

Delanie Walker got nothing going today and the bloom if off the rose after a nice run over the first four games of the season. he might not be playable until Jake Locker returns to the lineup.

Kirk Cousins was pulled after the first half and Colt McCoy led the Redskins to 13 second-half points and the victory. Robert Griffin III can’t return soon enough for fantasy owners, who might have handcuffed Cousins to him, but certainly don’t have room on their roster for McCoy too.

Alfred Morris was injured for part of this one, but didn’t do much with the 18 carries while in there.

As always, it’s boom or bust with DeSean Jackson and today was a bust (3-49-0). He did set up the winning field goal by drawing a pass interference penalty, but that doesn’t help his fantasy owners.

Pierre Garcon’s line looks good (5-87-1) until you realize he did almost all of the work on one play, a 70-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter. Other than the one play he was ineffective.

Kansas City at San Diego

Jamaal Charles looked very good and very healthy, rushing for 95 yards and a touchdown. As long as it stays that way, Knile Davis owners can’t use him as anything but insurance.

No Chiefs receiver had more than one catch in the first half. Really makes it tough to start any of them doesn’t it? Dwayne Bowe finished as the high man with five receptions for 84 yards.

When in doubt, quarterback Philip Rivers usually throws the ball to Antonio Gates. It’s rarely a bad idea. On the same second quarter drive he caught a 27-yard “toe-tapper” by the sidelines and a tipped pass for a 27-yard score. Gates finished with three receptions for 61 yards and the score.

Rivers played at an MVP level in the first half (11-of-16 for 122 yards and two scores) but was watching from the sidelines for most of the second half as the Chiefs controlled the ball and the clock. San Diego finished with just 21 minutes of possession time and Rivers couldn’t get anything going after the break.

Branden Oliver owners came back down to earth with a mediocre 16 touches for 78 yards and no scores. It happens to the best of them too.

New York Giants at Dallas

We saw the “good” Eli Manning. Doing nothing crazy he guided the Giants to two first-half touchdowns and zero turnovers. That’s all Tom Coughlin asks from him. He finished the day with 248 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Don’t blame this loss on Eli.

Andre Williams has done little with his starting opportunities. Sunday, he rushed for 51 yards on 18 carries. Last week it was 17 carries, 59 yards. Rashad Jennings’ job as the starter should be safe.

Odell Beckham Jr. scored twice. He and Manning have quickly become an “item.“

On a team with Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and “touchdown maker” Terrance Williams, Gavin Escobar caught two touchdown passes. What were the odds?

Williams, who also caught one in the end zone, has six touchdown catches in seven games this season, after having just five in 16 games last year.

Ho hum. Another 100-yards and a touchdown for Murray. Fantasy owners are just praying the workload, he had 29 touches today, isn’t too much for him come fantasy playoff time.

Dez Bryant was doing very little, or so it seemed. At the end of the 60 minutes he finished with nine catches for 151 yards.

Arizona at Oakland

The Cardinals offense runs so much better with Carson Palmer under center. The posted 14 first-half points with Palmer throwing for 158 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Playing the Raiders he didn’t need to do much more than that.

Andre Ellington continues to get the work, but is struggling to put up good fantasy numbers. Again Oakland he rushed for 88 yards on 24 carries (3.7 ypc). But it was backup Stepfan Taylor who scored twice.

Welcome back to reality Derek Carr. He couldn’t come close to repeating last week’s fantasy totals, going 16-of-28 for 173 yards and no scores. He’s a rookie, what did you expect?

Fantasy owners should have figured out by now that the Oakland running game belongs to Darren McFadden, not Maurice Jones-Drew or even a shared situation. Run DMC is still only a low-end option.

Andre Holmes where were you? Typical of Holmes who can be great one week and the “Invisible Man” the next. He caught three balls for 34 yards.

The Gilmer Free Press


MONDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2014


National Football League
Houston at Pittsburgh, 8:30 PM - ESPN


Major League Baseball - World Series
No games scheduled


National Basketball Association - Preseason
Chicago at Cleveland, 7:00 PM - CSN-Chicago, FS-Ohio
New Orleans at Washington, 7:00 PM - CSN-DC
Philadelphia at Brooklyn, 7:30 PM - YES
Milwaukee at New York, 7:30 PM - MSG


National Hockey League
Tampa Bay at Edmonton, 9:30 PM - TVA Sports, SunSports, SNET-West, DSS


International Soccer
Genoa CFC vs. Empoli FC, 2:40 PM - beIN Sport
West Brom vs. Manchester United, 2:55 PM - NBCSN
United States vs. Haiti (Women’s World Cup Qualifier), 7:30 PM - FS1

High School Cross Country 2014: LKC CHAMPIONSHIP - Boys

The Gilmer Free Press
LKC CHAMPIONSHIP
MINERAL WELLS, WV
10.16.14
Boys Results

                                             SCORES
    1. Webster County High School           64     6. Braxton County High School          142
    2. Ritchie County High School           73     7. St Marys High School                146
    3. Wirt County High School              94     8. Doddridge County High School        166
    4. Williamstown High School             95     9. Calhoun County High School          211
    5. Roane County High School            136    10. Tyler Consolidated High School      260

                                            BOYS’ 5K RUN
                                       INDIVIDUAL RESULTS

  FIN   NAME                     TEAM                                     NUM    RESULTS   PTS
    1.  Brettley Harris (12)     Webster County High School              2661    16:15.3     1
    2.  Glenn McMillan (12)      Wirt County High School                 2670    16:31.5     2
    3.  Daniel Cooper (11)       Ritchie County High School              2634    16:38.9     3
    4.  Hunter Riffle (10)       Doddridge County High School            2621    16:49.1     4
    5.  Hunter Deem (11)         Ritchie County High School              2635    16:55.3     5
    6.  Seth Backus (10)         Braxton County High School              2601    16:58.5     6
    7.  Austin Hayes (11)        Webster County High School              2662    17:01.7     7
    8.  Caleb Pell (12)          Roane County High School                2644    17:06.6     8
    9.  Caleb Shirey (11)        Roane County High School                2646    17:16.2     9
   10.  Logan Kerby (11)         Wirt County High School                 2668    17:23.9    10
   11.  Chandler Antill (12)     Williamstown High School                2674    17:41.0    11
   12.  Brady Gorrell (9)        St Marys High School                    2652    17:46.8    12
   13.  Richard Butler (11)      St Marys High School                    2651    17:49.4    13
   14.  Chase Uppole (10)        Williamstown High School                2681    17:54.3    14
   15.  Cooper Brady (11)        Braxton County High School              2603    17:56.0    15
   16.  Adam Romano (12)         Webster County High School              2665    17:57.9    16
   17.  Tyler Beckett (9)        Williamstown High School                2675    17:59.5    17
   18.  Ben Cochrane (11)        Webster County High School              2658    18:01.0    18
   19.  Brady Ohrn (11)          Wirt County High School                 2671    18:01.3    19
   20.  Jacob Monn (12)          Ritchie County High School              2637    18:04.0    20
   21.  Travis Pickering (10)    Ritchie County High School              2638    18:04.7    21
   22.  Kyle Humphrey (12)       Webster County High School              2663    18:12.0    22
   23.  Austin Hall (12)         Williamstown High School                2680    18:13.3    23
   24.  Chase Sullivan (9)       Ritchie County High School              2640    18:27.9    24
   25.  Jacob Bell (9)           Ritchie County High School              2633    18:30.2     P
   26.  Walker Hashman (9)       St Marys High School                    2653    18:34.8    26
   27.  Holden Hunter (10)       Braxton County High School              2604    18:49.5    27
   28.  Andrew Mahaney (10)      Ritchie County High School              2636    18:50.7     P
   29.  Hunter McCoy (12)        Wirt County High School                 2669    18:52.1    29
   30.  Colby Marks (10)         Ravenswood High School                  2631    18:57.1     -
   31.  Chris Berman (12)        Williamstown High School                2676    19:00.3    30
   32.  Kyle Stutler (10)        Roane County High School                2647    19:12.3    31
   33.  Dylan Heiney (10)        Calhoun County High School              2613    19:20.9    32
   34.  Hunter Hayes (10)        Doddridge County High School            2618    19:24.7    33
   35.  Shane Robinson (12)      Wirt County High School                 2672    19:26.6    34
   36.  Ethan Collins (11)       Williamstown High School                2677    19:35.7     P
   37.  Jeffery Wright (10)      South Harrison High School              2648    19:39.6     -
   38.  Price Beane (11)         Braxton County High School              2602    19:41.1    36
   39.  Dustin Anderson (10)     Ravenswood High School                  2628    19:41.5     -
   40.  Jarod Ball (9)           Ravenswood High School                  2629    19:49.7     -
   41.  Ben Rock (10)            Doddridge County High School            2623    19:57.0    37
   42.  Logan Given (11)         Webster County High School              2660    19:58.0     P
   43.  Chris Murray (9)         Ravenswood High School                  2632    19:59.0     -
   44.  Ben Fredrick (9)         Calhoun County High School              2610    20:02.2    39
   45.  Troy Fisher (12)         Roane County High School                2642    20:03.2    40
   46.  Brad Lacy (9)            Calhoun County High School              2614    20:05.2    41
   47.  Robbie Cogar (11)        Webster County High School              2659    20:06.5     P
   48.  Shelton Crimm (10)       Doddridge County High School            2616    20:14.4    43
   49.  Luke Daugherty (9)       Tyler Consolidated High School          2654    20:18.2    44
   50.  Dakota Prevatte (12)     Gilmer County High School               2627    20:23.9     -
   51.  Devon Amos (10)          St Marys High School                    2649    20:28.3    45
   52.  Quinton Fleming (9)      Williamstown High School                2679    20:44.4     P
   53.  Jesse Gillespie (12)     Gilmer County High School               2625    20:46.8     -
   54.  Case Carter (9)          Calhoun County High School              2609    21:03.9    47
   55.  Rayne Somerville (9)     Ritchie County High School              2639    21:06.8     -
   56.  Logan Goodall (11)       Roane County High School                2643    21:08.2    48
   57.  Colten Oliver (10)       Doddridge County High School            2620    21:12.8    49
   58.  Chase Correll (9)        St Marys High School                    2755    21:17.4    50
   59.  Kamron Milhoan (10)      Tyler Consolidated High School          2657    21:23.8    51
   60.  Riley Cain (11)          Calhoun County High School              2608    21:49.6    52
   61.  Levi Riley (9)           Doddridge County High School            2622    22:05.9     P
   62.  Kyle Fleming (12)        Williamstown High School                2678    22:11.9     -
   63.  Eli Henthorn (9)         Tyler Consolidated High School          2656    22:17.2    54
   64.  Josh Frum (9)            Tyler Consolidated High School          2655    22:24.0    55
   65.  PJ Wright (9)            Tyler Consolidated High School          2754    22:25.5    56
   66.  Chris Lacy (11)          Calhoun County High School              2615    22:44.8     P
   67.  Ian Tetrick (11)         Braxton County High School              2605    23:09.8    58
   68.  Sebastian Morris (12)    Gilmer County High School               2626    23:16.5     -
   69.  Jaron Hall (9)           Calhoun County High School              2611    23:31.1     P
   70.  Drew Smarr (9)           Doddridge County High School            2624    23:56.7     P
   71.  James Reid (9)           Roane County High School                2645    24:04.4     P
   72.  Maverick Travis (10)     Webster County High School              2666    24:21.2     -
   73.  Christian Hash (11)      Calhoun County High School              2612    33:26.6     -


                                          TEAM RESULTS
         TEAM                                     NAME                    FIN    RESULTS    PTS

     1.  Webster County High School               Brettley Harris (12)      1      16:15      1
                                                  Austin Hayes (11)         7      17:01      7
                                                  Adam Romano (12)         16      17:57     16
                                                  Ben Cochrane (11)        18      18:01     18
                                                  Kyle Humphrey (12)       22      18:12     22
                                                  Logan Given (11)         42      19:58
                                                  Robbie Cogar (11)        47      20:06

                                                  ** TEAM TOTAL **               1:27:26     64

     2.  Ritchie County High School               Daniel Cooper (11)        3      16:38      3
                                                  Hunter Deem (11)          5      16:55      5
                                                  Jacob Monn (12)          20      18:04     20
                                                  Travis Pickering (10)    21      18:04     21
                                                  Chase Sullivan (9)       24      18:27     24
                                                  Jacob Bell (9)           25      18:30
                                                  Andrew Mahaney (10)      28      18:50

                                                  ** TEAM TOTAL **               1:28:08     73

     3.  Wirt County High School                  Glenn McMillan (12)       2      16:31      2
                                                  Logan Kerby (11)         10      17:23     10
                                                  Brady Ohrn (11)          19      18:01     19
                                                  Hunter McCoy (12)        29      18:52     29
                                                  Shane Robinson (12)      35      19:26     34

                                                  ** TEAM TOTAL **               1:30:13     94

     4.  Williamstown High School                 Chandler Antill (12)     11      17:41     11
                                                  Chase Uppole (10)        14      17:54     14
                                                  Tyler Beckett (9)        17      17:59     17
                                                  Austin Hall (12)         23      18:13     23
                                                  Chris Berman (12)        31      19:00     30
                                                  Ethan Collins (11)       36      19:35
                                                  Quinton Fleming (9)      52      20:44

                                                  ** TEAM TOTAL **               1:30:47     95

     5.  Roane County High School                 Caleb Pell (12)           8      17:06      8
                                                  Caleb Shirey (11)         9      17:16      9
                                                  Kyle Stutler (10)        32      19:12     31
                                                  Troy Fisher (12)         45      20:03     40
                                                  Logan Goodall (11)       56      21:08     48
                                                  James Reid (9)           71      24:04

                                                  ** TEAM TOTAL **               1:34:45    136

     6.  Braxton County High School               Seth Backus (10)          6      16:58      6
                                                  Cooper Brady (11)        15      17:56     15
                                                  Holden Hunter (10)       27      18:49     27
                                                  Price Beane (11)         38      19:41     36
                                                  Ian Tetrick (11)         67      23:09     58

                                                  ** TEAM TOTAL **               1:36:33    142

     7.  St Marys High School                     Brady Gorrell (9)        12      17:46     12
                                                  Richard Butler (11)      13      17:49     13
                                                  Walker Hashman (9)       26      18:34     26
                                                  Devon Amos (10)          51      20:28     45
                                                  Chase Correll (9)        58      21:17     50

                                                  ** TEAM TOTAL **               1:35:54    146

     8.  Doddridge County High School             Hunter Riffle (10)        4      16:49      4
                                                  Hunter Hayes (10)        34      19:24     33
                                                  Ben Rock (10)            41      19:57     37
                                                  Shelton Crimm (10)       48      20:14     43
                                                  Colten Oliver (10)       57      21:12     49
                                                  Levi Riley (9)           61      22:05
                                                  Drew Smarr (9)           70      23:56

                                                  ** TEAM TOTAL **               1:37:36    166

     9.  Calhoun County High School               Dylan Heiney (10)        33      19:20     32
                                                  Ben Fredrick (9)         44      20:02     39
                                                  Brad Lacy (9)            46      20:05     41
                                                  Case Carter (9)          54      21:03     47
                                                  Riley Cain (11)          60      21:49     52
                                                  Chris Lacy (11)          66      22:44
                                                  Jaron Hall (9)           69      23:31

                                                  ** TEAM TOTAL **               1:42:19    211

    10.  Tyler Consolidated High School           Luke Daugherty (9)       49      20:18     44
                                                  Kamron Milhoan (10)      59      21:23     51
                                                  Eli Henthorn (9)         63      22:17     54
                                                  Josh Frum (9)            64      22:24     55
                                                  PJ Wright (9)            65      22:25     56

                                                  ** TEAM TOTAL **               1:48:47    260

    11.  South Harrison High School               Jeffery Wright (10)      37      19:39

                                                  ** TEAM TOTAL **                 19:39

    12.  Gilmer County High School                Dakota Prevatte (12)     50      20:23
                                                  Jesse Gillespie (12)     53      20:46
                                                  Sebastian Morris (12)    68      23:16

                                                  ** TEAM TOTAL **               1:04:25

    13.  Ravenswood High School                   Colby Marks (10)         30      18:57
                                                  Dustin Anderson (10)     39      19:41
                                                  Jarod Ball (9)           40      19:49
                                                  Chris Murray (9)         43      19:59

                                                  ** TEAM TOTAL **               1:18:26

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